Here they are, ten inspiration movie football players:
Becky 'Icebox' O'Shea (Shawna Waldron), Little Giants
The toughest guy on the field needn't be a guy. After being cut from the local peewee team despite her obvious talent, Becky O'Shea is determined to prove herself, but her focus drifts thanks to a crush. The ensuing identity crisis between on-the-field enforcer and smitten adolescent girl causes Becky to abandon her team, but eventually, she reconciles her Icebox status with her more feminine, cheerleader-y impulses.
Bobby Boucher (Adam Sandler), The Waterboy
Bobby Boucher is an imbecilic thirty-one year old waterboy for a floundering college team, but he doesn't let his obvious mental deficiencies keep him down. Instead, the H2O enthusiast discovers that years of sublimated rage make him an unstoppable tackling machine, and the Creole moron leads his team to the made-up Bourbon Bowl.
Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler), Friday Night Lights
Okay, this one is cheating in that Eric Taylor is a coach, not a player, and Friday Night Lights is a television show, not a movie. But the series, which ran for five seasons on NBC, was based on the film of the same name, and Coach Taylor is just too inspiring to leave off the list. He's the football coach everyone wishes they had, a guy whose decency always shines through and makes everyone around him better.
Nigel 'The Leg' Gruff (Rhys Ifans), The Replacements
One of two kickers on the list, this Welsh libertine spends most of his time on the sidelines smoking cigarettes, but when called upon to call kick an ungodly 65 yard field goal, he tells his quarterback simply, "You just hold the ball, Shane, and I'll kick the bloody piss out of it." That's confidence you can't fake.
Billy Bob (Ron Lester), Varsity Blues
William Robert isn't the sharpest guy in West Canaan, Texas. In fact, it's unclear whether he's aware that his pet pig Bacon isn't actually a dog, but Billy Bob is unfailingly loyal to his teammates and his evil coach. So much so that he endures years of abuse and serious brain trauma without complaint.
David Greene (Brendan Fraser), School Ties
Greene's good enough on the field that the kid from the wrong side of the tracks is recruited by a prep school for the fabulously wealthy during the 1950s, but it's his conduct off the field that makes him worth paying attention to. When his classmates ostracize him after discovering that David's Jewish, he faces their bigotry with dignity and an unbreakable backbone.
Lucy Draper (Kathy Ireland), Necessary Roughness
The other kicker on the list, Lucy is the lone woman on the Fightin' Armadillos. When the team of misfits need a kicker, it falls to this soccer player, who doesn't let her near-total inexperience, ravishing beauty, or stilted and unnatural acting style encumber her natural talent.
Paul 'Wrecking' Crewe (Burt Reynolds), The Longest Yard
Burt Reynold also appeared in the recent remake, but it's in the 1974 that the Reynolds swagger comes through best. A former professional player who ends up in prison, Crewe remains a bit of a scoundrel, even when the warden gives him the assignment of creating a team of inmates to play against the sadistic guards who torture them. It's because Crewe is the kind of guy who gives real thought to throwing the game that his eventual loyalty means so much.
Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams), Brian's Song
It takes a tough guy to play football. It takes a real man to wear his heart on his sleeve. When his formal rival and teammate must face a terminal illness, Gale sticks with his friend, and his earnestness is always admirable, but by the end, it's almost guaranteed to get your tears flowing.
Daneil E. 'Rudy' Ruettiger (Sean Astin), Rudy
RU-DY! RU-DY! RU-DY! No, I'm not crying. There's just something in my eye. I swear.