The "Quarantine Scenes" have created great debate over what sports films are the greatest of all time.
So, I present to you Tanguay’s Top Ten Sports Films ... Ever!
10) Any Given Sunday
I’ve never watched the whole thing, but the pre-game speech by Al Pacino puts it in my top 10 whether the rest of the film sucks or not.
9) The Blind Side
I have been very public about my life-long crush on Sandra Bullock. A true story about how a loving family and sports gives a young Michael Oher a chance at a better life and an eight-year NFL career. Oher wasn’t happy after seeing the movie stating that he was a much happier person than his character in the film. This bums me out but does not take away from the theme of how sports can change one’s life for the better.
8) Bull Durham
Ron Shelton’s view of the minor leagues should be on everyone’s top 10 list. “Just throw it at the bull,” lollygaggers and Robert Wuhl’s wedding gift candlestick line during the infamous mound visit are all cinematic gold.
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7) Remember the Titans
Best entrance by a team other than the 2001 Patriots at the Super Bowl. “We are the Titans. The Mighty Mighty Titans ...” Feel free to sing along. Great halftime speech, not by a coach, but by a player. “This team is perfect,” Julius Campbell played by Wood Harris.
6) Friday Night Lights
My family loves the TV series as they have watched it over and over again. Me, I’ll take the film over the series. I prefer Billy Bob Thornton’s more vulnerable Coach Gary Gaines over Kyle Chandler’s more muscular version in the series. Please note, I am a huge Kyle Chandler fan by the way. Loved Bloodline.
I loved the end when Tim McGraw hugged his son, Don, in the endzone even though he was stoned at the goal line. No title for the kid, but he did earn his father’s respect. Question: were there any ugly people in Dillon, Texas?
5) Jerry McGuire
Every time I go out to lunch with my boss in a restaurant, I get really nervous. He is Mr. Top Gun and Ethan what’s his face from Mission Impossible, but this is Cruise’s best performance, hands down. I expected more from Cuba Gooding Jr. after the fact. Snow Dogs? Yeesh.
Due to the lack of ring time, my son feels the first Rocky is boring. However, I view this as a positive as it allows us to focus more on these amazing characters. Rocky, Paulie, Adrian, Apollo and of course, Mickey are some of the greatest roles in not only the history of sports cinema, but cinema period.
Note: Rocky preaching world peace with a Gorbachev stand in Rocky IV is cringe-worthy. Though it started a beautiful friendship between Stallone and Dolph Lundgren who then reunited in the Expendables.
3) The Rookie
This is the first of two in my top 10 from producer Mark Ciardi. (Full disclosure, he also produced Chappaquiddick.) This is a true story of high school baseball coach Jimmy Morris making a later in life run in the major leagues. Admit it; every time you watch this you think to yourself, “Maybe it’s not too late.” Trust me, it is.
2) Field of Dreams
Yes, this is a sports movie! “It’s baseball, Ray.” What an oration by James Earl Jones. It represents sports' most vital purpose, to provide a bond between not just father and son but with each other.
Who doesn’t feel the absence of that bond now? My wife walked into the room when we were first married and wanted to know what was wrong with me. I was crying after watching Kevin Costner asked his father, “Hey, Dad. You want to have a catch?”
I love this freaking movie and could watch it a thousand more times. Of course, Herb’s speech by Kurt Russel is flawless!
“If we played them ten times, they might win nine. But, not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them, tonight we stay with them and we shut them down BECAUSE WE CAN! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world.”
However, the line below is what makes this my number one.
“Mike Eruzione, Winthrop Massachusetts. I play for the United States of America.”
I challenge you to find a better movie line than that!
That’s my top 10. What’s yours?