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The ten best true story football movies
If you like movies and sports but also like to hear a good story, then this list is for you. There's something about a true story that gives it just that much more credibility. With today's movies using computer generated imagery (CGI) and all types of special effects and now with the 3D rage, sometimes a good story is all you really need.
Only four films on this list are about the professional level. These are more like human interest stories that are inspiring to all of us. They're about people doing what they need to do to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. Although my list is about the sport of Football - it's really about the people.
10. Gridiron Gang - The story of Sean Porter, a juvenile detention center counselor who uses football as a means to teach discipline and self-esteem.
Director - Phil Joanou
9. The Longshots - An eleven year old girl, Jasmine Plummer, becomes the first female to play in the Pop Warner tournament as the quarterback of a local team from Minden, Illinois who guides her team all the way to the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Miami, Florida.
Directer - Fred Durst
8. Radio - A high school football coach takes a mentally challenged young man under his wing, much to the dismay of several people, including his daughter and his boss.
Director - Michael Tollin
7. Fighting Back-Story of Rocky Bleier - The story of Rocky Bleier. After his first season in 1968 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rocky is drafted into the US Army where he goes off to Vietnam and gets shot and injured with shrapnel from a grenade. Doctors tell him he will no longer play football. It's hard to tell people they can't do something.
Director - Robert Lieberman
Director - Ericson Core
5. We Are Marshall - In November 1970, the plane carrying the Marshall University players, coaches, staff, Alumni and friends crashes, killing everyone on board - leaving behind a devastated school and community. Coach Jack Lengyal comes to town in the hope of putting the school and townsfolk back together again.
Director - McG
4. Remember the Titans - In 1971, federally mandated integration sees an African American take over the head coaching duties of the T.C. Williams High School football team in Virginia. Great performances by the cast made this movie an instant favorite. It also boasts an impressive soundtrack.
Director - Boaz Yakin
3. The Blind Side- The story of Michael Oher(notes), 1st round pick(23rd) of the Baltimore Ravens in 2009. Homeless as a teen, Michael is taken in by the Touhy family and goes on to become an NFL offensive lineman. Nominated for best film at the Academy Awards, this movie won Sandra Bullock the Award for Best Actress.
Director - John Lee Hancock
2. Brian's Song - Heart wrenching story of Brian Piccolo, a running back for the Chicago Bears and roommate of Gale Sayers. Both players develop a close friendship even though competing at the same position. Brian is then diagnosed with cancer. This '70s TV movie is an unforgettable watch.
Director - Buzz Kulik
1. Rudy - Not being rich or having the best grades, Rudy dreams of playing for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. After a lifetime of being told he's too small, poor and not smart enough, Rudy sets off to prove everybody wrong and to prove to himself that dreams sometimes do come true. At the end of the movie, I had a houseful of kids screaming Rudy, Rudy.
Director - David Anspaugh
Honorable Mention -
Here are 5 more films that are just plain enjoyable. They may not all be true stories, but they could be.
5. Hoosiers - Loosely based on a 1954 high school basketball team from Indiana, this is a great story with excellent performances from it's cast about a coach coming into town to take over the local team and lead them to a championship.
Director - David Anspaugh
4. Glory Road - Coach Don Haskins plays the first ever all black line-up in college basketball history and guides the 1965-66 team from Texas Western University to the NCAA championship. This is a true story.
Director - James Gartner
3. The Natural - Nice fictional story about Roy Hobbs, the phenom with his own bat who gets shot on a train and begins his career 16 years later . This one is very entertaining.
Director - Barry Levinson
2. All the Right Moves - Not having the money for college and needing a scholarship, high school football star Stefan Djordjevic is desperate to leave his small steel town and the locals. Bumping heads with the coach isn't the right way to go about it.
Director - Michael Chapman
1. The Rookie - The true story of 35 year old relief pitcher Jim Morris. After making a deal with the high school team he now coaches, Jim must attend an open try out with a major league team. After injury, responsibility and family had caused him to forget his dream and retire - can an old rookie make the grade?
Director - John Lee Hancock
You may have seen several or maybe even all of the movies on this list. If you haven't, then maybe the next time you want to relax and watch a good movie, you can try out one of these. There are many that didn't make the list that probably could have as there are so many sports stories that have been turned into feature films. These inspirational stories are great for the whole family. Enjoy!
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