It’s been almost two weeks since the NBA suspended the season after Ruby Goebert tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Shortly after the NBA’s actions, the other sporting leagues across the spectrum followed suit. It seems as if it has been much longer than two weeks and in the time since then many states have gone on “shelter or stay in place orders.”
Americans who aren’t considered essential employees by the government are being quarantined to their homes for anywhere from two to four weeks.
In the first of a series, we examine sports movies you can while sports are on hiatus and you’re quarantined to your home. In the first part, we take a look at football and basketball movies.
There is a wide variety of football movies to watch while you’re quarantined. They range from comedies, dramas, documentaries, and true stories turned into movies. It is hard to narrow down all of the great football movies into a small list, but here are four football movies you should watch while on quarantine.
Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans is based on the true story of an African-American high school football coach and his team’s journey to racial integration in public schools in 1971. The lead character, played by Denzel Wahington, Coach Boone, is hired to take over the school’s football team upon the school desegregating and must bring two teams together to unite as one team.
The movie tells the story of the hardships and successes achieved during the first season of Coach Boone and the Titan’s integrated football team. The coach first brought the players together, and once they were united, the adults in their lives, and eventually the community rallied around the team and became united as a whole.
We Are Marshall
We Are Marshall is also based on a true story and a new head coach’s journey to gain the trust of the football program and the community. The movie tells the story of the first football team to take the field following the fatal airplane crash in 1970 that took the lives of the entire team and booster club members.
Matthew McConaughey was cast in the lead role, the new Marshall head coach, Jack Lengyel. The story chronicles the rebirth of the Marshall football program and the hurdles the team had to overcome in the 1971 season. Coach Lengyel and the only surviving member of the 1970 team (he was sick and missed the game) began the crusade to play in honor of his fallen teammates.
It portrays the coach, the new team, and the community honoring the memory of the plane crash victims by continuing to live life and moving forward.
Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights is a dramatic football movie released in 2004 and in 2006 a television show derived from the motion picture was released. This movie tells the story of high school football in a small Texas town and examines the different relationship dynamics between the football team and various members of the community, including family members.
In Texas, and most of the Southern United States, there is one night of the week that matters, and that is Friday night. The storyline follows a father and son’s volatile relationship, another father and son relationship between the team’s quarterback and his father following a season-ending injury, and the relationship between the coach and influential members of the community. The movie highlights the stresses and pressures put on high school athletes and shines a light on small-town politics.
The Blind Side
The Blind Side is also a movie based on the true story of a professional football player, Michael Oher, and how he became an NFL player despite coming from a broken home and being homeless. The story centers on Oher and the impact the Touhy family, his adopted family, had on his life.
The Touhy family took Oher into their home and provided him with more than a place to live. They showed him kindness and love and gave him the confidence to pursue a career in football. Michael Oher went to Ole Miss on a football scholarship and was drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Oher played professional football until 2016.
Just as with football movies, there isn’t a shortage of basketball-related movies, and the spectrum also ranges from comedy, drama, documentaries, and movies based on real-life events. Picking four movies out of nearly 80 is a monumental task, and there will be numerous movies that people think should be on this list, but here are four basketball movies we suggest watching during the sports hiatus.
Coach Carter tells the true story of Ken Carter who went back to the high school he attended to take over the head coaching position of the basketball team. The story revolves around Coach Carter teaching the team to unite and work together on the court, as well as setting expectations for the boys if they want to play for him. Each player signed a contract that set the code of conduct and a minimum grade point average.
He starts the process by taking the team to a basketball camp and teaching them the fundamentals of the way he coaches and the fundamentals of building a united team. When the season started, the coach had achieved his goals, and the team played together and won games. However, most of the players didn’t take the GPA requirement seriously and, as a result, Coach put a lock on the door of the gym and canceled the basketball season.
The team worked together to get each players’ GPA up and the season resumed. This movie is a feel-good story about real life and the consequences for choices made in life.
Hoosiers is an all-time classic basketball movie. Hoosiers is also based on a true story and centers around Coach Norman Dale and the journey he and his team took on the way to winning the state championship in the 1950s
The movie stars Gene Hackman and Dennis Hoppe as Coach Dale and the town drunk, Shooter, both giving excellent performances. The two teamed together and led the team to the national championship that year. This movie is not only about learning basketball, but also about looking within and learning about yourself as well. It will always near the top of the list when discussing the best basketball movies.
White Men Can’t Jump
White Men Can’t Jump is the story of two basketball hustlers in 1992 Los Angeles. A time when racial tension was near an all-time high because of the Rodney King riots and this movie depicts the lower class neighborhoods of Los Angeles and the way of life.
Woody Harrelson was cast in the role of Billy Hoyle, a white streetball hustler who used to play basketball in college and challenges the neighborhood hoopers to play for money, not telling them he used to play ball. After Billy hustled another talented streetballer, Sidney Deane, played by Wesley Snipes, the two paired up and became a hustling duo. They were untouchable together and won many games leading up to a streetball tournament and won the tournament itself. The movies follow their journey to the tournament and examine their personal lives and how gambling affects their relationships.
The Looney Tunes animated classic, Space Jam, is a family-friendly movie that never ages. The story centers around the Looney Tunes quest for freedom when a villain named Swackhammer is determined to capture them and force them to work in his new amusement park. To keep their freedom, Bugs Bunny challenged the aliens to a basketball game, with the future of characters on the line.
The aliens agreed, and named themselves “The MonStars.”
The MonStars wanted to cement their victory in the game, so they stole the talents of such basketball greats such as Larry Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing. The Looney Tunes weren’t discouraged, however, and they sought the help of the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan. Of course, with the help of Jordan, the Looney Tunes won the game and kept their freedom.
There is a multitude of movies in the sports genre to keep you busy during the hiatus from sports and the nearly national wide quarantine, and in this first part of our series examining the different sports movies, we examine football and basketball movies. Next up in our series, baseball, boxing, and hockey.