What is the Best Sports Movie for People Who Hate Sports?

Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 03:39 PM

It seems like Superbowl season is barely over, the NASCAR season just began with the Daytona 500, and of course the Winter Olympics are in full swing. For those people who don't actually like sports, but are forced to live in a world where everyone else seems to... Chris Ryan [RollingStone.com, Spin] and producer Kristen Meinzer pulled together a list of their Top Ten Sports Movies for People Who Hate Sports. Take a look at their list and vote in the survey below:

  • Jerry Maguire (football) - It’s a love story, first and foremost, and that’s what everyone sees it as. That’s why “you had me at hello” is the big memorable line, not “touchdown!”
  • Bring it On (cheerleading) - You can invest yourself in whether or not they win in the cheer finals, but it’s really about the girls coming together.
  • Bend It Like Beckham (soccer) - Like Bring it On, it’s about coming of age. But it’s also about cultural differences, family, and girl power. And all the montages are a blast.
  • Blades of Glory (pairs figure skating) - It magically manages to make fun of the sport of pairs skating, while still embracing it. And with the winter Olympics in full swing, it’s also timely.
  • Breaking Away (bicycling) - It’s about breaking away from the trappings of your small town blue-collar life, while learning to accept yourself. It’s a Bruce Springstein song come to life… but with bicycling.
  • The Damned United (soccer) - You don’t have to like or understand sports to enjoy this movie about a soccer manager in Leeds, England. It’s really more about hating your boss.
  • Slapshot (hockey) - This 1970s Paul Newman comedy has lots of hockey, but most of the hockey scenes are about rowdy fights and physical comedy, not the rules of the game.
  • Wildcats! (football) - Goldie Hawn takes the loveable loser types of the “Bad News Bears” and gives them an R rating in this movie about a high school track coach who takes over as head of the football team.
  • The Blind Side (football) - It’s really about family, not sports. And if you want to keep up on the Oscar nods, you’d be negligent not to see it.
  • Bull Durham (baseball) - As much as it’s about the philosophy of baseball, it’s really about love, and about meeting someone halfway. Warning: it has a lot of sports theory/metaphors, so if you really and truly HATE baseball, this isn’t for you. But if you just mildly dislike the game, you might really fall head over heels for this one.

And for documentaries, Kristen recommends: Murderball (wheelchair rugby), When We Were Kings (boxing), The King of Kong (Donkey Kong), and Unforgivable Blackness (boxing).

Produced by:

Adam Hirsch


More in:

Comments [16]

Stephen Charbonneau from Boston, MA

How can we not acknowledge "Field of Dreams?" This is a movie that covers a lot of ground, has ghosts, James Earl Jones, our nations past time, family and courage to go for gold (Hey we're in the middle of the Olympics.)
Playing catch with your Dad is something that is rare these days.
I vote Field of Dreams - Hands Down!

Feb. 22 2010 04:05 PM
Liz from NJ

A league of their own- a great story whether you like baseball or not, but you do see a lot of the game.

Feb. 21 2010 11:57 AM
Elizabeth from Iowa

Hellooooo?!?! Caddyshack!!!

Feb. 20 2010 06:47 PM
Blue from the ER

Do I hear ROCKY????

Feb. 20 2010 11:55 AM
Rosemary Kellner

The Sandlot - A great movie about kids and friendship using baseball as the backdrop

Feb. 19 2010 09:02 PM
Jay from Berkley, MI

Bend It Like Beckham is a great choice, but I think He Got Game is missing from the list. First, it's a Spike Lee film which makes it much better than most listed. Second, it goes beyond the game to look at the pressures big-time basketball puts on kids, plus a family interest story is intertwined. Add in the Aaron Copeland soundtrack and we have a winner.

Feb. 19 2010 03:34 PM

BASEketball (Baseketball) -- Friendship. Player's rights and their debt to their city. And Al Michaels and Bob Costas in pretty large supporting roles as themselves, saying ridiculous things.

Feb. 19 2010 12:38 PM
Brian Reich from New York, NY

Don't forget Hoosiers -- the true story of a small-town Indiana team that made the state finals in 1954. Its focused on basketball, but the lessons transcend for sure.

Hoop Dreams, again, is a documentary about basketball -- but its really the story of kids growing up in (near) poverty in Chicago, hope, and similar.

Murderball is amazing - about wheelchair rugby.

Dogtown and Z-Boys is a phenomenal skateboarding moving (its no 'Gleaming The Cube of course' - grin).

I haven't seen it yet, but The Heart of the Game has been on my list forever. Incredible story of a high school women's basketball team in Washington State.


Go Tigers, the behind-the-scenes look at the Massillon, OH Tigers (high school football state champs). Powerful.

Feb. 19 2010 11:53 AM

Remember the Titans- Denzel Washington

I lived through this era and participated in track in a school composed of high-tension bussed students in Virginia. This movie brought chills to my spine and a tear to my eye remembering that experience. And it really WAS true to the theme. A fellow black runner became one of my closest friends and my black coach became my mentor for years.


Feb. 19 2010 11:00 AM

I'm not much of a sports fan and especially not golf, but I loved Tin Cup.

Feb. 19 2010 10:56 AM

Wind....an exciting movie about the America's Cup.

Feb. 19 2010 09:32 AM

For me it would be Hoosiers, plenty of relational undercurrents for the "unsportsman" and a powerful snapshot of a time when life, family and community were more important than sports

Feb. 19 2010 09:16 AM
David from Jerusalem

Forrest Gump was one of the greatest and most diverse athletes of the mid twentieth century. College football all-american, spontaneous swimmer, long distance runner, perhaps even hints of a potential biathlon gold medalist... Could history and sports unite in any greater a guilty pleasure?

Feb. 19 2010 09:13 AM
Andrea from Philadelphia

Mystery, Alaska (hockey)--a quirky comedy with an amazing cast--Russell Crowe, Hank Azaria, Burt Reynolds, Colm Meany.

The Cutting Edge(ice skating)--an opposites attract love story and a perfect complement to the winter Olympics

Feb. 19 2010 09:09 AM
Matt from Manhattan

Two other top sports films that come to mind: The Natural (Robert Redford) and Chariots of Fire.

Feb. 19 2010 08:18 AM
Vincent Giuliano from Rhode Island

Good morning, I thought Rudy wuld have made the list. Good choces over all though.

Feb. 19 2010 07:07 AM

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