With March 10 inching closer and the hype building every day, we've been trying to predict where A Season on the Brink will stand in comparison to the other sports movies we've seen. Some sports movies have been classics, others just classically bad. Here now is our list, in no particular order, of the 15 best sports movies ever made. This is what A Season on the Brink will have to compete with:
Hoosiers - "Gentlemen, welcome to Indiana Basketball." Chills. We'd love to see the Clippers run "the picket fence." Lamar, adjust your headband and don't get caught watching the paint dry.
Rudy - If you say you didn't tear up when Rudy got the sack at the end of the game, you're full of it.
Slap Shot - Remember back in the day when you'd hear "The Hanson Brothers" and the first thing that would pop into your head would be anything but the word "Mmmbop?"
Rocky - The timeless story of a punchy, slow-witted thug's rise to the top. And no, it wasn't based on Mike Tyson.
Rocky III - Finally, we got to see the full breadth of Mr. T's acting, without George Peppard having to knock him out just to get him on an airplane. And, Hulk Hogan's cameo as "Thunderlips: The Ultimate Male" has to be one of the most underrated characters in movie history.
Rocky IV - Released in the '80s while the Cold War was still going strong, we vividly remember the entire theatre rising to it's feet, clapping and cheering when Balboa dropped Drago. Amazing.
Raging Bull - In a complete break from the norm, DeNiro and Pesci are 2 street-tough Italian guys looking to beat someone's head in. Seriously though, it doesn't get much better than Raging Bull.
All the Right Moves - Craig T. Nelson actually made a career outta Tom Cruise's crusty steel town football coach. But Craig T. doesn't push ATRM onto the list by himself. A teenage Leah Thompson however, does.
Field of Dreams - The Sixth Sense before anyone knew what a Haley Joel Osment was, Field of Dreams has it all. Who knew that the Witness Protection Program would decide to send Henry Hill to go hide in a cornfield?
Bull Durham - Kevin Costner's second entry on the list. How you doin' Susan Sarandon?
The Natural - Nowadays, if a guy hit homers like Roy Hobbs, they'd give him his own wing of the clubhouse with a la-z-boy and personal big screen TV. Oh wait, sorry Barry.
Hoop Dreams - Will Gates and Arthur Agee: possibly the two most famous ball players to never come anywhere close to the League.
White Men Can't Jump - Better special effects: Lord of the Rings? Or the technical wizardry used to make the audience actually start to believe that Woody Harrelson has enough game to win money hustling on L.A. playgrounds?
Teen Wolf - Don't look at us like that. Michael J. Fox dominates on the hardwood when he turns into the wolf, thus qualifying it as a sports movie. Plus, his gym teacher/hoops coach has one of the greatest pieces of advice ever when he pulls Mike aside and says: "Let me give you 3 rules to live by. #1 - Never get less than 12 hours of sleep a night. #2 - Never play cards with a guy who has the same last name as a city. And #3 - Never, and I mean never, get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger anywhere on her body. Stick by those rules and you'll be allright." Movie magic.
Caddyshack - Possibly the funniest movie ever made happens to have some golf sprinkled in too.
Jerry Maguire - Until about 2 weeks ago, Jerry would've been a lock for our list. Unfortunately, anything linked to "Snow Dogs", no matter how remote, is out.
Major League - We wanted so badly to put this one on the list - has there ever been a cooler character than the "Wild Thing?" Major League's status as a classic is forever tainted though by the string of horrific sequels that followed the original. Nothing associated with Scott Bakula will ever make the list (see "Necessary Roughness").
Next week, check back for the worst …