THE WATERBOY + BRIAN’S SONG + ANY GIVEN SUNDAY + WE ARE MARSHALL: Most Iconic American Football Movies of All Time | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

THE WATERBOY + BRIAN’S SONG + ANY GIVEN SUNDAY + WE ARE MARSHALL: Most Iconic American Football Movies of All Time

29 July 2020

Nothing encapsulates the American dream and all its pitfalls quite like the sport of Gridiron, with everyone from college football fans to NFL franchise followers dedicating their lives to roaring their heroes on.

With emotions running so high in the bleachers, it comes as no surprise that many movie directors have tried to bottle that match-day experience and transition it onto the big screen.

Here are the ones that got it just right and etched their movies into the American zeitgeist in the process.




Every single one of these movies was tantamount to a punt return touchdown

The Waterboy

This was one of the first Hollywood movies to delve into the personnel behind the scenes of a football team, who through their sheer love for the team are the heart and soul of any sports club.

Adam Sandler managed to extract both laughs and tears from movie theater goers everywhere, which made the picture the biggest grossing movie of his career.




It is rare for a sports movie to satisfy both movie buffs and hardcore sports fans

Brian’s Song

If you cried watching The Waterboy, then maybe give Brian’s Song a miss, because this movie pulled on heart strings so hard that a whole generation of manly men were reduced to blubbering messes by this story of a player trying to help his teammate through a career and life threatening disease.

Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo both played for the Bears and theirs was a true-life story. It is hard to know if the current Bears squad will be able to conjure a story anywhere near as inspiring as Brian’s Song when the Super Bowl odds begin to hot up later in the year.

Any Given Sunday

When it comes to locker room ravings and high octane on-field action, there really only is one football movie that makes sense to watch.

Any Given Sunday’s creators made the genius move of casting Al Pacino as coach Tony D'Amato and then had the masterstroke of making Cameron Diaz his boss. The movie was so eye-popping that a player even loses an eye during a game. Brutal stuff, but no less watchable as a result.

We Are Marshall

There was a time when Matthew McConaughey’s main calling card was taking his shirt off while Jennifer Aniston raised an eyebrow and bit her finger.

But We Are Marshall was perhaps the beginning of movie audiences getting a taste for the more serious roles he would play later in his career. It is a touching movie, which gets to the core of how sport can unite a grieving community.

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