Most of us are still riding that high off of the Gators' recent wins against Georgia and Vanderbilt, but let’s be real — it’s been a tough two years for Florida football. Maybe Coach Muschamp finally figured out how to turn this program around, or maybe it’s a fluke. Either way, Gators fans are having a hard time staying upbeat about a team that can’t seem to find its footing. But have no fear UF students, there are plenty of fictional football success stories to raise your spirits.
"Friday Night Lights"
If you haven’t seen this gem about a small-town high school football team in Texas, stop what you’re doing and start binging on Netflix. Coach Eric Taylor is the one who originated the phrase “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” Not only will you be overly invested in the success of the Dillon Panthers (and then later, the East Dillon Lions), but you’ll be rooting for one of the best marriages on TV (ever) and lusting over Tim Riggins’ hair. The characters are so beautifully written that you’ll forget it’s only high school football at stake.
"Remember the Titans"
Not only does this classic tackle (pun intended) racism and the struggles of desegregating schools, it’s also Ryan Gosling’s breakout film role, so there’s a lot of good stuff going on here. Football serves as a way to bring a southern town together in the '70s and bond these young men for life. It’s impossible to not get inspired when Denzel Washington’s character gives a speech about coming together while the team runs through Gettysburg.
Also known as “the movie every man feels comfortable admitting they cried watching.” This made-for-TV movie from the ‘70s has gained a reputation as the ultimate football bromance. Once again, football serves as a way to break down racial barriers and form long-lasting friendships between young men. NFL players Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers motivate, inspire and rely on each other in sickness and in health.
It’s tough not to root for Rudy. No one will ever want to play college football for Notre Dame more than him. Like all good football stories, it’s one of determination, persistence and heart. If you’re feeling down about the Gators this season, this is the perfect movie to remind you that a lot of passion and hard work can make anyone (or any team) a hero.