Worst football movie of the ‘80s turned 30 and thankfully nobody noticed
Last week, we honored a forgotten classic about hockey, which turned 30. This week, we sadly most do the opposite. I hope I’m not alone in proclaiming Wildcats, which was released on Feb. 14, 1986, as the worst football movie of the ‘80s.
Goldie Hawn starred in this dare-I-say stinker about the daughter of a famed football coach who dreams of taking over a team herself someday. When she’s finally given her chance, it’s at Central High, an inner-city school run by a skeptical principal (played by the great Nipsey Russell) who realizes Hawn won’t get another chance if she turns down the job.
To say Wildcats is the worst football movie of the ‘80s isn’t entirely fair; the decade didn’t give us many other pigskin flicks to worship. And it does feature great performances by Bruce McGill, Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes and Mykelti Williamson. But the shenanigans on the field are beyond the belief of any football game. Break-dancing in the end zone. Pets on the sideline. And more unsportsmanlike behavior than this former football referee can tolerate - even in a Hollywood setting.
Film critic Roger Ebert agrees with me, giving Wildcats 1 1/2 stars and writing: “Wildcats is clearly an attempt by Hawn to repeat a formula that was wonderfully successful in Private Benjamin: Wide-eyed Goldie copes with the real world. It was less successful in Protocol, and now it's worn out altogether.”
I’d give you five memorable lines, but none of the best ones are appropriate for a family-friendly website. On Wildcats, it’s just time to take a knee.