Rating the 10 best football movies ever

  • Posted: Sunday, February 3, 2013 12:01 a.m.
“Friday Night Lights,” starring Billy Bob Thornton, lands the No. 4 spot on this top-10 list of football movies.

With the Super Bowl on tonight, we thought it was the perfect time to pick our top 10 football movies of all time.

It was harder than we thought it would be, having to leave out such fondly-remembered pigskin flicks as “Best of Times,” “We Are Marshall,” “The Express” and “Paper Lion.”

But here’s the final list we came up with.

1) “Brian’s Song” (1971)

Seriously, would any other film top the list? The true story of the friendship between NFL great Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo (James Caan) still brings a tear to the eye of the most manly of men.

2) “The Longest Yard” (1974)

Half prison flick and half football movie, this film about an inmate football team led by former star Paul Crewe (Burt Reynolds) taking on a team of sadistic prison guards still holds up. Look for Packers great Ray Nitschke as one of the guards.

3) “North Dallas Forty” (1979)

Drawn from former Dallas Cowboys player Pete Gent’s book about playing for the team in the 1970s, this is a lively, irreverent take on the NFL, one that didn’t make the league very happy. Nick Nolte steps into the Gent role and Charles Durning is the coach (think Tom Landry).

4) “Friday Night Lights” (2004)

Based on the book of the same name, this is definitely the best movie ever made about high school football and the culture that goes with it.

5) “Rudy” (1993)

Another true story that gets the tear ducts flowing.

6) “Any Given Sunday” (1999)

You either love this one or hate it. It was made by Oliver Stone, after all.

7) “Horse Feathers” (1932)

The Marx Brothers and college football. ‘Nuff said. An absolute comedy classic.

8) “All the Right Moves” (1983)

And you thought the Tom Cruise film on this list would be “Jerry Maguire,” right?

9) “Invincible” (2006)

Vince Papale was a 30-year-old substitute teacher and part-time bartender who somehow managed to play himself onto the Philadelphia Eagles as a special-teams player under coach Dick Vermeil.

10) “Remember the Titans” (2000)

An inspiring take on the true story of three Alexandria, Va., high schools (two white, one African-American) who were forced to merge.

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