I decided to compile a list of the best sports movies of all-time. Is this list complete? Absolutely not. Is it authoritative? Um, no. Will it be helpful/useful to you if you’re looking to spend some time with a flick during the societal pause we are dealing with? You bet your rear-end it should be.
*Note, there are some PG-13 moments in what appears below, so get ready for some raw action in the links.
THE BAD NEWS BEARS: A drunk takes a ragtag group of youngsters, including a foul mouthed, cigarette smoking, motorcycle riding juvenile delinquent for a wild ride in the world of youth baseball. Whatever you do, please watch the 1976 version with Walter Matthau.
BLADES OF GLORY: Admittedly not one of Will Ferrell’s better movies, but it does have some redeeming scenes. Plus, any flick staring a guy named Chazz Michael Michaels is likely worth 93 minutes of your time.
BREAKING AWAY: Watched this with my folks when I was a kid, and every few years I dust off the cobwebs and give it another viewing. It’s about a kid and his dream of cycling.
BRIANS SONG: Can’t do a list like this without including Jeff Mans personal favorite.
BULL DURHAM: A nearly washed up catcher is asked to sheppard the growth of an arrogant, hot shot hurler with a huge right arm.
CADDYSHACK: The best golf movie ever made? A classic with so many memorable lines, great suits, a gold bag with a stereo built in, and a potentially slightly deranged greens keeper who has an undying passion to relieve his course of the dancing gopher that makes sounds like Flipper.
DODGEBALL: If you can dodge a wrench… My goodness was I great at this sport as a kid. On the playground I was feared as if I was Darth Vader wielding a light sabre.
EDDIE THE EAGLE: Quirky as all get out. My girlfriend threw it on the Netflix one night, and turned out, it was a pretty enjoyable flick about a goofball who wanted to be an Olympian. He kept searching sports until he found one that might work – ski jumping.
EIGHT MEN OUT: A movie bout the 1918 Black Sox scandal that nearly ruined the sport of baseball.
FEVER PITCH: If you had to choose, would you select baseball or the love of your life, or, is the love of your life baseball?
FIELD OF DREAMS: An absolute classic about a man who hears voices, builds a stadium in his cornfield and rekindles the love of baseball that he shared in childhood with his father.
HAPPY GILMORE: A hockey player take on golf to make money for his grandma. Truth? I really dislike Sandler’s movies. Every movie he was in for the first 20 years of his career was the same damn thing. Folks love this one though, so it’s one the list. True story. I was at a comedy club in SF on a date about eight years ago. We decided to leave at about 10 o’clock as things were shutting down, probably about 35 of us in the crowd at that point, when they announced there would be one more act that wasn’t listed. We saw back down to watch the final act… and in walks Adam Sandler. He’s dressed like a hobo, t-shirt and shorts, he takes the mic, says he’s working on some new stuff that he wanted to try out if it was OK with us? For the next 45 minutes we got Sandler doing his act, guitar included, for free. His standup act, now that I like.
HOOSIERS: A small town team that can barely fill out a roster. A shot at a state championship. A quaint film about a hard-necked coach who pushes his kids to triumph.
THE HUSTLER: I don’t know if you consider pool a sport, and maybe it ain’t, but what the hell. I’m still adding it to the list.
THE LONGEST YARD: Do yourself a favor and skip the Sandler version. Watch the original, with Burt Reynolds, as he leads a group of convicts against the man in a game of football.
MAJOR LEAGUE: A laugh riot. Well, it attempts to be at least. Super cliché at this point, but there’s plenty of time to review this late 80’s classic.
MIRACLE: Continue reading and you will see the Red Army doc on the list. This movie is about a team of collegians that defeated them in the 1980 Olympics.
MONEYBALL: Brad Pitt plays a dashing Billy Beane at the dawn of the analytical era in Major League Baseball.
JERRY MAGUIRE: The star isn’t a player but an agent. Show me the money!
THE NATURAL: All he wanted to do was play baseball, and to be known as the greatest to ever play the game. Years after his journey began, he finally reached the pinnacle of the sport even without Wonderboy.
PRIDE OF THE YANKEES: The baseball action isn’t great, but it is a tear jerker of a flick in the end.
PUMPING IRON: Where Arnold became famous. It may be a spot, maybe not.
RED ARMY: An absolutely excellent documentary on the Russian hockey team that flat out dominated the world scene at a level never before seen on the ice.
ROCKY: Yo Adrian!
RUDY: The underdog story of a fella that just wouldn’t quit, even though he had no discernable talent other than sheer guts.
SECRETARIAT: A “Disney-type” of movie chronicling the exploits of the greatest racehorse who ever lived.
SHAOLIN SOCCER: I had never heard of this before I started doing some research, but I mean, click on that link and tell me this doesn’t look awesome.
SLAP SHOT: Old-time hockey. If you have never seen this one grab a beer, or six, and watch the wonder of the Hanson Brothers and the down and dirty game of hockey in the 1970’s.
TALDEGA NIGHTS: I know nothing about NASCAR, but I love Ricky Bobby. If you ain’t first, you’re last.
TIN CUP: I guess I got a thing for Costner. Shanks, betting and general golf mayhem. I mean, who shoots a round of golf with only a 7-iron?
WE ARE MARSHALL: The story of a town rallying around a college to overcome a tragedy. Apropos given our current situation. Stick together, and you shall overcome.
Oh, and Max Scherzer got into the act as well.