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?

Julian Edelman, DeSean Jackson make plans to 'educate one another'

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Julian Edelman, DeSean Jackson make plans to 'educate one another'

Maybe some good will actually come from DeSean Jackson's anti-Semitic Instagram posts after all.

It all started last weekend, when Jackson posted several pieces of content which were immediately criticized by the public, NFL, and the Eagles organization. 

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While Jackson later apologized for his posts, Edelman — who is Jewish — reached out to the Eagles wide receiver via Instagram because he saw "an opportunity to have a conversation." Edelman suggested the two players visit both the Holocaust Museum and Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., and then "have those uncomfortable situations."

Happily, it looks like Edelman's message was well received. Friday morning on social media, Edelman shared that the two wideouts are planning to "use our experiences to educate one another and grow together."

As Edelman said in his initial post to Jackson, "This world needs a little more love, compassion and empathy." And despite the ugly origins of this story, the two players can hopefully turn that around into a positive result.

NFL Rumors: Patriots would be perfect landing spot for TE David Njoku

NFL Rumors: Patriots would be perfect landing spot for TE David Njoku

Now may not be the best time for the Patriots to be wheeling and dealing, shopping and swapping.

They remain tight to the salary cap (a little more than $1.2M in cap space according to Pats cap expert Miguel Benzan), the number of players who’ll actually be allowed in training camp remains in flux, the NFL is pilfering one of their third-round picks for the videotaping silliness last season … there are just a lot of moving parts right now.

Still, Browns’ tight end David Njoku? That’s an enticing player at a position of need.

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And he’s sitting right there giving the Patriots a chance to take a mulligan on a spot they ignored in the draft for almost a decade.

Njoku, who turns 24 today (July 10) was a first-round pick in 2017, a year when the Patriots should have been drafting a tight end but took Derek Rivers, Antonio Garcia, Deatrich Wise and Conor McDermott.

Last weekend, Njoku’s agent Drew Rosenhaus let it be known Njoku wants out. That stance probably has something to do with the Browns signing Austin Hooper in free agency but it was also reported Njoku’s been unhappy there for a while.

As enthused as we all got over the Patriots finally drafting tight ends Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene in April, Njoku is barely a year older than Asiasi, who turns 23 next month. And Njoku’s already spent three years in the league with 32 catches for 386 yards as a rookie and 56 for 630 in 2018.

Last year, he played in just four games because of a wrist injury — two in September and two in December.

The Browns picked up his fifth-year option in April, meaning they have committed to him in 2021 for about $6M. Njoku’s 2020 base salary is $1.76M which is the cap hit that would travel with him for this season if he were traded.

The Browns, according to longtime Cleveland.com beat writer Mary Kay Cabot, were still very committed to Njoku when they picked up the option in April.

“(Browns GM Andrew) Berry effectively eliminated that uncertainty (over Njoku’s future role) when he stressed that the tight end was an integral part of the team’s future even though they drafted Harrison Bryant in the fourth round out of Florida Atlantic and signed Austin Hooper to a blockbuster, four-year, $42 million free-agent deal that made him the NFL’s highest-paid tight end at $10.5 million a year.

"To David in particular, our perspective remains the same,'' Berry said. "I have been pretty consistent this offseason in terms of we still have a ton of belief in David. He is very talented.

"Obviously, he was not on the field much last year, but he is a guy with outstanding physical tools, he has proven NFL production and we still think the future is very bright with him here. David has always been and continues to be in our plans, and we are going to continue to add competition all across the roster.”

Njoku, who missed 10 games last season with a broken wrist that required surgery, returned late in the year only to be a healthy scratch for two of the last four games after Freddie Kitchens lost faith in him. In four games, he caught five passes for 41 yards and one touchdown. But the Browns believe that Njoku, 23, still has plenty of upside and will be a big playmaker in Kevin Stefanski’s tight-end-friendly offense, which most often utilizes two tight ends and sometimes three.

The Patriots weren’t able to provide a capable tight end option for Tom Brady in his lone post-Gronk season with the team. And they didn’t do anything of consequence to plan for that period either. But even before signing Cam Newton, the team realized how deficient they were at the position and grabbed Keene and Asiasi.

As committed as the Browns GM sounded in April, there’s no doubt the asking price for Njoku right now will be high. Probably too high for any team to spend on a guy with just this year and next at $6M left on his deal.

But, like Tampa Bay tight end O.J. Howard, Njoku is now a former first-rounder who feels like he’s soon to be on his way out of his present situation.

Despite the drafting of Keene and Asiasi, tight end is a position that shouldn’t be seen as sewn up. It’s going to be critical to the success of a Newton-led offense and the Patriots can make up for lost time if they can convince Cleveland to cough Njoku up.