Sports Oscars: The Mount Rushmores of Sports Flicks

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MARLBORO, NY-Tonight, many of you will be watching Jimmy Kimmel hosting The Oscars amidst political views from award winners. Not me. I’ll be searching for a hockey game on the tube and if I don’t find one, it’ll be a sports movie from my home collection. Everybody has their Mount Rushmore of something and today I’ll give you one as it relates to the four major team sports movies.

HOCKEY The gold standard of hockey movies has just celebrated it’s 40th anniversary and still withstands the test of time. Slapshot starring Paul Newman, who had starred in many movies during an illustrious cinematic career, considered this effort to be the most fun. Think about that given some of his blockbusters. A hockey movie where a bunch of sad sacks get a shot in the arm from a trio of Clark Kent-looking brothers and goon it up to reverse their losing ways is a Newman favorite and so it should be yours.
Honorable mention: Goon

BASKETBALL: Too bad the television dramedy, The White Shadow, wasn’t a movie spinoff because I loved that show back in the day. Basketball is my least favorite of the four major team sports but one movie that I find myself watching whenever it’s on is Hoosiers. Redemption is almost always a plot in sports flicks and this one’s no different but it deals with 1950’s Indiana high schoolers. In my estimation, even with his small role, Dennis Hopper steals the show as the alcoholic father of one of Gene Hackman’s players.
Honorable mention: Semi-Pro


BASEBALL: So many to choose just one but this may be a surprise. I’ll explain. Every red-blooded American boy plays Little League baseball and as an adult I’ll watch most of the Little League World Series. Call me nostalgic but those were some of the best days of my life. The Bad News Bears encapsulates 1970’s (and earlier?) youth baseball as adults take the joy out of the game. Could you imagine a chain-smoking alcoholic manager in a Little League dugout nowadays. Back then, all volunteers were welcomed in every league before the vetting of those willing to donate their time.
Honorable mention: Field of Dreams

FOOTBALL: Any Given Sunday. Just kidding. Wanted to see if you people are paying attention. Any time there is a redeux of a movie it speaks volumes of the original. Another comedy leads the way as The Longest Yard gets the nod here. And yes, the remake was dreadful. The idea of a convicts versus prison guards is farcical in and of itself but gets boasted to the nth degree in this flick. Football as a religion is on display as it crosses all walks of society as Burt Reynolds proves in his recruitment of players serving time in a Florida Big House. One of my favorite car chases of all time helps usher in the movie and character Paul Crewe.
Honorable mention: The Last Boy Scout

And here’s my Mount Rushmore outside the four majors:

Caddyshack (golf), Kingpin (bowling), Let It Ride (horse racing), and Victory (soccer)

We’d love to know what your Rushmores look like so add them in our comments.

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About the Author ()

A man amongst men. Cheesy Bruin kicked cancer to the curb – twice. The Cheese Man’s a big, tough teddy-bear who survived the Bronx despite being an unabashed Boston Bruins fan and Sargent-At-Arms for Angry Ward’s Urban Spur Posse. Nuff said. Doctors have taken most of this throat and had to make him a new tongue from thigh-meat (his own) and still he won’t shut up about the Bruins, Cowboys, Pirates and Cleveland Cavaliers. And yes, his kids do love him.

  • Dude

    Not a ton to dispute here, your first choices are pretty spot on. The honorable mention dept is pretty lacking. Victory? Are you kidding me? You mean the movie where rather than escape the nazi war camp they decide they’d rather finish the game? Yeah it had pele but come on. Alright I guess I can’t think of any other soccer movies but I’m sure there’s a Spanish language classic out there… field of dreams? There’s lot of other baseball movies with mentioning above that schlock. And the last Boy Scout? North Dallas forty? Remember the titans? And also come to think of it Hoosiers sucked. That Gabe caplan movie is a way better choice here.

    • jgclancy

      I’d add more but he said I’m not a red blooded American since I never played Little League baseball—sure looked red when I played football though. 😉
      but there are no good soccer movies–even rubgy has a better movie!

      • We accept all kinds here, Clancy. Despite your Communist leanings, you are welcome.

        • Dude

          I’m going to go ahead and agree with this esteemed panel. There are no good soccer movies. Rugby gets the nod

          • AngryWard

            I think we should do the Anti Sports Movie Rushmore. Like the worst sports movies ever made. Here, let me get it started.
            Baseball. “Bad News Bears Go to Japan.” (Tony Curtis was more believable as a woman in “Some Like it Hot.”
            Football. “Rudy.” (What a crock of Notre Dame crap.)
            Basketball. “Juwanna Man.” (Never saw it, but you just know it’s bad.)
            Hockey. “MVP: Most Valuable Primate.” (A chimp playing hockey? You know what? Count me in!)
            Bowling. “Bimbo Bowlers from Buffalo.” (Actually not bad, as far as bowling movies go. But a really sub par Adult feature.)
            Soccer. “Ladybugs.” (Sorry, Rodney.)

          • Junoir Blaber

            This your piece for Wednesday?

    • “Alive.” Cannibals, rugby…

    • AngryWard

      Dude, Fast Break with Kaplan would be my choice as well. I liked Field of Dreams plenty, but I think The Natural was better. The Sandlot was good too. And I am still a defender of the “relationship movie” Bull Durham. Goon is a must-see for fans of sports comedies.

  • AngryWard

    Cheeseman, did you know that “The Bad News Bears” was written by Bill Lancaster, son of Burt Lancaster? And Matthau’s Buttermaker is based on his Dad?

    Finally, and I can’t repeat this enough, Caddyshack is the best sports movie ever.

  • Junoir Blaber

    Cheesy Bruin with poor sports oscar list. Sad!

  • Junoir Blaber

    Football: Friday Night Lights
    Hockey: Miracle
    Baseball: For the love of the Game

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