7 American Football Movies with the Best Tactical Plays

It’s the festive season, meaning more movies and less work. With people holed up in their homes, cinemas empty thanks to COVID restrictions, and students doing more e-learning, it’s the perfect time to reminisce on moments past. But it’s not just movie season. Super Bowl season is coming up in February, and the energy is palpable in the air.

The NFL Draft is also coming up in April and most fans are already sizing up draft boards to see what is coming. It’s safe to say the world will go into NFL frenzy again, pandemic notwithstanding. With that in mind, a movie that takes you down memory lane might just be the best way to whet your appetite until the NFL hype picks up again.

Here are 7 great watch-at-home American football movies that showcase excellent tactics.

  1. The Longest Yard (2005)

It’s hard to imagine Adam Sandler as a star quarterback let alone as an inmate, but he does manage to pull this off. The plays in The Longest Yard take place mainly behind the walls of a prison. Sandler leads his crew of inmate players against corrupt prison officers. While not exactly a shining light in terms of its acting, the film does deliver some exceptional on-pitch moments.

  1. Friday Night Lights (2004)

In terms of tactical plays, this remake of Friday Night Lights certainly takes the cake. No film probably captures the psyche of Texas high school football better than this film, and the on-pitch action certainly doesn’t disappoint. The acting from stars like Billy Bob Thornton is A-plus as well.

  1. Rudy (1993)

Rudy is the story of Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger, a young man who harbors ambitions of playing for the Fighting Irish, the University of Notre Dame football team. American Football is famous for its huge linebackers and offensive players, yet Rudy’s physique is quite the opposite of the typical football archetype.

Rudy is significantly smaller than all his other teammates, limited athletic ability, and has poor grades. This doesn’t stop him from not only aspiring to attend Notre Dame University as a college student but as a player for the Fighting Irish as well. Rudy meets tons of obstacles along the way but eventually gets to live his dreams. Hit ‘play’ on this movie and you are going to be cheering for Rudy the whole time.

  1. Remember the Titans (2000)

Remember the Titans is quite likely the most famous film on this list, not only due to the star-power that the cast commands but due to its exceptional plays as well. Set in 1971, the film is about the aftermath of racial integration efforts at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Coach Herman Boone, a black coach is appointed head coach in a bid to placate racial tensions in the local community. Bill Yoast, the former white coach is demoted to an assistant under Boone.

The film walks this line of exploring relationships in the post-segregation era while delivering some exceptional football movements rarely replicated elsewhere.

  1. The Express: The Ernie Davis Story (2008)

The Express isn’t just another football movie, rather it addresses a more critical human issue – racism. The story is almost a historic biopic of Ernie Davis a talented running back who became the first Black player to win the Heisman trophy.

Davis (played by Rob Brown) joins Syracuse University on a scholarship to fill the shoes of another star running back who is also black. After being the MVP for two years, Davis wins the Heisman trophy but unfortunately can’t attend the banquet due to the event being closed to colored folk.

The Express has a decent storyline and brings up an important timeline of African American culture, i.e. that of the Jim Crow era. However, the game also has several decent plays that ensure that the drama also happens on the pitch. The Express also forms a great basis for an essay on segregation in sport. You can buy essay from a professional who’ll deliver a paper worthy of a 1st class in the least amount of time.

  1. Any Given Sunday (1999)

1999 was truly a good year for football movies. Leading the pack in Any Given Sunday was an all-star cast from Al Pacino and Dennis Quaid to Jammie Foxx. The film has its beautiful on-pitch moments. However, it also addresses other persistent issues in American Football such as concussions and head injuries. Al Pacino as coach Tony D’ Amato is glorious as usual.

In terms of the best tactical plays on this list, Any Given Sunday is right up there with Remember the Titans.

  1. Varsity Blues (1999)

Varsity Blues is a coming-of-age movie that shows the frenzy that high school football throws a small town into, in this case, the fictional West Canaan in Texas. Varsity Blues is the story of a talented quarterback (Mox) who gets disillusioned by life in a small town and dreams of going to Brown University.

What sets Varsity Blues apart from a great storyline about racy high school football culture is the actual gameplay. Setting the story within Texas adds much to its football color.

Honorary Mention: The Blind Side (2009)

The Blind Side can’t quite compare to the gridiron of other movies on this list concerning actual football plays. The story of Michael Oher, a homeless black teen who gets taken in by a white family and beats every odd to excel as a student and football player is however worthy of all the awards it racked up.

Whichever Movie You Pick Is a Great Choice

Any pick from this list is a great selection. There are other excellent movies that cover the NFL and NCAA football that we haven’t covered here and that are quite entertaining. If not that, you can follow the follow the top college podcasts for more entertainment.

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