Over the last couple of weeks, I've seen folks sharing their "favorites" on social media. Favorite movies, favorite sports movies, favorite sports teams, athletes, etc.
So it's my turn to play along and this week we'll go with my top five favorite sports movies. Of course this is my list, and we are allowed to disagree. Send me yours!
Let's start with some that don't quite make the list for me but are still outstanding movies: The Natural (used to be my all-time favorite; and then I read the book its based on by Bernard Malamud), Hoosiers (I know, I know), Rudy, The Blind Side, Miracle, Major League (I grew up on the USA Network edited for TV version), He Got Game, The Rookie, Any Given Sunday, The Replacements (one of my wife's favorites), Tin Cup, For Love of the Game, and The Mighty Ducks.
Moneyball -- Brad Pitt stars as Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane in his mission to re-invent the way baseball is viewed through sabermetrics and cost-saving effectiveness measures. The movie is very well done and Pitt is fabulous, maybe even should have won an Oscar.
Remember the Titans -- This is one I pop in the blu-ray player every August while gearing up for high school football. It's such an inspiration to watch the Titans overcome racial hostilities and bigotry in Virginia in 1971 and unite together as one. What a great reminder of the things we can accomplish when we all work together. Another fun footnote of this one, when my parents watched it, they immediately recognized one of the filming locations at Druid Hills High School in Decatur, Ga., where they're both from.
Friday Night Lights -- This is the best high school football movie I've ever seen based on the best high school football book I've ever read. Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, written by H.G. Bissinger, is a fabulous read even 30 years after its original publication in 1990. The movie, starring Billy Bob Thornton, was outstanding and very true to the book. The movie also spawned a hit TV series that lasted several seasons.
Field of Dreams -- This one also is based on a novel, Shoeless Joe, by W.P. Kinsella. Set in the farmland of Iowa, baseball-lover and aspiring farmer Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner, hears a voice that tells him to plow under his corn and build a baseball field. I don't know any father and son that can watch this movie and not get emotional about the importance of playing catch.
Bull Durham -- Another Kevin Costner classic. I wasn't allowed to see this one as a child, and for good reason, it's very adult. But it is also very funny and to me one of the more realistic sports movies there are. It's also very quotable. Crash Davis may be the smartest baseball player that ever lived. I could watch this one every day.
-- Graham Thomas is the managing editor for the Herald-Leader. He can be reached at [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.
Sports on 04/01/2020
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