Cue up Kenny Chesney’s “The Boys of Fall” because another football season is kicking off.
Ask someone for his or her favorite football movie, and consider that person’s perspective when looking at the myriad answers one might give.
A 9-year-old girl might choose Disney football-and-ballet movie from 2007, “The Game Plan,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Madison Pettis, Roselyn Sanchez and Kyra Sedgewick. A longtime coach or a former player, however, might dig deep to voice his choice, with sentiment and memories, and aspects he hopes to instill in youth playing the game of pigskin.
Football also scores in heavy duty ways for other players in the game of football, but not between the hash marks, such as radio announcers and cheerleaders.
At Coastal Carolina University, Joe Moglia, heading into his second year coaching the football team, named “Remember the Titans,” from 2000. Matthew Hogue, CCU’s associate vice president of marketing and the radio “voice of the Chanticleers,” split his answer in two: “We Are Marshall” (2006) from modern times, and “Trouble Along the Way” (1953), ”a long-forgotten movie” starring John Wayne and Donna Reed that he called “a nice watch on TCM sometimes.”
Take a run downfield with some other vignettes about motion pictures covering the gridiron:
All-Pro NFL wide receiver for 10 years through 1983, mostly with the former Baltimore Colts, and who later spent 20 years coaching in high school and college football levels before becoming pastor of Chapel by the Sea in North Myrtle Beach’s Cherry Grove community
“Jim Thorpe – All-American” (1951): “My grandfather grew up with his relatives in Oklahoma, where I was born and raised. I loved to read books about sports figures as a young teenager. When I went to live with my grandparents in Cotton Valley, La., at the age of 15, my grandfather shared stories of people he was raised around. Jim Thorpe and Pretty Boy Floyd were two he spoke about.
“I don’t remember when I first saw the movie, but being an all-around athlete myself, I was intrigued by such a versatile athlete. I like Turner Classic Movies, and occasionally I will see the movie and reminisce about all the great players who came before we did.”
Head coach of the Myrtle Beach High School Seahawks
“Remember the Titans”: “It shows how football can bring a community together, no matter people’s race, color, size or age – it doesn’t matter. It definitely brought that community and those students together. It’s one of those movies you really appreciate what football does for a community. ...
“When it came out, we actually took the team out to see it over here, at Broadway at the Beach.”
Head coach of the Waccamaw High School Warriors in Pawleys Island
“Facing the Giants” (2006):
In schools, we have a job in motivating kids. I liked the motivation tactics the coach used in that movie and the way he went about doing it. You have to strive each day to get the most out of kids we coach. It’s an inspiration, and the job we have to do that we’re tasked with every day, it’s difficult. Times have changes since when I played and when other coaches played.
“It’s something that I found, when watching this, that I could relate to. ...
“That’s what it is: When it comes to high school coaching, we’re trying to teach kids some values as it relates to life and the things they will face in their future. You’re ... a coach on and off the field.”
Head coach for the Conway High School Tigers
“Rudy” (1993): “There’s a lot of directions you could go in picking one. With ‘Rudy,’ it’s hard not to like that one. I think it very consistent, and it’s something that stands the test of time. We go back to try to play this movie for our players every year ... and we will coming up at some point this season.”
Sports director of Cumulus Myrtle Beach and the host of “The Drive,” 3-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays on WSEA-FM “Sports Radio” 100.3
“Remember The Titans” (2000): “The opening monologue by the little girl says it all for me since I grew up in Virginia. Yes, high school football is king in the state. Nothing beats it. If you drive through Montgomery County on a Friday night, there is no music playing on your radio. Every station is a different team’s high school football broadcast. My first broadcast job was hosting a high school preview show on Fridays nights on ESPN 1430 AM in Blacksburg called “Friday Night Kickoff,” and I also worked as the play-by-play broadcaster for Christiansburg High School football airing on ‘Cruzin 101.’
“The story is one of the greatest every told as well. T.C. Williams High School, which is about 90 minutes from my hometown, helped pave the way in desegregating the school system and using sports to break down barriers. The one issue I have with the movie – and I get that Hollywood is there to create drama – is that the state championship game was never that close. I believe the actual final score was 41-7. This team was dominant. But come on: We all get goose bumps when they pull off the game-inning play.”
Play-by-play announcer for the Carolina Panthers, based in Charlotte, whose games also air on WSEA-FM 100.3
“North Dallas Forty” (1979): “With the necessary due respect given to ‘The Longest Yard’ (1974) and ‘Paper Lion’ (1968), there is a fairly wide chasm separating these two fine films from the single greatest football movie ever produced: ‘North Dallas Forty.’ Nick Nolte, Mac Davis, John Matuszak and others, coupled with a decent script adapted from the novel of the same name, give the viewer one of the most accurate snapshots of the NFL ever brought to the screen.
“Even today, more than 30 years after its release, it is all there: the pain, the sacrifice, players’ struggle with management, pressure and the encroachment of age.”
Carolina ‘TopCats’ cheerleaders
Lauren Bebo, an administrative assistant by day – “Invincible” (2006): “There are so many great football movies to get you in the spirit for the upcoming season, but my all-time favorite would have to be ‘Invincible.’ It’s based on a true story of a man who loses his job, finds himself in a life slump, goes out on a whim participating in the open tryouts for the Philadelphia Eagles, and ends up making the cut. I love this movie because it reminds me to keep following my dreams, never give up, and to always give my best effort in everything that I do. Even if you think you are too old or not quite talented enough to make it, you will never know until you try. After all, you have nothing to lose. Mark Wahlberg is also one of my favorite actors, and who doesn’t love a great comeback story?”
Laura Dixon, a teacher – “We Are Marshall” (2006): “The game of football in most towns is built on tradition and culture. Though the movie is a tragic one, it reminds us all that for better or for worse, we stick it out as a community. Believing in something together, teams across the country admire the strength of the Thundering Herd as they try to rebuild a team and continue the fight to help their own town believe again. Whether it is the game of football or a national tragedy, ‘We are Marshall’ has taught us all to unite together, because when the lights go out and the last leaf of the season falls, one another is all we have.
“Football can bring many emotions: excitement, frustration, victory and defeat, but having something to believe in can unify a community. Football is just a game, but it gives us much more than points on a board. No matter what obstacles a city faces, when people believe in the good of one another, the kick will always be good.”
Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.