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.