clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Greatest Football Movie Ever Tournament: The Express vs The Waterboy

New, comments

Well, our last match-up wasn't terribly close, with We Are Marshall taking away 80% of the vote over The Junction Boys, which means they'll be in the semi-final of the College bracket against the winner of today's match-up between two movies that couldn't be more of a contrast in styles.

The Express

This is a pretty recent movie, having been released in 2008. The Express is the story of Syracuse University football star Ernie Davis, the first African-American player to win the Heisman Trophy.

The Express, while centered around football, is about much more than just the game of football itself. It touches on a great deal of topics, particularly racism and discrimination. Davis played at Syracuse in the late 50s and early 60s. . .he was the successor to some guy named Jim Brown, in fact. . .and in many places that they played at, racism was still a largely prevalent part of life. As you can see in the trailer, Davis wasn't a particularly popular player, not even on his own campus, and had to put up with all sorts of issues that you wouldn't expect players of any race, color, or creed to have to deal with today.

Davis is played by Rob Brown, whose work I was unfamiliar with prior to seeing The Express, but he's a pretty solid actor. His coach, Ben Schwartzwalder, is played by Dennis Quaid, who I'm sure you've all heard of, and also puts in a very good performance. While the film is considered a "failure" financially, it received some pretty high critical praise, and is a definitely must-see for every football fan.

The Waterboy

In this 1998 release, Adam Sandler plays the role of Bobby Boucher, a 31-year old serving as the water boy for the SCLSU Mud Dogs. As someone that takes his duties rather seriously, he is constantly mocked and made fun of by the football players, until one day Mr. Coach Kline (Henry Winkler) tells young Bobby Boucher that he needs to defend himself against such indignities.

Bobby then rushes out on the field during practice, destroys the Mud Dogs quarterback, and Coach Klein asks him to play for the football team, and he agrees. . .on one condition. That nobody tell Bobby's mother (Kathy Bates) that he's playing the "foosball," because his mama feels that football is the debil.

The Waterboy will never be considered a cinematic masterpiece or anything like that, but it's one of those movies that is good for a few laughs, particularly if you want to just sit back, watch a movie, and not have to think to much. . .sort of in that whole Naked Gun/Airplane! kind of vein. (Although The Waterboy should never be placed on the comedic level of those movies, either, in my opinion.)

So, have at it, folks. . .which of these is the better movie?