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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?