Patriots

Gary Tanguay: Here are my top 10 sports movies of all time

Gary Tanguay: Here are my top 10 sports movies of all time

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.

4) Rocky

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?”

1) Miracle

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?

Raiders QB Derek Carr to face Patriots early in what could be bounce-back season

Raiders QB Derek Carr to face Patriots early in what could be bounce-back season

Editor’s note: In the coming weeks our Patriots insiders will be speaking with beat writers from around the NFL to get an outside view on what the future holds for the Patriots. Today’s team: The Las Vegas Raiders with Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area.

The Las Vegas Raiders reportedly were among the teams with some level of interest in signing Tom Brady in NFL free agency, but the Silver and Black ultimately decided to stick with Derek Carr as its starting quarterback.

Carr shouldn't be too comfortable, though.

Despite making the most of a tough situation in 2019 during which the Raiders lacked skill and depth at many offensive positions, Carr's job doesn't appear to be safe. For example, the Raiders signed veteran quarterback Marcus Mariota in free agency, and he has several seasons of starting experience.

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NBC Sports Bay Area's Raiders insider Scott Bair recently spoke to our Patriots insider Phil Perry, and one of the topics centered around Carr's future and if he can once again perform at the level of a top-tier quarterback.

"Actions speak louder than words, and (head coach) Jon Gruden and (general manager) Mike Mayock at the combine and all these different places, they say the right things -- Derek Carr is their guy," Bair said. "But then, they're constantly flirting with Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins, and they sign Marcus Mariota to a deal that could evolve into paying him starter money should he take over that job. Those actions don't say (Carr is their guy).

"I've seen every professional snap that Derek Carr has ever taken. I've seen every practice rep that I've been allowed to see, and I may be in the minority, but this is a guy I believe can be an upper-tier NFL quarterback. He can make every throw, and if you go back to 2016 when he had a loaded offensive line and lots of good skill players, he finished third in MVP voting despite the fact he broke his leg in Week 16. I know that's in there. Now, Raiders fans don't believe me, the national media doesn't believe me, but I think the stage is set for him to have a career year and find that 2016 form yet again, that most fans think is lost forever."

One defense Carr will go up against in 2020 is the New England Patriots.

The Raiders are scheduled to visit Gillette Stadium on Sept. 27 for a Week 3 matchup, and they currently are underdogs by almost a touchdown, according to oddsmakers. Bair thinks the matchup is closer than the betting lines would suggest.

"I would definitely hammer the Raiders pretty hard right there," Bair said. "I just think they're going to have a lot of explosive firepower, and when there's uncertainty at quarterback, (the more explosive team) seems to be a safer bet. Maybe you know better than I do exactly how (the Patriots') quarterback situation is shaping up, but if there are major questions marks there, I would go with the more established quarterback, the more established offense. Again, (the Raiders) are going to be able to score in bunches, and I think they're going to be pretty excited to come to Foxboro and finally get a win, even if Brady isn't there."

The Raiders and Patriots both face a bit of uncertainty at quarterback entering the 2020 season, and whichever coach is able to surround his young QB with the best system and the right talent will put his team in a strong position to reach the playoffs. The Patriots haven't missed the postseason since 2008, while the Raiders have made only one appearance since 2002.

If Brian Hoyer starts for Patriots in Week 1, that's absolutely crazy

If Brian Hoyer starts for Patriots in Week 1, that's absolutely crazy

Rob Ninkovich sounded drunkovich when he spoke of Brian Hoyer starting Week 1 for the Patriots.

Get that man a breathalyzer. Stat.

And if Nink turns out to be right, get Bill Belichick one too. 

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I have said this before — and I will say it again: I will not watch one down of Brian Hoyer under center for the Patriots.

And you shouldn’t either!

Don’t be a sucker. Really, you’re going to waste your time watching a guy who has started 25 games in 11 seasons in the NFL?

He may be a nice guy, good at carrying a clipboard and ridding Tom Brady of his insecurities, but he is a lousy quarterback. Patriot fans deserve better.

Going from Tom Brady to Brian Hoyer is cold turkey to the extreme. I can feel the cotton mouth, cold sweats and shakes coming on already. 

Does Bill Belichick expect you to accept Brian Hoyer as a starter? If he does, it should piss you off. 

If Hoyer does get the call you can still watch some of the game. I plan to. When the Patriots are on offense I will switch to the other game or Red Zone, and when I see on my phone that the Pats are back on defense, I will switch back over and watch Gilmore, Hightower and the McCourtys do their thing. 

That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.