So I love ‘top list’. This week I wanted to take a look at my Top 10 All-Time Favorite Sports Movies!
10: Fever Pitch: A lot of people hated this movie. I did not. Firs, I have always been a huge fan of Jimmy Fallon. Let alone, any movie with him and Drew Berrymore always ends up great. I guess the reason I love this movie so much is the fact that his passion for the Red Sox mirrors my Georgia Bulldog passion. Plus, it was awesome that the whole thing had to be rewritten last minute. It has been planned to have the Red Sox lose the World Series and Jimmy end up not caring because he still got the girl. However, as history reads, while filming the movie at actual games, the Sox actually won the World Series for the first time in 86 years. Maybe we need to film a movie about a Georgia fan in the same scenario. Hey, it’s only stupid if it doesn’t work.
9: Major League. Major League is recognized as one of the gold standards for sports comedies. Led by recognizable characters such as Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano, and Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, this 1989 release remains one of the most popular movies of its kind. Tom Berenger stars as grizzled veteran Jake Taylor, who’s reaching the end of his once glorious career. When it’s revealed that the owner of the Cleveland Indians has brought he and the team together with the intention of tanking, the team begins to win in spite of her. With a deep and talented cast, as well as subplots and characters that keep you hooked, Major League is a genuinely great sports comedy. It maintains its entertainment factor during games, builds up to a high-stakes ending, and set the table for a number of sequels. It was great to watch the Atlanta Braves being compared to this team over the past few years.
8: Rocky IV. Most people liked the third installment better, but not I. Sylvester Stallone had a built in story line from the first second with the Russsian Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren. This movie got back to Rocky being Rocky and really made you personally invested in his fight. In the 80’s when the Cold War was still on everyone’s mind this movie had a lot of political stuff that actually made us proud to be Americans. Drago will go down in history as one of the great movie villains of all-time.
7: Jerry Maguire. Jerry Maguire found a way to pack a seemingly infinite number of unforgettable scenes into just one film. Men wanted Jerry to ‘Show them the money” while women were begging to “have them at hello”. It was the perfect date movie for both guys and girls. Cruise’s role as embattled sports agent Jerry Maguire was his best since Top Gun.
6: Southpaw. I just saw this morning last week and it may actually even more up on this list as time goes on. Jake Gyllenhall gives in my opinion his best role ever. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Southpaw fired on all cylinders and flew far too under the radar. Southpaw blends superb cinematography with gut-wrenching scenes out of the ring. The main character must overcome addiction and the loss of his loved ones in this overwhelming story of a father’s will to do whatever it takes to get his daughter back. I don’t cry a lot in movies, but this one tears me up. I guess being a father had something to do it with. A must see for all dads who love sports.
5: The Karate Kid. To this day, Ralph Macchio is recognized as Daniel from the eternally praised The Karate Kid. That’s a strong indication of how significant a film this was within the world of film and sports, and thus a factor in its appearance on this list. There are a number of scenes that are referred to as the best of the film, but the epitome of Daniel’s character is his fearless decision to defend Ali. This scene embodied who Daniel was as a character, serving as a beacon of good in a film with genuine villains in the Cobra Kai. The Karate Kid remains one of the most popular films on this list, and it’s unlikely that it’ll ever fall out of favor. It has a cult following, to say the very least, and is the type of film that everyone sees at least once during their life span. How many of us still do that Karate pose from the movie? Not to mention when we are cleaning the house “wax on, wax off:
4: The Sandlot. I’m confident that every sports fan and general human being has seen The Sandlot. It’s a classic family movie that can be easily enjoyed by viewers of any age and sport preference. The Sandlot has many subplots, but the primary story is that of Scotty Smalls, the new kid in town, meeting Benny Rodriguez and his group of baseball-playing friends. The neighborhood baseball squad continuously gets into sticky situations, both on and off the field.
Nothing is more trying for the group than when Scotty, unaware of who, “Babe Ruth,” is, lets his signed baseball be hit into Mr. Mertle’s junkyard—a land from which no baseball returns. The rest is movie history. What other movie can you name that has a best selling shirt with only a quote from it? ‘You’re killing me Smalls!”
3: Varsity Blues: James Van Der Beak will forever go down as Jonathan Mox to me. As a matter of fact, every time I watch the new CSI show starring him I repeast his famous line ” I don’t want your life.” This was THE sports movies for late 90s men. From the whip cream bikini to Bud Kilmer reminding everyone of Lynn Hunnicut this movie is a cult classic.
2: Happy Gilmore. I swear I think I have seen this movie 100 times. Any movie that you watch and 20 years ago still spit out lines is obviously a great one. Adam Sandler was launched to superstardom with this 1996 film. Sandler plays the title character, Happy Gilmore, in a film about a disgraced hockey player who tries his hand at a new sport to keep his grandmother in a nursing home: golf. This movie isn’t your typical sports film, but it’s one that does a great job of mixing comedy with unorthodox action. Bob Barker’s appearance was also one of the best cameo’s of all-time.
1: The Wrestler. This was one of the most ‘real’ sports movies I have ever seen. Yes, I get that some of you do not consider pro wrestling as a sport, but I do, and so does IMDB. Mickey Rourke made one heck of a comeback in his role as Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson. Having worked in the business, I have personally seen a lot of what occurred in this movie. I guess that is what makes this my favorite. The realism in the business is unmatched. Plus Marisa Tomei was smoking in this film. Rourke’s work in this film also got him a Best Actor nomination, Marisa Tomei received a Best Supporting Actress nomination. In case your wondering the movie facilitated the tale of an older wrestler who’s looking to do right by his kin, all the while battling health issues and relying on the glory of his younger years to stay afloat.