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Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks

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The only thing better than the competition of football is the story behind each player. The meaning of why the players decided to play, the grueling work and the family-like camaraderie. With movies and shows dedicated to football, you get the whole story.

Whether it’s your favorite football-story-turned-movie or a completely fictional plot line, everyone loves a good football-themed movie on the big or little screen. Plus, you get a chance to forget about your franchise’s terrible record or crazy stressful off-season movies.

Check out CASSIUS’ favorite football movies and TV shows below.

Blue Mountain State (2010)

When all the terrible football stereotypes make it into one show, you get …Blue Mountain State. You know, the typical wild parties, hazing, binge drinking and sex. Quarterback Alex Moran plays the classic under-achiever and has no problem with peaking in college and returning to his hometown to live out the rest of his days at a gym teacher. And with only four years to do it, best believe he’s going hard.

Friday Night Lights (2004)

So good it became a TV show. Friday Night Lights solidified the age-old tale of the importance of football in Texas. And the passion for the game increased 10 fold in the blue-collar town of Odessa. The movie depicts a bunch of kids who are dealing with tons of off-the-field problems and straight arrow Coach Gaines trying to keep everything afloat. Together, the team somehow makes an unlikely deep run into the state playoffs, because with “clear eyes and full hearts,” you can’t lose.

The Blind Side (2009)

Offensive tackle Michael Oher’s greatest accomplishment might not be earning his 2013 Super Bowl ring, but turning his tough childhood into an inspiring film. While in high school he’d get taken in by  Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy and eventually adopted. The family would stand behind Oher’s decision to play college football and eventually make his way into the NFL. And with the cast led by Sandra Bullock, the film went on to gross over $300 million.

Any Given Sunday (1999)

Life is a contact sport. Any Given Sunday chronicles a shitty quarterback played by Jamie Foxx who’s been riding the bench his entire career. But when the first string quarterback, Dennis Quaid goes out with a season-ending injury, Willie Beamen has to step up in the pocket. Coach Al Pacino also gives one of the most motivational speeches after proclaiming, “I don’t know what to say.” Get inspired above.

Two-A-Day (2006)

Before ESPN’s 30 for 30‘s we had MTV’s Two-A Days. In the summer of ’06, MTV premiered the show which followed the lives of Hoover High School students. The Buccaneers football team was stacked with talent but the teenagers were forced to learn how to balance academics with athletics. The pilot episode even showed the Bucs beating Florida Nease High School, a team led by Heisman Trophy winner-turned baseball player Tim Tebow.

30 For 30: The U (2009)

ESPN’s 30 for 30 series has featured tons of football stories, but few match the The U. The doc captured the essence of the University Of Miami’s football team during the 1980s. The spoiled bunch won national championships in 1983, 1987, 1989, and 1991. The squad was a microcosm of the culture shift, racial uprising and drug trade of the era, and you saw it with every snap of the ball.

Remember The Titans (2000)

Led by Coach Herman Boone—played by Denzel Washington— a suburban Virginia High School is integrated for the first time and the first football season with a diverse team is another hurdle they’ve gotta overcome. Nothing fixes race relations like Wood Harris cracking jokes about his teammates’ moms in the locker room as a baby-faced Ryan Gosling watches on. The true story is a must watch for any sports fan or Denzel fan— which is everyone.

We Are Marshall (2006)

Inspired by the true events following a plane crash in 1970 that killed the entire Marshall University football team, a new coach is tasked with rebuilding the roster. Played by Matthew McConaughey, coach Jack Lengye was the catalyst for getting the NCAA to allow incoming freshman to play at a varsity level, and even won the first home game in honor of the lost players.

Varsity Blues (1999)

Dawson’s Creek gawd James Van Der Beek plays an intelligent second string quarterback at a Texas High School who’s looking to break the small town cycle and move to the East Coast for school. Most of his football-obsessed friends will do anything to play on scholarship for a college team while he’s more concerned with his education.  Oh, and Ali Larter’s whip cream scene? Iconic.