Sports & Movies
While channel surfing earlier, my wife & I settled on the otherwise-unwatchable Michael Kay on the YES Network. He was showing a montage of interviews he's conducted with Hollywood stars. One of the questions was: What is your favorite sports movie?
Which led to a bit of a discussion between my wife and I, and, thus, this post.
We broke it down by sport:
Baseball: We kicked a bunch around. My wife settled on "Field of Dreams". I protested that it was less of a sports movie, and more of a relationship film. She offered "Bull Durham" as her back-up.
I considered "Major League", "A League of Their Own", "Eight Men Out" and "Pride of the Yankees". I even considered "Bad News Bears." I refused to consider "The Natural", mostly because it was horrible.
I settled on "For the Love of the Game", an underrated movie that I think will grow in esteem over time. With "Bull Durham" as a second.
Hockey: "Slap Shot". Case closed, for both of us. I grew up going to Long Island Ducks' games at the Commack Arena, back in the days of the bucket-of-blood Eastern Hockey League. Truly a series of fights and dirty hits, with a little hockey interspersed. Newman nailed it.
Golf: I went with "Happy Gilmore"; my better half chose "Bagger Vance". I think we both could live with "Tin Cup", in a pinch. I have a warm spot in my heart for "Caddyshack", which was my generation's "Happy", but I gave the edge to Adam Sandler.
Basketball: "Hoosiers". Every time it comes on TV, I say the same thing-- "Gee, I don't think I've ever seen this movie before." My wife swears I've seen it 300 times. She may be right. I've made her watch it so many times, she hates it, and thus she is disqualified from this category; I wouldn't even let her vote.
Football: This one was tough. We both liked "Any Given Sunday", Pacino raging around. I remember seeing "The Longest Yard" in the theatre with a bunch of teammates-- so my love of this movie may be tainted a bit by the whole experience. We've watched "The Replacements" too many times; it's a few good lines surrounded by some truly embarrassing scenes-- though the guard shooting the Porsche is one of my favorites.
I considered "Rudy", "North Dallas Forty", "Brian's Song", "Remember the Titans", and "Knute Rockne, All American". I even thought about "Heaven Can Wait". Nope.
And don't talk to me about "Jerry Maguire". Whatever kind of relationship movie it may have been, the few football scenes were excrutiating-- truly, truly rancid.
I guess my problem is I really don't think there's been a truly great football movie made yet.
I fell back on "Any Given Sunday", mostly because I thought the football scenes were the most accurate.
Boxing: Tough choice here. I go with "Rocky", as does my wife, reluctantly on her part, because she hates boxing. "Ali", "Raging Bull" and "Somebody Up There Likes Me" all made the cut, so to speak. But Stallone's classic will last and last, just like Balboa did.
Tennis: I couldn't think of one. Not one.
Track: "Chariots of Fire" should get the nod, because of its acclaim and I mean, seriously, how many track movies have there been? But I like "Without Limits", the story of Steve Prefontaine, which captured that era wonderfully.
I don't consider pool a sport. And since I'm from New York, the only thing I know about race cars is that I don't like watching car races. Or skiing. So no movies on those "sports". Sorry.
Soccer: We both agreed that "Bend It Like Beckham" was not only our favorite soccer movie, it was one of our favorite movie-movies.
Finally, if I had to choose my favorite sports movie of all of 'em, all I can say is:
- Welcome to Indiana basketball.
- Sun don't shine on the same dog's ass everyday, but, mister you ain't seen a ray of light since you got here.
- I know everything there is to know about the greatest game ever invented.
- If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we're gonna be winners.
- Look, mister, there's... two kinds of dumb, uh... guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and, uh, guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with.
- A man your age comes to a place like this, either he's running away from something or he has nowhere else to go.
- You know, most people would kill... to be treated like a god, just for a few moments.
- Five players on the floor functioning as one single unit: team, team, team - no one more important that the other.
- I'll make it.
- I love you guys.