Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hayden's Movies Top 5 Football Flicks!!!!

Linfield starting Center, Hayden Mace, breaks down his top 5 all-time football movies
With today being the 1st official day of football camp for YOUR Linfield Wildcats we here at the ADvantage thought it would be fun to kick it off with a always highly debated topic: movies.  And not just any type of movie but movies about the sport we all love and, yes, I'm talking about football movies.

I reached out the Linfield's All-NWC Center, Hayden Mace, about the idea of him putting together his top 5 football movies of all-time.  Hayden is not only a stand out player for the 'Cats but is a huge fan of movies and that passion led Hayden to start his own blog called Hayden's Movies, where he reviews various flicks, post up upcoming new release trailers, and gives you his opinion on if you should plunk down your hard earned cash to go watch new releases like: Crazy, Stupid, Love.

With any list it comes with controversy and debate.  Some are going to agree with Hayden and others will disagree.  Myself, I think Hayden's top 5 is solid but there is one movie on there that I just can't get behind.  Let us know what you think about Hayden's Movies top 5 football flicks.


Hello, movie fans! I'd like to share with you the Top-5 Football Movies of All-Time! You might be thinking to yourself: "Awesome". But you could also be thinking to yourself: "You're going to put The Blind Side as your #1 football movie, aren't you? It's because it's about an offensive lineman, and you're an offensive lineman." First, great job recognizing the correlation between the main character from the Blind Side, Michael Oher, and myself. And second, yes, you are correct...we are both large individuals. We have more in common: we're extremely talented singers and avid Linfield Wildcat Softball fans! "Catball! Back-to-back," Michael and I often say in unison!

Back on track though, I don't know. Maybe it will be #1 on my list. Maybe it won't be. That's the best part of a Top-5 list, you have to read from #5 to #1 to see what's the best of all-time! Or, I guess you could just scroll to the bottom. I do, however, prefer that you pay tribute to the these great films and our great sport by reading the entire blog. The choice, however, is yours!

I did struggle putting together the perfect algorithm that would put these movies into order for me though. I mean, what really makes a Top-5 football movie? Is it the story? Is it the football action? Is it the ending accomplishment or the overall journey? I put these five movies into my list for their own reasons, and I didn't use some complicated scoring system. I haven't seen every football movie ever made, but I've seen enough to know what my list looks like. Agree to disagree, right? And now, I present to you my Top-5 Football Movies of All-Time:

Brian's Song is the true story of Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, both running backs for the Chicago Bears in the late sixties. At first, the men don't get along, but they soon create a bond that can't be broken. Piccolo is later diagnosed with cancer and that's really when their friendship takes off.

It's a powerful movie that has all of the right ingredients for a great football movie. It tackles racial barriers and is the story of friendship and brotherly love. It takes a focus on the incredible off-field relationship between the two men. This movie is an absolute tearjerker. If you're an athlete, or let alone have a pulse, it'll be extremely hard for you to hold off the waterworks.

Favorite Quote: "I love Brian Piccolo, and I'd like all of you to love him. When you hit your knees to pray tonight, please ask God to love him, too." -Gale Sayers

It's the story of an ex-NFL player who has a little too much to drink and gets a little aggressive with his girl, his car and some police officers. He finds himself in jail, where the warden challenges him to a game between the inmates and the guards. It starts off fast with our former star, Paul, losing control and going on a classic car chase. It ends, as we know, with an epic game between the vicious criminals and the deserving guards.

The '74 version is much better than the Adam Sandler remake; it does what the remake couldn't do. It's strong, "manly" and, bluntly, bad ass at the core. If you haven't seen the original, it's worth renting!

Favorite Quote: "Hey Pop, the time you hit Hazen in the mouth, was it worth 30 years?" - Paul Crewe
I've never really appreciated Rudy until the last couple of years. I've always felt like it's kind of an overrated movie, but the last few times I've watched it, I've really enjoyed it. It's the story of a small town kid, who has always been told he's too small, and his incredible journey to make the Notre Dame football team. "Rudy" has to overcome many obstacles in order to reach his goal. He doesn't have a good support system at home and his best friend is killed in an explosion right in front of Rudy, which eventually pushes Rudy to leave town.

Rudy struggles along at a junior college, Holy Cross, before finally being accepted into Notre Dame. He tries out for the team and makes the practice squad, where he busts his ass every practice for two seasons. Eventually, in the last game of the season, Rudy is allowed to dress and actually gets into the game.

"If you had half the heart as Rudy.." pretty much sums up the movie. There are a lot of guys out there who kind of just go through the motions and never reach their full potential. Rudy never had the size, strength or speed to be a great, or even good, football player. What he did have, a large percentage of guys don't have...heart and drive. Oh, and another interesting fact, it was Vince Vaughn's first movie.

Favorite Quote: "You just summed up your entire sorry career here in one sentence! If you had a tenth of the heart of Ruettiger, you'd have made All-American by now! As it is, you just went from third team to the prep team! Get out of here!" - Coach Parseghian

Remember the Titans is the amazing true story of a high school football team in the middle of severe racial tension from all around. Coach Herman Boone, played by Denzel Washington, takes over the head coaching job and is responsible for bringing the team together. I saw this movie when I was ten years old, and I swore that it would always be my favorite movie. It has it all: the come-together story, the unforgettable characters, the comedy, and the last play to win it all!

(One of my) Favorite Quote(s): "Fake 23 Blast...with a backside George your life depended on it!" - Coach Boone. If only it were that easy, right?!

In my opinion, it just doesn't get any better than this movie. Friday Night Lights (from hereon FNL) is the story of a Texas high school football team, the Permian Panthers. I hate to say it but Texas high school football is some of the best around. A lot of games in Texas average more than almost every D-II and D-III game in the nation. There's nothing better as a football player than knowing the entire town has shutdown to come watch you play, and that's what happens in the town of Odessa, where the Panthers play.

FNL is the best football movie ever made. It has everything: an intro that sucks you right in (you can hear the radio show while all of the players roll into their first day of camp), an unbelievable season (star player goes down, so the team is forced to come together and pick up the slack after a few losses), and a lights-out, roller coaster finish. The characters are well-developed and believable. "Boobie" Miles is a star on and off the field. He would put guys like T.O. and Ochocinco to shame in the smack-talk category. And who could forget the epic scene at the hamburger joint? And what about Coach Gary Gaines, played by Billy Bob Thornton, and all of his epic speeches to his team. Here's one of my favorites:

"Gentlemen. The hopes and dreams of an entire town are riding on your shoulders. You may never matter more than you do right now. It's time."

The state championship game is one to remember. They're up against all odds playing against heavy favorites, but they're able to stay in the game until the very end. When I saw FNL in theaters with my high school team, I teared up at the end. I mean, are you kidding me? What a heart-wrenching finish! I'll be a man and admit it, the combination of coming so close and failing along with the story of Billingsley and his father...I mean, come on! If you're a ball player and you can put yourself in that position, what an unbelievable moment! FNL is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack!

(One of my) Favorite Quote(s): "Perfection is being able to look your friends in the eye and know you did everything you could not to let them down." - Coach Gaines

Honorable Mention:

Not Even Close:
The Blind Side - Football action was weak, and Sandra Bullock annoys me in this movie. Read the book if you want some football!

-Hayden Mace
Class of 2012
For Movie Reviews, Trailers, and more check out: Hayden's Movies


Wildcat 11 said...

Here is my top 5...

5. The Program - Was in High School when it came out (1994) while most of the characters are cliche the problems that threatened ESU (boosters, drugs, alcohol, etc) are seemingly still infecting most major D1 programs today.

4. Brian's Song - Made me cry when I was little and still get choked up during Gale Sayers speech.

3. North Dallas Forty - Crude and dark, but it's message about the dirty and cut throat world of Pro Football still hits home today.

2. Rudy - The ultimate underdog story.

1. Longest Yard (1974) - This movie is just bad ass. Great football action, great characters, and an ending the builds incredible tension. Love this movie and it's aged great.

doc said...

What? !
No 'Knute Rockne, All American'?

John Coelho said...

No list is complete without "All the Right Moves" and nothing gets me more fired up than "This is it, we're holding em - 62 Stack Monster, 62 Stack Monster, READY BREAK!!"

MCAT said...

What, no shout out for the Quarterback Princess filmed mostly in McMinnville! Oops--smacks too much of Willamette Football I guess :)

Go WildCATS!

Hayden said...

Those are both movies I have unfortunately not seen yet. I can't picture Tom Cruise as a player, but I've heard good things about it. I just didn't get around to it!