Greatest Football Movie Ever Tournament: The Blind Side vs The Longest Yard

Finally, the tournament has moved on to the semi-finals of the "Other" bracket, the last of the three that we need to get to. The finals of the College bracket will be a battle between the two lowest seeds, as The Waterboy managed to take down We Are Marshall in the second semi-final to set up a battle against Necessary Roughness for the College bracket championship.

Our first semi-final match-up in the "Other" bracket gives us a recent classic going up against an older classic.

The Blind Side

The Blind Side is based on the real life story of current Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher, and is taken from the book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis.

Young Michael Oher (played in the film by Quinton Aaron) spent much of his childhood bouncing around different foster homes in Memphis, Tennessee, largely because he keeps running away whenever he gets placed in a new home. He eventually winds up enrolling in the Wingate Christian school, where he makes a friend named Sean. Sean's mother, Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) eventually brings him into their home, and he becomes a part of the Tuohy family. Eventually, his academic problems get turned around, which allows him to join the school's football team, which is where young Oher finds his true calling.

Bullock won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in this movie, and the film itself received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.

The Longest Yard

Apologies. . .the trailer above is for the 2005 remake. The only thing I could find for the 1974 version was something hyping a DVD release. Then again, since they're essentially the same movie, I guess the difference isn't that great. I just prefer the older version. Your mileage may vary.

The Longest Yard centers around Paul Crewe (played in the original by Burt Reynolds), a former star professional quarterback who was kicked out of the league for point shaving. After getting into a fight with his girlfriend, Crewe gets drunk and drives his girlfriends car off of a pier, winding up with an 18-month prison sentence as a result. After being harassed by both his fellow inmates and the guards at the prison, the warden eventually compels Crewe to put together a team of inmates to take on the prison's guards, who have a semi-pro team of their own, and many of whom are big enough and fast enough to play at the pro level. Most of the prisoners have no football experience, and the African-American players won't even talk to Crewe about joining the squad. . .at first.

Eventually, game day comes around and the prisoners actually have a shot at taking down the guards. At halftime, the prison warden comes to Crewe and tells him that if he doesn't lose this game to the guards, he'll pin a crime on Crewe that they both know he didn't commit.  From there. . .well, I don't think I want to spoil the ending, although I'm sure most folks here have seen the film already.

The Longest Yard won the 1975 Golden Globe Award for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy). The 2005 version is pretty good, too. . .after all, as I said earlier, it's essentially the same movie. . .but I simply prefer the Burt Reynolds version.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. . .let the battle begin!

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