NFL.com is going to determine The Greatest Football Movie Ever. Check out our semifinals bracket of the finest football flicks of all time, and check in next Friday, July 12, to see which two movies made it to the final two.
CLICK HERE for the full semifinals bracket.
Funny story, I was at the Madden Bowl on the USS Midway last week (you might have seen my interviews with James Van Der Beek and Scott Porter). I saw Theo Rossi from "Sons of Anarchy." But before I could go all fan boy on him and ask him why Juice does the things he does I had the biggest fan boy mark moment in quite a while when I ran into Kim Coates, who also stars in "Sons of Anarchy.
Coates was at the event to support the Wounded Warrior Project (him and Rossi are big-time backers), but he did take some time to talk about "The Last Boy Scout" as he did say the movie deserved to be on this list. He also gave his thoughts on the No. 1 football movie, but we'll reveal that later. So please check out the video below, it will be worth your time.
But let's get down to the bracket!
Let's not be so quick to dismiss "Flash Gordon" just yet. But first ...
One of the most-asked questions about this bracket is how "Flash Gordon" is considered a football movie. I can see the confusion about a movie about the quarterback of the New York Jets because most people don't believe that the Jets quarterbacks play football. But come on, I went into great detail about this when the tournament started. "Flash Gordon" might not be your typical football movie, but it still has football elements. Also, it's about the quarterback of the New York Jets. There you go.
That said, there is no way it's going to take down "North Dallas Forty" which really benefits from an easy bracket. It's like the football version of Duke, where the bracket is set up for it to succeed.
One of the more polarizing movies on this list has been "The Replacements" which some people see as too farcical to be considered a great movie. That classification is a little unfair because it is a pretty entertaining movie. Some of it is over the top. The Welsh kicker is maybe a little too far out there. And the cheerleaders wouldn't practice on the actual field, especially not while the team is out there. Yet, those are small complaints. "The Replacements" is a quality film.
That said ... come on, it's not going to beat out "Remember the Titans." Denzel Washington, Opie from "Sons of Anarachy" and a tremendous cast. This one is going to be really tough to take down. I'm not sure I feel good about this because I really feel that "The Replacements" doesn't get its due.
BTW, did you ever wonder who was better, Keanu Reeves' Shane Falco or Johnny Utah?
The battle of Texas high school flicks went to "Varsity Blues". Might be a controversial choice. I will say I re-watched "Friday Night Lights" again and came away really impressed with it. It's a very good movie and it might have been given a seed that was too low. It's clearly not a No. 4 seed. This movie played above its head, as it had already knocked off "Rudy" in the previous round.
Realize we can't have too many dramas in this bracket. Films are also about entertainment. "Varsity Blues" is a highly entertaining movie that continues to hold up. For a generation of us, this was our football movie. Some of the scenes were a little over the top. But that's why it's a film and not a documentary. Sometimes you want to be entertained. "Varsity Blues" sure fits the bill there. Plus, has anyone from "Friday Night Lights" ever done commercials quoting lines from the movie? Because James Van Der Beek sure did.
This isn't a knock on "Friday Night Lights" as I love that movie. I also loved Buzz's book about it, too. But as they say, there can be only one. The heart wants what it wants.
Yep, the unthinkable happened, as "Brian's Song" goes down to "The Program" in a tight match. Let's go through this again. "Brian's Song" is a terrific movie. If you play the theme from the movie, it will instantly bring tears to my eyes. It's a sappy movie. Does it make it one of the best? "The Notebook" will make me cry, but I don't think it's the best movie ever.
Again, this comes down to entertainment. I would watch the last half hour of "Brian's Song" if it came on TV. I wouldn't settle down to watch the entire movie probably at any point.
However, if it's Friday night and I'm flipping channels, I'm pretty excited if "The Program" is just starting. I like that movie from cover to cover, and yes, the film does have its problems, but it's a good football movie. Tackles a lot of subjects about college football people weren't talking about in the 1990s and overall is an enjoyable film. Look, there are no slouches anymore. (Well, I'll concede "Flash Gordon" maybe.) Sometimes you have to make some tough choices, and "The Program" has reached the final four.
I'm sorry Mike, but again, these aren't easy choices to make. But I feel like I have to do it.
Here is the updated bracket complete with the "semifinals matchups"