10. Varsity Blues
James Van Der Beek as a second string high school quarterback in football obsessed Texas. Jon Voight as the steroids pusher of Brian Mcnamee’s nightmares. Slow-mo tackles and strip club scenes ensue. Flat out fucking awesome. I give it 3 gold stars for being pretty badass, and making me wish I went to a high school with a crazy football program. I also give it a demerit for not having any hot actresses in starring roles. I mean, Amy Smart? Ali Larter? C’mon MTV Films. Step it up.
9. Glory Road
Made in the style of Remember the Titans, and featuring “Titans Spirit” as a trailer song. That’s really all I needed to see it opening night. An uplifting film about Don Haskins integrating the Texas Western NCAA basketball team, and eventually winning the championship against Kentucky with an all black starting lineup. Pretty sweet. I’m a sucker for “Titans Spirit”. Give it 2.5 Banana stickers for keeping me interested in Basketball before March Madness.
Disney’s Remember the Titans of Hockey. Tells the tale of the 1980 US Hockey team. Seriously, people used to think Hockey was awesome. Another reason it rocks? It’s about kicking Commie ass. Best part of the movie? When all the players are playing for themselves, not playing as a cohesive unit (good words, I know.) Kurt Russell makes them do drills all night. After being completely exhausted, Eruzione (played by Patrick O’Brien Demsey) yells out, “Mike Eruzione, Winthrop, Massachusetts!” Russell replies, “Who do you play for?” Eruzione, as the American badass he is, makes the team amazing by shouting, “I play for the United States of America!” Face it. If you don’t like that, you are seriously a dirty Red.
7. Little Giants
Rick Moranis. Ed O’Neill. Mid 90’s sports movie. Need I say more? Give it a 9 out of 10 for tiding me over till Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. Best straight to video release of 1997.
6. Rocky IV
Best line of 1985? Probably the one I would’ve taken off of Jamie Lee Curtis’ ass in the men’s room of Ice Palace. Next best? “I will crush you.” James Brown performs “Living in America”, Apollo Creed dies, Rocky hits up the Soviet Union for vengeance, and the greatest boxing match in the history of the world is featured as the climax of the film. Once again, America vs. Communism. By my count, that’s America 2, Stalin 0. Step it up, bud. I give it an A for kickass.
5. Major League
“JUUUUUUUUUUUUUST a bit outside!” Great film. Charlie Sheen as Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn+Tom Bergeron as Jake Taylor/Wesley Snipes as Willy Mays Hayes=Pure Sweetness. Sheen’s delivery as a pitcher is actually the best on screen delivery, as told in an interview with actual players. I read the interview in either Sports Illustrated, or ESPN: The Mag. I can’t remember which. It’s real though. 4 Golden Gloves.
4. D2: The Mighty Ducks
Probably the most controversial choice. The first started the series, culminating in an epic match up of the District 5 Ducks versus the Hawks. 2 is actually really similar to Miracle. A team is assembled, spanning the nation. All of the players depend on individual skill over teamwork, Gordon Bombay changes the uniform and gets them to “Quack!” like real champs, and they beat Iceland to win the Junior Olympics. One word describes this film. Knucklepuck. Scratch that. 3 words. Knucklepuck, Bash Brothers. Gets a Stanley Cup, or the 12 year old equivalent. Frankly, I don’t watch too much real hockey. Just the silverscreen version.
Holy. Shit. This movie is flat out, balls to the wall, awesome. Gene Hackman is a former NCAA Basketball coach who moves to Hickory, Indiana to coach the small town Huskers in the first basketball season since the death of their former coach. Hackman faces a town full of assdragons that try to kick him out, Chelcie Ross (who costarred as pitcher Eddie Harris in Major League) as a king douche, Dennis Hopper as a knowledgeable but drunk and crazy assistant coach, and a love interest who hates basketball. When Jimmy Chitwood demands to take the winning shot with 6 seconds left, floats it up at 2 seconds, and wins the state final, i almost crapped my pants. So good. Girls might like it too. Not sure why, just gave me that vibe. 2 thumbs up for possible make out action.
2. Brian’s Song
Only acceptable movie for a guy to cry in. Tells the true story of Brian Piccolo, a football player stricken with terminal cancer, and his friendship with Chicago Bears Hall of Fame runningback Gale Sayers. When Billy Dee Williams (portraying Sayers, but more well known as Land Calrissian) gives a speech about Piccolo, every person I know should probably be wiping tears from the eyes. Except my roommate Bill. He hates sports movies. He must be lying. If they made a Lance Armstrong movie, his gay ass would be all over that shit. I’ll give this one 3 of whatever the opposite of the Razzie’s is. Maybe an Oscar I guess.
1. Remember the Titans
LEFT SIDE! STRONG SIDE! I first saw this movie in 8th grade, when forced to watch it for some reason. I now own it, and watch it everytime it is on TBS, TNT, or ABC Family. All in all, about 3 viewings a month. Story of the TC Williams high school football team in Alexandria, Virginia in 1971. My boy Denzel steps in as head coach when the 2 segregated schools of the town integrate and form TC Williams. Washington is the hard ass coach who doesn’t see color, just sees talent. Will Patton is the former head coach who steps in as assistant head coach to make sure his boys play instead of quitting to show him their support. Patton and Washington work together to overcome racism, and bring the team to win the state title. When Gary Bertier is in the hospital, paralyzed from the waist down after his car accident, and Julius Jones comes in to help his newfound “brother”, my eyes fill up. To the brim. I’m not embarassed. I fucking love this movie. And Bertier. And Julius. Man. It’s good. I need a tissue. I give this one every award ever made in the history of man. Except a Grammy. Everyone knows those don’t mean anything.
Watch them. Learn them. Love them.