So it’s week two of our self-imposed quarantine. I did leave the house to go get some dog food and a few small supplies. My wife was worried they might shut us down so I bought enough baby formula to last Rory until he’s about four. Kids eat formula until then, right? I’m still figuring out how kids work.
Today I started to get really nostalgic for sports. I spent about 30 minutes watching old Brewer highlights on Twitter. The Lorenzo Cain catch to win on Opening Day last year, the Yelich walk-off double against the Cubs, the Keston walk-off homer against the Cubs...it made me very sad.
But I started to think about what could fill the void and, well, there isn’t much. Maybe I could set up a Zoom pizza eating contest? Maybe I could race against myself for fastest pizza eating time? Maybe I could just eat a pizza? I want a pizza...real bad.
Then it hit me—if we can’t watch real sports, at least we can watch fake sports! Most of you are stuck in front of your TV like I am watching whatever Netflix tells me to watch (Tiger King, everyone...do yourself a favor and learn about the world of Joe Exotic). But there are so many great sports movies out there. How about I curate a list to give you something to fill the void?
Here are my top 10 sports movies to get you through like...a week? Maybe? It’s not a definitive list...there are movies missing that are good...but these are my favorites so please, send all complaints to @jflick1215 on Twitter.
• 10. Slapshot: It’s been too long since I’ve seen Slapshot but then again it’s probably a movie that should be on the yearly list of rewatches. It’s funny, it’s well-acted, and it’s very easy to watch while doing something else like worrying about how the world is ending just outside your doors. If you have never seen it, do yourself a favor and watch. If you don’t want to pay $3.99 on Amazon to rent it, Miracle is on Netflix and a good replacement for a hockey fix.
• 9. Kingpin: We all need to laugh at this time and nothing makes my dad laugh harder than Randy Quaid taking a number two at a urinal. This movie is maybe not for everybody (do not watch with your kids around!), but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a funnier movie about bowling. Bill Murray’s portrayal of Big Ern should have garnered him an Oscar. And I’m not at all joking. Best part? It’s on Netflix, so share those passwords, saddle up, and enjoy some good ol’ fashioned family fun.
• 8. Warrior: Perhaps a surprise entry on the list, especially for me since I’m not a huge MMA guy, but Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton are outstanding in this along with a riveting portrayal of a drunk father by Nick Nolte (feels like a real stretch for him). The movie is well-paced and the fights are edge-of-your-seat action. I need a rewatch because it’s been a long time (someone borrowed my DVD and never returned it) but it is free on Amazon Prime.
• 7. Remember the Titans: Look, we’ve all seen this movie maybe 100 times. It’s on cable TV once a day I think. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t wonderful? Denzel Washington, folks. You’ve got Denzel Washington just killing it as Coach Boone. The scene when he throws the super racist coach a banana after the game? Dynamite. Don’t forget an outstanding performance from Will Patton, the guy who shows up in tons of movies but you never remember his name (I had to look it up just now). He’s also great in Gone in Sixty Seconds if you happen to need a Nic Cage fix. It’s also on Disney+, which is, a plus (see what I did there?).
• 6. Major League: The first baseball entry on the list but one of the funniest sports movies ever made (behind only one other on this list). If you watch it for nothing else, watch it for peak Bob Uecker. Shoot, go watch the second and third one just for Uecker. He’s incredible in all three. It’s one of those movies that you start watching and just slip right back to when you used to watch your old VHS copy during the summer. Or maybe that’s just me. It’s $3.99 to rent on Amazon or $5 to buy the DVD! Also, Major League II is on Netflix. You’re welcome.
• 5. Creed: OK this might feel high. Should I have put Rocky IV on here instead? Perhaps. But this movie is excellent (Stallone was robbed of an Oscar, also not a joke) and the scene near the end when you hear the actual Rocky theme for the first time gives me literal chills every single time. It’s a top five scene in sports movie history for me. And I’m not exaggerating. It’s $2.99 to rent on Amazon or free if you have my Vudu password.
• 4. Tin Cup: A movie I literally watch once a year—the Saturday night before the final round of the U.S. Open. My brother and I often text one another during our parallel viewings. It might honestly be my favorite sports movie but it’s pretty niche so I can’t put it at number one. But if you want to see a movie about a guy who never lays up, this is your movie. I’m still waiting for the fan’s cut when all the Rene Russo scenes are cut out and it’s just Costner and golf but that hasn’t happened yet. It’s free with a seven day trial of CBS All Access, so watch some Twilight Zones while you are at it, too!
• 3. A League of their Own: A perfect movie. And I mean that. Every performance is top notch, from Tom Hanks to Geena Davis to Madonna to Jon Lovitz (what a job he does with like eight minutes of screen time). It’s a movie I’ll never grow tired of watching and if you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s well worth a revisit. Amazon is currently in the process of making it a TV series as well and are currently charging $2.99 to rent it.
• 2. Caddyshack: The best comedy of all time in my not-so-humble opinion. Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, and Ted Knight are all as good as it gets here. My brother and I can pretty much quote the entire movie to one another and once and a while will pull a genuine belly laugh from the other with a well-placed line in a text thread. He recently got me with, “Well hooray for the Douglases!” Please revisit this movie. It’s well worth your time and $3.99 to rent on Amazon but shoot, just buy it.
• 1. Friday Night Lights (TV series): OK I cheated here because I picked a TV series but come on, this is the best sports thing ever created. Ever. Coach Eric Taylor is the perfect human being. Despite a little hiccup in season two when Landry murders a dude, it’s a perfect show. The show came back from the dead twice and finished with five seasons of joy that will fill the dark times we live in. Please, go watch this show if you haven’t. Talk to me on Twitter about it (@ThunderMcRobert) because nothing brings me joy like talking about Dillon Panther football. But remember, all list complaints go to @jflick1215. Happy watching!