I have to say I’ve never been a big Oscars guy. One reason is my wife hates going to or watching movies, so until this year I hadn’t seen a nominated movie in like ten years. Another reason would have to be a result of how pissed I got that Pulp Fiction lost to Forrest Gump for Best Picture. I never watched after that until this year.
Two things led to my watching the Oscars with an intensity only surpassed by watching football. First, I recently invested in a beautiful, albeit totally illegal software that allows me to stream movies for free… many times while still in the theaters. I was able to watch almost every movie up for the major categories. Second, there was an office pool that I entered which made the Oscars SOOOO MUCH more fun to watch. I finished dead last by the way, but totally worth it.
It is in this spirit I present the Top Ten Sports Movies Ever Made. I could easily do Top 30 and I know there will be plenty left off the list, but the following are my ten favorite sports movies.
THE TOP TEN SPORTS MOVIES OF ALL TIME
I must preface this by saying that you won’t see any Rocky films on here. I know they are great, but I’m so tired of Philly sports teams using a Hollywood character as our top sports hero that I just can’t include them…any of them. Sorry.
10. Days of Thunder
I’ve watched a total of three hours of NASCAR racing in my life. The only reason it’s that many hours is because I include the racing I’ve watched in Days of Thunder. Between Tom Cruise sliding sugar packets to the promise land, a prank so good that a stripper somehow got access to a police car, and Robert Duvall’s performance, this makes my top ten. Any time I find it on TV, I watch it.
9. The Sandlot
There are so many reasons to love this movie. The Jet running through town with Hercules on his tail is a great scene. The characters are great and the ‘Where are they now’ part at the end always cracks me up. I may have said “YOU’RE KILLING ME SMALLS” a thousand times in my life. James Earl Jones makes a fantastic appearance, although watching Denis Leary not be funny is a bit strange for me.
8. Remember the Titans
Any time you can get Denzel, a young Gosling, Avon Barksdale, Opie Winston, and the fat guy from Mallrats…you have a recipe for gold. It’s a true story of how sports can often transcend all, even racism. Gerry Bertier is the man.
7. Bull Durham
I remember watching Bull Durham as a kid and not getting half the references and still thinking it was great. I watched it again in my 20s and thought it was epic. Susan Sarandon was still a smoke show, Crash and Nuke scenes are hilarious, and Robert Wuhl was still relevant enough to get work which is always nice. Tough to leave Bull Durham off any sports movie list.
6. Major League
I’m starting to realize that my list is dominated by baseball movies, but I think that’s just because are there are so many made versus the other sports. Major League is awesome, pure and simple. The cast was perfect. Charlie Sheen banging Dorn’s hot wife is classic and the All State guy made Cerrano an all-time great character. I also respect that they don’t win it all…they only make the playoffs. So great.
5. Field Of Dreams
Costner makes the list again. I hate to admit it, but this movie makes me cry every time. I can’t watch it without tearing up. James Earl Jones and Burt Lancaster contribute phenomenal performances. The overall story is what makes this movie so great. (*Sidenote: I know you all think I cry when he asks his dad to have a catch, but I have to be honest…that’s one of like four times this movie gets me).
4. The Natural
This movie was my number one for so long. First off, if Wilford Brimley is in the movie, I’m on board. Something about that guy I just love. I would put him on my top ten Seinfeld characters list, and he’s on that show for a total of about 45 seconds. Again, great story here and just a quality, quality movie. One thing that always bothered me was no matter what team the Knights played, I feel like they all had the same catcher. Oh well.
This could easily be my number one. I don’t even know what to say that hasn’t already been said. Bill Murray going from having one scene to being in half the movie, Chevy Chase still being funny, Rodney being Rodney, and Ted Knight giving one of the best performances as Judge Elihu Smails all contribute to this movie getting a top three billing. If you’ve never seen the documentary about the making of Caddyshack, find it and watch it…immediately. They were all wasted the whole time.
How many passes? FOUR!!! I hate it when people say Stephen Curry is the best shooter ever. Hello? What about Jimmy Chitwood? The guy has a scene with Hackman where he makes like ten shots in a row. Amazing. That scene was done in one take.
Hackman is absolutely fantastic in this role and the basketball scenes that are filmed are fantastic and realistic. Go back and watch the game where Ollie makes the two free throws to win and advance. A guy on the other team heaves a 70 foot Hail Mary as time expires that almost goes in. That would have been something to have to reshoot that scene because of that.
1. The Big Lebowski
DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING, DID YA! Best movie ever. Bowling in the movie. Bowling is a sport. Best sports movie ever. The Dude, Walter, Donny, Jesus, the AutoBahns…Number 1…no brainer. Mic has been dropped.
He Got Game
Brians Song (The original…not that crap redo)