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: