For an article about the best sports movies, an illustration of Rudy from "Rudy" and Herman Boone from "Remember the Titans."

Best Sports Movies To Fill the Void Football Season Left

Now that the Super Bowl is over, here are some films for fans to watch while waiting for the new season to begin.
March 2, 2023
6 mins read

After the ups and downs of an incredible NFL season, the weekend feels suddenly empty. With no football to take up Sundays (or Thursday and Monday nights), NFL fans are left with nothing to fulfill their sports needs. If that sounds familiar, look no further. Below is the perfect list of sports movies that will help alleviate your Sunday blues.


For football fans everywhere, this film is a must-watch. Like many of the movies on this list, “Rudy” is based on a true story. The film follows the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who dreams of playing football for Notre Dame, but lacks the money, academics and physical attributes that many Division I football players usually have. Ruettiger, however, doesn’t give up. Step by step, he attempts to make his dream a reality. His dedication and pure kindness make him someone everyone can root for. “Rudy” personifies what it means to be an underdog, and who doesn’t love an underdog?

“Bend It Like Beckham”

This coming-of-age story focuses on Jess Bhamra, a teenage girl with a passion for football, or as Americans call it, soccer. Her parents, however, do not support her dedication to the sport. Despite this, she joins a team with Jules Paxton, her newest friend. Tensions rise as she attempts to keep this secret from her family, who are all too focused on her sister’s wedding to notice anyway. With themes surrounding racism and homophobia strung throughout, “Bend It Like Beckham” is a sports film unlike any other, especially for the time. When combining that with the mind of director Gurinder Chadha, this movie is inarguably created with marginalized sports fans in mind.


Small town Hickory, Indiana has one major love: their local high school’s basketball team. Following the death of their beloved coach, star player Jimmy Chitwood leaves the team. The team’s new coach Norman Dale now must take on the harrowing task of making something out of the weak roster. When Dale butts heads with multiple players over his tactics, the team seems as if it will be the disappointment of the town. All hope seems lost until Chitwood decides to return. As the film progresses and more is unveiled about Dale’s past, it’s unclear whether the team will be able to get it together in time for the state championship. This underdog story is one that reminds its audience that one’s past doesn’t always predict their future.

“Remember the Titans”

The second and final football movie on the list, “Remember the Titans” focuses on T. C. Williams High School. Set in 1971, the film takes place at the only desegregated school in Virginia. In walks Herman Boone, who is hired as the new head coach to help alleviate rising racial tensions. When the white and Black players begin to fight in racially motivated conflicts, Boone takes it upon himself to create peace and harmony among the players. With the chips stacked against him and his job on the line, Boone leads the team through a season full of highs and lows. The film poignantly encapsulates the racial tensions of the time through the lens of high school football, so it had to make this list.

“Cool Runnings”

Loosely based on the true story of the Jamaican National Bobsled Team’s debut in the Winter Olympics, this comedic sports film features Derice Bannock as he forms a rag-tag team of Jamaican athletes to compete in the Olympics. With the help of disgraced former bobsled medalist Irving Blitzer, the team begins the uphill battle of qualifying for the Olympics. As their training begins, the group runs into issues including insufficient funds and being seen as a joke. Pairing the comedic chops of legend John Candy with an inspiring story makes for a sports film unlike any other.


The final film on this list and a personal favorite, “Miracle” is based on the true story of the 1980 USA National Hockey Team. Herb Brooks is tasked with the challenge of crafting the roster and coaching the team to success. When players Rob McClanahan and Jack O’Callahan begin to fight based on their allegiances to their respective colleges, Brooks reminds the players that they are now a team and need to act as such. Despite this, the team continues to underperform until the all-important bag skate scene. With the odds against them, the team begins the difficult road to the gold medal. This underdog story is one that has permeated American sports culture since the moment it happened, and the film recreation leaves no room for disappointment.

From comedy to drama to underdog stories and beyond, this list has something for everyone. Even though they aren’t all football movies, any sports lover would have a tough time denying the importance and relevance of these films. Hopefully this list can sufficiently replace football Sundays, at least until next season begins.

Olivia Madrid, Florida State University

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Olivia Madrid

Florida State University
English: Editing, Writing and Media

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