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The Kickoff of Greatness: Ranking the Best Football Movies

We Are Marshall (2006): When a plane crash claims the lives of members of the Marshall University football team and some of its fans, the team’s new coach and his surviving players try to keep the football program alive.

As a new NFL season dawns, the gridiron fervor reawakens across the football nation. Yet, before we surrender to the allure of fresh games and the unfolding drama of the football year, this juncture presents an opportune moment for introspection and homage to the timeless football films that have graced the cinematic arena. Enclosed herein lies a collection of unparalleled football masterpieces, a testament to the enduring spirit of the sport on the silver screen.

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  1. Jerry Maguire (1996)
    Enveloped within the ruthless milieu of sports agents, “Jerry Maguire” showcases the incomparable Tom Cruise embodying a consummate agent grappling with a moral dilemma. Against a backdrop of captivating sports sequences, this cinematic gem delves into profound and intricate explorations of loyalty, romance, and the essence of life within the NFL.

2. The Blind Side (2009)
In the Oscar-winning film The Blind Side, Sandra Bullock portrays the adoptive mother of NFL great Michael Oher in a moving tale of faith and love. The hardships and victories experienced by professional sportsmen and their families are eloquently shown in this upbeat and inspiring movie.

3. Any Given Sunday (1999)
Written and directed by Oliver Stone, this intense drama explores the intense and dramatic world of professional football. The movie follows a professional team, depicting the often-cutthroat nature of the NFL as well as the inner workings of the league and its coaches. In addition to its brutal realism, Any Given Sunday features great performances by Al Pacino and Cameron Diaz.

4. Remember the Titans (2000)
Based on the real-life events surrounding Coach Herman Boone and the 1971 T.C. Williams High School football team, Remember the Titans is a moving film that transcends sports by highlighting valor, belief in the future, and optimism. It also shows love at its core. Denzel Washington stars as Coach Boone, who battles racism and personal demons while attempting to bring a disparate team of players together in a championship season.

5. Friday Night Lights (2004)
Although technically a drama, Friday Night Lights is an incredibly realistic and believable portrayal of high school football. Starring Billy Bob Thornton as Coach Gary Gaines, the movie follows one Texas town’s obsession with a local football team and the pressure parents, local media, and boosters put on the coach and players.

6. We Are Marshall (2006)
This inspiring drama tells the story of Marshall University’s football team and its community in the wake of a tragic plane crash that killed nearly every member of the Thundering Herd. Matthew McConaughey stars as coach Jack Lengyel, who then attempts to rebuild the program.

7. Rudy (1993)
Based on the real-life experiences of Rudy Ruettiger, Rudy is a timeless American narrative of optimism and willpower. It follows the unlikely but inspiring quest of Rudy as he tries to make it as a football walk-on at Notre Dame. It taught moviegoers everywhere what it means to work hard and have faith in yourself despite the odds.

No matter your taste in movies, there will surely be something to love about great football films. Celebrate the start of football season with one of these movies, and you won’t be disappointed.

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