The Sandra Bullock-propelled football drama, “The Blind Side,” opened to an estimated $34.5 million over the weekend and replaced “Coach Carter’s” highest weekend opening among sports movies. To celebrate, Sidelines ganders at other football roles deserving of a spot on the All-Time Football Movie Depth Chart.
We’ve all seen the movies. We’ve all cried when they score the final touchdown, kick the winning field goal and overcome their town’s rampant racial bigotry. But never before have the heroes of football movies been brought together on one team.
This is that team.
On this depth chart walks the greatest players that the cinema has to offer. We would put this team up against the 1972 Miami Dolphins any day. There are underdogs, Vietnam veterans and even Rick Moranis’ daughter on this roster.
Before we get into it, please note that we didn’t include all-time football players from television. We’ll have to compose that list later, but do know we have much respect for Al Bundy and Matt Saracen. With that, let’s get to the roster.
Rudy Ruettiger We start this list with the player who has the biggest heart. He might only be good for one sack, but darn it, it will be one inspiring sack. It’ll also be nice to have Rudy around during practices, it’ll save us money on expensive tackling dummies.
Louie Lastik He’s big, he’s fat, and this “Remember the Titans” lineman is also racially tolerant. We’ll put him as a starter at defensive tackle, and if he plays hard enough, he’s gonna go to college!
Steve Lattimer That’s right, starting defense! We can only hope our fictional league doesn’t drug test, because this dude from “The Program” will test positive for stuff that you wouldn’t find in horses.
Ivory Christian The Preacher-man from “Friday Night Lights” doesn’t talk much, but he lets his words get it done on the field. He earns a spot at DE.
Bobby Boucher Everyone saw “The Waterboy”. This team could really benefit from having Captain Insano roaming sideline-to-sideline. The additional benefits of having him serve as waterboy go without saying.
Becky O’Shea Now this is the rock of our defense. The player known as “Icebox” in “Little Giants” was a one-lady wrecking machine, and quite possibly the hardest hitter to ever wear the pads and a skirt simultaneously. We almost pity opposing running backs.
Luther “Shark” Lavay Picking up this Shark from “Any Given Sunday” has a major perk. In his previous life, Luther Lavay happened to be Lawrence Taylor.
Gerry Bertier We were planning on just having a 4-3 defense, but we couldn’t live without including the most talented player from “Remember the Titans.” He can split time with Luther Lavay, because had Bertier not been paralyzed, we can only assume he would have been as devastating as Lawrence Taylor in the NFL.
Petey Jones We’re always happy to include Donald Faison on the list. His “Remember the Titans” character had a key pass deflection and forced fumble early in the film. The only problem is, Petey has a tendency to quit … like three or four times in the course of a season.
Johnny Rico This “Starship Trooper” technically plays a futuristic version of football, but he did line up as a defensive back against Zander midway through his game. As evidenced in this clip (1:11 mark), he gets lit up pretty bad. But we’ll still take him in the secondary for his leadership and general killing skills.
Brian Chavez Chavo actually played linebacker in the book, but the movie “Friday Night Lights” has him lined up at safety.
Stefen Djordjevic That’s right, Tom Cruise’s role in “All the Right Moves” was a defensive back, but not a very good one. He can’t seem to get along with his coaches, but Steff gets a starting spot on this team.
Billy Bob You need to have at least one hard-drinking oversized personality on your line, and we went with the best “Varsity Blues” had to offer. However, there are serious concerns whether his skull can handle a full season.
Jumbo Fumiko Sumo wrestlers are a natural fit for offensive linemen, and we couldn’t afford not to have this “Replacements” star.
Jamal Abdul Jackson and Andre “Action” Jackson We’ll be honest, it’s hard to find many offensive linemen in the movies, so we picked up two more “Replacement” guys just to fill the roster. That means Booby Miles might get destroyed, but we’re willing to take that risk.
Vince Papale He could have also been included as a kick returner, but we’ll put this “Invincible” star at wideout to give our receiving corps some much needed guts.
Phillip Elliott We like that Nick Nolte’s character in “North Dallas Forty” isn’t afraid to stick it to the front office. And as an added bonus, Elliott’s receiving abilities are just one of his skills. He can also drink and fight better than anyone on the team.
Brian Piccolo Pure heart. That’s what our team needed. And though it’s entirely possible this “Brian Song” guy could fall ill, at least we could call in Gale Sayers as a backup.
Willie Beamen There were literally thousands of quarterbacks to choose from … Paul Crewe from “The Longest Yard”, Shane Falco from “The Replacements”, Jonathon Mox from “Varsity Blues, or even Paul Crewe from “The Longest Yard” remake. But when it came down to it, our team needed a scrapper, a guy who could roll out of the pocket and make a play out of nothing. Sure, he tends to vomit in the huddle, and more than likely he’ll become arrogant through the course of the season. But you know what, we like that about Willie Beamen, and so he’s our quarterback.
Barney Gorman We could have picked Lucy Draper from “Necessary Roughness” or Gus the Field Goal Kicking Mule, but this team needed a little Tony Danza. And it’s reassuring to know that “The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon” will be happy to play alongside his former Eagles teammate Vince Papale.
Forrest Gump As if there was going to be anyone else? We’ll probably need to hire an assistant coach to make sure Forrest runs in the right direction, or maybe instruct the student section to get clever with the cards.
Coach Klein With apologies to Al Pacino, Jon Voight and Billy Bob Thorton, when you have a chance to let The Fonz coach your team, you can’t pass that up. Henry Winkler’s character from “The Waterboy” might have been afraid of Coach Red Beaulieu, but he’s still the coolest cat in town.
Photos courtesy of Yahoo! Sports via Getty Images
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