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The Greatest Football Movie Ever -- The Finals

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NFL.com is going to determine The Greatest Football Movie Ever. We're down to the Finals. Check in next Friday, July 19, to see which flick will be reign supreme as the best football film ever.

CLICK HERE for the full Finals bracket.


All right, let's start right here. A lot of people were really upset "Friday Night Lights" didn't win the whole thing, much less reach the final four.

Many of them took to Twitter and let me know about it. Some even worked a little "blue" if you will. (Yes, pun definitely intended. You see because "Friday Night Lights" lost to "Varsity Blues" ... which you'll see. But that's clever, right?)

Well, not everybody hated the pick.

Thank you, Shawn.

I will say "Friday Night Lights" was probably robbed in the seeding. No, let's scratch the robbed and just say the movie certainly was. "Lights" deserved to get the second-seed "The Program" received. One of the great things about this endeavor was to re-watch many of these movies. Sad to say, though, the "Game Plan" wasn't given that critical of a second-look. Sorry, Rock.

But "Friday Night Lights" was clearly a great film and deserved a better fate, but ran up against the buzzsaw.

"Varsity Blues" vs. "The Program"

To this day, I still don't understand why people have such a problem with "The Program" because it doesn't have a real syrupy ending. Joe Cain, of course, leads his team to a big win. But it's not like the Timberwolves won the national title as his dad cheered on (Spoiler alert: his dad doesn't show up). Alvin Mack didn't come back from a catastrophic knee injury. Steve Lattimer didn't get clean and make a huge play. It had a somewhat believable finish. Even the Darnell Jefferson stuff wasn't too much over the top.

"Varsity Blues" had a more somewhat cartoonish ending: West Canaan wins the big game even though Bud Kilmer walks out on the team and injured QB Lance Harbor calls the plays for Jon Moxon.

And it does lead me to wonder, what became of these quarterbacks? Can I break a little way for some fan fiction?

Best football movie ever nominees
Adam Rank selects his nominees for Best Football Movie Ever. Did "Any Given Sunday" make the cut? "Varsity Blues"? "The Waterboy"? Check out the list. More ...

Harbor to me ends up rehabbing his knee. Remember, he's a big-time prospect from a prominent Texas program. You have to figure he goes to a junior college while he gets well and then ends up with a decent Big 12 team like Oklahoma State. Maybe he ends up as a starter by his senior season. Or maybe missed a few years and becomes Brandon Weeden.

Moxon does end up at Brown, but doesn't play for the football team. In fact, the only football he plays is for his fraternity's intramural team. Wait, does Brown even have fraternities? Let me check (hold on) ... it does! Let's say he leads his Sigma Chi team to three intramural titles in flag football.

Kane is a bit different. I imagine Kane continued to try to get out from his dad's influence so he never drinks again. He's a Heisman Trophy candidate the next year but splits votes with Jefferson. The Wolves do well, win the conference but Kane's rehab stint turns off some NFL teams. Yet, he falls to like No. 27 in the draft and becomes a solid NFL quarterback.

Oh sorry, got sidetracked here. But when you want to pick a winner in this battle, I'm going with "Varsity Blues" in a close one. Both great films, but again for entertainment value, it's got to be "Varsity Blues."

"North Dallas Forty" vs. "Remember the Titans"

This isn't going to end well for us, Caren. And for many of you. NFL.com had a poll last week and I think "Remember the Titans" had like 113 percent of the vote. "North Dallas Forty" was fourth among all four of these movies. I'm here to save all of you from yourselves.

What's funny is "Friday Night Lights" appealed to me more with additional viewings. I went the other way when I gave "Remember the Titans" another look. Don't get me wrong, it's a good film. It's very moving but it feels like it could have been a little bit more.

When you compare it to the grittiness of "North Dallas Forty," well, there really isn't much to compare. "North Dallas Forty" really took a critical look at pro football. Disney kind of played it safe with " Titans." You get the feeling " Titans" could have really been something great put they softened the blow on this film. I mean, I love Denzel Washington in everything. We needed the Washington from " Training Day." And when you go up against a great film like "North Dallas Forty" it seems like "Remember the Titans" settled for a field goal when it should have tried to punch it into the end zone.

Good news, Patrick ... It certainly does!

Here is the updated bracket complete with the "finals matchups."

You can follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank. Oh, and if you liked this (right!), check him out on the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program".

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