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Dublin: 11°C Friday 30 October 2020

THAT Friends episode and 6 more of the best American football moments from popular culture

Ahead of the Super Bowl, we look at some of the sport’s most memorable appearances in films, TV and books.

1. Friends

Source: Ivo Peric/YouTube

Premise: The girls take on the boys in a game of American football as they compete for the coveted Geller Cup, leading to plenty of absurd moments and no shortage of arguments between Ross and Monica.

Best moment: Joey and Chandler competing for the Dutch girl’s affection.

2. Any Given Sunday

Source: 7940962f/YouTube

Premise: A once-great American football team are now struggling, and their problems are compounded when they’re forced to turn to their third-string quarterback for assistance.

Best moment: Al Pacino’s famous speech (see above)

3. The ‘man getting hit by football’ Simpsons episode

Source: Ahmed Rasekh/YouTube

Premise: Springfield is chosen to host a film festival and Homer, one of the judges, is forced to determine the winner between a deeply artful film about alcoholism and a less high-brow movie about a man getting hit by a football.

Best moment: The bit where the man gets hit by a football, obviously.

4. Friday Night Lights

Source: MrPolynucleotide/YouTube

Premise: A series based on a high-school football team in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. Ostensibly about football, the show also explores problems at the heart of American culture including racism, drugs and abortion.

Best moment: Any scene with Coach Taylor.

5. End Zone by Don Delillo

End Zone

Premise: A farce about an American football player who spends his time competing in the sport while also contemplating the prospect of nuclear warfare.

Best moment: This quote — “I reject the notion of football as warfare. Warfare is warfare. We don’t need substitutes because we’ve got the real thing.”

6. Remember the Titans

Source: izakovs/YouTube

Premise: Three high schools — two white, one African-American — are forced to integrate following a court order. Herman Boone, the school’s first black faculty member, is charged with the task of bringing these two disparate groups together and moulding them into a successful football team.

Best moment: This scene.

7. Jerry Maguire

Source: itsathwv/YouTube

Premise: A struggling sports agent agrees to take on a talented but flawed footballer — his only hope of maintaining success in the business.

Best moment: The ‘show me the money’ sequence (see above).

What are your favourite American football moments in popular culture? Let us know in the comments section below.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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