Heather and I are big movie people. We really enjoy crawling up on our comfortable couch, cuddling with our awesome dogs, and watching a movie. One of our most favorite genres of movies are the inspirational sports movies. We cannot get enough of them.
There have been so many great sports movies. I felt like it was about time for another top 10 list ranking these cinematic classics. So, without further adieu. here is the top 10 sports movies of all-time (according to Brian Cromer)…
JUST MISSED THE CUT: The Mighty Ducks trilogy, Karate Kid, The Natural, White Men Can’t Jump, Happy Gilmore, Invincible, Tin Cup, Bull Durham, Talladega Nights, Glory Road, Caddy Shack, Major League
TEN: Coach Carter. An amazing based-on-a-true-story of a coach turning around a bunch of selfish, undisciplined group of individuals into a unselfish, disciplined team. Samuel L. Jackson does a fantastic job as Coach Ken Carter. Favorite quote: “l came to coach basketball players, and you became students. l came to teach boys, and you became men.”
NINE: Jerry Maguire. This movie shows a different side of professional sports – from the perspective of the agents. Jerry Maguire (played by Tom Cruise) has a moral epiphany late one night that completely turns his world upside down. This movie is hilarious, dramatic, and very entertaining. It is peppered with famous quotes, such as “Show me the money!”, “Help me help you!”, “You complete me.”, “You had me at hello.”, “Do you know that the human head weighs 8 pounds?”
EIGHT: Field of Dreams. It is difficult for me to say that this is the only baseball movie that made the top 10. I am a huge baseball fan. But this movie is just great. I will admit, the premise is a little on the crazy side. Corn farmer Ray Kinsella starts hearing voices that leads him to build a baseball field in the middle of his corn field, travel in an old van across the United States picking up a washed up author who eventually disappears into the corn field with a bunch of dead professional baseball players, and eventually gets to play catch with his dead father. My favorite part of this movie is the undeniably pure passion for the game of baseball. So good. And who can forget this quote: “If you build it, he will come.”
SEVEN: Miracle. This true story from the 1980 Olympics is one of the greatest sports underdog stories of all-time. The 1980 USA hockey team beating the Soviet Union hockey team to advance and eventually win the gold medal is one of the biggest upsets in sports history. With being right in the middle of the Cold War, this victory had much more significance than just sports. The highlight of the clock running out and announcer Al Michaels screaming, “Do you believe in miracles?” is still frequently played today.
SIX: Million Dollar Baby. This movie won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2005. One of the saddest movies I have ever seen. This movie will make you cry and immediately go hug everyone you love when the credits start rolling. Clint Eastwood plays Frankie Dunn, who is a hard, grizzled boxing trainer who reluctantly starts training a female boxer (played by Hilary Swank – who won a Oscar for Best Actress). This movie has a crazy twist that I never saw coming.
FIVE: Rudy. If you look up “inspirational sports movie” in the dictionary, there will be a description of this movie. This classic tells a story of a passionate young man who’s dream was to play college football at the University of Notre Dame and would not take no for an answer. Rudy shows what having heart is all about in sports. After watching this movie, I always want to go run a marathon or try to make it to the NBA or do something huge. Listen. Can you hear the roar of the crowd? What are they chanting? Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
FOUR: Cinderella Man. There is something about boxing movies that are so incredible. This movie tells the awe-inspiring true story of James J. Braddock (played by Russell Crow). While struggling financially to support his family during the Great Depression, this supposedly washed up boxer gets a second chance to rejuvenate his career. Without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite line from this movie is when Braddock gets asked at a press conference before a title fight, “What are you fighting for?” and he responds, “Milk.”
THREE: Hoosiers. This movie is full of qualities that makes a good sports movie. It is an underdog story – the coach with the bad reputation, the farm boy, small town players playing the big boys from the big city. It has a sound track that will be in your head for days. This movie will undeniably make you cry every time you watch it. ESPN’s list of greatest sports movies accurately says, “While Rocky shows what one individual can do in the face of overwhelming odds, Hoosiers is the ultimate parable for the underdog ‘team.'” Also, Jimmy Chitwood is a baller who has one of the prettiest jumpshots in the history of basketball. Finally, this movie may have been the inventor of the inspirational slow clap that builds up speed and intensity to a faster, more energetic clap.
TWO: Remember the Titans. Another true story. This movie is so high on my list because my college roommate and I watched the VHS of this movie every night for an entire semester. We got to know it so well that we could literally almost quote the entire movie. It definitely holds a high sentimental value in my heart. Coach Boone and Coach Yost could be my coach any day of the week. This movie has one of the best inspirational coach speeches when Coach Yost yells, “Defense, on me. All right, now, I don’t want them to gain another yard! You blitz… all… night! If they cross the line of scrimmage, I’m gonna take every last one of you out! You make sure they remember, forever, the night they played the Titans!”
ONE: Rocky. Was their any doubt what was going to be number one on my list? Do not forget, Rocky Balboa was also my number one fictional character of all-time as well. The true underdog, rag-to-riches story where a no name boxer comes out of nowhere to be the heavy weight champion of the world. The Italian Stallion is known for training hard, being able to take multiple punches to the face without going down, and never quitting. He is a sensitive, caring guy who is also a romantic. He loves his friends and family deeply and wears his heart on his sleeve. Hey, any movie that has a fictitious character that has a real statue in a major US city has to be one of the top sports movies of all-time. Won 1976 Oscar for Best Picture. Favorite Rocky quote, “Was ya ever punched in the face 500 times a night? It stings after a while, ya know.”
There you go. That’s my list. What did I miss? What’s your top 10 sports movies of all-time list?