CATEGORIES Features, Video
With Super Bowl Sunday only days away we thought we'd do our part in celebrating this "national holiday" by compiling the best football scenes ever put on celluloid.

Hollywood and football have had a kinship for as long as the moving image has been around. Since the very first film to showcase the sport, 1914's 'Strongheart,' football movies have taken us inside the lines to showcase the ferocious hits and acrobatic moves that makes the game so popular, while other times putting us inside the locker room to see the coach give a rousing speech that leaves us with chills.

So before you sit down and watch the big game while scarfing down an unhealthy amount of nachos, wings and beer, relive our top 10 moments from football flicks. With Super Bowl Sunday only days away we thought we'd do our part in celebrating this "national holiday" by compiling the best football scenes ever put on celluloid.

Hollywood and football have had a kinship for as long as the moving image has been around. Since the very first film to showcase the sport, 1914's 'Strongheart,' football movies have taken us inside the lines to showcase the ferocious hits and acrobatic moves that makes the game so popular, while other times putting us inside the locker room to see the coach give a rousing speech that leaves us with chills.

So before you sit down and watch the big game while scarfing down an unhealthy amount of nachos, wings and beer, relive our top 10 moments from football flicks.

10. 'The Last Boy Scout' (1991)
Though director Tony Scott doesn't care much for the rules of sports (why he would ever think we'd buy a baseball game being played in monsoon-like conditions at the end of 'The Fan' is beyond us), it's the absurdity of 'Boy Scout's' opening scene that makes it number 10 on our list. Billy Blanks (yes, Mr. Tae Bo himself) plays a troubled football star who, let's just say, commits a little unnecessary roughness during one play. Again, Scott brings the rain.



9. 'The Waterboy' (1998)
Adam Sandler had already put his own twist on the game of golf before grabbing the pigskin and embodying the simple-minded H2O fanatic Bobby Boucher. In this scene, through the help of his football coach (Henry Winkler), Boucher channels years of torment to become college's hardest hitting linebacker.



8. 'Jerry Maguire' (1996)
In his Oscar-winning performance as Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell, Cuba Gooding Jr. epitomizes the modern-day athlete: brash, unapologetic and cocky. But taking a hit like this you also have to have guts (though realistically he probably should have gotten flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for his celebrating... or am I thinking of Cuba's Oscar acceptance speech?). Oh, and ignore the bitter Ravens fan clip in the beginning of the video.



7. 'The Program' (1993)
When this unflinching look at collegiate football came out in theaters, parents were shocked by what they saw (in fact, a scene that had players laying in the middle of a busy street was cut out because kids were imitating it), but there was no denying that some of the things highlighted were spot on. Our most memorable scene is any one in which Alvin Mack (Duane Davis) is on the field (sorry Lattimer fans).



6. 'Remember The Titans' (2000)
Denzel Washington has always been able to captivate an audience, but as coach Herman Boone we have to believe his talents can motivate a group of boys in 1971 to become the first interracial football team in Alexandria, Virginia. As you see here, Denzel is up for the challenge.



5. 'Horse Feathers' (1932)
The Marx Brothers bring the laughs to the gridiron in their fourth feature film. Groucho plays the president of a college who, in hopes to beat a rival school, recruits professional players, but instead gets bootleggers (played by Chico and Harpo). The film concludes with the big game, and the Marx Brothers at their best.



4. 'Any Given Sunday' (1999)
Looking at professional football through the eyes of Oliver Stone is a strange one: Cameron Diaz is a team owner and all the uniforms look like they were made for the XFL. But as you see in this scene, you can't deny Stone's love for the game and his appreciation of its history.



3. 'Friday Night Lights' (2004)
Adapted from H.G. Bissinger's book about a 1988 Odessa, Texas high school team's journey to the state championship, this 'Hoosiers'-esque story is regarded as one of the most realistic films about high school football. With slick hand-held camera work, director Peter Berg puts us in the middle of the state championship game.



2. 'Knute Rockne All American' (1940)
This scene paved the way for any inspirational speech you've seen in sports movies. Based on the hospital bed speech given by Notre Dame great George Gipp to his coach Knute Rockne days before he would die of a throat infection, Gipp (played by Ronald Regan) tells Rockne (Pat O'Brien) that when the team is down to have them go out there and "Win One for the Gipper." Rockne does just that, and the team's inspired play leads to them beating undefeated Army.



1. 'Rudy' (1993)
We return to South Bend for the true story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger. Determined to play for Notre Dame despite hardly having the talent or size to do so, Rudy (Sean Astin) spends two years at the school adjacent (and goes through three transfer rejections) to get into Notre Dame, then makes it on the Fighting Irish's practice squad, then finally gets in the last play of the last game in his senior year. If you don't have goosebumps watching then check your pulse.



Honorable Mention: 'The Longest Yard' (1974)
Though we couldn't find video of it, you can't do a list on best scenes in football movies without mentioning the final scene of Robert Aldrich's classic. The film not only revived the sports genre in the '70s -- with films like 'Bad News Bears,' 'Rocky' and 'Slap Shot' soon to follow -- but the goal line finale is one of the best executed scenes in heightening the drama and anticipation of "4th & Inches." There's the excellent score, the split screen of all the characters watching throughout the prison yard, and finally ... the pause right before the ref's touchdown call with no time left on the clock. If you own it, put the scene on before the Super Bowl. It'll get you ready.