THE QUESTION: What is your favorite sports movie?
Rob: Since I’m not a huge sports fan, my pick is something outside of the norm from the usual choices. While I certainly enjoy a movie about the adversities overcome by an underdog team, my favorite sports movie is the Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore. This movie’s got it all: a hand-stealing alligator, a fist fight with Bob Barker, and a quote that you can hear on any golf course on any given day…
Doug: Rocky is to sports movies what Diehard is to action movies. Where Diehard spawned imitators on a boat (Under Siege) and a bus (Speed), Rocky has served as a template for stories about college football, (Rudy), baseball, (The Rookie), and even ice skating (The Cutting Edge). Even when those movies are based on a true story, they’re filtered through the sensibilities of a Rocky movie. My favorite movie of the franchise (and therefore my favorite sports movie) is Rocky IV. At this point in the series, all pretentions of realism had fallen by the wayside and the Rocky formula was applied to the most ridiculous premise possible. Rocky IV is the shortest entry of the series, yet manages to devote the most screen time to montages. His presumptive adversary is the nigh-superhuman Ivan Drago, but what Rocky is really fighting is Soviet communism. And at the end of the movie, Rocky knocks communism out for good. Also: cheesy ’80s robot.
Bryan: The Wrestler. Finally a professional wrestling movie that treated it with the respect it deserves.
Brian: The Replacements. And it’s because of one simple quote: “Pain heals, chicks dig scars… glory lasts forever.” I don’t care what you say about Keanu Reeves, I thought he was awesome in this flick.
Dave: Tie: Field of Dreams and The Natural, baseball is my love.
Justin: There are a lot of great sports movies out there, but my favorite is Major League.
A Las Vegas showgirl inherits the Cleveland Indians from her deceased husband, and wants to move the team to Miami. She finds out that she can move the team if she can decrease their annual attendance. How does she plan to do it? By fielding a team of the worst baseball players she can find: an aging catcher with knee problems, an incarcerated pitcher with a wildly inaccurate fastball, a hitter who practices Voodoo to hit curveballs, and a tire salesman to manage them all.
Hilarity ensues as this team is a disaster, and the new owner is confident they’ll be out of Cleveland on schedule. But a funny thing happens: they get good. And when the owner’s plan is revealed to the coach and players, they make it their mission to win the pennant.
This is just an all-around, feel good movie that leaves me in stitches every time I see it. On one channel or another, you can catch it on TV just about every day. But I’d spring for the uncut, R-rated version.
Honorable Mentions: Bull Durham, Slapshot
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