Top 10 Sports Movies

Sports Movies Inspire Fitness

Watching hours upon hours of mindless television/movies is probably not going to be good for your life. I know, I get it, but we can say too much of just about anything isn’t going to be favorable for you. Even too much spinach can be detrimental to you as in rare cases have shown, you can develop kidney stones and issues with iron absorption. Just like anything else in life, you’re better off striving for variety and balance.

But certain television/movies are educational and provide valuable lessons in life and could inspire fitness. Some would argue that Sports Movies are some of the best for such. This isn’t about being all gung-ho and having your Alpha Male side come to fruition. I truly believe that most Sports Movies offer valuable life lessons; they’re usually Inspirational, Motivating & Encouraging and demonstrate the importance of being a Loyal team player/person. There’s so much more to a Sports Movie than the guts and glory aspect.

top-10-blueEveryone loves Top 10’s, 20’s lists or whatever that number may be and nearly everyone loves a good sports movie. So I decided to put my own Top 10 Sports list together and see how it fairs to yours.

Mind you, this list is my own opinion and it’s based on how I enjoyed the movie and the likelihood I will or have watched it over and over again.


Not on my list are some really good movies, but I wanted to keep this to 10; so we’ll call this The Honorable Mention index:

Bull Durham, Chariots of Fire, Cinderella Man, Friday Night Lights, The Karate Kid, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Slap Shot



Bill Murray in Caddyshack

10. Caddyshack (1980) Arguably one of the funniest sports movies of all time; thanks to Chevy Chase, Bill Murray & Rodney Dangerfield. Caddyshack is one of those movies that has a cult following and it will never lose its’ fair share of laughs. Of course, everyone remembers the classic line from Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) “It’s in the hole.”

9. Field of Dreams (1989) Nominated for three Academy Awards, this film stars Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella of Iowa. Kinsella who is pretty much a beginner when it comes to farming, decides to plow his cornfield to build a baseball diamond. Kinsella who had been hearing voices saying “If you build it, he will come” and ultimately sees a vision of a baseball field decides to build it; much to everyone’s disbelief.

roy hobbs

Roy Hobbs

8. The Natural (1984) Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is pretty much a prodigy baseball player in the roaring 1920’s and is about to get his shot at the bigs. That changes in a minute as Hobbs is shot by an insane female serial killer. Nearly two decades later Hobbs gets his shot again for the New York Knights. This film was nominated for four Academy Awards. The lesson here is perseverance and determination. Even with all of Hobbs’ adversity both after being shot and after he signs his contract with NY, he continues to press on with class and dignity.

7. Million Dollar Baby (2004) This Clint Eastwood film, who also stars in it as an under-appreciated boxing trainer, Frankie Dunn, won four Academy Awards including Best Picture. Right there, you know you need to see this if you haven’t already. Another sports movie about perseverance and chasing your dream and it will probably leave you teary eyed. Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman co-star.

6. Raging Bull (1980) Admittedly, I just haven’t seen this film recently. I can’t even remember the last time I did. However, with that being said, it’s still cited as one of the best movies ever. In fact, The American Film Institute rated Raging Bull #24 on its’ list of the top 100 of All Time. With one of the Best Actors in the world starring; Robert DeNiro portrays a distraught and troubled boxer, Jake LaMotta. This is one I must watch again (soon) because it’s that good. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two. DeNiro won for his performance as Best Actor. Put this in your Netflix Queue.

major league

Bob Uecker (L), Major League

5. Major League (1989) This is an insanely funny satirical view of a struggling Major League Baseball Franchise. This film didn’t win any major awards, but that’s beside the point; it’s F-in HILARIOUS! Don’t even bother telling me that you don’t still laugh after watching this 100 or so times. It’s just impossible to not be amused by this nonsense. Harry Doyle’s (Bob Uecker) cynical sarcasm as the Indians’ Radio play by play guy is priceless. Here’s a view beatuies:

~Hello, Tribe fans, welcome to Major League Baseball… sort of. The attendance today is 14 hundred and 12. Most of them left after that 10 run inning the Red Sox put up. Take over Monty, I’m in the bag.

~He’ll need a rocket up his ass to catch that one; that baby’s out of here.

~So a tough loss for the Indians as Pedro Cerrano doubles off a pigeon and is tagged out while administering CPR before the tying run could score. Funny game ain’t it Monty?

~In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are threatening to climb out of the cellar.

~Just a reminder, fans, comin’ up is our “Die-hard Night” here at the stadium. Free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant.

OK, I can go on and on with this one, you get the point; it’s funny. Anytime it’s on, I’m watching.


4. Rudy (1993) Cited as one of the Most Inspirational Films of All Time, this film is about a young man named Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who has huge ambition and aspirations. His dream is to play College Football for a big time collegiate program, specifically Notre Dame. Despite his shortcomings of skill, stature and money, Rudy is destined to fulfill his passion and reach his goal. Rudy is the epitome of a person chasing after his dreams no matter what obstacles are in your way. This is certainly a moving and heartening story about a guy who refuses to give up on his journey.


3. Hoosiers (1986) The movie is based on a true story where a small town (Hickory) High school in Indiana does the unimaginable and wins the 1952 State Championship. Gene Hackman stars as the coach who leads his team from the beginning when he had just 5 players (after dismissing 2 others) all the way to finals in Indianapolis. Coach Dale is steadfast in his ways and is not open to the recommendations from the passionate townspeople. You have to love the convictions of this Coach. After a player fouls outs, another player pre-maturely expects to go in. However, Coach Dale had previously benched this player and tells him to sit back down. A memorable scene is when the Coach tells the referee his team is on the court; albeit with a distinct disadvantage with one less player. Coach Dale is a no nonsense guy and eventually wins the support (not that he cares) from everyone in Hickory. I’m not even a big basketball fan and I thoroughly loved this movie.



Do You Believe in Miracles? YES!

2. Miracle (2004) Probably not this high on most people’s list, but I’m a hockey guy so I’m a little biased. But you know what, the movie is pretty darn good. Guess what? The true story is even better, so it should be high on the list, especially if you’re an American. I think we all know about this ultra-inspiring, team-oriented story. How a bunch of college kids did the inconceivable by conquering the best hockey team (Soviet Union) the world had ever seen en route to an Olympic Gold medal (vs. Finland) on home ice in Lake Placid, NY in 1980.

Coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Rusell) is a master at motivating athletes in his own, unique ways. Coach Brooks has been obsessed with winning a Gold Medal for the U.S. since he was cut from the team that went on to win a Gold Medal last (1960).

More than likely, this “Miracle on Ice” team/victory is THE biggest upset in all of sports history. So it stands to reason that a movie about such an improbable feat is going to be great. You don’t have to be hockey fan to love this movie, you just have to believe.



Rocky Balboa, Rocky II

1. Rocky (1976) Actually, I’m going to lump in Rocky, Rocky II and Rocky IV in here as one. I’ll sit and watch any of the six Rocky movies at any given time. But for this list, I’m going to ditch the other three.

I’m not going to get into a description about this film, there’s no need to. I’d bet any amount of money that if you’re reading this you most likely have seen it already. And I’m sure you loved it. How can you not? We all can relate to Rocky in some way or some shape during our life. We’ve been so down, counted out and found a way to find that inner strength inside of us; Rocky is all about heart, commitment and perseverance.

The irony of this is that no one wanted this script from Sylvester Stallone. It was finally budgeted for 1 million dollars, shot in less than a month and it was predicted to be a huge flop.

True to Rocky form, it won three Oscars, including Best Picture and it grossed well over 200 million in 1976.

And better yet, Rocky found a solution to the Cold War between America and Russia during Rocky IV. In just three simple phrases he becomes an international ambassador. “If you can change, And I can change, Everyone can Change.”

Also, can anyone find a soundtrack better than Rocky IV for motivation? I mean seriously, after watching Rocky IV I feel like scaling a mountain and screaming DRAGO too!

Rocky, while an American Fictional Icon, is also well-known internationally and is probably being viewed right this second somewhere. It seems that Rocky is ALWAYS on television and I’ll be watching for the umteenth time.

There you have it, MY top 10 sports movies. This is such a debatable and opinionated topic that I’d love to hear your list. There are so many other sports movies out there, what’s your opinion?

Breakfast of Champions

Healthy Options to Start Your Day

Now that we’ve established Mom was right and why we shouldn’t skip the most important meal of the day. Let’s take a look at some healthy choices for our Breakfast. Back in the day, when I was a kid, I was a big time cereal eater. I mean big time! I would think nothing of going right through a box of Cocoa Pebbles or Count Chocula before the end the day. Sometimes, that was my breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks in between; if there were any left.

Although, I still love cereal to this day, I obviously changed which brand I consume now. When we were younger in the 80’s we could easily burn off those extra calories. We had no choice but to go outside and get moving. With the advancements in technology today, more and more kids are becoming less and less active and are heading towards a path of obesity. The statistics are not pretty for the younger generation. However, this is neither here nor there as I’m continue to wander off topic.

eggsOne of the most common and healthiest choices for breakfast has to be the Incredible Edible Egg. Eggs are all natural and are packed with high quality protein and antioxidants. At just 70 calories per whole egg, you can be rest assured that you’ll be getting plenty of vitamins, minerals and nutrients without busting your waistline. Plus, there’s an endless amount of great recipes for eggs that anyone and everyone can find a perfect dish for them. Don’t be scared of the yolks either, they are rich in vitamin B choline, important for memory as well as carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health.

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Like eggs, Greek Yogurt is loaded with protein; it’s also a great source of calcium. Just stay away from the flavored yogurts as they tend to be high in sugar. Add your own fruit (Berries!) to it and you have an excellent 100 calorie breakfast.

How about a nice piece of candy? Nature’s candy that is; Fruit. It’s been dubbed Nature’s Candy by many for decades for good reason. Although Fruit is sweet, it contains fructose with its’ natural sugars; so don’t panic. Fruit is also a great source of fiber, essential vitamins, antioxidants and flavonoids. Opt for a variety of fruit as each fruit has its’ own benefits and varying degrees of vitamins, antioxidants and flavonoids. Go for fresh fruit, although dried fruit is a good choice too. Just make sure to check the ingredients on the packaging to see what was added to the fruit. And at all costs, avoid the fruit in the cans. You know, the ones that are loaded with heavy syrup and sugar? You might as well have a cup of granulated sugar if you’re going the can route.


My staple breakfast for the last two years or so has been Oatmeal. I go with a half of a cup of whole grain oats, topped with cinnamon, ¼ banana and a dash of unsweetened almond milk. It’s only about 175 calories or so, but because it’s loaded with dietary fiber, protein and carbohydrates, it keeps me feeling full to my mid-morning snack. Whatever your choice is, steel cut, instant or old fashioned; just remember to avoid the flavored varieties. Again, loaded with sugar.

Shakeology_Pour1And last, but certainly not least, I have to mention Shakeology. Although I do not use Shakeology as breakfast (countless people do), I prefer my Shakeology as a lunch. We like to think of Shakeology as “The Healthiest Meal of the Day.” But what is it really? In short, it’s my daily dose of dense nutrition. Cheesy line? Perhaps. But there’s no way to describe it better than that. It’s a meal replacement shake that contains over 70 All Natural ingredients from all over the world. It’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, super-foods and pre & pro-biotics. Get all of that? Let me add some more for you, here’s just a partial list of some of the 70 ingredients…..Spirulina, Chlorella, Spinach Powder, Wheat Grass, Acai powder, pomegranate powder, maca root, gogi berry powder, chia seed, maca root, sacha inchi, flax seed, prebiotic, quinoa, prebiotic blend and many more healthy ingredients. Oh and I forgot to add one more important note; Shakeology is now CLINICALLY PROVEN to yield statistically significant reductions in weight, cholesterol, and HbA1c (index for average blood sugar) among participants.

Enough of all of the technical jargon, everyday people want to know about Shakeology in laymen’s terms. Well, I’ve been using this every day for the past two plus years as my lunch and it has helped me lose (and maintain) 50 pounds, it gave me more energy, has helped me reduce my junk food cravings and has lowered my cholesterol. The best part, it takes about a minute to make and it’s cheaper than a breakfast sandwich & coffee or a typical lunch; needless to say, it’s leaps and bounds healthier & it’s DELICIOUS!

And Beachbody is so confident in Shakeology, that they offer a “Bottom of the Bag Guarantee” for anyone who isn’t completely satisfied. You can send it back for a refund, even if you used the entire bag. Do you think you can get that guarantee from your “protein” shake? With this type of guarantee in place, there really is no reason why someone wouldn’t want to give it a try and see what Shakeology can do for their health.


Are You Sabotaging Your Weight Loss?

mom1By show of hands, how many of you have had your mom say, “You need to eat your Breakfast, it’s the MOST important meal of the day”? Over and over, day after day. I bet there are quite a few of us that can just raise our hands now.

In my lifetime, I don’t think there is another snack or meal that I look more forward to eating than breakfast. There’s something special about waking up, breaking that fast of sleeping and nourishing your body with good fuel; especially if it’s a tasty meal. I mean that’s what Breakfast literally means. You are “Breaking” the “Fast” of not eating while you slept overnight; hopefully in a healthy way.

But we know way too many people are skipping breakfast for several reasons. Quite frankly, the majority of people that I have and continue to coach overwhelmingly state that they skip breakfast in an attempt to lose weight. This is a big no no and it’s so counterproductive that it may actually be better to eat a McDonald’s Big Breakfast in lieu of skipping it entirely. NO, Not really, so don’t go out and get one. Seriously though, skipping breakfast has been linked to WEIGHT GAIN and it could be sabotaging your weight loss goals. How can this be possible you ask? Maybe you didn’t ask but I’ll still tell you.

egg burrito

Egg White Breakfast Burrito

Studies show that people skipping breakfast tend to eat more food during their next meal and consume higher calorie snacks in attempt to stave off hunger. Plus, studies have shown that people are more likely to have less body fat by eating several (5-6) smaller meals/snacks throughout the day as opposed to 1-2 gigantic meals, even though the caloric intake is identical.

Consider this too, eating a proper nutritious breakfast allows you to have more energy and performance for the rest of your day. Remember, you just woke up from sleeping and unless you’re a sleepwalker raiding the fridge, you most likely didn’t eat for the last 10-12 hours or so. Now you’re going to skip breakfast and add a few more hours and deprive your body what it needs? You wouldn’t attempt to drive your car on empty for that amount of time, would you? Speaking of cars, don’t you find it hilarious that people will get the super duper high octane fuel for their vehicle and think nothing of throwing garbage down their throat?


So here are some key benefits for starting your day with a healthy breakfast:


*Increases metabolic rate (how fast you burn calories)

*Improved Concentration and Performance

*Increased strength and endurance for physical activity

*Lower Blood Pressure

*Promotes weight loss

*Keeps you from binging

*Fuels your body with nutrients, vitamins & minerals it needs


Looks like Mom was pretty spot on with this!


In my next entry, I will go over some great breakfast options to get your day started right.

Let food Be Your Medicine and Medicine Be Your Food.

Nutrition is our second side of the Success Triangle but by no means does nutrition take a back seat to anyone. You’ve probably heard all of the quotes about a healthy lifestyle. “80% Nutrition 20% Fitness”, “You can’t outwork a bad diet”, “Be smart, Eat Smart”. Optimal Nutrition is nothing new or just trendy. In eat healthyfact, good nutrition was a priority way back when before Christ. Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” Having a poor diet considerably increases your risk for four of the leading causes of death in the United States; Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke and Diabetes. All four of these are directly related to the way we consume food. It’s easy to see that having a diet with poor nutrition could be deadly. Conversely, a diet with proper nutrition is the foundation of favorable health.

Balance, Variety and Moderation are the fundamentals in proper nutrition.

Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats are the three components of nutrition and must be balanced properly to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

We must not forget the importance of Vitamins & Minerals to our nutrition. Thus, having some Variety within your diet is essential as no one food or food group has it all.10492430_10152345768929209_6895766416809414554_n

Moderation is a vital fundamental that often presents the most problem to many of us. Quite frankly, most of us are eating far more calories than our bodies actually need. Caloric needs are unique to each individual person based on several factors; Age, Gender, Body Size and Activity level.

Here’s an eye opener for you to chew on so to speak. Just last week, I conducted a 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge Group on Facebook. Our group was advised to eat clean for five straight days and not to stray from the principles of Clean Eating. So what exactly is Clean Eating? Basically we focused on eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins. We eliminated all junk food, including processed food and trans fat along with some other tweaks.

10470215_10152095037911582_236692043484123968_nWhat we saw was pretty impressive; all of our participants that followed the plan lost weight, lost inches and improved the way they felt. The range of pounds lost was 4-12 pounds. YUP! One person lost an astounding 12 pounds in just 5 days. He didn’t starve himself, he didn’t take some detox juice several times a day. He just changed his nutrition and imposed his will over his mind. Can you imagine what someone can do if they alter their thinking about food and combine that with a fitness routine? If we, as a society would be willing to make some simple changes on a daily basis, we might be able to reverse the obesity epidemic and live longer, healthier lives.

I’ll be running another 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge Group soon. If you want to join this Free, gateway to better nutrition challenge get in touch with me ASAP. These spots fill up rather quickly.You can connect with me on Facebook; send me a friend request and message; I’d love to hear about your fitness goals and current nutrition.testimony

Why You Need The Success Triangle

Let’s take a look at the first side of the Fitness Success Triangle, Fitness. What really is Fitness? The dictionary defines fitness as the capability of the body of distributing inhaled oxygen to muscle tissue during increased physical effort. With that said, we can pretty much characterize any movement that requires a little more exertion to our life as Fitness. Technically yes, but not so much. Getting up from the couch during a commercial to get more chips is not Fitness. Although you probably exerted yourself during the process. That’s certainly not going to cut it whatsoever if you are truly serious about getting your health, body and mind back in balance.

Fitness Programs for every level; from beginner to advanced.

Fitness Programs for every level; from beginner to advanced.

Every adult should be exercising at least two and half hours per work and for even greater results, double that number to five hours per week. If you break these numbers down for the entire week, it’s really not much to fit that in to your schedule. We’re talking about 22-44 minutes per day to maintain a healthier you. Did you know that a 30 minute workout is just 2% of your day? I know, everyone’s favorite excuse why they can’t exercise is that “I have no time”. I may have bought that excuse years ago when the trend for exercise was to get to a gym for two hours a day and I didn’t even add the commute time, changing time or the waiting for a machine time. That’s kind of ridiculous in my opinion. Those days are long gone my friend. While there are many competitive bodybuilders and weightlifters who train for hours at a time, for the majority of us, it’s not necessary.20130728-173125

Luckily for you, me and many more average people, Team Beachbody has been producing some of the most successful and popular workouts. Their workouts range from 10 to 60 minutes per day! Beachbody has a fitness program designed for everyone, from the absolute beginner to the most elite professional athlete. Yes, even athletes are using their workouts. Do you know why? Because Team Beachbody fitness programs produce RESULTS.

Do 95% of Dieters Fail?

If you Google what percent of dieters will fail, you will get over two and half million results in less than 0.32 seconds. Yeah I know, Google is amazing. The majority of these pages come to one number; 95%. Yup, there’s a 95% chance that you & I and everyone else we know will ultimately flop on our quest to beat the battle of the bulge. So why don’t we just sit here and sulk over a box of Entenmann’s Chocolate Frosted Donuts (amazing)?fad-dieting

Well, for starters, that 95% number that has been spewed all over the world via the web may or may NOT be accurate. It actually may be higher than 95% or it could be much lower. Quite honestly, no one realistically knows for sure. Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in statistics, whether it’s the Yankees’ batting averages, my kill/death ratio in Call of Duty or scientific research. There’s a reason why I’m a little skeptical about this 95% number though. There was a scientific study that lead the entire world to the conclusion that dieting is pointless and hopeless. However, this study was taken in 1959 by Drs. Albert Stunkard and Mavis McLaren-Hume; which 95 of 100 participants failed.

So while no one truly knows what the percent may or may not be, we’ll have to read about how once we gain weight we are doomed for an upward trajectory towards obesity. Makes you want to throw in the towel and just give up, right? Not so fast. There are numerous SUCCESS stories of people losing weight and regaining their health. Personally, I started my fitness journey back in 2012 and now today I’m down 40-45 pounds. My weight fluctuates a few pounds from week to week. I also have many friends and colleagues who have comparable or even greater results than me. My point is this, if I lined up 10 people, I believe that at least 5-6 of them were losing weight and feeling healthy. In essence, a 60% SUCCESS rate. What about the other 4? Let’s just say they haven’t committed just yet, it doesn’t mean they have failed.street signs

How about you and the people that you know? Think about ten people that are or have worked towards a healthier lifestyle. Let us know if you believe in this grim 95% rate or are you more optimistic that we can conquer this epidemic?

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My Why (part 10)

This is part ten of my inspirational story of determination and perseverence. Please scroll all the way to the bottom of the blog to start from the beginning. Each part has an approximate reading time of two-three minutes. Also, Please Like my Fan page  ————————————>

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Hockey People are Truly Genuine

One of the most important aspects for me to overcome this Stroke was having tremendous external support. This is primarily true for anyone trying to overcome an obstacle in his or her life.  This is a perfect segue for this post; I must recognize the many people who have given me that much needed support. Of course, it’s impossible to mention everyone here and now, there were so many. Please accept my apology now if your name isn’t here. Just know, that without your help I wouldn’t have been able to beat the odds.

Many people know of him, but few truly know who he really is. This person was a tremendous part of my recovery in so many ways. His name is Lou Lamoriello, President and General Manager of the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League (NHL).

The fans on the outside only know Lou as a hard-nosed “Boss”.  There’s no doubt, Lou is the boss, and he doesn’t hide that fact at all; nor should he. However, Lou is one of the most generous and caring people that I know.  Lou made sure that I was well taken care of at both Hackensack University Medical center and Kessler Rehabilitation Center. It’s not just about making a few phone calls and arranging urgent responses. It’s more about him making time to visit. It’s about him giving me a few calls to see how I was doing, offering some motivational conversation. Those little things add up just as much as the tangible assistance.


Three Stanley Cups showcased outside Lou Lamoriello’s office, Prudential Center.

Lou finds the time for people. Just a half hour before game one of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Betsy and myself were inside Lou’s office chatting away. He gave me twenty minutes of his time to make sure I was doing all right. Most people wouldn’t have bothered, especially at that time; but not Lou, he’s “The Boss”.

Athletes and celebrities do things all the time for people in need, but their public relations team markets most of these gestures. They need or want proper credit for their good deed. Lou is the polar opposite. He doesn’t want anyone to know whatsoever. He’s not doing it for a pat on the back or good press. Lou does these things because he’s a genuine person with compassion. We’ll never know how many other people Lou has helped in need. Certainly I’m not the first, nor will I be the last.

Of course I had fabulous support from my family. My mother was there for me every step of the way. I’m sure it was extremely difficult for her to go through this. To this day, my mom gives me tremendous support and care. Love you Mom.

I’ve already mentioned some of my friends that were there from the beginning. But there were so many others that overwhelmed me with their comforting encouragement even to this day.  Friends like, Anthony Pasculli, Matt Miller, Dan LoBue, Tim Miller, Danny & Chris Percella, Scott Hochstadter, John Petrosino, Nick Manente, Ed Lepre, Theresa Miller….Undoubtedly, I’ve missed a few and I’m truly sorry for this.

IMG_0292Last but certainly not least, I need to mention the person who came into my life and picked me up from the depths. Betsy Rivera, my beautiful girlfriend and soul mate has been nothing less than marvelous. Betsy has taught me to evolve into a better person in so many ways. I’m truly blessed to have her in my life.

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