Create your own pre-Super Bowl football film fest
As you eagerly await kickoff on Super Bowl Sunday, why not sate your pigskin lust with your own video football film festival?
Football movies are a burgeoning subgenre of sports films that offers fans literally scores of fine action- and inspiration-filled possibilities – ranging from macho favorites such as “Semi-Tough,” “Necessary Roughness,” “Any Given Sunday” and “The Longest Yard” to weepy tales such as “Rudy,” “Radio,” “Brian’s Song” and last year’s “The Blind Side.”
Some mainstream, female-friendly films are obvious: “Heaven Can Wait,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Wildcats.” And some are just for half-pint halfbacks: “Air Bud: Golden Receiver,” “Angels In the Endzone,” “Little Giants” and “Lucas.”
Here is a baker’s half-dozen to fuel your football jones until game time:
“Possums” (1998) – Singer-actor Mac Davis stars in this made-in-Oklahoma (Nowata) comedy about a small-town radio announcer who ignites community spirit by broadcasting imaginary games in a march-to-championship season after his local high school cancels its perennially losing football program. It’s a down-home football fairy tale.
“Horse Feathers” (1932) – In this riotous send-up of college gridiron shenanigans, Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Groucho Marx), the new president of Huxley College, hires bumbling ringers Baravelli and Pinky (Marx brothers Chico and Harpo) to power his school to a big gridiron win against archrival Darwin U. Brace yourself for an hilarious football finale.
“Knute Rockne All-American” (1940) – Future prez Ronald Reagan practically stole the movie from the titular Notre Dame coach (Pat O’Brien) in his small role as the strep-infected player George Gipp. But O’Brien reclaimed the spotlight by reciting Gipp’s deathbed request to his dispirited team: “…the last thing he said to me, ‘Rock,’ he said, ‘sometime when the team is up against it and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper.’”
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