Which pigskin pictures made the play-offs?
9. 'Brian's Song' (1971)
Before "Field Of Dreams" was made, this was the ultimate "make your Dad cry" machine, and it retains every bit of its sappy power even now. It tells the story of the friendship between Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) and Brian Piccolo (James Caan) and it charts what happens when Piccolo learns that he is dying of cancer. The film stars a full five years before that, though, and follows the guys from when they're rookies to that fateful ending, and it shows how a rivalry eventually blooms into a friendship. It is as much a study in the dynamics of being part of a team as it is a look at someone's slow death. Sayers is the natural athlete, gifted from the get-go, and Piccolo is the one who wants it and is willing to work for it. The film gets all the ball-busting right, and it makes the friendship between the two of them feel earned so when Piccolo does get sick, we feel just how big of a loss it is for Sayers. If you can watch this one with dry eyes, you might be a robot.
- Drew McWeeny