Sport Wednesday, February 3rd Words by: Adam Knight

3 films to get you psyched for the Super Bowl

Sport Wednesday, February 3rd

3 films to get you psyched for the Super Bowl

There may be no sport better captured by Hollywood than American Football.

And there be no better way of preparing yourself, mentally and physically, for the four-hour marathon that is Sunday’s Super Bowl than by stocking up on snacks and binge-watching a few classic american football films.

We asked Hereford’s Matt Milsom – who was the star cornerback for top UK American football side the Bristol Aztecs – to pick his top three.

millyaction

Any Given Sunday - 1999 (Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz)

Sometimes you just need to hear Al Pacino remind you the difference between winnin’ an’ losin’, livin’ and dyin’. But there is a lot more to this undisputed classic than it’s iconic speech.

Foxx’s Steaming Willie Beamin was a prescient portrayal of the modern sports star, while Diaz’s ice queen with dollars in her eyes feels uncomfortably close to more than one current Premier League owner.

But above everything, it’s a film about finding out what’s important in life. And learning what to do if someone’s eyeball pops out in the middle of a game.

Al Pacino's 'Inches' speech in Any Given Sunday

Remember the Titans – 2000 (Denzel Washington, Wood Harris, Turk From Scrubs)

titans

High school segregation, the Deep South and Denzel saying things like “A water break? Water is for cowards. Water makes you weak. Water is for washing blood off that uniform.”

Based on true events in 1970s suburban Virginia, by the end, this film will have you wanting to do down-ups until Coach Boone tells you not to.

Friday Night Lights – 2004 (Billy Bob Thornton, Derek Luke, Garrett Hedlund) 

stadium

A great film, based on a great book, that would later become a great TV series, FNL heads out to wilds of rural Texas where there is oil, God and football, and not necessarily in that order.

Billy Bob Thornton – with the name and drawl to pull off the role of a small-town Texas football coach like few can – puts the town on his back and treads the rocky road to ‘State’.

More than a touchdown pass

While the slo-motion hits, the high-kicking cheerleaders and that iconic shot of the long, hanging touchdown pass with the game on the line, all seem made for the silver screen, American Football at the movies has also been a way of talking about things bigger than ‘football.

Classics like Remember the Titans and We Are Marshall question how and why sport can be both the cure and the cause of racial tensions within small communities.

Now, following in that tradition, Will Smith’s Concussion takes on arguably the biggest contemporary Issue That No One Is Talking About In The NFL – the real and compelling evidence that is building to show that a career in NFL can have grave pathological consequences.

Concussion comes out in the UK on February 12, and you will be able to see it at the Odeon in Hereford.

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