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The Most Rousing Motivational Speeches In Football Films Ever

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by Rey de la Cruz Jr. | Feb 5, 2017
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Some of the inhabitants of the 7,107 islands that comprise the Philippines might not be aware that one of the biggest annual sporting events is taking place in just a couple of days. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the Super Bowl is once again upon us.

Being almost exclusively a boxing and basketball-nation, most sports fans in the Philippines don't share the enthusiasm of fans from the US of A when it comes to football. But that has changed in recent years as the Super Bowl has become an international pop culture event that boasts of an extravagant half-time show that would sometimes overshadow the game itself.

This year, it's the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons that are going head-to-head on the National Football League's (NFL) biggest stage with Lady Gaga providing entertainment during half-time. That's good news to those of you who happen to be both football and music fans. If you happen to fall in both categories, then you are a peculiar creature with a wide range of interests.

If you aren't the biggest NFL fan and need to be converted, there's a well of inspiring football movies that have resonated with adoring sports fans over the years. From real-life adaptations to fictional storylines, these flicks have contributed to the sports movie almanac because of their power to make viewers feel like they are on the bleachers. 

To hype you up and get you in the right mindset for the Super Bowl, we ranked the most chest thump-inducing motivational speeches from football films ever. Prepare your tissues, folks. Tears will be shed.


The Replacements (2000)

Motivational speeches don't always have to be serious to get the message across. In the sports comedy The Replacements, Keanu Reeves leads a motley crew of scrubs or replacement players during a players' strike in the NFL. During a team meeting, their coach, played by the always amazing Gene Hackman (in one of the few movies where he doesn't play a scary son of a b****), tackles the players' fear of failure. With a few choice words and not much melodrama, he convinces them to let go of their fears and lay everything on the line in their final game of the season.

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We Are Marshall (2006)

It's expected from a coach to motivate his team after a loss, but it's a different ball game altogether when you motivate them after a tragedy. We Are Marshall tells the true story of the aftermath of an actual plane crash that happened in 1970 that had killed 37 football players from Marshall University. Trying to rebuild the team is coach Jack Lengyel, played by Matthew McConaughey. With a ragtag group of players that are simply outmatched by their opponents, McConaughey rallies his team with a moving speech leading them to win their first victory after the crash. Alright, alright, alright.


Friday Night Lights (2004)

There are times when a sport can mean so much more to people than just recreation and entertainment. In Friday Night Lights, the small town of Odessa, Texas has seen better days. Caught up in economic turmoil, the only thing that sustains the dreams of its people is when its local high school football team, the Permian High Panthers, takes the field on Friday nights. In one of the most memorable scenes from the film, the coach, played by Billy Bob Thornton, gives his players a half-time speech that will resonate with them for the rest of their lives.

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Rudy (1993)

Not all athletes follow the same path that high school phenoms like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James did. Rudy tells the real-life story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger who had dreams of playing for the Notre Dame University football team despite the challenges that life threw his way. Despite having no money and not exactly being physically gifted, Rudy was able to join the team because of his perseverance and dedication. However, when he is denied playing time, Rudy threatens to quit the team out of frustration. In a scene from the movie, his friend and father-figure chastises him for wanting to quit and warns him how doing so will haunt him for the rest of his life.

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Remember the Titans (2000)

Not all of inspirational speeches from football movies have to do with the game of football itself. Sometimes they motivate people to respect one another and act like decent human beings like in this speech that Denzel Washington gives in the film Remember the Titans, where he plays the African-American coach of a newly integrated high school football team. Tensions run high within the team, but leave it to Denzel to unite these young men and show them what being a real man is all about.


Any Given Sunday (1999)

In Oliver Stone's football opus Any Given Sunday, screen god Al Pacino plays the coach of a dysfunctional Miami Sharks team on the brink of elimination. In one of the best movie speeches of all-time, Pacino pumps up his deflated team with a rousing half-time soliloquy. Check your pulse if this doesn't pump you up. 

 

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