Top 5 Favorite Fake Quarterbacks
I like football. I like movies. Naturally, when you combine the two, I am intrigued.
As I was pondering the pros and cons of pro quarterbacks, my mind kept drifting to those who have laced ’em up on the big screen. To that end, I thought I’d take a moment and share my Top 5 Favorite Fake Quarterbacks, in no particular order:
Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves) in The Replacements (2000)
When the fake NFL is plunged into a work stoppage, replacement players are sought to fill the gap. Enter Shane Falco- infamous college choke artist who spends his time as a recluse living on a boat. Falco comes in and manages a rag-tag group of players including a sumo wrestler, armed bodyguards, a deaf guy, a cop, a criminal, and a cheeky soccer player turned field goal kicker who is double cheeky because he smokes on the field.
Not only does Falco win over his team and the fans, but he earns the affection of a bartending cheerleader with a heart of gold. Oh yeah, they need replacement cheerleaders too. So they hire strippers.
Supporting cast: Gene Hackman was the coach. He wore a hat. That means he knows football.
The movie: While The Replacements didn’t suck total ass, it took stabs at the dramatic and comedic side of collective bargaining agreements gone awry with mixed results.
Best Quote:“Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory… lasts forever.”
‘Steamin’ Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx) in Any Given Sunday (1999)
After an aging, battled tested quarterback goes down, third stringer Willie Beaman gets an opportunity to shine. He’s selfish, his team doesn’t like him; he shows he’s not selfish anymore, and the team likes him again. In between that drama Willie makes a rap video.
Supporting cast: Al Pacino is the coach. He drinks. Cameron Diaz is the owners daughter who talks to the players when they’re naked.
The movie: Oliver Stone took three or four ideas and stretched them into a two hour psuedo indictment/behind-the-scenes look at professional football that surprised no one.
Best quote: “I’m trying to win coach. I ain’t trying to disrespect nobody, but winning is the only thing I respect.”
Paul ‘Wrecking’ Crewe (Burt Reynolds) in The Longest Yard (1974)
Paul Crewe is in prison for a crime he did committ. The guards have a football team… for some reason. Crewe forms a, wait for it, rag-tag group of fellow incarcerated gridiron wannabes for a game against those mean guards. The winner doesn’t get money or fame, they get respect, and a possible pass on being raped in the shower.
When Crewe is told to throw the game in excahange for an early release, he would rather keep his word to the team than have freedom. Plus if he threw the game, he would probably be raped in the shower.
Supporting cast: Was that Ray f’n Nitschke?
Best Quote: “My, you have lovely hair. You ever find any spiders in it?”
Jimmy Dix (Damon Waynes) in The Last Boy Scout (1991)
Jimmy Dix is kicked out the league and his stripper girlfriend is shot dead. Bad times. A burnout detective with a cheating wife and bitchy daugther teams up with Dix to find the bad guys. Not much football. But a player during the game takes out a gun and shoots a few defenders. That’s at least a 15-yard penalty.
In the yawn inducing climax, to prove he’s a good quarterback still, Dix throws a football while riding a horse (I think) and somehow disarms a bomb with the spot on toss.
Supporting cast: Bruce Willis is the detective in this buddy action/comedy/turd. He dances at the end, as promised. A young Halle Berry plays the striper with a heart of lead.
Best Quote: “Right now, I’m trying to figure out which one of you looks the most like my dick.”
Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty) in Heaven Can Wait (1978)
Joe Pendleton is seemingly killed in an accident and an overzeaouls angel brings him to heaven early. Heaven, at that point for Pendleton, could wait. Pendleton is zapped into the body of a millionaire named Leo Farnsworth who buys the Rams and becomes the starting quarberback. Will the team finally have a ‘ghost’ of a chance at winning it all? Get it? Ghost! Actually, in the movie the Rams play the Steelers in the Super Bowl. It happened for real the next year. Spooky.
Supporting cast: Jack Warden co-stars, who is also in The Replacements. A young and ever-so-dry Charles Grodin makes his mark.
Best Quote: “Do I… play Polo?”
There you have it, the best fake quarterbacks ever. Or at least the ones I could think of. Coming soon: the best animals in football movies.