Ever have one those nights when you are sleepy but before calling it a night you make one last run through the channels and then it happens. You come across a sports movie at that moment when you have to watch.
It happened twice this week for me this week. First, Tom Hanks reminded me there is no crying in baseball in "A League of Their Own" and then I saw Drago toss Apollo Creed around like a rag doll in Rocky IV.
So I thought, let's do a few top 5 lists from sports movies. Is it a lazy Friday column that I am finishing up around midnight after calling a UCF basketball game? Why yes it is.
Top 5 Movie Coaches
5. James Gammon as Lou Brown- Major League: Guy got the most out of nothing. Made Rick Vaughn a closer and the move may have turned the season around.
4. Al Pacino as Tony D'Amato- Any Given Sunday: He loses his aging start quarterback and with Willie Beamon the team gets on a roll
3. Wilfred Brimley as Pop- Natural: Not an analytics guy. He managed on gut instincts. But he believed in Roy Hobbs, who delivered for the Knights
2. Gene Hackman as Norm Dale- Hoosiers: Good coach, but made some bad late game decisions that his team had to bail him out. He didn't want to give the ball to Jimmy Chitwood for the final shot in the title game. Chitwood had to ask for the shot, and he made it.
1. Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan- League of their Own: Sure, he was a drunk. But he knew he had a great catcher to be the backbone of a talented team that went deep in the playoffs before falling in the final game
Top 5 Movie Basketball Players
5. Michael J Fox as Teen Wolf- Teen Wolf: Despite the hair and scary appearance, he had floor leadership skills that made him a tough matchup for any opponent.
4. Will Ferrall as Jackie Moon- Semi Pro: The guy owned the team. He was the GM as well and still managed to clog up the paint and know when to get out of the way.
3. Wesley Snipes as Sidney Deane- White Men Can't Jump: Had the looks, the moves and the talk and then backed it up on the court.
2. Shaq as Neon Boudeaux- Blue Chips: It's Shaq. The guy dominated in the NBA and on the big screen as well.
1. Ray Allen as Jesus Shuttlesworth- He Got Game: Smooth. Elevated his game in the big moments. A legend
Top 5 Movie Baseball Players
5. Dennis Haybert as Pedro Cerrano- Major League: Struggled to hit the curve, but a clubhouse leader or he scared the daylights out of you.
4. Burt Lancaster as Moonlight Graham- Field of Dreams: Not so much for his playing but for his story
3. Michael Anthony Vitar as Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez- Sandlot: Special talent. Five tool player at a young age
2. Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs- The Natural- Came out of nowhere and became one of the greatest power hitters ever
1. Kevin Costner as Crash Davis- Bull Durham- Tough spot for a veteran catcher to take on the role of mentor while chasing a home run record
Top 5 Movie Football Players
5. Cuba Gooding Jr as Rod Tidwell- Jerry Maguire: Not afraid to go over the middle. Had to earn the paycheck but a family guy who was not afraid to show his emotions
4. Tom Cruise as Stef Djordjevic- All the Right Moves: Tough linebacker who had a knack for making big plays and being around the ball. Every team needs a guy like that
3. Forest Whittaker as Charles Jefferson- Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Simply unstoppable. Not even a triple team could block him. Lawrence Taylor had hoped to be as good
2. Burt Reynolds as Paul Crewe- The Longest Yard: Took a lot for the all-American to lead a team of convicts and beat the guards
1. Jamie Foxx as Willie Beaman- Any Given Sunday- Cam Newton like in skills. Had to learn how to be a pro and when the dust settled, he was a baller
Top 5 Rocky Movie Boxers
5. Hulk Hogan as Thunderlips- Rocky III- Although not a boxer, the showmanship was outstanding
4. Mr. T as Clubber Lang- Rocky III- I think was Mike Tyson long before Mike Tyson. The most lethal boxer there ever was. No way he loses to Balboa
3. Sylvester Stallone as Rocky- Rocky- Love the story but an average fighter at best
2. Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago- Steroids. Government influenced. Hot wife. A machine
1. Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed- The people loved him. Gave a no-name fighter a chance. Willing to let Rocky be champ and then manage him. What a guy
Final thought: Stallone wrote the original script in three days
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