Back to One: Sprots Movies

If you film it, they will come...

Between the Tour De France and now The Olympics – I’ve got sprots on the brain. Most people like sports because of the unpredictability of the outcome. Anyone can win and anyone can lose and there’s always a lot of drama to get to that end. In sports movies, on the other hand, the outcome is usually totally predictable – our hero usually wins, but it’s the story of how our hero wins that brings us to the show.

I think I may have mentioned it before, but I love John Sayle’s ode to baseball, Eight Men Out. It’s about the Chicago “Black” Sox scandal to throw the 1919 World Series. The cast is amazing – John Cusack, Charlie Sheen(back when he had promise), David Strathairn, Michael Rooker and John Mahoney, just to name a few. The film is not your usual take on the glory of sportsmanship and athletic prowess. It offers a window into the seedier side of the game – cheap team owners and sports betters that are only into our nation’s favorite past time for the money they can make off of it.

Another of my favorite sports films is The Cutting Edge. The story is set against the backdrop of the 1992 winter Olympics as hockey player, D.B. Sweeney(who is also in Eight Men Out) ends up becoming the partner to a very domineering figure skater, Moira Kelly. It borders on being a rom com, but ultimately is a drama about the pressures of having to perform as an athlete and the toll it can take a person’s psyche.

And, lastly, my most favorite of all sports films – Dodgeball. This is a true sports story where the underdog succeeds against all odds due to pure grit and determination in a sport that wasn’t even considered a true sport until this movie came out. Vince Vaughn assembles a group of societies misfits into a top notch dodgeball team that includes a very young Justin Long, Jason Bateman, Stephen Root and Alan Tudyk as Steve the pirate. It’s silly and goofy in all of the best ways and is the absolute pinnacle of sports movies. No one can tell me otherwise.

Say it ain’t so, Joe


If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.

What stories about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat do you love, Deadsplintalorians? As always – thanks for your support and stopping by.

The answer to last weeks poll is none other than D) Ol “Sugartits” himself – Mel Gibson – and no we never used that word on the board. I actually had a lot of fun with him when I worked on The Patriot. He was sober then and his wife had just had their ten thousandth child.

This week’s poll:

Which female actress was I warned about being horrible, but ended up being quite nice and a lot of fun?
16 votes · 16 answers


  1. My favorite sports movie? Breaking Away

    • I need to rewatch this now that I’ve gotten into cycling. 

  2. The Pride of the Yankees, of course. Excuse me now while I go sob in a corner. Sweet Lou.

  3. …hmmm…as a self-confessed sports heathen I really didn’t think I’d have anything…but if dodgeball counts…I quite enjoyed the goon?

    …& I, tonya…now that I think about it…although…I may be sensing a pattern here

  4. If you consider golf a sport, Caddyshack.  One on One was my favorite when I was a little kid.  I probably need to re-watch that one and see how it aged but seems like it might have aged ok.    Is the Big Lebowski a bowling movie?  if not, Kingpin was a great movie.

    • Dammit, I was going to say Caddyshack.

      No, golf is not a sport.  It’s a game.

      • I have that argument w/ my bro in law all the time.  He says sport & I say not.  

      • Neither is sailing. Most especially not the Larry Ellison-hijacked America’s Cup.

    • I just watched big lebowski for the first time but only because I was trying to knit that style of sweater. Wearable BTW, but could be better.

    • Space Jam and The Mighty Ducks. Can you tell I’m not into sprots? Does F1 count? I really enjoyed Rush.

      • Rush was really good.

  5. i just watched the whole olympics….

    anyways…the replacements is my forever favourite sprots movie
    tho..there is a pretty good footie one starring vinnie jones and jason statham that ive currently forgotten the name of

    • oh wait…i forgot shaolin soccer

      that was hilarious

      • …damn…how could I forget that

    • i remembered it!
      ( i googled jones n statham)
      its this one

  6. I own copies of the following:

    The Cutting Edge

    Remember the Titans


    Field of Dreams

  7. I knew someone who had a small role in White Men Can’t Jump, and he said Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson were both good actors but they were not basketball players at all. Which I gather is pretty much standard for movies regardless of the sport.

    • I loved that movie too.

    • Certainly true of Gina Davis in A League of Their Own (oh, I also have a copy of that movie).  She was profiled this past week on CBS Sunday Morning and she talked about how she had never played baseball in her life and then had this role where she had to be the best player anyone had ever seen.

      • BTW:  Dottie Hinson dropped the ball on purpose, and she shouldn’t have.

  8. I just rewatched “Talladega Nights” and laughed a ton at it so I’ll throw that out, even if I’m not entirely sure car racin’ is a sport, per se. I tend to prefer my sports movies to have some laughs, so I’m more “Major League” and “The Sandlot” than “Remember the Titans.” or “Miracle.” Most of those big, inspirational movies don’t make me want to run through a brick wall.

    The “Rocky” series is great. 1 and 2 are certified Good Movies; 3 is kinda goofy, 4 is if cocaine came to life and made a movie about itself, so it’s incredible. Sadly due to Slyvester Stallone’s disappearance in 1986, that’s where the franchise ended and no more were made until “Creed” a few years ago.

    • You forgot “Rocky Balboa,” which is one of the top 2-3 in the whole franchise.  Unless you include “Creed.”

      • I’m willing to accept this answer, though my head canon is that Stallone didn’t reappear until “The Expendables.”

    • A previous boss loved to yell “If you’re not first, you’re last!!!” when we had a stupid project at work!

  9. “The Sandlot.”  “Cool Runnings.”  The documentary “Tyson” was mesmerizing in places.  “Hands of Stone” and “Bleed for This” are on my to-watch list.

    • Cool Runnings was a childhood fav of mine too.

    • Yes, Cool Runnings. Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time!

  10. “61*” wasn’t bad.  I also recommend “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” a documentary on the independent minor-league team owned by Kurt Russel’s father.

  11. “The Waterboy.” JUST KIDDING. Poor Kathy Bates.

    • Weirdly, that was one of my mom’s favorite movies. 

    • Honestly I love that stupid fucking movie!

      Especially Fairuza Balk’s character when he’s taking the GED exam and she holds up a sign saying “you want me to kill them?” 

  12. PS: I went with Katie Holmes because I’m thinking of her thought process:

    “So grateful to be around normal humans again who don’t want to give me fucking e-meter readings every five minutes. And the IVF I did to pump out Suri (do you think I chose that name?) was a nightmare, but pre-nup. To this day I couldn’t even tell you if Tom even has a dick; I’ve certainly never seen it. Gross. Could you do something with my lips? In those last rushes I saw they look a little, I don’t know, you know?”

  13. I don’t watch a lot anymore f sports movies but Eight Men Out was great, and Breaking Away that @bryanlsplinter already mentioned is one of my favorite movies in general.

  14. OH GOD, I had forgotten about Dodgeball. “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” 

    • At work, if someone says that they don’t know how to do something – I usually yell out “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!” Some get it, most don’t. 

      • I don’t think Rip Torn was really acting in that movie, but it works.

  15. Ditto Cool Runnings. I often think about Moira Kelly being so adamant about buttoning the top shirt button in The Cutting Edge (for the record, I prefer it unbuttoned). 
    For me, I loved Bad News Bears. And the documentaries Senna (though you could argue racing isn’t a sport) and 30 for 30’s The Two Escobars are both great.

    • I loved the Bad News Bears as a kid. I wanted to be on a baseball team so badly. 

      • Bad News Bears was so great.  The bases were loaded scene was all time classic.  

  16. No one likes Bull Durham?
    Okay then…
    Gladiator??!  No prohibitions on sports to the death.

  17. I really liked Ford v Ferrari when I saw it somewhat recently. 

    • That one was good too. I don’t care about racing as a sport, but I love racing movies. 

  18. Clerks – weren’t they playing hockey on the roof?  that counts, right?

    • Oh man, you just reminded me of Slapshot!  When I worked at MS, Ballmer brought in the Hanson bros for a celebrity hockey game they did for charity.  

      • Yep, this should have been my first pick. 

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