5 Best Sports Movie Moments
As most of my friends and family will tell you, I’m not a sports girl. I rarely follow baseball, I could care less about hockey, and the only thing I like about basketball games are the beer and celebrity sightings on the jumbotron.
But just because I don’t like watching or following sports on a daily basis doesn’t mean I shun them when it comes to movies. In fact, some of my favorite films are sports-related.
Below are five sports-centered movie with moments that have made me laugh, cry, or simply cheer from my couch – a lot more than what you’d see me doing at an actual sports game.
[Warning: there may be spoilers for the movies listed]
I’m not sure if it’s the overall scene, the musical score, or both…but this is the movie of all sports movies – at least, in my book.
The classic “root for the underdog” tale, Rudy is the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruttiger, a football player who is determined to play for Notre Dame despite the fact that his size and talent are a serious detriment to his dream. Rudy pushes himself to work hard, transfers to Notre Dame for school, and eventually ends up on the practice squad…while never losing sight of his goal despite setbacks.
By the time you get to the final scene – the last play of his last game during his senior year, the winning touchdown, the whole stadium chanting his name in unison as he’s carried off the field – you’re pretty much a puddle of waterworks. Don’t even try to pretend otherwise.
If I didn’t put this on here, I would probably be shot by movie and sports fanatics across the board. The original Rocky is certainly a classic film in its own right, but who could forget the title character’s run to the Philadelphia Art Museum steps? Add in some classic strains of Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now” and the scene easily becomes not only one of the best known in the history of film, but one of the most iconic.
As a sports movie, Rocky worked because it wasn’t just about boxing. It was about human emotion and character relationships. Although it (rightfully) takes its place among the sports movie genre it is, at best, a story about respect and learning to love yourself.
I admit that I’m a sucker for any feel-good “underdog” movie, and Seabiscuit is no exception. The true story of the little racehorse that could who defied all odds to become “Horse of the Year” in 1938, Seabiscuit is more than just a racehorse story. It’s also the story of the jockey, the owner and the trainer, all who undergo both triumphs and tragedy during the year of the Great Depression.
With the film, you’re taken on an emotional journey that reels you in. Even though you can guess how the film will probably end, you feel the same joy, elation and excitement that jockey Red Pollard feels in guiding his horse across the finish line – beating out every horse who thought that Seabiscuit didn’t have a chance.
Field of Dreams has that odd stature of being a unique film, yet one that is incredibly important to the world of sports. That’s because it doesn’t employ huge winning moments or intense scenes of action that makes our hearts race and fists pump in victory. Instead, it’s a drama-based film that focuses on faith, love, family, and the promise of fulfilling a dream.
While there may be no comparison to Rudy’s winning touchdown or Rocky’s run to the art museum, you can’t deny the intensity of James Earl Jones’ speech to Iowa farmer Ray (Kevin Costner): “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard. Rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us all that once was good and it could be again. People will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”
It’s not the world’s most dramatic sports movie moment, but it certainly leaves it mark.
I hate to be a cliché and use end scenes from movies as poignant moments, but I would be lying if I didn’t say one of the best comes at the end of this film, when the ladies of the Rockford Peaches are finally, after many years, inducted into the baseball hall of fame. It’s a beautiful sequence to watch, and emotional to see the old players reunite with each other, mourn their long-gone teammates and reminisce about their days on the field during such an iconic time period. Plus, Dottie’s reunion with her long-estranged sister, Kit? One of the most heartfelt moments in all of sports movies.
As a runner-up (on a completely different emotional level)…who could forget Tom Hanks’ “There’s no crying in baseball!” scene? Absolutely classic.
What sports moment would you consider the best where it relates to a film? Leave your thoughts below, I’d love to hear!
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