TELEVISION & FILM HELMETS
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY (1999)
Directed by Oliver Stone, Any Given Sunday, centers around the Miami Sharks of the Associated Football Franchises of America, or AFFA. When QB Cap Rooney (Dennis Quaid) is sacked and seriously injured in a game the Sharks are losing, and his back-up goes down as well, Coach Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino) is forced to send in third stringer Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx). Beamen surprises everyone with his significant play and the team makes the playoffs. However, Beamen clashes with D'Amato, deliberately ignoring the plays D'Amato calls. Meanwhile, D'Amato battles owner Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), who inherits the team from her father and wants to modernize the franchise. A traditionalist, D'Amato resents her intrusion into his domain.
The film is noteworthy for its depiction of the "dark side" of pro football, including drug use, partying, sex, gambling, flaring tempers and fights amongst teammates.
The six teams above are shown in the film. Several other teams are mentioned -- the Seattle Prospects, Colorado Blizzard, Washington Lumbermen, Los Angeles Breakers, Kansas Twisters, Arizona Rattlers, Houston Cattlemen, Wisconsin Icemen and an unnamed San Francisco team -- but are not seen on screen.
COACH (1989 - 1997)
Starring Craig T. Nelson as Hayden Fox, Coach, aired on ABC from 1989 until 1997. In the sitcom, Hayden Fox was the head football coach of the Minnesota State Screaming Eagles. Minnesota State was originally intended to be the actual University of Minnesota and its team, the Golden Gophers, but the school withdrew its approval and a fictional school was created instead. In the fictional world of Coach, Minnesota State was a member of the Big Ten conference and the characters often discussed upcoming games against other Big Ten Schools like the University of Iowa and Michigan State. The creator and producer of the show, Barry Kemp, was an alumnus of the University of Iowa and based the main character, Hayden Fox, in part on actual Iowa coach Hayden Fry. Many of the exterior shots of the school are actually shots of the University of Iowa campus.
In the 1995 season, Hayden's coaching staff is hired to lead a fictional pro team, the Orlando Breakers.
FIRST AND TEN (1984 - 1991)
A sitcom which aired on HBO from 1984 until 1991, 1st and 10, depicted the on and off the field hijinx of a fictional pro football team, the California Bulls, and their new owner Diane Barrow (Delta Burke), who received the team as part of a divorce settlement. Several former NFL players had parts in the series, including OJ Simpson and John Matuszak.
Stock footage from USFL games was used to show play on the field. There may have been other fictional teams mentioned or even shown, but I don't have information about them. The Bulls were supposed to be a member of the NFL, but since the series had no agreement with the NFL, I'm not sure exactly how this was established.
THE LAST BOY SCOUT (1991)
Starring Bruce Willis, as a disgraced former Secret Service Agent, and Damon Wayans, as a former pro football player forced to retire because of injury, The Last Boy Scout tells the story of how the two have to team up to solve the murder of Wayans' girlfriend and stop an assassination plot.
The film's climax takes place at a football game between Wayans old team, the LA Stallions and the Cleveland Cats.
THE LONGEST YARD (2005)
A remake of the 1974 film of the same name, The Longest Yard, features inmates at Allenville prison who play football against their guards. The film stars Adam Sandler, as Paul Crewe, Chirs Rock, and Burt Reynolds (who played Crewe in the original) as Nate Sacrborough, the prisoner's head coach. Rounding out the cast are several former football players, professional wrestlers and, of course, Rob Schneider.
NORTH DALLAS FORTY (1979)
Based on a semi-autobiographical book by former Dallas Cowboy Peter Gent, North Dallas Forty stars Nick Nolte, Mac Davis, and G.D. Spradlin. Nolte plays an aging wide receiver for the fictional North Dallas Bulls pro football team, Phillip Elliot, who is struggling to stay competitive and relies heavily on the use of painkillers. Along with his cohort, team quarterback Seth Maxwell, (played by Davis) the pair give insight into the drugs, sex and alcohol fueled party atmosphere of the teams of the 1970s.
Playmakers aired on ESPN in 2003. The show depicted the lives of players on a fictional pro football team known as the Cougars (no city name was ever given I believe). It was the first original drama series produced for ESPN. The show dealt with topics including drug abuse, steroids, domestic violence, and homesexuality. The NFL was unhappy with the way the show portrayed pro football, even though no link to the NFL was ever made on the show (the team simply played in "the League"). Pressure from the NFL prompted ESPN (which broadcasted NFL Sunday Night Football at the time and is owned by ABC, which broadcasted Monday Night Football) to cancel the show after 13 episodes.
The show was filmed primarily in Toronto and the Skydome was used for the team's stadium. Other teams in "the League" were shown in segments, but I don't have any information about them.
THE PROGRAM (1993)
The Program starring James Caan, Halle Berry and Omar Epps, tells the story of the fictional college football team, the ESU Timberwolves as they deal with the pressure to make a bowl game.
THE REPLACEMENTS (2000)
Loosely based on the 1987 NFL players strike which prompted ownership to field teams of replacement players, The Replacements, is a comedy starring Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Brooke Langton, Orlando Jones and Jon Favreau.
Keanu Reeves plays former Ohio State Quarterback Shane Falco, a washed up former pro with a reputation for falling apart in the clutch. He is recruited by Coach Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) to play for the Washington Sentinels. The team was in the hunt for a playoff spot before the strike and the owner has inexplicably given McGinty carte blanche to put together a replacement squad for the remainder of the season. To the surprise of no one in the audience, McGinty gathers a ecletic group of cast-offs, has-beens and never-weres who have to come together as a team and find a way to win.
Despite its comedic nature, the film did take it's football seriously. Real coaches were hired to advise the production and to whip the actors into "football" shape. Real players were uesd to fill out the teams. The production team created the six teams above seen in the film using the same principals actual sports identity design firms use in their work. There is even a rumor that Reeves was given a try-out from the Baltimore Ravens due to his performance; the film was shot at Ravens' Stadium and team officials were impressed by his work.
This section will include fictional football helmets from all over the media -- television and film, even video games.