When it comes to Cougar football and favorite movies, Denzel and Sly reign supreme

PULLMAN —  It’s amazing what you learn when you ask a non-football question to a football guy. Take movies, for instance. Assistant coaches, we discovered at Washington State, tend to like older sports movies. Defensive players seem to prefer action flicks while offensive linemen have a soft spot for kids. Mike Leach, naturally, hits a genre and era all his own.

And then there's Luke Falk. He not only offered his all-time favorite but proceeded to methodically break down his reasoning.  Can't say we were surprised.

Here's the run down from the 22 players and coaches we surveyed, with Denzel Washington and Sly Stallone living large with two movies each in the list ...

LUKE FALK, senior quarterback

Favorite Move: Forrest Gump (1994) 

Rotten Tomatoes: Score: 72% Fresh

Reason: “History. And Forrest has got the best, positive mind set of all time, like the greatest optimistic person on the planet earth. He just thinks the right way, loves deeply, loves in the moment . . . I mean there’s a lot of good, deeper things in that movie that I like. And the music’s awesome. Can’t beat it. My girlfriend doesn’t like watching it all the time, but I love it . . . You can’t beat that movie.” 

MIKE LEACH, head coach

Favorite Movie: Rio Bravo (1959) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100% (Certified Fresh) 

Reason: “Obviously, John Wayne. And the characters are fantastic . . . A lot of depth, a lot of dimension to it and the ending is fantastic.”

HERCULES MATA’AFA, junior d-lineman

Favorite Movie: The Dark Knight (2008) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94% (Certified Fresh) 

Reason: “You can’t beat the joker, man.”

EASOP WINSTON, junior receiver

Favorite Movie: Friday Night Lights (2004) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81% (Certified Fresh) 

Reason: “Of course it’s a football movie . . . they were just going at it and that’s what I love, that crunch-time moment. I watch it all the time.” 

GARRETT McBROOM, senior d-tackle 

Favorite Movie: Tommy Boy (1995) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 44%

Reason: “It’s a classic. I love that movie. I used to watch it with my dad all the time, so it’s something that I’ve always liked.”

DAVE EMERICK, chief of staff/senior associate AD

Favorite Movie: Hoosiers (1986)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88% (Certified Fresh) 

Reason: “My dad grew up in Indiana and I grew up in Wisconsin and my grandparents lived there. Whenever it’s on, I can’t help but watch it.” 

JIM MASTRO, running backs coach

Favorite Movie: Rocky (1976) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93% (Certified Fresh) 

Reason: “A nobody becoming somebody through hard work and dedication. I’ve watched it probably 100 times. They’re all good, but the first one to me is the best movie ever made.”

JEFF PHELPS, d-line coach 

Favorite Movie: Armageddon (1998) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 39% Fresh

Reason: “That’s my all-time favorite, cause that’s like the ultimate hero movie. You know, where he sacrificed not only for his daughter but for the planet . . . In the grand scheme of things, I think that as human beings we have to do that more . . . Any time it’s on, it just locks me in and I gotta finish watching it.” 

DEREK SAGE, inside receivers coach

Favorite Movie: Casino (1995) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80% (Certified Fresh) 

Reason: “I’m from the state of Nevada and it’s got a lot of action in it, mobsters, Robert DeNiro, how can you go wrong? My dad was a lawyer and D.A. and retired as a judge so quite the opposite (from my upbringing), but it’s a great movie.”

ERIC MELE, special teams coach

Favorite Movie: The Godfather (1972) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99% (Certified Fresh) 

Reason: “I’ll have to stick to something mobster, something Italian, stick to my heritage, my roots.”


DAVE NICHOL, outside receivers coach

Favorite Movie: Dumb and Dumber (1994) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66% Fresh

Reason: “It’s the best comedy ever.” 

CLAY McGUIRE, offensive line coach 

Favorite Movie: First Blood (1982) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Reason: “I was little kid. I couldn’t have been much older than four or five when I saw that movie. I just wanted to be Rambo.” 

KEN WILSON, inside linebackers coach

Favorite Movie: Field of Dreams (1989) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86% (Certified Fresh) 

DEZMON PATMON, sophomore receiver

Favorite: The Book of Eli (2010)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%

Reason: “He’s just on a mission. He makes up his mind that he’s gonna go deliver the Bible to where he feels necessary, so he’s just walking by faith and that’s his mindset.”

ERIK POWELL, senior kicker/punter

Favorite Movie: Interstellar (2014) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71% (Certified Fresh) 

Reason: “It blew my mind.”


NNAMDI OGUAYO, sophomore d-tackle 

Favorite Movie: The Terminator (1984)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100% (Certified Fresh) 

Reason: “He’s just kind of a bad-ass.” 

KEITH HARRINGTON, junior running back

Favorite Movie: I am Legend (2007) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70% 

Reason: “It’s just so crazy how those zombie things just come out of nowhere . . . at first when I saw the trailer I thought the movie was just about the only man left on earth, like something happened. And I go to the movie theater and I’m freaked out like, ‘whoa, where did these things come from?’ and that made the move so much more thrilling.”

TYLER HILINSKI, sophomore quarterback

Favorite Movie: Talladega Nights (2006)

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 72% Fresh

Reason: “My mom loves it.” 

DILLON SHERMAN, freshman linebacker

Favorite Movie: Remember the Titans (2000) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Reason: “It’s a classic . . . It’s just one of those movies where you go ‘ahh, I just wanna be out there playing football.’” 

ANDRE DILLARD, junior left tackle 

Favorite Movie: Saban’s Power Rangers (2017) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 47% fresh 

Favorite Character: The Pink Ranger 

Reason: “She’s hot.” 

CODY O’CONNELL, senior left guard

Favorite Movie: Monsters, Inc. (2001) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96% (Certified Fresh) 

Reason: “One of the first Disney movies I watched with my sister, and it was the first Disney movie I watched with my niece . . . She was happy with it but she’ll never remember it, but I will. It’s one of those. She’s got me wrapped around her little finger.”

KYLE CELLI, junior long snapper

Favorite Movie: The Goonies (1985) 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70% Fresh

Reason: “I watched it when I was a kid and I was always fascinated by all the pirate stuff and the treasure maps and all that. Not a lot of people know what it is . . . I just found it, watched it one time, and then got if for a gift and I just kept watching it. I memorized, I could pretty much say the whole movie from front to back.”

FREDERICK MAUIGOA, sophomore center

Favorite Movie: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Reason: “I’m looking forward to the new one. Just a lot of action. I like the new cars, too.”


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