By: Josh Axelrod > University of Maryland > Freshman > Journalism, Photo by wblo
Choosing a favorite sports movie can make a person evoke great memories but feel guilty at the same time. You do not want to spurn childhood favorites (maybe The Karate Kid), ones you appreciated as you matured (perhaps Jerry Maguire), or your current obsessions (2010’s The Fighter). So instead of choosing bests or favorites, maybe it is a better idea to categorize sports movies so no film feels rejected.
Most Heartwarming: Rudy. Runner-up: The Blind Side
This story of an undersized kid whose greatest dream is to play football for Notre Dame is possibly the greatest underdog story ever told. When all his hard work finally pays off, I dare you not to feel anything. Trust me, you will.
Most Nostalgia-Inducing: Space Jam. Runner-up: Miracle
What could possibly produce more nostalgia than a combination of classic Looney Tunes characters and His Airness himself, Michael Jordan? This movie also has the distinction of creating possibly the best and worst cartoon villains ever: the nerdlucks.
Most Romantic: Rocky. Runner-up: Love & Basketball
Other than Rudy, no underdog is more celebrated than Rocky. But the heart of the story came from his courtship of Talia Shire’s Adrian Pennino. When Rocky finally beats Apollo Creed, he mutters these immortal words of triumph, proving that everything he does in the ring is for her: “Yo Adrian, I did it!”
Most Comical: Dodgeball. Runner-ups: Talladega Nights and Blades of Glory
The champion of sports comedies is Vince Vaughn and a cast of comedic heavyweights that fill every second with laughter and hilariously spoof sports movie clichés as a band of oddballs somehow become champion dodgeballers. Considering that I was Steve the Pirate for Halloween this year, this film has definitely left its mark on pop culture.
Most Inspirational Coach: Hoosiers (Norman Dale). Runners up: Remember the Titans (Herman Boone), Coach Carter (Ken Carter)
Any coach that could motivate the misfits that Gene Hackman’s Norman Dale was forced to deal with to win an Indiana high school state championship deserves the top spot here. Boone and Carter had to deal with issues of race and the idea of a “student athlete,” but there teams both had talent. Dale is not just a great coach; he was an inspirational genius.