The Greatest Sports Movies, Ever (IMHO)

We all love sports movies! Whether you like a good underdog story or want to see behind the scenes of how a big time powerhouse keeps kicking butt, you can find it in a sports movie. Over the years I have discovered that no matter how I am feeling I can find a sports movie that picks me up.

Here are the ones you have to add to your Netflix or whatever streaming platform (and remember, some of these are not kid friendly so be sure you screen before you sit down with the kids!).

  1. Bull Durham. The greatest baseball one liner movie of all time. Some of the quotes are dated so you have to insert flight attendant where Crash says stewardess but the joke is still funny. Don’t think, you can only hurt the ball club!
  2. Dodgeball. One of the funniest movies ever, no matter the genre. When you have the underdog versus the evil empire you are already on your way but when yoy add lines like “If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball!” what more do you need!
  3. A League of Their Own. If you are involved in softball, you probablyalready love this all time great. Kit is a whiner and Dottie drops the ball on purpose. but the backstory is so powerful you forgive these characters from being annoying. Add in the history and participation of some of the former AAGPBL players and you can’t go wrong!
  4. Major League. Wild Thang, you make my heart sing! I was lucky enough to live in Milwaukee when they used old County Stadium to film this movie so when you see the big walk-off scene where Willie Mays Hayes scores on the bunt, and run I am visible in the background as an extra. The second best one liner baseball movie of all time.
  5. Hoosiers. Based on a true story of a tiny rural Indiana high school winning a state title we get to meet Coach Norman Dale and his Hickory team live, learn and grow into a force by the end of the season. We get a true underdog story with a bunch of twists along the way. Any movie that boasts having Dennis Hopper player a former star, now town drunk, has to be good.
  6. The Karate Kid. The real one with Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio, is an all time classic. Mr. Myagi is one of the greatest coaches of all time who shows us that there are many ways to teach someone how the excel at a sport. Wax on, wax off? Pure gold!
  7. Remember the Titans. Okay, so most of what happens in the movie is fabricated and loosely based on the facts surrounding the integration of T.C Williams High school and their Coach Herman Boone. Denzel Washington being Denzel is all this movie needs and he delivers. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that you get Will Patton delivering the “Make sure they remember the night they played the Titans” line. Classic!
  8. Rocky. Probably the most influential sports movie ever. Created the underdog story can’t fail attitude that created many movies to follow. Rocky rises from nowhere to challenge the greatest fight of his time. Apollo Creed winning the split decision gives this movie a great more credibility than if he had won the title. Started a franchise that spawned a bunch of sequels, some good and some not.
  9. The Sandlot. The classic coming-of-age baseball movie that will be number one on many fans lists forever. A rag tag bunch of kids grow up on the sandlot and face a bunch of different challenges which make us all remember what it was like to be a kid. You’re killing me smalls!
  10. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. “I’m gonna come at you like a spider monkey” when delivered by a 10-year-old character might be one of the most memorable lines in this movie but there are a million of them to choose from. Being a NASCAR fan made this movie that much more fun but, even though I have probably seen this movie at least 100 times, I still laugh every time I watch it.
  11. Rudy is the classic underdog who overcomes all obstacles to have his moment in the sun. I love this movie but after getting to meet the real Rudy, I have to say the man doesn’t quite match up with the character. Inspirational for sure. Tear jerker, for sure. For the entire family!
  12. Miracle. We beat the might Soviet hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics. Kurt RusselL plays the legendary coach Herb Brooks and shows the behind-the-scenes work that created this amazing upset. Heartwarming, and still dramatic, even though you know they won! When you watch it with the kids, don’t tell them who won and they will be jumping up and down and cheering at the end.
  13. McFarland U.S.A is one of my new favorites. The story of a troubled coach, played by Kevin Costner, who starts a cross country team at a small California school where the majority of the students are the kids of migrant workers on the fringes of society. The team comes together and overcomes amazing odds to win the first California Cross Country Championship and a bunch more. Danny Diaz, charges ahead to help his team when they needed him most gets me teary eyed every time I see it.

HONORABLE MENTION: Caddyshack, Moneyball, Fighting with My Family, I, Tonya, The Blind Side, The Replacements, The Might Ducks, The Natural, Rocky IV, The Longest Yard, Creed, Bloodsport, Field of Dreams, The Hustler, Here Comes the Boom, Coach Carter, Days of Thunder, Friday Night Lights, Slap Shot, Little Giants, 42, Invictus, Bad News Bears, Vision Quest, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Invincible, Glory Road, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Breaking Away, We Are Marshall and Facing the Giants.

So you thought I was kidding when I said I love sports movies. The bottom line is that all of these will put a smile on my face every time I watch them. They all have a message and they all have a tone of one liners that apply to all aspects of your real life. What more can you ask for?