Angry Ward Wednesday: Everything I Know About Sports I Learned from ’80s Movies

Quisp as Angry_Ward Meet_The_Matts
I Know About Sports

New York, NY – After Management denied my vacation request this week, I toyed with the idea of titling today’s column 5 Years a Slave, but felt that would be incredibly disrespectful to the memory of real humans who were forced into slavery (I volunteered) as well as a movie that’s a current Oscar™ favorite. Instead, I’ll stick with movies and sports and… well… let’s get started.

Baseball. The Fall Classic is upon us. This year it’s Boston vs. St. Louis and if Eight Men Out has taught us nothing it’s that sometimes there is no underdog, there is no hero. I couldn’t begin to pick a team to root for in this mess. The Sox or the Cards? Are you kidding me? I don’t want to watch one second of this series. I can almost hear the voice from the cornfield in Field of Dreams whispering “If you play it, I won’t come.” It would take Brewster’s Millions or at least the promise of some Stealing Home to get me to tune in. Otherwise, I’m Long Gone. Until then, I’ll be content to watch Charlie Lau attempt to teach Matthew Broderick the art of hitting in Max Dugan Returns, and call it a season.

Hockey. The 1980s hockey movie list begins and ends with Youngblood, which really tells you nothing about hockey except, 1) Rob Lowe as a hockey player is hilarious, 2) Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves as hockey players are equally hilarious, and 3)Hey, go hump your Saint Bernard, Scum-Nuts!” is still a great put-down whether you own a Saint Bernard or not.

Rob_Lowe Younglbood Meet_The_MattsFootball. Let’s get this out of the way right now: I think Goldie Hawn (Wildcats) is a better football coach than three-quarters of the guys working in the NFL today. However, there is no place in the league for a Quarterback Princess, I’m talking to you Sam Bradford… and especially you, Christian Ponder. If there were ever an antithesis to All the Right Moves is was Monday night’s Vikings/Giants flubfest. Finally, I can’t help but wonder whether Corey Haim would still be alive today had he not been concussed towards the end of  Lucas. All the warning signs were right there in 1986, Roger Goodell.

Golf.Hey Whitey, where’s your hat?” “Check me if I’m wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers, they’re gonna lock me up and throw away the key...” “How about a Fresca?” “You don’t have to go to college. This isn’t Russia. Is this Russia? This isn’t Russia.” “Gunga galunga.” “He called me a baboon, he thinks I’m his wife!” “Pool and a pond… pond would be good for you.” “Pick up that blood!” “Noonan! Miss!” If you don’t know Caddyshack backwards and forwards you have no business being on a golf course.

Basketball. The classic Fastbreak, starring Gabe Kaplan was released in 1979 so it doesn’t qualify. Otherwise, make no mistake, it would be all about Fastbreak. Hoosiers is the gold standard of 80s basketball movies, but there’s no way a group of pasty-faced, scrawny white kids is winning anything but a high school debate or maybe a game of dungeons and dragons. Amazing Grace and Chuck taught me that Alex English was a really good basketball player, not so much an actor. Which leaves us with Teen Wolf, which really told me everything I needed to know about basketball. If you can grow a sh1tload of facial hair and slam dunk the rock, you can pretty much get any chick you want. As true today as it was then.

That’s it. There are things to be said about Rocky’s 80s steroid cycle as well as my well-documented, yet-to-be-written, master’s thesis on Hot Dog The Movie, but those will have to wait for another day.

Speaking of waiting another day, St. Louis boy Cam James, tomorrow.

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About Angry Ward 681 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.