ON THE SIDELINES:  My top eight sports movies list

by Jun 3, 2015SPORTS di-ne-lv-di-yi0 comments





High school sports are finished for the school year and football is still about 80 days away, so what’s left?  Well, summer is a great time to watch movies.  So, in this week’s column, I’m going to list my top eight sports movies of all time.  Why only eight?  Well, a top 10 list is just too cliché’ for me.

My list, in no particular order because I love them all, is as follows:

  1. The Natural (1986) stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, the greatest baseball player ever. Together with his homemade bat named Wonderboy, Hobbs attacks the league as an aging player with a tragic backstory.  Even people who say they absolutely hate America’s game will love this movie.
  2. Hoosiers (1984) stars Gene Hackman as Coach Norman Dale, an aging basketball coach who is the given the assignment to turn around a team in nowhere Hickory, Indiana. If you’ve ever been to a basketball game in the state of Indiana, you’ll see just how accurate this movie is.  If you don’t shed a tear at some point in this one, check your pulse.
  3. Rocky (1976) stars Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, an aging (is there a trend here?) boxer who just needs a break. And, he gets it!  The training scenes alone in this classic make it worth a view, but the fighting scenes are better.  The score is unreal.  The acting is real.  Plus, if you watch it, you might find out why us sports guys always yell, “Adrian!”
  4. Field of Dreams (1989) stars Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella, a father looking for life and himself on his farm in Iowa. The movie has more than its fair share of goosebump moments, but it also has some really nice baseball moments.  If you watch it, you will like.
  5. Breaking Away (1979) stars Dennis Quaid, Dennis Christopher, Daniel Stern and Jackie Earl Haley as four friends trying to make it in an Indian suburb. A bicycle race, the Little 500 at Indiana University, gives the friends a chance to show the people of the town and their rivals that they aren’t quitters.
  6. American Flyers (1985) stars Kevin Costner and David Marshall Grant as the Sommers brothers. Ok, this one is quite different (cheesier) than the rest, but I like it.  This movie, centered around cycling, is really the story of family turmoil and strength.  In training for a big race, the Hell of the West, the brothers must conquer mountains and their fears.
  7. Seabiscuit (2003) stars Tobey Maguire as Red Pollard, a Depression-era horse jockey looking for a fresh start and a break. Seabiscuit, the little horse, was a huge underdog in many races, and that is the perfect backdrop for a good sports movie.
  8. Bull Durham (1988) stars Kevin Costner as “Crash” Davis, an aging minor-league baseball star who doesn’t want to be known as a minor-league baseball star. It is his job to get rookie sensation “Nuke” LaLoosh, played by a young Tim Robbins, ready for the show (the big leagues).  Along the way, Davis searches for himself and a game that he loves.


“I feel that whatever they ask me to do, I can do,” said Peyton Manning, Broncos quarterback, told ESPN.  “I love being coached.  I get angry when I’m not coached.  I ask a lot of questions and certainly appreciate any insights and feedback.”