The 11 best movie quarterbacks

One of the more challenging roles for a serious actor is to play a character who is handicapped.  How do you realistically portray the lifelong struggle and quiet bravery that can often accompany a limiting physical disability?  While it can be one of the more difficult roles, it can also be the most rewarding.

On the flip side, you can star in a football movie.  Talent required?  None.  There have been a lot of actors who have tried on the role, and these are the top 11 fictional quarterbacks of all time.  As is the case with any list that I produce, this is based on science and are quantified rankings.  This is non-debatable.

#11 Any Given Sunday – Jamie Foxx

Pictured - historically inaccurate mustache
Pictured – historically inaccurate mustache

Remember this movie? It’s the one where Al Pacino gives a speech and then everyone wins football.  Jamie Foxx wins one game and then is on the cover of every magazine on the planet.

The reason he’s ranked so low is because he has a mustache and I’m almost positive that QB’s in real life do not have facial hair.

Realism Factor: 4 / 10

#10 That one episode of the Simpsons where Nelson is a quarterback

Ha ha indeed, non-football Nelson
Ha ha indeed, non-football Nelson

Nelson is probably history’s greatest quarterback.  He has an arm like a rocket, he can run the ball, he can block for himself, and apparently he can run fast enough to receive his own passes.  He doesn’t rely on the razzle dazzle, he’s very much an old school player who moves the ball by sheer force of will.  The rest of the team is really just there to pour Gatorade on him after he wins the game.

Having said that, he loses a ton of points for being a cartoon and also I think they make reference to him being a smoker.  QB’s do not smoke.
Realism Factor: 5 / 10

#9 Something about Mary – Brett Favre

Something about mary

I’m not sure where they got this guy, but in the movie he plays a quarterback named “Brett Favre”.  We never see him play football, so it’s pretty tough to determine if he’s any good at the game in real life.

It’s a confusing role.  While I can see him having sex with Cameron Diaz, I can’t see him losing her to Ben Stiller.  I mean, he’s pretty decent looking dude and Ben Stiller is a forest troll.

They should have gotten Vin Diesel.
Realism factor: 6/10

#8 The Quarterback from Friday Night Lights (movie or TV show) 

I refuse to search imdb for you, mystery quarterback
I refuse to search imdb for you, mystery quarterback

I barely remember this movie.  I sort of recall there was a quarterback and he wanted his father’s respect, but then he lost his football ring.

I have never seen the TV show.

Regardless, whoever played this quarterback did a good job.  I imagine that QB’s are always trying to earn their fathers respect and find their missing rings.  I think it’s about the only two things they do.

Realism Factor: 6.5 / 10

#7 Keanu Reeves in the Replacements

You're saying I can throw footballs?
You’re saying I can throw footballs?

This one is difficult for me as I loves me some Keanu.  I think he’s a brilliant, expressive actor who brings layers of complexity to any role he’s in.  I’m also the only human on earth who feels this way.

You know when you were a kid you had those moments where you’d look around and say “am I the only one who’s not a robot”?  and then you’d try to catch people turning into robots when you’re not looking?  Like you’d look away and then turn around really fast, and go “AH HA!” hoping to catch people in robot form?  But you never could?

Am I the only one who did this?

Anyway, that’s what it feels like to actually enjoy the acting of Keanu Reeves.  It’s like you’re laughing at a joke no one told.

I can’t remember this movie very well, but in general Keanu is quite athletic and has a good QB build.  Also, he beats the shit out of people and he’s Canadian, and he gets points for that.
Realism Factor: 7 / 10

#6 Necessary Roughness – Scott Bakula

Necessary roughness
Ha ha, I totally forgot Sinbad used to have a career

Originally I thought that it was Scott Baio in this movie, not Scott Bakula.  So, he loses a bunch of points for that.  I only buy Scott Baio as Chachi and Bob Loblaw, not as a QB.  To a much lesser extent I slightly buy him as Charles in charge of my days and my nights.  Scott Bakula has the same problem.  If he’s not quantum leaping into bodies, I don’t want to know about it.

As I recall this story (poorly!) it might have been the most unrealistic football movie ever made.  I think it also ripped off the plot from Major League pretty significantly.  Wasn’t there some scene where a Hawaiian guy ninja kicked a defenseman in the face?  Do they even let Hawaiian’s play football?  After some consideration though, I’m giving this some added points because I think I love this movie even though I don’t really remember watching it.
Realism Factor: 7 / 10

#5 Everybody’s all American – Dennis Quaid.

All American.jpg
Why is he the only one wearing yellow?

I’ve never seen this movie.

Realism Factor: 7 / 10

#4 The Longest Yard (the new version) – Adam Sandler

Did somebody call for a rapist?

I know, I should be rating the original movie, not the remake.  But I never saw it!  I tried to watch it, but could only get about 12 minutes in.  Burt Reynolds.  I don’t know man.  Every star from the 70’s looks skeevy.

I liked Adam Sandler as a quarterback, I really bought it.  You know that scene where he’s playing basketball and he keeps getting fouled, but he doesn’t call the foul and he’s all tough?  I could see a QB doing that.

I think he was also tired and world-weary which is how I picture a lot of QB’s to be who have been arrested and sent to jail.
Realism Factor: 8.5/10

#3 Best little whorehouse in Texas – ???

This picture has nothing to do with quarterbacks.  It’s a really cool ship though

This movie was more about whorehouses and Burt Reynolds (again!) then it was about football.  But, a sub-plot in the movie is about a team of football players who get to go to a whorehouse and fuck everyone and they sing about it.

It’s a really good movie.

We know very little about the actor who played the quarterback in this movie.  I’m almost positive he is never mentioned by name.  We certainly never see him play football.  What we do know about him (whoever he is) is that he is quite an exceptional dancer, he has a great singing voice and he loves fucking shit-ugly hookers.
Realism Factor: 8.5 / 10

#2 Varsity Blues – James Van Der Beek

I don’t wanna wait….

Ever since watching “Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23”, I’ve thought JVDB is pretty great.  The only part of this movie I remember is where he gets super emotional and says “I DON’T WANT…. YOUR LIFE.”.

I gave him a lot of points for this because I suspect real Quarterback’s never want anyone’s life.

Realism Factor: 9.5/10

#1 The Last Boy Scout – Damon Wayans

Remember when Bruce Willis used to have hair?

This is another movie where we don’t see the actor play any football so it’s tough to judge how good they’d be in real life.  In fact, the only time we see him even throw a ball is when he’s trying to stop hot tub rape, or fight crime atop horseback, which aren’t exactly typical circumstances an average QB would find themselves in (except in razzle-dazzle horseback rape plays, or I-11 out of the shotgun).

Nonetheless, he certainly does fit the archetype mold for a QB – a disgraced drug addict who mortgaged his own future by selling out to the mob only to redeem himself by teaming up with a drunken, self-hating private detective in a failing marriage and then go on to stop a sniper by throwing him into a helicopter.

Make sense to me.
Realism Factor: 10/ 10

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