Fantasy Football, Film-Style
Are you ready for some football?!!!
For those of you who know me a little, you know that in addition to watching movies, I’m also a die-hard football fan. The American NFL season kicks off tonight with a game between the Superbowl champion New York Giants and the ailing Dallas Cowboys. While this season opener will likely play out to be a little one-sided, I’ve decided to assemble a team of fantasy football picks from football-related films that could totally go all the way to the Superbowl. For those of you who aren’t familiar with “fantasy football”, it’s where fans choose their favourite players from any team across the league to assemble a “fantasy” or dream team to compete against other players’ fantasy line-ups. Seeing as 45 players can be active on an NFL team on any given week, I decided to narrow my team down to just the 11 offensive players (with some backups).
True they both coached college ball in their respective movies, but I think they could easily make the transition to the pros. These coaches have very different styles, and I’m pretty sure Coach Boone would not have tolerated the kind of corruption and exploitation that was standard in Coach Winters’ program. But both had the in-your-face, take-no-crap attitude that demands respect.
Beaman’s young and showy, but he proves that he has the arm and the attitude to carry a pro team. He’s a bit of a hot-shot, but I think Coach Boone can keep him in line. Blake has the experience to balance out Beaman’s wild ways. He’s a little past his prime but can still get the job done.
I’ve put Quinton Aaron’s Michael Oher in at left tackle. This pick is a no-brainer seeing as the movie was based on a true story, and Michael Oher actually plays for the Baltimore Ravens. He has one job – make sure the QB doesn’t get hit. And he does it well. On the other side, I chose Adam Sandler’s character in “The Waterboy”. When Bobby’s natural talent for tackling is discovered, it makes sense to set him loose as a defensive linebacker. But I think his energy could be channeled to guard the quarterback at right tackle and level any opposing player who came anywhere near the pocket.
I know, technically I need about 5 linemen up front, but Hollywood just doesn’t make a lot of movies that feature the big guys. Receivers and running backs are much flashier, so I’ve got an army of playmakers…
Cuba Gooding Jr. as Rod Tidwell in “Jerry Maguire” – I’d show him the money.
Mark Wahlberg as Vince Papale in “Invincible” – again, Vince was a real player – a teacher / bartender who showed up to the Philadelphia Eagles’ open tryouts in 1976 and against all odds made the team.
Scott Caan as Charlie Tweeder in “Varsity Blues” - as long as he keeps his boozing in check.
Tom Hanks as the title role in “Forrest Gump” – insert obvious quote from the movie here.
Billy Dee Williams as real life running back Gale Sayers in “Brian’s Song” – he shows that loyalty is just as important off the field.
Omar Epps as Darnell Jefferson in “The Program” – an earnest freshman eager to prove himself is always a good addition.
The Tight Ends:
A film-based fantasy football team wouldn’t be complete without Rudy. A defensive end in his real life career at Notre Dame, I’d put him in my offensive unit as a tight end who could run, catch, or block as needed. He doesn’t have the reach of a typical wide receiver or the strength of a good running back, but he’s got heart. The fictional character of Brian Murphy also proved that physical limitations don’t hold back great players. Played by David Denman (best known for his role as Roy on the American version of The Office) Brian was a tight end with enough talent to go pro, but he didn’t get drafted because he was deaf. When the replacement players were brought in during a players’ strike, he had his chance to shine.
Well that should help put you in the mood for the season. What do you think of my line-up? Did your favourites make the cut?