Friday, June 24, 2011

"Pick Me Out a Winner, Bobby"

When I was a sophomore in college, I was required to take a Sports Sociology class as part of my major curriculum.

Apparently to the teacher, sports sociology = watching sports movies and writing reviews on them.

(Yes, I know you're jealous that I had a class where all I did was watch sports movies. Pick a better major next time, mmkay?)

During the course of the semester, we watched Hoosiers, Eight Men Out, Hoop Dreams, The Program, a documentary on Jerry Tarkanian at Fresno State called Between the Madness, and possibly Jerry Maguire (I honestly don't remember when and where I've watched Jerry Maguire, since I've seen it a lot. I figure it's a good bet I watched it in this class).

So the other day I happened to be playing a Sporcle game where you had to name the baseball movie by the screen capture. Two things you should know about this fact:
  1. Sporcle is pretty much the most awesome website EVER. If you ever want to procrastinate at work, I recommend it (err....not that I do it, in case my boss happens to be reading this. Hi Monica! *waves*).
  2. I missed a good five or six of the movies. That's pretty sad. (But to be fair, would any of YOU be able to guess Bang the Drum Slowly or 61? Shut up, you would not.)
This got me to thinking about great sports movies, and more importantly, what I consider to be a great sports movie. Clearly, judging by my Sporcle score, I haven't seen a whole lot of them. However, I do have a few that are my go-to classics.

Now, before I share my top five movies, let me preface the list with this disclaimer: The Natural, Bull Durham, A League of Their Own, Rocky, Major League, Rudy, Brian's Song, Seabiscuit, Remember the Titans, Slap Shot, Days of Thunder, and Field of Dreams....all those movies ranked constantly as the tops in sports films? Yeah, they didn't make my list. It's not to say that I haven't seen them (although, I haven't seen a bunch of those named...not gonna lie) or don't like them, it's just that I've picked out five movies that I can sit and watch again and again. Endurance is key. goes:

#5.....The Cutting Edge.  Beautiful and snotty figure skater meets hottie injured hockey player. They hate each other, but you know it's just a matter of time before they hook up. And win the Olympics! (with the Pamchenko Twist, no less...although, let's be real....there's no way that move is anywhere close to being possible to do). Also? How much do the words "toe pick" seep into your brain after watching it?

#4....Love and Basketball. The hoops skillz! The soundtrack! Omar Epps's abs! Seriously, what's not to like in this awesome girl vs. boy love drama about making it as a cager? And those other basketball movies? They're no Spaulding.

#3....The Blind Side. There's a reason Sandra Bullock won the Best Actress Oscar for this movie. It's brilliant....and it's real life, no less. Plus....guys? Quinton Aaron, who played Michael Orr, made me cry in pretty much every scene. Even when he wasn't talking. He was that amazeballs.

#2....Bend it Like Beckham. Before they made it big as TV and movie stars, Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley (respectively) were kicking it up as female footballers in this 2002 Indie flick. The cultural aspect (Indian girl going against her family's wishes), the friendship aspect (at one point Knightley's mother suspects them of having a lesbian relationship), and some good old fashioned soccer ridiculousness make this a must-see. It doesn't hurt that Jonathan Rhys Meyers and his hottie hot Irish accent also star in the film.

and finally.....

#1....Ice Castles. This is probably the first sports movie I ever saw, and I love it to this day. We owned it on a beta disc, and no lie... I wanted to BE Lynn-Holly Johnson (minus the whole blind part), date Robby Benson and skate around an ice rink to the Ice Castles theme getting flowers thrown at me. Who am I kidding...I still do.

*Honorable mentions go out to For the Love of the Game, D2: The Mighty Ducks, The Program, The Replacements, and Coach Carter.

So sports movie buffs....what films do you agree with me on? What are your fav sports films and why? Let me know!

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Sean said...

Ice Castles? Is this really a sports movie, MoPete? Its more like Love Story on skates. Anyways here is Top 5 Underrated Sports Movies of All-Time because my all-time top 5 is pretty cut and dry(1.)Hoosiers 2.)Field of Dreams 3.)Rudy 4.)Bull Durham 5.)Major League.

1.) The Sandlot-"Smalls your killing me" and "For-ev-er" are phrases that are etched into everyones brain even if you haven't seen the movie.
2.) Miracle- If Sandra Bullock can win an oscar for her performance in "The Blind side" than Kurt Russell was robbed for not even being nominated for one for Herb Brooks.
3.) 61*-Crazy that this was only an HBO movie and never got a wide theatrical release because it was that good of quality. Plus Thomas Jane and Barry Pepper were born to play Mickey Mantle and Roger maris.(still holding out hope they eventually make a movie about Mickey Mantle)
4.) For love of the game-Hey look Mo-Pete we actually agree on something. This movie never got the credit it deserved and while it will never be on the same level as Field of Dreams and Bull Durham it is still good movie. Plus it has Vin Scully giving play by play.
5.) Mr. Baseball-Plain and simple I have a man crush on Tom Selleck and he plays a pretty convincing ballplayer past his prime. Only drawback was the crappy love story that was thrown in.

The Sports-O-Nista said...

Yeah, I definitely should have included The Sandlot in my honorable mentions....mostly because I loved Mike Vitar (hello, D2?), but also because it was a great movie. And you can never go wrong with James Earl Jones.

PS What guy doesn't have a man crush on Tom Selleck?

Rob S said...

"You can never go wrong with James Earl Jones" but you haven't watched Field of Dreams? Hmmm... How about a list of top 5 Kevin Costner sports movies? Does Robin Hood Prince of Thieves count as an archery movie?

Judy Peterson said...

What about The Rookie? And remember the Titan is a classic for anyone from my generation.

Sports-O-Nista said...

@Rob S....Robin Hood Prince of Thieves only counts if Waterworld counts as a boating movie.

@Judy...yes, I love Remember the Titans, but it's not in my top picks.

D-shot316 said...

Not only am I goint to check out sporcle. I have to say your the first blogger that made me laugh so kudos. Your list is good, here's one of mine.

#5 Green Street Holigans- not really a sports movie, it's about the soccer firms in England
#4 Digstown- a boxing movie that is not rocky but has a great cast and a fun story.
#3 Let in ride- a good movie about horse racing.
#2 Cool Runnings- Feel the rythm, fell the ride look out jamica it's bob-slead time.
#1 Varsity bules- Classic

Kind of a silly list but I thought I would play along.

Sports-O-Nista said...

Thanks for the follow and compliment! I must say though....Dawson belongs at the creek, not on the football field:-)

Anonymous said...

A vote for Longest Yard (the original not the remake), Brian's Song, Breaking Away, and then there is "Men with Brooms".

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