M*A*S*H (1970) and Horse Feathers (1932)
There are two candidates for wackiest screen football game — or at least intentionally wackiest. “M*A*S*H’’ (pictured) offers actual NFL players — Ben Davidson, Buck Buchanan, Jack Concannon, Noland Smith, Fran Tarkenton, and that blaxploitation beau ideal, Fred Williamson — along with Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland. Let’s just say that on the plausibility scale the game ranks right up there with Gould and Sutherland as Army officers during the Korean War. “Horse Feathers’’ has the Marx brothers doing to a football game what they do to “Il Trovatore,’’ in “A Night at the Opera.’’ The term economists use is “creative destruction.’’—M.F.
Pictured: A scene from M*A*S*H. Coach Henry Blake (Roger Bowen) strategizes with players Hawkeye Pierce (Donald Sutherland), Duke Forrest (Tom Skerritt), “Painless” (John Schuck), “Spearchucker” (Fred Williamson), and “Trapper” (Elliott Gould).