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

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. For the 1st Round, we’ll be looking at specific seeds each day. Today: The 2 seed vs the 7 seed.

Check out the other round 1 matchups here:

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

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

Hockey: #1 Miracle vs #8 Tooth Fairy

By Carl Landra

As you may or may not know (SPOILER ALERT), in 1980 the US men’s hockey team won gold at the Olympics. Up until that point, the USSR had won 4 consecutive gold medals and they were clearly the class of the field. Remember, at that time the Soviet Union was using their best players, while the best North American players were in the NHL and the Olympic teams were mostly filled with college players.

However, under the guidance of Herb Brooks the US won! And that is where Miracle does a fantastic job, capturing the inspiration that Brooks (played by Kurt Russell) was able to use to build his team and lead them to gold. After watching Miracle, you too feel like you can take on the world!

However, the greater miracle in this matchup is that Tooth Fairy was green lit for production. First, imagine Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as a minor league hockey player. Sure, he played a small amount of time in the CFL, so maybe I can believe that he can play a hockey player. Now, imagine that he is forced to become the tooth fairy.

Certainly, Dererk Thompson (The Rock) could have used some Herb Brooks like inspiration to learn how to properly tooth fairy. However, he didn’t and this movie relied on The Rock to overcome a terrible premise, which he couldn’t. (This didn’t stop them from making Tooth Fairy 2 starring Larry the Cable Guy.)

Winner – Miracle. This matchup isn’t even close. The Miracle on Ice is an iconic hockey moment, and Miracle captured well the magic that Herb Brooks was able to bring out of his team as they captured gold. Tooth Fairy is the tale of a minor league hockey player becoming the tooth fairy. And you if you’re not okay with that, you can’t handle the tooth.

Baseball: #1 Bull Durham vs #8 Trouble with the Curve

By Mike Laybourne

A true love note to baseball, Bull Durham is one of those movies that captures the magic of the sport through the classic trio of the old pro, the young buck, and the love interest. But it’s so much more than movie cliché. The characters are all essential in their own way, and Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon couldn’t have been better cast in the roles.

Written and directed by former lower leaguer Ron Shelton, America’s Pastime isn’t just a vehicle to move the story, it’s the world that Shelton’s characters inhabit. It’s their religion. The baseball field is their church. It’s been said that Bull Durham is the best baseball movie ever, do you agree? It’s definitely better than our next contender…

The trouble with Trouble with the Curve is that it isn’t really a baseball movie. It’s a movie about a father-daughter relationship, it just so happens that the father, played by Clint Eastwood is an aging baseball scout with failing eyesight. Amy Adams is the daughter who has to go along on the scouting road trip to support her dad, and try to rebuild their strained relationship. Also, Justin Timberlake turns up.

Trouble with the Curve is a good, entertaining movie, with great perfomances all round. Eastwood and Adams have never been accused of ‘phoning it in’, and both treat the roles with the respect they deserve. Whereas Bull Durham is a baseball movie, and the sport is central to the movie, baseball plays second fiddle in Trouble with the Curve. Eastwood’s character could be a scout in any sport and the movie would pretty much have been the same. Director Robert Lorenz does a solid job, but for me, there’s one clear winner in this match-up.

Winner – Bull Durham. It has to be Bull Durham, it’s a great character movie, and a great sports movie, whereas Trouble with the Curve is just a great character movie. That’s still a great achievement, but it’s not what we’re looking for here.

Football and Fighting: #1 Raging Bull vs #8 The Replacements

By Brodie Cotnam

Raging Bull (1980) starring: Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty

Winner of two Academy Awards (Best Actor, Film Editing) and nominated for 6 others, Raging Bull is a classic film, regardless of its connection to the sports world. It tells the story of boxing legend, Jake LaMotta. A former champion LaMotta’s story was far different outside of the ring and the film holds nothing back about his personal trials and tribulations.

From his relationship with his estranged brother Joey, and run-ins with the law, his legendary bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson, to his days as an overweight stand-up comedian looking to recapture some of the limelight, it paints the portrait of an oft troubled man, who battled himself at times as much as his opponents. DeNiro gained the weight for the role to perfectly embody this enigmatic man and capture the captivating tale of what might have been, encapsulated perfectly with his recitation of the ‘I could’ve been a contender’ speech from On The Waterfront.

The Replacements (2000) starring: Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Brooke Langton, John Favreau, Jack Warden

When football league finds themselves faced with a player strike (surprisingly not Gary Bettman related…) they have to find well, replacements. Thus they turn to Shane Falco (Reeves) and a squad of cast offs to finish out the season. Falco was a hot shot college quarterback looking for redemption, fading into obscurity after choking in a championship game.

As you’d imagine he finds it with this collection of misfits. Known as much for its cast of colourful characters, including a wide receiver who can’t catch and a Welsh kicker, the film is an age old story of an unlikely group of people banding together to accomplish what seems impossible. Under the leadership of Jimmy McGinty (Hackman) the team makes the playoffs in the last game of the regular season, and the hero indeed gets the girl.

Winner – Raging Bull in a knockout: When you have one of the best movies in the filmography of two legends of their craft, few others have even a punchers chance. Raging Bull is one of Scorsese’s finest, and DeNiro’s performance is phenomenal, from his physical transformation to the sad reality of Jack LaMotta’s later life, it’s a brilliant piece of art…The Replacement’s has stripper cheerleaders…

The Rest: #1 The Damn United vs #8 Space Jam

By German Villegas

Soccer v/s Basketball, the ultimate battle between floppers and divers. I’m kidding, of course, there’s a lot of nuanced cultural differences between the two sports, and pitting these two movies against each other really showcases that.

The Damned United is the dramatization of the 6-week stint that Peter Clough had as manager of the dominant Leeds United, and his rivalry with ex-Leeds manager Paul Revie. But it’s not only about Clough himself, it’s about soccer in England in the 70’s.

It’s about FA Cup ties, divisional rivalries when Leeds were a powerhouse, and European footie. And if you don’t care about any of that, it might be hard for you to care about The Damned United even though it’s well-acted, well-paced, and well done.

Space Jam is almost exactly the opposite of that. It’s a cartoon that’s a movie that stars famous movie stars and one of the most famous athletes of all time, Michael Jordan….and the Looney Tunes.

Peeling back the layers, Space Jam is a showcase to the NBA and its players and the peak of Michael Jordan as a brand, who takes this movie as an almost retcon of why he retired midway through his career (pst, it really was because Jordan had a huge gambling problem). Space Jam is about culture because it’s everything you like about America: Bugs Bunny, slam dunks, R.Kelly, evil corporations, and Jordan sneakers.

Winner – Space Jam. So it’s hard to pick between these two movies, but for the pure entertainment factor, I have to give to Space Jam. The fact that they’re going to remake it with LeBron James tells you the staying power of this movie.

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 have the 3 and 6 seeds matching up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.