Why So Serious?: Top 5 Most Underrated Sports Movies of All-Time

Posted on October 11, 2011

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By Matt Sheiner

These are five of the most underrated sports movies that go over looked for no good freakin’ reason!

(5) The 6th man

A and K all the way. Starring Marlon Wayans and Kadeem Hardison – two brothers playing basketball at U Dub (University of Washington for our non-urban readers), with Antoine (Hardison) as the leader of the two. He dunks the ball and has a heart attack while still hanging on the rim. He falls to the floor and later is pronounced dead. Kenny (Wayans) is now forced to go on playing ball for the first time without his brother; or so he thinks. Antoine’s spirit returns and possesses the team to some wins. It’s funny and intense due to an improbable championship run.

(4) Rookie of the Year

“ROSENBAGGA!” This movie is so awesome that I still enjoy it at the “very mature” age of twenty-three. Youngster Henry Rowengartner is a clueless outfielder on his little league team. He is baited to go after a fly ball at school and slips on a baseball and breaks his arm. His cast is wrapped too tight and as soon as it is taken off and he moves his arm, he hits his doctor in the face. While attending a Cubs game, Henry retrieves a home run ball from the opposing team, and at the urging of the home crowd, throws the ball back onto the field…from the outfield bleachers all the way to home plate, nonetheless. He is subsequently signed by the Cubs and leads them all the way to the National League Division Series where he slips on a ball in the field and loses his slingshot of an arm. Presumably out of luck, Rowengartner pulls out the hidden ball trick and calls a base runner chicken, baiting him into running only to tag him out. He then retires the final batter, Butch, a bruising power hitter, with the floater. Say what you want about the movie but, for a middle schooler he was throwing “THE HIGH STINKY CHEDDAR”.

(3) Varsity Blues

” Fire that F$cking pig skin boy”. What an awesome flick! Mox is a back up quarter back on a high school football team sitting behind star Lance Harbor until Harbor gets hurt, giving Mox his shot at teen glory. Mox starts calling his own plays in spite of his ball busting head coach, who also happens to be a high school coaching legend in the state of Texas. The strip club scene, where they see their teacher on stage and Billy Bob asks “will you go ta prom with me?” all country like, is priceless! Great drama, a nice dose of humor, and a whip-cream bikini make it a must see, and a modern-day sports movie classic.

(2) The Blind Side

For the little heart you have, don’t act like it didn’t make you cry. Based on the real life story of current Baltimore Raven’s offensive lineman Michael Oher, this movie tells the story of a big ass, socially awkward kid, who seemingly has no real future. He is homeless after his uncle kicks him out, but not before he gets Michael into a prominent private school. “Big Mike” gets taken in by a wealthy white family that cultivates his natural talent and gives him the inspiration and guidance needed to become a standout player at his school, Ole Miss and now as a current NFL starter. He is given a life he has never had before, never even could have dreamt of. Not only is this movie an honest to goodness tear-jerker, it features Sandra Bullock as Oher’s mother, and she’s hot!

(1) 61*

Maybe I’m just a biased Yankee fan here but this was really a well done movie. It is based on the 1961 season and the race to the single season home run by teammates Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. This movie tells a tale about that team and what those players meant to their teammates, their city, to each other, and to the game of baseball. If you’re a true fan of baseball history, you would love this movie. Maris won the battle and the Yankees moved on to win the World Series, but this movie gives us a glimpse of the pressures of playing in New York, especially when you are competing against one the of the fans’ favorite sons. It also shows the Yankee players at a personal level. Barry Pepper is spot on in his depiction of Maris as is Thomas Jane of Mantle. If there is an asterisk next to “steroid records”, then Maris is still the single season home run record holder.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @msheiner88 and listen to his Three White Guys & an Athlete radio show

Posted in: Why So Serious?