Weeks ago sports were cancelled and we were left to wonder: what to do? Well, we started with 32 of our favorite sports movies. We broke all 32 movies into 4 different themed divisions of 8 teams each: Hockey, Baseball, Football and Fighting and The Rest. You decided who won each matchup. And two were left standing: Slap Shot and Happy Gilmore. It’s time for the finals!
Brodie Cotnam’s Take
Shockingly a hockey website’s film poll has come down to two movies with main character who love old time hockey! Slap Shot’s a classic amongst puck heads. Revered by many, it showcases much of what the reality of minor pro hockey was, and in many cases, is still like. Hindsight has also shown it to be an example of what’s needed to change within hockey culture. Let’s face it, there are many hilarious bits that to this day are some of the best sports comedy moments ever, and a few that are a cringe-worthy sign of the times which have aged terribly. That said there’s far more nuance to the story and Nancy Dowd’s great script than many give it credit for. From the juxtaposition of Ned turning the tables at the end of the final game, essentially flipping the bird to that old school hockey mentality, to Reg’s quest to just keep playing, there’s a lot to unpack. Reggie is a hockey lifer, divorced and alone, who we come to see as a pitiable man with seemingly no sense of himself outside of it. He’ll simply keep going, chasing the next game or city until who know.
Much in the same vain, Happy Gilmour is funny, irreverent and highly quotable. There isn’t a golfer out there who hasn’t at least thought of taking a running swing off the tee. That said its storyline and characters are far more straightforward. Both deal with trying to save something or someone, be it the blue collar mill town of Charleston or Happy’s grandmother’s house, and each boasts a cast of enigmatic, eclectic supporting characters, but Slap Shot actually delves into the lives behind them with more regularity and insight. While they’re each sports comedy classics, Slap shot takes the crown, so have a drink to celebrate!…Just none of that stinkin’ Root Beer…
Joe Martini’s Take
What are you too good for your home ball? Well, unlike the putt that put Happy into a rage, Adam Sandler will be happy to know that Happy Gilmour will win the 4th Line Podcast movie bracket. Covering not only golf, but there is also good hockey history tied to this movie. With opening scenes of Sandler trying out for the local hockey team only to be disappointed again. This movie then transitions to some of the best commentary and most quotable lines for years after its release. The commentary provided is the growing popularity of product placement in movies, with a whole subplot of the movie being dedicated to Happy having a subway endorsement, to the stuffiness of golf at the time. This movie should also be credited with creating one of the most iconic joke swings that have been attempted on every driving range across the world! All of this being said it includes great cameos by Bob Barker and Ben Stiller (went uncredited in the movie), makes this the clear champion with sports, humor and talent leading the way!
Thank you for joining us on this journey! May the best movie win! Check out all of the matchups so far: