Sports movies have a special place in all of our hearts. Films such as the ones I will be ranking have made me cry, laugh, and be inspired to be the extremely mediocre athlete I once was. Today, I will be giving my undeniable Top 5 ranking of the best sports movies of all time. Again, this is 100% my opinion, but it is 100% correct.
5.We Are Marshall
Now here is a movie that I know not everyone is going to agree with me on. We Are Marshall is one of the toughest stories based on true events. After the Marshall football team’s plane crashed and 75 players, coaches, and boosters tragically died, the team was suddenly no more. There was no more football, no one wanted to think about the tragedy that had occurred, until Jack Lengyel arrived. Coach Lengyel wanted to bring this team back. To bring back a community so ingrained with the university and this team, and to show people that this pain will pass, but the men that were lost will never be forgotten.
This one pulled deep at me, because the loss was so great. Jack was able to bring this sport and this school together and while facing backlash, never backed down. This is another example of “bigger than sports”. Jack understood that, and although they went 2-8, they ended with the support of not only the Marshall community, but even competitors and those around them. One personal reason that I also am drawn to this is because one of my coaches in High School was on that 1971 team, I remember him talking about Marshall and always wearing his Thundering Herd shorts to practice. He was through and through a Marshall man and this story is something I will never forget.
This one may be controversial, but the film Glory Road combined everything a great sports movie needs; Sports, Brotherhood, and Struggle. I have never had to endure anything like the guys from Texas Western had to endure, from ignorant racism to constant oppression from their peers, these men were inspirations to the game of basketball. When new Head Coach Don Haskins brought black players such as Bobby Joe Hill and Harry Flourney to Texas to play basketball, it was a recipe for disaster. However, these men started a revolution and brought truth to everyones minds. Sports aren’t dictated by the color of ones skin, it’s about determination, strength, and character. These men fought for what they believed in, and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in sports history to win the NCAA championship in 1966.
If you don’t like the Italian Stallion you can just get out. Rocky is what I wanted to be growing up. A rough, tough, fighting machine that wouldn’t let anything bother him or knock him down. Sylvester Stallone’s incredible screenplay is still one of the biggest surprise box office smashes of all time. I mean, there’s a damn statue of him (Rocky not even Stallone) in Philly. Rocky was a boxer that just didn’t understand the word “can’t”. He took on the best fighter in the world in this film and in my opinion and everyone else’s, he won the fight. Fighting the superstar Apollo Creed, not a person believed in him except for Mick, Pauly (kinda), and Adrienne. RIP Mick. What an incredible movie and inspiration to never give up no matter what the odds, what the obstacles, and if you wanna see some low quality punches thrown with no one getting confused for real contact on the punches, this is the movie for you. Easy top 3 for me and always a joy to watch.
The Sandlot is a completely different film from the previous, but has a special place in my heart. I have seen this movie probably 100 times, and every time it is just as good as the last. If you haven’t seen this film, you’re essentially not American. Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez and the rest of the squad battle against the biggest monster in history. The Beast. After Scotty “Smalls” makes the genius idea to take his Step-Dad’s BABE RUTH SIGNED BASEBALL and play ball with it, the ball gets launched over Darth Vaders yard and the Beast takes it as his own. The boys try anything from a vacuum to hanging Squints as a human chew toy to get the ball back. Obviously not a true story and in all honesty, not even a great movie. To me, it’s an easy top 5 though. This movie got me interested in sports as a kid, and the appreciation I have for it goes beyond words.
1.Remember The Titans
Last but not least, my absolute favorite sports movie of all time, Remember The Titans. Another movie where race and eventual brotherhood are the centerpieces of the story. I don’t have enough time to write about this movie and you don’t have enough patience to read the capstone I could write on it, but it is a masterpiece. Denzel taking on the head coaching job of a town struggling with racial separation is a triumph in its own, but it just explodes from there. From making the white players sit on the bus and room with a black player, to making them struggle and fight as a team, I know I have overused this word in this post but it really is inspirational. Still the best part of this movie in my opinion is Denzels character telling Gary Bertier, played by Ryan Hurts, “who’s your daddy”. Classic. The T. C. Williams high school football team set the tone that they would not stand for the blindness people had when it came to acceptance of others. Having played football in as a kid and having the brotherhood that these guys shared, it really strikes a chord with you while watching. These guys fought for each other, even after the tragedy Gary suffers, his “brother” Julius, (i really struggled putting quotations because they were just as real brothers as it gets) was there for him when Gary needed him most. Go watch this film, let it crush your heart and warm it at the same time. My favorite sports film, easy.