Leader on The Field in Film: 5 Great Movie Quarterbacks

Thursday, May 10 by John Coon

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Watching the Super Bowl every year reinforces the importance of an elite quarterback to a football team. Where would the New York Giants be without Eli Manning? How much of a dynasty would the New England Patriots have formed without Tom Brady at the helm all of these years? Would the San Francisco 49'ers have four Super Bowl victories without Joe Montana and Steve Young? The answers are quite obvious. A quarterback makes all the difference on the field.

Hollywood has figured out as much. The best football movies feature quarterbacks who have the guts to produce glory when the big game is on the line. These five movie quarterbacks would top anyone's draft list.

 

Shane Falco:

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Keanu Reeves offers a perfect comeback story in "The Replacements" as Falco., a one-time star who becomes a recluse after a bad Sugar Bowl performance destroys his football career. An NFL strike offers Falco the chance to come in and revive his football career and score a relationship with the pretty head cheerleader. He basically lives out every wannabe athlete's fantasy.

 

Ronnie "Sunshine" Bass:

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Ronnie Bass draws attention from all the ladies in "Remember the Titans" with his hippie-inspired golden locks. On the field, he draws attention for throwing tight spirals and dealing out punishing hits en route to leading his team to an undefeated season and a state title. Kip Pardue does well in bringing a likeable character to life on a team filled with them.

 

Paul Crewe:

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Fixing games gets Paul Crewe thrown out of the NFL and he ends up in prison after a drunken joyride. Crewe overcomes his demons when he resists the corrupt warden's demands that he throw a game between convicts and prison guards and leads the prisoners to victory. Fans can debate whether Burt Reynolds makes a better Crewe in the original version of "The Longest Yard" or if the role belongs to Adam Sandler after he played Crewe in the remake of the classic comedy.

 

Willie Beaman:

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Jaime Foxx brings us Willie Beaman, a player known more for razzle and dazzle than unselfish play in "Any Given Sunday." Beaman comes off the bench to replace an injured and aging starting quarterback. He piles up the stats, shoots a rap video and infuriates his coach by not running the plays that are called. Sounds like any other NFL player these days.

Mike Winchell:

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It is tough to survive high school football in Texas when the sport is practically a religion for the entire town. Mike Winchell learns that the hard way in "Friday Night Lights" while trying to lead the Permian Panthers to a state championship. Lucas Black captures the pressure of being the star QB perfectly in his portrayal as Winchell. Here is a player who puts up amazing numbers and still can't land a college scholarship or get the obsessive fanbase in town off of his back. It is just like real-life Texas high school football in every way.

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