When male AFL players are polled on their favourite movies, the choices invariably reflect themes of teamwork, athletic prowess, a winning spirit, and the way of the warrior – plus the odd comedy, of course. With the 2019 Grand Final kicking off this weekend, STACK‘s Scott Hocking and Paul Jones round-up the perennial favourites, and why they resonate with the boys – both on and off the field.
Mel was a legend before his well-documented fall from grace, and a bona fide role model for good Aussie blokes. The strong sense of leadership William Wallace displays to his faithful Scottish soldiers appeals directly to the coach/captain dynamic of a football team.
Once the dust settles on frenetic Mad Monday celebrations, the obligatory end-of-season trip is set in motion, with Vegas a popular destination. What ensues can often make the exploits of Bradley Cooper and co. seem positively tame. This film remains an essential reminder of THAT big trip.
Whether you’re fighting for your home or a spot in the finals, there’s nothing quite like this Aussie classic to fire up the battler within, or realign the moral compass after a trip to the review board. And surely most AFL players have a pool room in their man cave?
Is there a more suitable iPod accompaniment for those Melbourne ‘tan’ time trials than Bill Conti’s inspirational Rocky theme? And what better movie to mirror the rags-to-riches story players enjoy telling over a bento box or a couple of frothies? An honourable mention goes to Rocky III theme Eye of the Tiger – especially if you play for Richmond.
When a boozy afternoon session ends in a melee outside a city nightclub, invoking the Fight Club mantra and not talking about it isn’t an option – it’s all been captured on CCTV.
As modern day gladiators on the field, this is a film every player can relate to. Russell Crowe’s Maximus embodies the warrior spirit required to compete at the highest level against the toughest opponents in the arena of competition – all in front of the adoring masses.
They’re tough on the field, but every footballer has a sensitive side. What better way to win over a prospective partner – or keep the WAGs happy – than having a copy of this romantic favourite concealed on the shelf behind any of the above, and easily accessible when the mood dictates.
The Shawshank Redemption
This is a unanimous favourite thanks to the bromance between Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, friendships forged in an all-male environment, and its ability to make a grown man cry and not feel ashamed.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
The average bloke idolises comedy superstar Will Ferrell, and Ron Burgundy provides inspiration for players contemplating a potential media career once it’s game over.
Any Given Sunday
Given the lack of AFL-themed films, the NFL is the next best thing for players to watch their sporting life unfold onscreen –from off-field politics and locker room shenanigans, to salary caps and ranting coaches. It’s all here in 157 mins of Oliver Stone glory.