The Plugged In Show, Episode 110: American Underdog and the Enduring Appeal of Football Movies

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Football is America’s favorite sport. Don’t believe me? Well, if the season’s plethora of televised college and pro games don’t convince you, just look at the movies.

From 1932’s Horse Feathers (courtesy of the Marx Brothers) to this year’s 12 Mighty Orphans, from secular classics to spiritual tear-jerkers, football has given cinematic storytellers plenty of fodder. Turns out, the gridiron doesn’t just test your physical skills—at least according to the movies. It builds character and teamwork and, yes, sometimes even faith.

American Underdog offers us a quintessential—and true—football story, that of Kurt Warner. The quarterback washed out of the NFL and worked at a grocery store before being given a second chance—one that took him all the way to a Super Bowl MVP and the NFL’s Hall of Fame. Oh, and did we mention that there’s an undercurrent of Christianity in the story, too?

Plugged In Director (and podcast host) Adam Holz talks to American Underdog director Andrew Erwin about the film and  why he felt like it was a story worth telling. And our team takes to the podcast field as well, discussing why football has been such a catalyst for such good—and often Christian—stories.

So pass some time with us and listen to us kick around a few ideas. And then let us know what your favorite football movie is (and why) on Facebook and/or Instagram. (You can email us at [email protected], or call us at 800-A-FAMILY, too.)

And check out the resources below for everything we talked about.

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.