April 21, 2012

S is for...Sports Movies

I am not an athlete. The extent of my athletic endeavours was: tee ball (hardly counts), a brief stint in soft ball, some volleyball and basketball in Grade 7 (both on the 'B' team, meaning "we're too nice to not let these kids play at least a little"), cross country running, and some track and field. I wasn't all that good at any of them. Whatever. I was more of an academic kid, so it never really bothered me much. The only sports that I watch are hockey (the Pens v. Flyers series is going to kill me, I swear), CFL football (only because my husband is watching it), and I saw almost every wonderful moment of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. That's about the extent of my interest in sports.

Except for→ Inspirational SPORTS MOVIES

I'm always a bit hesitant to sit down and watch another sports movie. I'm not really sure why this is, because every single time I do I get so wrapped up in it and end up loving it. I love cheering for the underdog, for the teammates who have overcome enormous challenges to get to this point, all the while learning valuable life lessons. My pulse races, my heart swells, and I'm grinning like a fool.
Because inspirational sports movies aren't just about the sport, they're about being winners at life.

There are many SPORTS MOVIES that I love, but these are my all-time favourites:

1) Remember the Titans (2000)
In my opinion, the thing that brings this movie up several notches from others in this category is the biggest issue the team overcomes in the movie: Racism.

Set in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1971, the fact-based story begins with the integration of black and white students at T. C. Williams High School. This effort to improve race relations is most keenly felt on the school's football team, the Titans, and bigoted tempers flare when a black head coach is appointed and his victorious predecessor reluctantly stays on as his assistant…The players represent a hotbed of racial tension, but as the team struggles toward unity and gridiron glory, Remember the Titans builds on several subplots and character dynamics to become an inspirational drama of Rocky-like proportions. (Source)

Titans Spirit (Score)
 This is one of THE best pieces from any score. Especially 4:48 onward.
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2) Forever Strong (2009)
Rugby is one tough contact sport, and these guys wear hardly any equipment! Not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. The best part of this movie were the Gelwixims*...and Sean Faris, of course.☺ Best Gelwixim: the kia kaha, from which the movie's title is taken→ "Be forever strong on the field, so that you will be forever strong off the field." And who doesn't love a good team haka?

A troubled young rugby player is given the choice between jail or playing for a rival team coached by a man known for building not only championship teams, but championship boys. Based on a true story, Forever Strong offers stand up and cheer sports drama combined with the consequences of a strong ethical code to achieve victory on and off the field. (Source)

3) Invictus (2009)
Looky here, another rugby movie from 2009. Invictus takes place in South Africa, and like Remember the Titans it tackles issues of racism and coming together as a team, but in this case in the wake of apartheid. A great movie!

What does Nelson Mandela do after becoming president of South Africa? He rejects revenge, forgives oppressors who jailed him 27 years for his fight against apartheid and finds hope of national unity in an unlikely place: the rugby field…An uplifting film about a team and a people inspired to greatness…Mandela asks the national rugby team and his squad to do the impossible and win the World Cup. (Source)

4) The Blind Side (2009)
2009 was a great year for sports movies, and this is no exception. There's so much to love about The Blind Side, and I think this description says it best:

Michael Oher knows little about family. Less about football. What the homeless teen knows are the streets and projects of Memphis. Well-to-do Leigh Anne Tuohy knows little about his world. Yet when she and Michael meet, he's found a home. And the Tuohys have found something just as life-changing: a beloved new son and brother. This real-life story of family and of Michael's growth into a blue-chip football star will have you cheering with its mix of gridiron action and heartwarming emotion. Share the remarkable journey of the college All-American and first-round NFL draft pick who was a winner before he ever stepped onto the playing field. (Source)

5) Hoosiers (1986)
My love for Chucks, or as I always called them 'Hoosiers shoes' came from this movie. Hoosiers is probably the first real sports movie that I remember seeing and loving. To this day it's one of my favourite movies of any genre.

One of the most rousingly enjoyable sports movies ever made, this small-town drama tells the story of the Hickory Huskers, an underdog basketball team from a tiny Indiana high school that makes it all the way to the state championship tournament…As the drama unfolds we come to realize that many of the characters are recovering from disappointing setbacks, and this depth of character is what makes the otherwise conventional basketball story so richly rewarding…This is a quintessentially American movie about beating the odds and rising above one's own limitations. (Source)

So are you a fan of SPORTS MOVIES? If so, tell me which one is your favourite in the comments.

P. S. I forgot that I did a bit of curling in high school too. We wore kilts while we curled. Drafty.
* Gelwixims: What the real-life Highland rugby players call their coach's notable sayings.


  1. Generally, I'm not a huge fan of sports movies, but I do LOVE Centerstage (ballet), Field of Dreams (baseball), and Jerry Maguire (all sports). And Remember the Titans is a great choice... Its ending gives me chills every time!

    1. I like all kinds of movies, but I especially love sports movies. Weird because I'm not all that sporty. I had to narrow down my picks to team sports because if I went into all the others we'd be here all day (Seabiscuit, Secretariat...) and the post is long enough :) And the ending of Remember the Titans does give the chills :)

  2. I used to love Little Giants! Oh, and Friday Night Lights...though I prefer the TV show. I didn't think I would like Remember the Titans or The Blind Side, but I was a fan of both. :)

    1. I just started watching the TV series of Friday Night Lights (I know, I'm a little late), and I think I'm going to enjoy it. I'm about due to re-watch Remember the Titans and The Blind Side, especially since my husband just informed me that he has seen neither!

  3. Not a huge sports fan too! Which is a bit odd for a guy, I know. But I loved Remember the Titans, The Blind Side, and Invictus. I'll need to check out the other ones you listed for good measure. Oh, yeah, I also loved Moneyball.

    1. Such great movies, and Moneyball was too :) That was a very different type of sports movie, very behind the scenes.

  4. Yay Hoosiers! My home state. We do bleed orange there, but I sort of forgot that until my daughter started playing b-ball.

    I also enjoy sports movies more than sports. It is about the people, overcoming odds, making unlikely connections with each other to become a team...all good stuff.

    My husband is a sucker for the training sequences...grr, so motivating.

    1. Go Hoosiers! :)

      I think you're right about why we love sports movies so much. There's so much to learn and feel by watching them, and that's a good thing.

      My husband just confessed that he hasn't really seen any of the movies on my list. What?! I sense a sports movie marathon in our near future :)

  5. I've pretty much never met a sports movie I didn't like :)

    Rocky, Friday Night Lights, The Sandlot...(the list goes on and on, so I'll spare you)

    I'm adding "Forever Strong" to my list - can't believe I haven't seen this one yet!

    1. Oh my goodness. I could go on for days about all of the sports movies I like :) This post was disgustingly long with only five, though. So many good ones.

      I think you'll like Forever Strong--very inspirational :)

  6. I'm really not into sports, and never have been. The only time I really follow sports is during a major event (Olympics, World Cup (as in football as in soccer) etc.). So I don't actively seek out sports movies, and have, as a consequence, not seen many. However, I do remember seeing Hoosiers, and I've probably stumbled upon a few others, and I've enjoyed them--mostly for the same reasons you do: the uplifting messages, and seeing people triumph against the odds.

    1. You need to work more inspirational sports movies into your viewing schedule, just like I need to work more Doctor Who into mine lol :D They just can't be beat for good messages and the way they warm your heart.

      And I have to say, nothing is quite like the Olympics. But then I'm more of a Winter Olympics fan than Summer Olympics. I kind of have to be in a country that sees far too much Winter :)

  7. I've only seen two of the movies on your list: Remember the Titans and Blind Side. I love them both and they usually make me cry.

    One of my favorite sports movies is Cool Runnings. It's the story of the Jamacian bobsled team. Fun and full of heart.

    1. I haven't seen Cool Runnings in years :) There's just something about a good sports movie, especially those that are "fun and full of heart" as you say.

  8. You're more athletic than I am, I bet. I couldn't even try any of what you did. I was never on a team because I was so, so bad. (I used to play soccer and basketball with the kids in the neighborhood and was ridiculously lousy. In hindsight, I should have tried another sport.)

    I haven't seen any of those movies, but I really want to see The Blind Side.

  9. Oh, I hear you, I'm not very athletically inclined either! I tried lots of different sports when I was younger (soccer, volleyball, kayaking, and track and field, to name a few) but sadly wasn't particularly talented at any of them, LOL. Plus I was prone to spraining my ankles :(

    I don't tend to watch a lot of sports on TV either, but there are a few I do. I love the Olympics, so I definitely tune into that. I'm a big fan of figure skating, and I also like watching soccer.

    The two inspirational sports movies that came to mind right off the bat were Rudy and Chariots of Fire. I'm not a football fan but Rudy's story really does speak to more than just football, and of course Chariots of Fire is just a classic. Love that theme music! :D

  10. Hi! Visiting from the A to Z. The Blind Side was one of my favorite movies- I just loved it. I also have to go with Rocky (the first was the best) and there was a movie in the early to mid-eighties that was the story of Nadia Comeneche (sp) and it inspired me to pick up gymnastics again in high school after quitting for 3 years. Looking forward to reading more of your A to Z posts and following you!
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  11. THERE ARE SO MANY FAVORITES!!! And you have some of them in your list. I also love FNL, The Program, Rudy - anything football. And one I really want to see is Facing the Giants. I'm sure there are others, but my brain has shut down. GREAT S topic!

  12. Oh my gosh, so many favorites in this category. I LOVED the Blind Side, FYI so great choice. When I was a kid, I was really motivated by the rocky movies. And, I still love Brian's Song - an oldie (and weepie) but goodie:)

  13. LOL, I don't watch sports but I love sports movies. :D


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