Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pointless Lists: Fictional Movie Football Team, Part I

It's Super Bowl Weekend! Weather permitting, of course, tomorrow is the final chance I will have to watch gladiators collide on the gridiron until fall rolls around again. Well, since I started the season with a list, I will end the season with one.This time, I've scrolled through my massive mental database, and did some good ol' internet research to remind me of a few things, and formulated my all-time team comprised strictly of fictional football players from movies. And since I'm a football nut, and injuries happen, I'm not only going to give you starters, but back-ups wherever possible.

To make it a challenge, I've imposed a few rules upon myself:

1. I really do mean "fictional." None of these players are directly based on a real person. That means no Rudy, no one from Remember the Titans, Friday Night Lights, The Express, or any other "based on a true story" football flick.

2. This one goes hand-in-hand with the first rule and makes things even trickier. Characters played by people with NFL experience are not eligible. My apologies to Luther Lavay from Any Given Sunday (Lawrence Taylor), Deacon Moss from the remake of The Longest Yard (Michael Irvin), Bogdanski from the original The Longest Yard (Ray Nitschke) and all the other pros who took their talents to the silver screen.

3. The player doesn't have to be from a football movie, but there should be at least one actual football scene in their movie during which I can reasonably assume he/she is on the field. You're outta here, Johnny Utah from Point Break.

4. Players are to be judged as they are during the movie. Past success be damned, Jack "Cap" Rooney from Any Given Sunday is an old man!

5. The player should at least have a speaking part. Okay, this is more of a guideline than a hard rule.

We'll save the glamour boys on offense for last. Let's start with the least heralded players on any football roster.

Special Teams

Place-Kicker - Lucy Draper (Kathy Ireland), Necessary Roughness

Punter - Derek Wallace (Larry Gilliard Jr.), The Waterboy

Kick/Punt Returner - Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), Forrest Gump

One small issue, our team doesn't have a true punter. Wallace is really a place-kicker, but since punters are much more likely to be called on to actually hit someone, I'll slide him over instead of Lucy Draper and let him handle kickoff duties, as well. All Draper will have to do is keep putting the ball through the uprights, or Wallace will take over that job, too. These two beat out Nigel "The Leg" Gruff of The Replacements. Nice guy, but too willing to throw a game due to his gambling problems. Gump will handle the return game. He's not always locked in, but just hand him the ball and say "Run Forest, run!"

Let's move on...


Defensive Line


Ends - Steve Lattimer (Andrew Bryniarski), The Program and Sgt. Engleheart (Kevin Nash), The Longest Yard (2005)

Tackles - Phillip Finch (Tab Thacker), Wildcats and Samson (Richard Kiel), The Longest Yard (1974)

Back-up - Andre Krimm (Sinbad), Necessary Roughness

Going with a 4-3 defense, here. Once you apply the criteria I'm using, the pool of linebackers thins out tremendously. That said, I'm excited about what we have up front. Sgt. Engleheart can be a little soft, but Lattimer more than makes up for him with his 'roided out insanity and passion for having a place at the table. Finch is a gentleman and a scholar, but at something like 400 lbs., he clogs the middle like nobody's business. Beside him, Samson is the d-line's secret weapon, but we have to be careful with him due to the fact he can go overboard. He might literally break your f'ing neck. Krimm will keep things light in the locker-room and get spot duty.



Charles Jefferson (Forest Whitaker), Fast Times at Ridgemont High...Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler), The Waterboy...Daniel Bateman (Jon Favreau), The Replacements

Back-ups - Becky "Icebox" O'Shea (Shawna Waldron), Little Giants and Alvin Mack (Duane Davis), The Program

We have some issues with this unit, mainly a lack of depth and some odd mental quirks. Charles Jefferson is a certified stud and will man the middle. If he suspects the opposite team messed with his car then he is guaranteed to destroy them. Bates is just as vicious, even more so if we're playing someone wearing red. Bobby Boucher is the wildcard. As long as he can conjure up visions of all the things that have angered him, including his own mother, he's unblockable. He also has a thing about the water the team drinks. "Icebox" O'Shea is decidedly undersized, but she's also absolutely ferocious and will get plenty of snaps. As a bonus, she can fill in at fullback on offense, too, and maybe even play a little QB if we really get in a bind. We're saving a spot for Alvin Mack who suffered a knee injury that was thought to be career-ending. We're hoping the advances in medical technology since 1993 will get him back on the field.

Defensive Backfield


Cornerbacks - Earl Wilkinson aka "Ray Smith" (Michael Jace), The Replacements and Trumaine (Wesley Snipes), Wildcats

Safeties - Guard Papajohn (Michael Papajohn), The Longest Yard (2005) and Stefan Djordjevic (Tom Cruise), All the Right Moves

Back-up - Spike Hammersmith (Sam Horrigan), Little Giants

We have four solid DBs. Earl...ahem...Ray and Trumaine are a pair of ball hawks at the corners. Ray can help return kicks, too. We might be a bit shy on technique at the safety spot since both Papajohn and Djordjevic are actually corners, as well. Still, they are good players so they should pick things up nicely. Depth is a bit of a problem. We're going with the humongous-for-his-age, but still small Spike Hammersmith. He's best known as a tailback, but he's logged plenty of time in the secondary, has a serious mean streak, and is already built like a safety which is where he'll get the most time. Sure, his habit of referring to himself in the third person gets annoying rather quickly, but there's no denying raw talent.

That's all for today. Tomorrow, I'll finish things off with the offense.


  1. Ah, when it comes to sports I think we're on polar opposite spectrums. Personally, I never could understand how football works. I remember in middle school gym class we did a section on flag football, and most of the time I ended up just wandering around the field because I never understood what I was supposed to do or what was going on. Naturally, this limits my experiences with it (I haven't seen that many football movies and I don't normally keep up with the Super Bowl) so I'll be honest and admit that when you're labelling positions I have no idea what you're talking about.

    Still, I guess it looks like a good selection even though I've seen a grand total of one of the films you listed (Forrest Gump), but he was a pretty good runner (this was after all the same guy who ran from one of the continent to the other at least five or six times in succession) so I guess I can see where that would be valuable even if he understands the actual rules about as well as I do. Fast runners do seem to be useful in football.

    I think my immediate instinct would have been to go for The Marx Brothers in Horse Feathers. The way that game went at the end there's no way you'd lose. Of course, I'm not sure how well some of the other players would take a chariot appearing on the field or Harpo's infinite supply of footballs that he can use to create touchdowns in rapid succession (I'm not sure if that's a legal move in football), but that's their problem.

    I will admit, I was pleasantly surprised to see you made a co-ed team. Sports isn't usually my area of expertise but I have criticized the gender segregation used in sports leagues in the past, and the fact that women's leagues seem to get a lot less attention than the men's. Usually I keep hearing that tired old "women are physically weaker than men" argument when the discussion comes up, but I see no reason a woman who can meet the physical standards should not be allowed to play in the NHL, NFL, NBA, etc.

    It's also true that sports films do seem to be very male-dominated, largely on account of the fact that a lot of them are about men's teams so the cast is naturally all male with perhaps a love interest on the side. It actually might be interesting to see a film about a women's football team for instance (though I'd probably need someone to explain to me what they're doing during the games).

    1. Thanks for being open. Really appreciate it. Not at all a fan of The Marx Brothers so that had no shot of making my squad.

      The best sports movies are usually not about the sports they depict, but use them as backdrop for a human drama. Therefore, I don't think knowledge of the game is prerequisite for enjoying some of these movies. It's why I have enjoyed films involving sports I have no use for, nor knowledge of, like rugby (The Damned United), soccer (Rudo y Cursi), and hockey (Goon). To that end, check out Rudy, North Dallas Forty, or Friday Night Lights.

      For a female-centric sports movie, football won't be the way to go, at least, not yet. There are some excellent ones involving other sports: baseball (A League of Their Own), roller derby (Whip It), basketball (The Heart of the Game, a documentary). Hope you get to check some of those out.