We're just a few days away from kicking off the college football season, which brings to mind two recent films, We Are Marshall and The Express.

Ordinarily, sports films are really hard to get right: walking in the door, the audience knows what's going to happen. Making everything look authentic and telling the story in a fresh way is a huge challenge and often results in a pale imitation of the original events. These two films, however, are the exception that proves the rule. Both go to painstaking lengths to reproduce the look and feel of the eras, and both stories transcend sports.

We Are Marshall recalls the tragic plane crash that decimated the school's 1970 football team, and the slow, painful recovery of a university, team, and town. The Express brings Syracuse running back Ernie Davis to the big screen as his too-brief career played out against the backdrop of the early Civil Rights struggles. As we get ready for tailgating, cheers and chants, the snap of the snare drum, team mascots, and cool autumn afternoons at the stadium, these two films are the perfect way to start to the season!