Football Flicks For Wild Card Weekend

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Greetings from The Booth!

Let the NFL “Second Season” begin!  The road to Super Bowl 58 starts this weekend with the Wild Card round and six, count ’em, six games are on tap, including a Monday Night playoff contest. Wives, good luck getting the other halves to get up out of the La-Z-Boys to finally take down the Christmas decorations!

I’m not going to break down each game for you (the Sports Dogs do a fine job of that in this week’s podcast, so be sure to check it out on this website). But I do want to know if Taylor Swift is going to show up in Kansas City in minus 18 degree wind chill to cheer her beloved Chiefs to victory. Instead, being the movie geek that I am, let’s re-visit an updated list of a few of my favorite pro football flicks. Since the first Wild Card game doesn’t begin until 4pm on Saturday, I’m going to start the day with a double or triple feature to help ramp up to the action. So, here are three you might want to check out.

Draft Day (2014): For those of us whose team did not make the playoffs (like my woeful Commanders) and are anticipating a big splash in the upcoming draft, this movie will get you excited. Draft Day does a great job of showing you what happens in an NFL “War Room” and the wheeling and dealing of an NFL General Manager. “Mr. Sports Movie” Kevin Costner is Cleveland GM Sonny Weaver, whose moves on draft day vindicate him from fans, his head coach, and owner, who all want him fired. A fantastic supporting cast help make this one of my new favorites.

Any Given Sunday (1999): Oliver Stone’s “expose” about pro football. An all-star cast is headed up by Al Pacino, who is Tony D’Amato, the head coach of the fictional Miami Sharks, who are down to their third-string quarterback, “Steamin'” Willie Beamon, played by Jamie Foxx. Beamon doesn’t know the playbook, and doesn’t care, because his freewheeling style of play has the Sharks in playoff contention and has made him an overnight sensation. The movie was panned by some critics, but is worth a watch, if only for the D’Amato “inches” speech near the end.

North Dallas Forty (1979): Based on the novel of the same name written by former Dallas Cowboy Pete Gent, NDF is a story about the dehumanization and computerization of pro football, loosely based on the Cowboys. Characters in the movie are often compared to Don Meredith, Tom Landry, and Gent himself. Nick Nolte and Mac Davis portray receiver Phil Elliot and quarterback Seth Maxwell, who live a football existence of injury, booze, pills, and women, and somehow get themselves ready for Sunday afternoon. The book is better, but the movie isn’t horrible.

Some other favorites are the original Longest Yard, Jerry Maguire, and Invicible. Get the popcorn ready, and start your Wild Card Weekend with a few football flicks, and enjoy the games. The Christmas tree can stay up another week.