My friend and colleague Joe Padden came out with a list of the “TOP 5 BEST ATHLETES FROM MOVIES” and his list was pretty solid. Can’t argue with his reasoning but I’m going to go another way with this idea. This will be the Top Sports Characters in Movies regardless of skill. The ones that made us laugh and cry while laying it all out on the field. I’m going to name a few of my favorites and then explain the rush of emotion I got from each character.
Rudy Ruettiger- Rudy : Now I’m not one to spoil movies but at the end of Rudy when Rudy gets in the game with the stadium chanting his name, I couldn’t help but shed a tear. All this guy wanted to do was play for the Notre Dame football team and by God he did it. Now the movie sort of “Hollywoods” the whole story but boy oh boy when the jerseys are laid on the coach’s desk and Rudy finally gets his number called, any person would well up.
Bobby Boucher- The Waterboy : Underneath the classic one liners and great character Bobby Boucher, there is an amazing story about perseverance and rising of talent. A lowly water boy finds that he is spectacular at tackling and moves from water boy to star of the team. Once you get past the comedy I’m sure there were a few tears shed here. It’s basically Rudy with jokes. Honestly when Rob Schneider yells “YOU CAN DO IT” who didn’t tear up???
Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez- The Sandlot: The PF Flyers, guaranteed to make any kid run faster and jump higher. The Beast, guaranteed to make any kid quiver at the sound of his bark. Benny, guaranteed to hit a two run double in the bottom of the 9th. Benny was just your average neighborhood kid who through sheer determination and mental toughness got that ball back.
Ricky Bobby- Talladega Nights: One of the most dominant sports stars in movie history, Ricky Bobby showed he was at the top NASCAR. The only fault of his was his mental toughness which turned out to be his downfall. Ricky had to hit rock bottom, losing his endorsements, his wife, and even his pants at one point to once again bounce back to the top of the racing world. Nothing says comeback story like Ricky Bobby stabbing himself in the leg and ending up a NASCAR champ once again.
Peter Lafleur- Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story: Another movie that is just a rollercoaster of emotion has to be Dodgeball. Just a couple of average joes (ehh see what I did there) go from almost losing their gym, to playing in what “The Ocho” calls the best sporting event of the year, the Las Vegas Dodgeball Tournament. Peter Lafleur has to go through a few realizations of his own before he can reach his full potential but with the help of a wrench, Lance Armstrong, and a blind fold, Peter pulls though.
Happy Gilmore- Couldn’t put two Adam Sandler characters in the main list but who wouldn’t want to play 9 with ol’ Happy
Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn – After a pair of glasses turns an average pitcher into an absolute Ace, you know Wild Thing is forever in the top tier of sports characters
Brucie- The man in the Longest Yard who everyone overlooked (except Tracy Morgan), ends up with a key onside kick that sealed the deal for the Mean Machine
G Baby- I recently watched Hardball and man G Baby is a total inspiration to all of us