Last night, I was shooting the shit with some buddies when someone brought up the Mighty Ducks movie with some obscure Gordon Bombay reference. It sparked a 4 hour discussion on the greatest sports movies of our generation. I’ve decided to put together a list of old-school sports movies that every kid (likely born after 1994) should see at least once in their lifetime.
The Little Giants
The Little Giants- I’m not sure why I liked this movie, but it worked for me. I hated Wayne Zalinski as the coach, I hated ‘Ice Box’, I hated Ice Box’s Boyfriend, I hated ‘buzz’ or whatever the big kids name was on the Cowboys. But with all that hate, I found just as much love for the annexation of Puerto Rico, and I also thought their uniforms were awesome. As a kid who played pee-wee football, I had these shitty ass mustard yellow unis with big black letters. I didn’t get to play much, but was the best WR4 on the East side- and I always thought it would be awesome to wear professional uniforms like they did in Little Giants.
Also: who knew that douche Cowboys coach is the lovable Jay from Modern Family? Not me.
Rookie of the Year
Rookie of the Year- “Hen-en Ree-ee Row-oo En-nn Gardner” “Rabbit-Boozer” “Stick a fork in me- I’m done” “Hot-Ice” “POTATO!”- so many quotable lines in this movie. HUGE Cast too. Gary Busey as Chet Steadman, John Candy as the announcer, Barry Bonds as Barry Bonds, and whoever that weirdo was that played Brickman were all top notch performers. The best part of this movie though was Henry’s ‘love interest chick’, who I also had a crush on as a young whippersnapper.
Did you know she was Julie the Cat?!?! It’s a damn shame she didn’t go on to become a superstar in the movie industry, because this broad had talent.
Cool Runnings- My favorite sports movie of all time. It may sound cheesy, but this movie has it all: Joy, Love, Humor, Heartbreak, Tears, Redemption, Failure, and ultimately… Success. I’ve seen this movie more than 20 times, and I’m a guy who NEVER re-watches anything. I can quote almost every single line. It’s that good. I fight off tears every time that sled flips over coming out of turn 19 in the final race. Chills City. The Music in this movie is fantastic too. From the opening scene with Derice Bannock running in Jamaica, to the traing montage (‘rise above it’), to the Hanz Zimmer inspirational Olympic scenes. Amazing movie all around.
(I had it start at the most epic part)
Johnny Tsunami-“Go Big or Go Home” This is a curve ball, because it was a made for TV movie. This was in the early days of the Disney Channel Original Movie phase (Do they still make those?). Regardless, it was an awesome flick. A surfer’s family moves to the mountains and he learns to surf the mountains instead. The ultimate ‘play the hand your dealt’ story. I think I was at the perfect age to enjoy this movie, and I’ve always wanted to surf and snowboard, but I’ve never had the environments to learn how to do either. The movie also has one of the best 90 song montage scenes in Cinematic history of Johnny and his fellow urchins shredding some serious Vermont Gnar to the tune of Simon Says, by Life Jacket. Cue the Music:
D2 The Mighty Ducks
D2 The Mighty Ducks- IMO the best movie of the 3 part franchises. I’ll rank D2 as the best, then the original Mighty Ducks or D1, and then I have D3 bringing up the rear. D2 was just awesome when they were team USA, and then they went back to the Ducks. The introduction of the Bash Bros, knuckle puck Keenan, and Coach Bombay fraternizing with the Iceland chick. It was just an awesome movie all around.
The Sandlot- Truth be told, I really don’t even like this movie. I can’t stand the main character (smalls) and he almost ruins the movie for me. Wendy Peffercorn, the life guard, was my first true love. I was so jeleous of that nerd who got to make out with her. I also had a best friend growing up that was exactly like ‘Benny the Jet’. I often wonder what that guy is up to these days.
The Karate Kid?
The Karate Kid- Another slight curve ball. For the sake of this list, I’ll consider karate a sport because this was an awesome flick. So many great parts: Wax on. Wax off. Crane Kick. Sweep the Leg. What was that? This movie came out in 1984?!!??!? Holy shit. Guess I can’t have it on my “mid 90’s” list, so I’ll just go with the 3 ninja’s movie instead. I really liked this movie as a kid, but I haven’t seen it in about 20 years, so this movie may really suck, but I’ll just remember it as being awesome. I can still picture the old man yelling “Light up the eyes boys! Light up the eyes” What a moment great moment indeed.
Now watch that clip again and pay close attention to the little guy in orange. I’m gonna need a little more effort out of him next time we set out to ‘light some dude up’.