Best Sports Movie Bracket – Division Semi Finals #2

With the world going through a COVID-19 related sports withdrawal, it’s time to escape to the world of film to get our fix in! And since there aren’t any sports to compete in, it’s time to find out what the best sports movie of all time is! We’ve broken all movies into 4 different themed divisions of 8 teams each: Hockey, Baseball, Football and Fighting and The Rest. With the 2nd round here, let’s check out the second half of the division semi finals!

Check out all of the matchups so far:

Best Sports Movie Bracket – Division Semi Finals #1

Best Sports Movie Bracket – Rd. 1 – #4 vs #5

Best Sports Movie Bracket – Rd. 1 – #2 vs #7

Best Sports Movie Bracket – Rd. 1 – #1 vs #8

Best Sports Movie Bracket – Rd. 1 – #3 vs #6

Hockey: #2 Slapshot vs #6 Mighty Ducks

By German Villegas

Sigh. The last time I talked about Slapshot I said it’s a cliched movie that condones violence and uses a lot of homophobic gags to do so. Yet you all still voted Slapshot over the better D2.

I don’t get it, I really don’t. Therefore I’m just going to tell you that both these movies are just ok, and one wins by a hair.

First of all, the only reason people like Slapshot is because Hockey Night in Canada comes out with The Hanson Brothers every month or so and someone goes “Oh yeah those guys heh heh heh.” I guarantee you the majority of hockey-loving audiences in 2020 have not revisited Slapshot in a long time, there are way better hockey movies out there. Yet Slapshot continues to be this like revered hockey movie when really it’s an average 70’s comedy that if it wasn’t about hockey, everyone would forget about it. Imagine if it was about basketball, it wouldn’t even register in the pantheon of sports movies.

The Mighty Ducks, also a revered hockey movie, is an average 90’s kids movie that if it was about, I don’t know, baseball, it would be called The Bad News Bears. The fact that these two movies are the most beloved hockey movies in the last 50 years or so really tells us that hockey fans like myself are just gigantic suckers for anything to be “hockey.” Listen I LOVED The Mighty Ducks when I was a kid and I have a fond recollection of Gordon Bombay and the squad. But let’s be real here, are these really THE BEST movies about hockey? If that’s the case then we have a really shallow pool.

Winner – Mighty Ducks. I guess between the two, I would pick The Mighty Ducks because it actually ends in a hockey match. That’s about it.

Baseball: #2 Moneyball vs #3 The Sandlot

By Joe Martini

Winner – The Sandlot. In a minor upset, The Sandlot will win this matchup. While Moneyball caught some of the actors in the prime of their careers, Sandlot caught lightning in a bottle. This coming of age tale set thirty years before its release can still captivate audiences today. This film contains classic pieces of Americana which have become prime intellectual property and baseball players that still resonate with new fans today.

Moneyball really showed what small-market teams can do and alternative ways to win, Sandlot hit on acceptance by new people and the awkwardness of growing up, which I feel will continue to impact new generations of fans which baseball is craving to do.

Football and Fighting: #3 Rudy vs #7 Rocky

By Brodie Cotnam

Rocky: The iconic, Oscar winning, underdog story that propelled Sylvester Stallone into the limelight is a classic that all other underdog stories are measured against. From its memorable theme song, quotable dialogue and unforgettable training montage, Rocky epitomize fighting for your opportunity, and overcoming the odds. When he gets the chance to take on the champ, Apollo Creed, nobody believes in him. Rocky gave it his all, and though he ultimately loses in a split decision, battered and bruised, nobody had ever gone the distance with Apollo Creed before and Rocky accomplished his goal of doing just that. Stallone, who wrote the script, created a working class hero that has stood the test of time, an inspirational figure to generations, countlessly imitated who continues to resonate to this day.

Rudy: The fact is there is a Rudy in in large part because of Rocky. We love an underdog story and this heartwarming tale of the scrappy undersized football player trying to achieve a lifelong dream of playing for the renowned program at Notre Dame is not overly saccharine but more about perseverance. Sean Astin imbues Rudy with an indomitable spirit, putting the fight in ‘Fighting Irish’. From overcoming his dyslexia, the death of his good friend, to his diminutive stature, he faces obstacle after obstacle with conviction and dogged determination. He ultimately gets in at the end of the last game, of his last season, after his teammates vouch for him, meaning he’ll forever be on the record as having played for the Fighting Irish. When he’s finally carried off the field by his teammates we too have a similar respect for his efforts.

Winner – Rocky: The fact is Rocky is the platform for which many subsequent underdog stories aspire to. Rudy is a great tale about a guy working his way to get a chance, even if they took some artistic liberties with the real story. Both are inspirational and heartfelt, but Rocky’s script with its many memorable lines and depiction of a man who has to face his own demons as much as his opponents ultimate makes for the greater film.

The Rest: #3 Caddyshack vs #7 Dodgeball

By Carl Landra

Trying to ride your way to the best movie championship based off of quotes and GIF’s? That’s a bold move Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for them.

If Caddyshack was released in 2004 instead of 1980, it would be just as quotable and GIF-able. And even with that being said, it still is today.

So it’s got that going for it. Which is nice.

As a pair of sports movies, Dodgeball and Caddyshack both take an irreverent look at the two sports. (Do we consider dodgeball a sport?) Both of these movies show how well you can create a movie around sport, using it to create the circumstances that lead to both of these movies being so funny and memorable. Sport is an end to a means.

Winner – Caddyshack. Caddyshack has a character named Carl. Done deal! Sorry Dodgeball.

That key reason aside, Caddyshack does everything that Dodgeball does but better and first. Dodgeball was built on the back on Caddyshack. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and Dodgeball owes Caddyshack for creating the world that they could exist in, and then copying them. Turns out it takes more than dodging a wrench to beat Caddyshack.

We’ve had our say, now it’s your turn! Vote in the Twitter polls and decide who moves onto the next round. See you next time, when we conquer round 3!

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