Sport films. I have to admit I’m not the biggest fan – I don’t particularly like watching sports, and movies about them don’t tend to interest me either. In grad school, I did a rhetorical analysis of prayers in sports films, so I watched every sports film available at the time. The paper ended up yielding some pretty interesting results, although I was subjected to a number of sports movies I never would’ve seen otherwise. Like, say, Bloodsport.
I’m also going with my favorites rather than what is traditionally considered to be best, such as Raging Bull – which I detest, and Hoosiers – which I appreciate.
#3: Rudy. Do sports movie get more shamelessly manipulative than this? Of course not, but who cares? Pure winningly, over-the-top, against the odds inspiration. Could that kid possibly have any more odds stacked against him? Chant it with me: Rudy! Rudy!
#2: Field of Dreams. Okay, so yeah, the baseball is played by ghosts. In a field of corn. And perhaps the film is less about sports and more about the grandeur of the American spirit. And about how the best teams are not only in baseball but in marriage. The film is still magic, even 20+ years later.
#1: A League of Their Own. I have to admit, this film is holds a special place in my heart and memory. I worked at a movie theater when League came out in 1992 and the song from the film – “This Used to Be Our Playground” – became our anthem. Like Field of Dreams, League is another film that’s less about sports and more about camaraderie and loyalty. Whatever it may or may not be, it’s engaging and heartwarming. Plus, it provided the best movie quote line ever: “There’s no crying in baseball!”