5 Great Football Movies to Get Ready For The Big Game

February 5, 2016

The pizzas are pre-ordered. The drinks are on ice. You’re ready for the game.

Only problem is it’s only Friday night.

Not a problem. Settle in for these five great football classics now available on DIRECTV CINEMA® this weekend to tide you over until the game finally arrives on Sunday.

Friday Night Lights (2004)

Before the NBC TV series earned it a cult following, director Peter Berg’s film (itself based on the book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream) claimed its place in the pantheon of great football flicks. It tells the story of a small Texas town that takes its obsession with its high school football team a bit too far, but is led to honor by the new coach, played by Billy Bob Thornton.

Any Given Sunday (1999)

Oliver Stone’s look at pro football, partly based on NFL defensive end Pat Toomay’s novel, On Any Given Sunday, chronicles the fictional Miami Sharks’ struggle for success and relevance on and off the field. An all-star cast—including Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, and Cameron Diaz—as well as a slew of cameos—including Dick Butkus, Toomay, Warren Moon, Johnny Unitas, Ricky Watters, Emmitt Smith, Barry Switzter—make this a must-see for any fan of the gridiron.

Rudy (1993)

The quintessential underdog story, Rudy tells the story of Rudy Ruettieger (Sean Astin), who overcomes financial challenges, dyslexia, and the loss of his best friend to achieve his dream of playing football for Notre Dame. The inspiring film was named the #4 best 25 sports movies of the previous 25 years by ESPN.com users, and was written by the creator of the Hoosiers, which was also directed by David Anspaugh. 

Brian’s Song (1971)

This ABC Movie of the Week tells the story of Brian Piccolo (James Caan), a Wake Forest University football player diagnosed with terminal cancer after going pro with the mid-1960s Chicago Bears. It also depicted the interracial bond between Piccolo and his best friend and teammate Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) at a time when pro ball was still struggling against racism and segregation. 

The Blind Side (2009)

John Lee Hancock’s semi-biographical drama, based on Michael Lewis’ book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, is the inspiring story of Michael Oher, (currently signed by the Carolina Panthers and previously of the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans) who rose from poverty to pro football success. The Oscar-nominated film starred Sandra Bullock (who won an Oscar herself for her role), Quinton Aaron, Tim McGraw, and Kathy Bates.

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After you pull yourself back together at the end of your mini-film fest, don’t miss Super Bowl 50, this Sunday Feb. 7 at 6:30/5:30c on CBS.

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