A Different Take on a Sports Movie List
When the same players and teams dominating certain sports becomes monotonous, it can be a refreshing changes of pace to watch a movie that has been made to mock either a certain player or sport as a whole.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to make a list of sports movies that have a certain player or team that was initially mocked, ranked in order of how many obstacles they had to overcome during their plotline. And in true SpreeGoogs fashion, it’s a list of 11.
Movies that Start with “The”
11. The Natural
In this 1984 classic, Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs, a baseball player who skips death in the beginning, is fed a poisoned éclair, and overcomes a myriad of other obstacles to inevitably clinch the win in the end against the Pirates. He did this all on his own without the help of his trusted bat, the Savoy Special. This movie definitely deserved a mention on this list, despite Glenn Close looking like her normal disgruntled self.
10. The Fighter
This movie, as tumultuous as it was, chronicled the true story of welterweight boxing champion Micky Ward, who had to be able to get past the fact that he had become a stepping-stone for other boxers to beat on the way up to the top. In the end, he gains the welterweight championship despite the family drama, his crazy relationship with Charlene Fleming, and his brother being the object of scrutiny while Micky was trying to reestablish his career. Seeing Christian Bale as a crack cocaine addict outside of being Batman was also quite wonderful.
9. The Blind Side
Going from living in foster care your whole life to having to pick which college to play football at might have been quite the adjustment for Michael Oher. Fortunately, his innate abilities to instinctively protect quarterbacks led him to the top not only in gameplay, but also in the other facets of his life. Seeing Sandra Bullock coach a person twice her size also was commendable, but nothing beats the fact that Michael Oher just ends up being a total badass on the field.
8. Bad News Bears
I love me a good Billy Bob Thornton movie. Especially when his name is Morris Buttermaker, a former minor-league baseball player who has taken on the task of coaching a children’s baseball team. Though throughout the movie he makes some rather unsightly decisions, he learns to be a better person and plays the benchwarmers during the championship game, a move the former Buttermaker would have never made. They lost, but all profited from knowing that winning isn’t everything.
7. Angels in the Outfield
In this movie that focuses around a boy’s prayer for the Angels to bring home a pennant to bring his family back together, the argument can be made that even in present day, the Angels might need heavenly help to get near a pennant again. Despite the shaky playing of the Angels as a whole and Tony Danza distracting everyone on and off screen with his looks, they are able to win their final regular season game and clinch the pennant. Plus, I just love ghost baseball players. On that note…
8. Field of Dreams
Have you ever plowed corn before? I haven’t either, and I imagine it was a great deal of hard work Ray Kinsella put into making a baseball field in the middle of Iowa on a sneaking suspicion that he wanted ghost baseball players to come play on his cornfield. Nevertheless, he does as he is told and makes sure that the field is built. And let’s not forget, that ghost baseball players just get me going.
The Comedic Relief
5. Hot Rod
Some would wonder if this movie even classifies as a sports movie, but I would admonish those by saying that being a daredevil is sport enough due to the flashy costumes, excessive pyrotechnics, and cheerleaders that hope for the best every time a stunt is performed. The titular character, Rod, is trying to make enough money for his stepfather to have a heart transplant through doing stunts anywhere that he can. Though there are many laughs to be had along the way, there is also a fair share of struggle.
4. Talledega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby
It’s not everyday that your teammate steals your wife away from you and then proceeds to move into your house. Well this happens to our beloved Ricky Bobby, and is definitely noteworthy of this list. He gets over his fear of going fast after a terrible auto accident, and still is able to pull it off despite a car that wasn’t meant to get anywhere in the race. Well, and that the combination of Will Ferrell and sports movies is just plain amazing add to its position.
3. Big Green
When I was a kid playing youth soccer, I identified with this movie on a daily basis. Being the one always picked last and then put in goal because of lack of athleticism plagued my younger years. Fortunately, this was the case with all of the players that were a part of the Big Green, and that didn’t stop them from winning the championship against the Knights. How Larry the goalie sees his opponents can translate into much of life as well, but I’m certain that this movie helped me to realize that I can be awesome 24/7 all year even while being an underdog.
2. Mighty Ducks
As mentioned on this blog before, we love the Mighty Ducks. All three of them. A ragtag team of hockey players who didn’t stand a chance in any game they played was able to dominate every challenge in front of them. Emilio Estevez being in the cast doesn’t hurt either, and not to mention that I’m quite a fan of hockey (being in Nashville with the Predators has restored my faith).
1. Space Jam
Because of its all-star cast of real athletes, Space Jam was bound to be amazing. But I would also dare say that playing against a team of intergalactic aliens named the Monstars reigns supreme as biggest challenge for a team to overcome in a sports movie. Michael Jordan being my favorite athlete of all time doesn’t hurt, but with the likes of the other 90s players in the mix, this movie also can quintessentially personify all that this blog stands for.
So there you have it! A list of movies that inevitably show the inner workings of what it takes to be an athlete, and again going to show that they’ll never make another movie like they did in the 1990s.