These Football Movies and TV Shows Will Get You Pumped For the NFL Season

The NFL season officially kicks off this Sunday, and for all of you sports junkies who can't get enough, we've rounded up the best football movies and TV shows.

By Vannessa Jackson Sep 12, 2020 12:00 AMTags
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Its that time of year again!

Football season is upon us. Well, almost. The NFL officially kicks into high gear this Sunday, Sept. 13, and while you may not be at the stadium cheering on your favorite players, you can still get pumped up about the big game from your couch.

Including, pre-gaming with some of the best football inspired films and television shows that Hollywood has to offer. There is no shortage of great sports content to binge with some of your favorite stars.

If you're looking for a sports flick with a lot of heart, you can't go wrong with the James Van Der Beek classic Varsity Blues. How about an old school movie to tug on those heartstrings? Yep, Tom Hanks and Forrest Gump have got you covered.

Trust us, these are the perfect films and movies to get you in the spirit and ready to root for your favorite team.

Celebrity Football Fans

Scroll through the gallery below for a walk down memory lane and a few suggested classics to get your weekend started off right.

And tune in to the NBC Sunday Night Football coverage at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT every Sunday to get a play-by-play on all your favorite teams and big moments this season.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family)

Friday Night Lights (TV)

The beloved drama (which aired from 2006 to 2011), followed the lives of the Dillon Panthers, one of the nation's best high school football teams, and their head coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler). The show also starred famous faces like Connie Britton, Minka Kelly, Taylor Kitsch, Michael B. Jordan, Adrianne Palicki and Jesse Plemons.

The Blind Side

Sandra Bullock won her first Best Actress Oscar for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy, a real-life Memphis wife and mom who got future first-round NFL draft pick Michael Oher off the streets and gave him not only a home, but an adopted family. You can hardly see the football through your sentimental tears.

Varsity Blues

James Van Der Beek starred in this 1999 flick about a back-up quarterback who is chosen to lead a Texas football team after the star quarterback is injured. Its got sports, heart and a whole lot of team spirit. The filmed also starred the late Paul Walker, Jon Voight, Ron Lester and Scott Caan.


The HBO comedy followed Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), a retired football star navigating his new career as the financial manager and mentor of other NFL players.

Jerry Maguire

Tom Cruise plays the titular character, a sports agent who has a moral epiphany and, after getting fired from his big-wig firm, tries his hand as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him (played by Cuba Gooding Jr., who won an Oscar for his performance in the 1996 film).

The League

The FX series, which lasted for seven seasons, is a semi-improvised comedy about a fantasy football league and the everyday lives of the six Chicago friends who make it up. The show has since become a cult classic and went on to launch the careers of comedy heavy-hitters like Nick Kroll, Mark Duplass and Paul Scheer.

Friday Night Lights (2004 Film)

On the big screen, Billy Bob Thorton played the high school coach in football-crazy Odessa, Texas, but his little known (at the time) co-stars stole the movie: Lucas Black as the haunted quarterback and Connie Britton, so mesmerizing as Thorton's long-suffering wife, that she was brought back to anchor the TV show.

The Game

A spinoff of the CW series Girlfriends, The Game tells the story of Dr. Melanie Barnett-Davis (Tia Mowry), a med student who follows her professional football player boyfriend (Pooch Hall) to San Diego for his career. There, she meets other football players and their family members. Over nine seasons, the show tells the various stories of characters played by Jay Ellis, Brandy, Hosea ChanchezWendy Raquel Robinson, Brittany Daniel and more.

Any Given Sunday

The 1999 film highlights the drugs, sex and fast lives of football stars with Al Pacino as their coach. The ensemble cast also includes Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, LL Cool J, and more.

All American

This popular CW show is a modern day tale of two cities. The show is inspired by real life professional football player Spencer Paysinger played by Daniel Ezra. In the series, Ezra's character Spencer James is a football star from South Central L.A. who is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High School. He has to balance both worlds with the help of his friends played by Samantha Logan and Michael Evans Behling. Taye Diggs also stars as the head coach.

Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump is easily one of the greatest American Films to ever grace the big screen. Starring Tom Hanks in the legendary role of Forrest Gump, the film tells the story of an Alabama man whose greatest wish is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart (Robin Wright).

School Ties

School Ties cast Brendan Frasier as a star quarterback who, despite obvious difficulty gripping a football, is recruited to a starchy New England prep school. His well-meaning teammates are Chris O'Donnell, Ben Affleck, Cole Hauser and a delightfully jealous, back-stabbing Matt Damon.


Another based-on-a-true story heartwarmer, Mark Wahlberg is Vince Papale, a real-life journeyman athlete who finally made the pros when he was in his thirties. In the film, Vince is a little more removed from football when he shows up for open tryouts, having settled in as a bartender and soon-to-be ex-husband. Which, of course, makes it all the more exciting when he recovers a fumble and returns it for his first touchdown! Go Eagles!


Craig T. Nelson strapped on his cleats to play a football coach once again in this long-running '90s television series. This time he was assisted by actor Jerry Van Dyke in this hilarious sports series that ran for nine seasons.

All the Right Moves

Stuck in a hardscrabble western Pennsylvania mill town, Tom Cruise sees football as his way out. He soon clashes with his coach played by Craig T. Nelson, and learns how to win on and off the field.

Necessary Roughness

Scott Bakula starred in this film about a Texas football team that is forced to use students from their actual student body to play the game due to NCAA sanctions. Héctor Elizondo, Robert Loggia and Harley Jane Kozak also star in this comedy about winning the game without breaking the rules.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family)

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