After months of dealing with the grind of baseball, the beautiful fall sport is back. This past Sunday was the first full schedule of games of the 2012 football season and it was a long awaited one. Though I admit I am very thankful the New York Jets started off with a win, I am more thankful that Sunday nights have officially been restored as a fun night of the week. Gone is the terrible feeling of not having anything to do the night before the work week. And though I will be missing many Sunday night games for Dexter (Sept. 30th get ready!) and The Newssoom season 2 (haha yeah right) I love knowing that rain or shine my Sunday nights will be filled with snacks, beer, friends and football. With that in mind, as an official People’s Choice Buzz Blog welcome, here comes a list of some of my all time favorite football films.
What better place to start than with the classic film, Remember the Titans. Denzel Washington at his finest, Hayden Panettiere at her youngest and a great supporting cast including Ryan Gosling, Kate Bosworth and Will Patton. The film focuses on the bond that football can bring to a racially charged community set in the south in 1971. Denzel Washington is the high school football coach who sets out to build a family amongst his players by disregarding race and focusing on simply winning football games. Along with the gut wrenching hits and epic football showdowns, the film has a rich plot and is filled with touching moments that will bring you to tears.
My favorite scene comes during training when Coach Boone leads his players out to Gettysburg cemetery during training. Surrounded by gravestones, Denzel passionately explains to his divided team that they must come together on the same hallowed ground so many men had died before them fighting for the same goal (to end racism). His speech is empowering and after this moment the players who once hated each other start to bond. That scene remains on my list of favorite sports speeches and I urge you to focus in on it when you watch the again or for the first time.k.
My second favorite film and wonderful fall football classic is Rudy. Unlike a colleague of mine who had the pleasure of attending the University of Notre Dame, I only experience the rush of Notre Dame Football through the silver screen. Daniel E. “Rudy” Ruettiger, played by Sean Astin, is a passionate but unathletic Notre Dame Football fan who endures constant rejection to play in one game for the Fighting Irish. He loses his best friend, he struggles to get out of junior college, and all looks lost when he doesn’t make the roster of the final game of his senior year. Luckily, that all changes when his teammates offer up their own spots on the roster to let him play in the final game by dropping off their jersey on the coach’s desk. The scene is beautiful and encapsulates the beauty of sportsmanship and camaraderie that comes with football. (As a note, The Newsroom’s reenactment of this scene was embarrassing so please watch the real thing.)
As my third and final selection I have decided to stay away from the classics like Brian’s Song, Friday Night Lights, The Program and even The Blind Side, to opt instead for one of my all time favorite movies: School Ties.
While the film has more to do with overcoming anti-Semitism than it does about football, has an incredible cast (Brendan Frasier, Matt Damon, Chris O’Donnell, and Ben Affleck) and really shows how important it is to maintain personal honor and pride even during confrontation. The film is about a Jewish boy who faces bigotry after revealing his religion while playing football for an elite catholic prep school. Brendan Frasier gives an incredible performance as David Greene, and the film is the perfect example of ho,w even though the game is violent and brutish, personal pride and respect for one another are more important than winning a game.
So, People’s Choice Fans, while you gear up for next week’s games, take some time to watch these incredible films. Not only will you get a good cry out of them, you will be even more excited when Sunday Night Football rolls around.
For today’s poll, which football film is your favorite?
Remember The Titans
The Blind Side