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A few weeks ago I was sifting through mock drafts when I found one labeled “Movie Character Mock Draft” on Tirico Suave. I was curious, so I read through the piece and found it to be pure genius. The author used a number of famous sports roles to generate the pool from which all 32 NFL teams drafted, creating a mock draft from fictional characters. I have decided to give this a run for the 2009 NFL Draft.

I would like to give credit to Tirico Suave for its 2008 Movie Character Mock Draft and to The Money Shot for its 2007 Movie Character Mock Draft. Good work, guys.

Without further ado, here is my take on how this year’s draft would look if movie characters were on the board.

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moxon1. Detroit Lions – QB Jonathan Moxon (Varsity Blues)
Jonathan “Mox” Moxon is talented, strikingly handsome, and wickedly accurate with the football. Detroit needs a franchise quarterback in this year’s draft and they can find it with Moxon. Not to mention that Mox and Lions center Dominic Raiola have already worked out an agreement to help Raiola fight the Lions’ fans. Before any play, Raiola can audible with a brief description of which fan is really grinding his gears. Mox will subsequently beam the ball into the stands for a knockout blow as he has infamously done to mascots and parents alike.

lastik2. St. Louis Rams – OT Louie Lastik (Remember The Titans)
Someone said football, so Louie came running. The Rams need help in a number of ways in 2009, but their greatest offseason task is to replace Pro Bowl LT Orlando Pace. Lastik might need some help on footwork at the next level, but he has been pounding buffets since he was three years old all in preparation of this day. The only problem is that the first “your mama” joke Louie attempts in training camp might put him the IR for the year. Lastik has the natural size and strength to play OT in the NFL, now its up to the Rams to see how well they can develop his talent.

boucher3. Kansas City Chiefs – LB Bobby Boucher (The Waterboy)
At some point, and insane amount of talent cannot continue to go unnoticed. Bobby Boucher starred at South Central Louisiana State University, providing nearly all of the Mud Dogs’ offense and defense. Scouts took immediate notice of Boucher’s emotional style of play and innate ability to predict the opposing quarterback’s snap count. Boucher could fall further in the draft if teams are unable to determine his mother’s involvement in his life. Ms. Boucher has made numerous threats to different franchises concerning the well-being of her son, and many teams are concerned of her involvement should they draft Boucher. Kansas City seems undeterred, however, and will look to adress their thin linebacking corps with this pick.
jumbo4. Seattle Seahawks – OT Jumbo Fumiko (The Replacements)
In 2001, the Seattle Mariners signed Ichiro Suzuki and he instantly became a fan favorite. In 2009, the Seahawks also hope to sign a future Japanese sports star. The Seahawks have a number of holes which they could address with the No.4 pick, but their porous o-line cost them a number of games in 2008, and they need to take a top-tier talent here to keep their offense afloat. An additional bonus is Jumbo’s ability to run the ball. He highlighted his legs in the film when he scored a rushing TD, and Seattle’s rush offense is terrible. Look for a William Perry-esque FB set when Fumiko goes to Seattle.

franklin5. Cleveland Browns – WR Clifford Franklin (The Replacements)
The Cleveland Browns are in talks to trade their marquee WR Braylon Edwards before draft day. GM All-Star Phil Savage will respond to this by using the No.5 overall pick to bolster a failing receiving corps. Losing TE Kellen Winslow and WR Braylon Edwards in one offseason is brutal, but Savage will take WR Clifford Franklin here to try and lessen the blow. Why? He’s fast! Who cares if he can’t catch, Phil Savage is on the Al Davis train of thought which focuses on speed and speed alone. Besides, Braylon Edwards never caught the ball and Cleveland paid him a lot of money. Why not do it again?

billbybob6. Cincinnati Bengals – OT Billy Bob (Varsity Blues)
Cincinnati undoubtedly has to address its struggling offensive line with the No.6 pick. Billy Bob makes the most sense for them here, as he is a massive prospect with ungodly strength and commitment. Don’t worry about the alcoholism and run-ins with the police, the Bengals have an excellent training program in place led by WR Chris Henry to teach draft picks how to get arrested without getting cut from the team. Billy Bob might miss three or four weeks due to jail time, but in Cincinnati no one cares about that. He will be an excellent addition to the Bengals offensive line.

gump17. Oakland Raiders – KR Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump)
Al Davis will still be reeling from the loss of WR Clifford Franklin’s speed when Oakland goes on the clock. He will turn to the backup plan, the speedy kick returner from the University of Alabama, Forrest Gump. Davis is well-aware of the package he is drafting. Gump can’t catch, throw, block, or read a playbook. But what Gump can do is run. There is an outside shot that Davis drafts Sea Biscuit with this pick, as the horse has shown off tremendous speed at the combine, but for now expect Davis to follow through on the one-dimensional runner Forrest Gump. Don’t worry about a lack of potential. Al Davis loves kids with high perceived potential who might not pan out, doesn’t he JaMarcus?

tidwell18. Jacksonville Jaguars – WR Rod Tidwell (Jerry Maguire)
The global economy knew it was in trouble when WR Rod Tidwell signed Scott Boras as his agent. Boras has been in negotiations with several teams and is reportedly asking for $723 million dollars a year. Tidwell’s only response is the line that made him famous… “Show the the money!” The Jags signed Torry Holt, but let’s be honest, is that enough to fix the most self-destructive and morally gray receiving corps in the NFL. Vegas odds say that Tidwell goes here, which works for Jacksonville because Matt Jones and Reggie Williams are already in Vegas trading lines of blow off of urinals. Tidwell is a headcase, but Jacksonville has no problem with dysfunctional receivers. Consider him signed.

rudy9. Green Bay Packers – DE Daniel Ruettiger (Rudy)
Rudy… Rudy… Rudy… The fans chant makes any sports fan instantly sentimental. Green Bay will capitalize on Rudy’s college popularity by drafting him to start on their defensive line. The Packers are switching to a 3-4, which means they need speed rushers off the outside who have the versatility to play linebacker as well. Rudy fits the bill, as a lesser sized speed rusher who can also join the linebacking corps. Green Bay fans have been desperately searching for another icon since Brett Favre left town. Aaron Rodgers might be the man, but then again he might not be. Rudy is a slam-dunk fan favorite who can sell tickets, sell jerseys, and maybe an emotional leader of this team… kind of.

slater10. San Francisco 49ers – A.C. Slater (Saved By The Bell)
Bayside High’s badass jock rounds out the top 10 picks in this year’s draft. Slater was a multi-sport star at Bayside, competing in basketball, football, wrestling, and mullet awareness training. Mike Singletary and the Niners are hopefully starting a new era in San Francisco, and it is fitting for them to draft a new quarterback. Slater was chosen because of his similarities to USC QB Mark Sanchez. Curly black locks, droves of teenage girls who want them, and a hometown California kid who is sure to be a fan favorite. Don’t forget, this cat can drum, dance, and show off his eight-pack with the best of them.

lattimer111. Buffalo Bills – DE Steve Lattimer (The Program)
Steve Lattimer is one of the premiere defensive prospects in this draft. Sure there are drawbacks, namely the ‘Roid-Rage and an uncanny ability to put his face through car windshields, but in terms of sheer talent Lattimer is a top-five talent. Buffalo is in need of a pass rushing defensive end to line up opposite Aaron Schobel, and if Lattimer falls to them here he is a perfect fit. One glaring problem with this pick is how Lattimer will interact with newly-acquired WR Terrell Owens. With Lattimer on ‘Roid-Rage and Owens on TO-Rage the Bills locker room might be burned down by late August. The most severe casualty: QB Trent Edwards. Lattimer is going to bury him in practice while Owens bashes him in the media… Trent’s best bet would be to use that Stanford degree and head into the business sector.

wyler12. Denver Broncos – QB Jake Wyler (Not Another Teen Movie)
There is much speculation over whether or not Josh McDaniels and the Broncos will try and replace recently departed QB Jay Cutler via the draft or gamble on former Bears great Kyle Orton. This pick makes sense for a number of reasons, but mostly because Wyler fits every criteria that McDaniels apparently loves. First, Wyler was a high school starter. McDaniels made his love for high school starters apparent when he tried to ship a 25-year-old Pro Bowl quarterback out of town for a Patriots system QB with an excellent high school resume. Second, Wyler currently sits the bench (positive spin: he is resting his arm). McDaniels also loves bench-warmers, because QB Matt Cassel had “rested his arm” for about six years before Jesus Christ Tom Brady got hurt this year. McDaniels sees another high-school-great-turned-bench-warmer available here and will no doubt pull the trigger.

bateman13. Washington Redskins – LB Danny Bateman (The Replacements)
Dear Daniel Snyder, who is the craziest, most controversial person you can draft at No.13? Snyder has a taste for big names, and behind Jerry Jones he is the most free-wheeling owner on the market. Snyder has no problem dumping big money into a prospect if he is guaranteed results. Bateman fits this perfectly, as he is a cop with an anger problem. Great character builder but also great football instinct. The Redskins linebacking corps needs help on the outside, and even MLB London Fletcher is aging. Adding Bateman gives the Redskins a loud and talent-laden linebacker with enough years ahead of him to bolster a linebacking corps.

steffen14. New Orleans Saints – CB Steffen Djordjevic (All The Right Moves)
What kind of movie list would this be if Tom Cruise didn’t show up somewhere? The New Orleans Saints secondary had so many holes in it last year that at one point the referees stopped play to make sure there were indeed 11 players on defense. New Orleans re-signed all-world LB Jonathan Vilma, so the linebacking corps is set, but they need talent in their secondary, especially at cornerback. Steffen Djordjevic (pronounced Jore-Juh-Vitch) is a fundamentally-sound cornerback with (no pun intended) all the right assets for the Saints defense. Ironic twist of the year: Djordjevic gets drafted by Philadelphia or Pittsburgh and despite going pro does not get to leave the state of Pittsburgh…

roseanne115. Houston Texans – LB Nancy Seavers (Backfield In Motion)
The Houston Texans need a dominant defensive player to plug into their front seven with this pick. It could be a defensive end, which would allow superstar DE Mario Williams to avoid being triple-teamed, or it could be an outside linebacker, which the Texans are very shallow at. Instead of picking one or the other, the Texans are going to select a DE/LB hybrid in LB Nancy Seavers. Quite simply, the Texans need the most dominant force available in this draft. If Rosie O’Donnell is not in the draft pool then Nancy Seavers is far-and-away a one-woman wrecking crew. It is unclear whether Seavers will hold out on her contract, as there are several perks that she demands. Most notably she demands a DVD copy of every Tom Arnold movie (which might not exist) and a lifetime-for-free card to the nearest Outback Steakhouse.

icebox116. San Diego Chargers – LB Becky “Icebox” O’Shea (Little Giants)
An NFL Draft first will happen here when two women are drafted back-to-back for the first and only time in history. Becky “Icebox” O’Shea had an excellent performance against the Little Cowboys, highlighted by her goal line stuff of Cowboys All-Star RB Spike Hammersmith. When the Icebox isn’t out trolling for Devin Sawa look-a-likes, she is one of the most dominant linebackers in football. The Chargers enter this draft very thin at linebacker, and worrying about the expiring contract of LB Shawne Merriman. O’Shea gives San Diego depth and youth at linebacker, something they will gladly take.

airbud17. New York Jets – WR Air Bud (Air Bud: Golden Receiver)
The New York Jets lost a lot of offensive talent this offseason. While new head coach Rex Ryan led his band of Baltimore refugees to New York, most of the talent he brought was on the defensive side of the ball. One of the Jets’ greatest needs in this draft is a playmaking wide receiver, and they can find that in WR Air Bud. Air Bud has the speed and hands to make himself a star in the NFL (notice he is dragging his toes on the Air Bud 2 cover shown to the left), the only question is if he will be able to comprehend the playbook or simply run the Devery-Henderson “Go Deep!” route every play. Air Bud is a high risk and high reward kind of pick, and new coach Rex Ryan might be ballsy enough to make it.

romo18. Denver Broncos – LB Guard Lambert (The Longest Yard)
Something about Lambert’s appearance looks so familiar to the Broncos organization… The Broncos signed MLB Andra Davis this offseason, but they have to know that more depth is needed. Guard Lambert had an excellent performance in the Guards v. Prisoners game, and scouts say he is playing the best football of his life. Needles and curse words aside, Lambert has the tools to be an All-Pro linebacker in the NFL, and the Broncos will take a waiver on him come draft day.

foxx19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – QB Willie Beamen (Any Given Sunday)
I’m not sure if this pick is more appealing for the hot-headed nature of QB Willie Beamen or the what-might-have-been spats with always scowling ex-head coach Jon Gruden. In this year’s draft, the Buccaneers are very interested in Kansas State QB Josh Freeman. Beamen holds nearly every talent that Freeman boasts, a rhyming name, and Grammy-winning musical talent. Pwned. The Bucs need a solid quarterback. While QB Byron Leftwich might be an answer, they can’t go all-in on a quarterback who has busted out of a few other cities. Beamen is an insurance policy on Leftwich and a potential quarterback of the future.

gruff20. Detroit Lions – K Nigel Gruff (The Replacements)
This much is certain: even if QB Jonathan Moxon is the solution to Detroit’s offensive woes, the Lions probably won’t be scoring many TD’s this year. What should Detroit do to guarantee they get on the board more than last year? Select a kicker who is good from about 75yds and in. Gruff has easily the strongest leg in NFL history, as he set an NFL-Record with the Washington Sentinels (and made the kick with distance to spare). An added bonus is Gruff’s sense of humor and savvy interactions with the media. The fans will love him, and if the Lions offense stalls as much as we are expecting he could set NFL Records for field goals attempted, field goals made, points scored, and also win the NFL Rookie of the Year and NFL MVP awards. Too much potential to pass up.

danza21. Philadelphia Eagles – K Barney Gorman (The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon)
The Philadelphia Eagles draft strategy may as well read: First, take the most logical choice and throw it out the window. Second, take the player who could help Donovan McNabb the most and also throw it out the window. Third, take the player who the fans want and let him join the other two on their way out the window. The Eagles front office will see K Nigel Gruff taken at No.20 and go into a frenzy over whether there is about to be a run on kickers in this draft. To play it safe and make sure that they get the kicker they want they will pull the trigger on K Barney Gorman at No.21 instead of waiting until the sixth or seventh rounds. It’s always funny in Philadelphia…

turley22. Minnesota Vikings – FB Turley (The Longest Yard)
With this pick the Minnesota Vikings front office will finally admit that passing the ball is no longer an option. QB Sage Rosenfels will return to the bench, where he can’t fumble a game away to the Colts, and QB Tarvaris Jackson will execute a newly-implemented power option playbook. Turley makes perfect sense here, because if you are going to run the ball every down you need a bruising fullback to clear the way. RB Adrian Peterson will recover from a near-coronary he suffered when Minnesota made this pick (he was expecting another WR or defensive player) and be ready to run the ball in 2009. Look out for Minnesota to break records in total carries, total rushing yards, and quarterback fumbles.

willis23. New England Patriots – UTIL David Dunn (Unbreakable)
Bill Belicheck has an uncanny ability to get 100% out of every player who suits up for him. In this year’s draft, he will take a waiver on former high school football star David Dunn, who has recently discovered that he has superhero strength and abilities. Dunn might be a little rusty, but he will undoubtedly be the first player in NFL history to play at least one snap from every position on the field. His speed is excellent, his strength is unmatched, and he has one of the most brilliant coaches in history to move him around the field. This pick could be scary good…

jackson1jackson224. Atlanta Falcons – OG Andre & Jamal Jackson (The Replacements)
Prior to this pick it was illegal to draft two players with the same pick. However, the Jackson brothers made a visit to Roger Goodell’s house, put a few bullets in one of his cars, and just like that the Falcons can draft both players with the same pick. Atlanta’s draft strategy is simple: Protect Matt Ryan at all costs. QB Matt Ryan is obviously the future in Atlanta, and the Falcons front office has no problem drafting top-tier offensive linemen who can run-block for star RB Michael Turner and pass-block for star QB Matt Ryan. Defense can wait, for now the Falcons want to follow priority number one: keep Matt Ryan off of his back.

tweeder25. Miami Dolphins – WR Charlie Tweeder (Varsity Blues)
Every expert in the world has Miami taking a wide receiver with this pick. The Dolphins receiving corps is full of good but not great receivers, and at some point you need more star power than just WR Ted Ginn Jr. Ginn lobbied heavily for this pick, as he is a big fan of Tweeder’s career at West Canaan High School and is dying to learn the Tweeder Endzone Dance. The Dolphins front office has their work cut out for them in stopping Tweeder’s off-field antics (especially stealing police cars and driving them around town while naked), but if they can straighten him out off of the field he has serious star power on it.

boobiemiles26. Baltimore Ravens – RB James “Boobie” Miles (Friday Night Lights)
There is good news and bad news that comes along with this pick. The good news is that Miles can add some star power to a muddled down Ravens running back pool. RB Willis McGahee is falling apart, RB Leron McClain is more of a fullback than anything else, and RB Ray Rice has moments of brilliance but can’t seem to hold them together. Miles’ highlight reel from high school is breathtaking, and his career at Permian High School is easily enough to warrant a draft pick. The bad news is that Miles has only one leg. He shredded up his ACL and MCL pretty bad in his senior year, and while he contends that he can play on it, scouts are not so optimistic. It is yet to be seen if Miles can produce at the next level, but Baltimore is going to take a waiver on him and see if they can land top-five talent at No.26.

switowski127. Indianapolis Colts – DT Switowski (The Longest Yard)
Some day the Indianapolis Colts hope that someone not named Dwight Freeney will introduce themselves to an opposing quarterback. Freeney is a freak of nature, and opposite DE Robert Mathis is also a good pass rusher, but there is a glaring hole at DT that needs to be filled immediately. Switowski is a little bit soft, the Colts are confident that they can toughen him up training camp. The Colts front office knows you can’t coach sheer size and Switowski is loaded with it. If the Colts can grab a solid DT with this pick look out for their front seven in 2009.

goldberg28. Buffalo Bills – LB Joey Battle (The Longest Yard)
Bills fans can mark this pick as the moment that the Buffalo locker room is destined to implode. In football terms the pick makes sense, because Battle bolsters the Buffalo linebacking corps and complements No.11 pick DE Steve Lattimer to greatly improve the Bills defensive front seven. Unfortunately, chaos will ensue when Battle enters the Buffalo locker room. One day, WR Terrell Owens is bound to walk by as Battle and (as Paul Crewe calls it, his pet iguana) are showering. When Owens sees Battle’s manhood he will instantly feel belittled and go into a TO-esque media frenzy about all the things that are wrong in Buffalo. Book it, it’s happening.

irvin29. New York Giants – WR Deacon Moss (The Longest Yard)
Teammates are selected back-to-back here as LB Joey Battle and WR Deacon Moss will fly off the board one after the other. The New York Giants lost WR Plaxico “Cheddar Plax” Burress this offseason and are currently trying to fill that void via trading (see the Braylon Edwards trade rumors for more details). If a trade doesn’t work out, the Giants will use the No.29 pick to address their wide receiver problems. The only drawback to WR Deacon Moss is that he is, unfortunately, in prison. The good news is that he is replacing another receiver in legal trouble, so he can’t really look any worse. Moss is the best receiving talent available here and if the Giants still need a receiver he is a lock to be picked.

kane30. Tennessee Titans – QB Joe Kane (The Program)
The Tennessee Titans front office has had many late-night drinking parties lamenting the fact that they let local icon QB Jay Cutler slip past them a few years back in favor of that-guy-who-was-good-in-college QB Vince Young. QB Kerry Collins is currently at the helm, but one has to think of how many years the Kerry Collins Show can continue. Drafting QB Joe Kane here is good for a few reasons. First, it provides more competition at QB in Tennessee, which spurs players to play better. Second, it allows more options if/when Kerry Collins dies of old age while under contract in Tennessee. The problem is that Tennessee doesn’t know about Joe Kane’s drinking problem yet, and the only way to find out is when he is arrested for public intoxication in downtown Nashville. If both Kane and Young continue to ride the pine in Tennessee, look for several late night drinking parties and the inaugural “Joe and Vince’s drunken karaoke party.”

brown31. Arizona Cardinals – RB Wendell Brown (Varsity Blues)
With J.J. Arrington leaving town for Denver and Edgerrin James being placed in a nursing home last month, the Arizona Cardinals are facing serious depth problems at running back. RB Wendell Brown is a perfect choice here. Why? Because he is used to never getting the ball, and in Arizona they host a pass-happy offense. By Brown’s own admission, West Canaan High School’s coach Bud Kilmer ran him a lot between the 20’s, but when it came down to the red zone the quarterbacks always threw for TDs. How insignificant is he? I couldn’t even find a picture of him without James Van Der Beek’s ugly mug in it as well… He better get used to being ignored in Arizona too, because on the goal line there is one play call and one play call only to get used to: lob it up to Larry Fitzgerald! Brown is a talented running back and a good fit for the Arizona Cardinals.

petey32. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Petey Jones (Remember the Titans)
The Pittsburgh Steelers look ready to repeat as Champs. They have lost minimal talent this offseason, and should be able to run their team as efficiently as before with the tools they have in place for 2009. One of their greatest offseason losses was CB Bryant McFadden. The Steelers will try to replace him with this pick, taking CB Petey Jones (not his racist pal Alan) with the No.32 pick. Jones looked like a shutdown corner playing for T.C. Williams High School, and the Steelers could use that kind of talent in their secondary. Jones beat the other high school teams and beat racism in general… That’s some serious talent.

Early Second Round Draft Choices
QB Frank Cushman (Jerry Maguire)
QB Shane “Footsteps” Falco (The Replacements)
RB Earl Meggett (The Longest Yard)
RB Julian Washington (Any Given Sunday)
DT Andre Krimm (Necessary Roughness)
DE Julius Campbell (Remember The Titans)
LB Gerry Bertier (Remember the Titans)
CB Earl Wilkinson (The Replacements)
SS Brian Chavez (Friday Night Lights)

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Well, that’s it for the 2009 NFL Movie Character Mock Draft!

Please comment below on who I missed and who shouldn’t even be here!

sk.

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Creating a list of the greatest sports movies of all time is a difficult task. My personal complaint to most lists is that they are all the same. They all include classics like Bull Durham, Hoosiers, and The Natural. There is nothing wrong with this, but I decided to create a newer list of great sports movies. While those movies are great, it is widely accepted that they are in the upper echelon of sports movies. With that in mind, I set out to create a list of sports movies which includes some more recent masterpieces. Without further adieu, here is my list of the top 20 sports movies of the last 20 years.

20. He Got Game (1998) –Most sports movies focus so much on athletics that they fail to develop the plot, but this is not the case in He Got Game. It provides a jaded, yet potentially truthful, portrayal of recruiting in college athletics (e.g. sex, booze, and a threesome with two blondes) and also introduces you to Jesus Shuttlesworth’s fractured family, troubled past, and guilt-stricken father. If that’s not enough for you, consider this: in what other movie can you watch Ray Allen deliver an MTV-Award caliber performance? Yes, he was nominated as MTV’s breakthrough male actor in 1998… NICE.

19. Days of Thunder (1990) – Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, and Uncle Eddie from the Vacation movie series. That’s all I need… Days of Thunder could be labeled “Talladega Nights with drama instead of comedy,” as it featured a hot-headed lead driver, a skilled competitor, a domineering boss, and so many bumps that NASCAR nearly lost its mind. Not to mention that a 23 year old Nicole Kidman played a brain surgeon… (was “Brain Surgeon” some sort of Bachelor’s Degree in 1990?)

18. Tin Cup (1996) – Biggest knock on Tin Cup: it’s a chick flick first and sports movie second. While sports movies, just like movies in general, tend to introduce a love interest, Tin Cup spends too much lovey-dovey time between Robin Hood and that chick who was in the Lethal Weapon series. As everyone knows, however, the movie is made when he decides to go for the green (over and over and over). Fun fact (and this is via Wikipedia so take it for what its worth): Costner’s meltdown is based on a similar round by golf analyst David McCord. I wish I had the footage… I’m sure it’s priceless.

17. Baseketball (1998) – Let me say this first: anyone who immediately objects to Baseketball’s spot on this list needs to watch the movie again. After viewing the movie in light of modern American sports, you can then decide if Baseketball is a true slapstick comedy or a prophetic depiction of the course of professional sports. Consider this: Baseketball was released in 1998, which means it was probably written and developed around 1996-97. This was before the era of home run kings in baseball, before the Manny Ramirez blockbuster deal in Boston, before A-Rod became the “Quarter Billion Dollar Man,” before the San Francisco Giants’ home stadium had eight new names, before Mike Vick made $100 million in the NFL, and before NBA free agency turned into a proverbial “shuffle up and play.” Watch it again and appreciate the now-accurate digs at modern American sports. The introduction alone should make any true sports fan die laughing…

16. The Sandlot (1993) – I shouldn’t even have to defend this. Benny, Smalls, Yeah-Yeah, and that fat catcher can speak for themselves. I couldn’t find room for other young sports favorites like Little Giants and Rookie of the Year, you bet your ass I made room for The Sandlot. “Heroes get remembered, but Legends never die.”

15. Cinderella Man (2005) –This movie vaulted a seemingly average citizen, who had been forced to work manual labor jobs due to a broken hand, into the national spotlight by winning boxing’s Heavyweight Title. When the Great Depression was tearing apart the wills of millions of Americans, James Braddock offered a true and touching story of determination and success. That is what makes Cinderella Man a great movie.

14. The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) – Will Smith turns in an incredible performance in an otherwise underappreciated golf movie. Bagger Vance spans the entire spectrum of human emotion, including love, anger, fear, guilt, depression, success, failure, and redemption. Not much comedy to be found, but with such a powerful plot, not much was needed. Fun Fact: Will Smith’s voice for the character of Bagger Vance sounds eerily like Uncle Remus’ voice in the nearly-forgotten Disney classic Song of the South… Almost dead on.

13. A League of Their Own (1992) – Yes, it’s a movie about womens athletics, but A League of Their Own also stars Tom Hanks as a degenerate drunk of a baseball manager, which any baseball fan should love to be. At least the two female leads aren’t bad to look at. Geena Davis and Madonna had to good looking though, because the two male leads (Tom Hanks and Rosie O’Donnell) didn’t offer much sex appeal. Not to mention that this scene is PRICELESS:

12. 61* (2001) – My general intrigue with this movie is then-commissioner Ford Frick’s attempt to place an asterisk next to Roger Maris’ home run record. Frick’s initial complaint against Maris’ record was that he played more games than the original record holder, Babe Ruth. This is the same argument I made against Randy Moss breaking Jerry Rice’s single season touchdown record of 22 receiving TDs in 2007. What I was upset about is that Jerry Rice’s record was set in only 12 games! Yes, Moss’ accomplishment was great, but I believe that Rice’s 12TD in 22 games should be in the record book somewhere. That argument put aside, this movie is an excellent interpretation of the summer of 1961.

11. The Mighty Ducks (1992) – Quack, Quack, Quack… Gordon Bombay and crew deliver one of the most immature, entertaining, and legendary films in sports history. While this may not seem like a textbook “greatest movie,” its legacy is still alive today. The Mighty Ducks spawned two sequels, an animated television series, and even an NHL franchise! The Mighty Ducks stands as one of the most influential sports movies of all time, despite playing for a younger audience than most great sports movies. The Flying V, two eventual sequels, and anything that Goldberg (the comically overweight goalie) spat helped make this movie an instant classic.

10. Blue Chips (1994) – Something deep inside of every reader was hoping that Shaquille O’Neal showed up at least once on this list. This movie potentially mirrors a number of mediocre NCAA basketball teams in the country. When a team isn’t winning, the head coach is feeling pressure from the school, the fans, and the media. When the coach is feeling pressure, he tries to find any way to let his team win. Some coaches respond to this pressure positively, by practicing harder, modifying game plans, and spurring their players on to victory. Some coaches, however, cut corners by choosing the “win by any means necessary” plan. This movie interests me because it reveals a lot of underhand deals in NCAA basketball recruiting. While I know that this is a movie, where events are exaggerated, I am always curious of how many dirty deeds are done each day just to “win by any means necessary.”

9. Varsity Blues (1999)Varsity Blues is one of the most surprisingly powerful sports movies in history. Many movies err by adding too much or too little sports action, but Varsity Blues introduces unique characters, creates conflict, and addresses the pressures of star athletes all while providing a good amount of football action. Racism, drinking, sex, drugs, peer pressure, intimidation, and vindication all combine to make Varsity Blues one of the best sports movies of the last twenty years. If you have written Varsity Blues off as a “teen movie” or discarded it because it is an MTV film, you need to see it before you judge it.

8. White Men Can’t Jump (1992) –Other than an unsightly and unsoundly Rosie Perez appearance, White Men Can’t Jump holds all the characteristics of a great sports comedy. It’s a clever con: Wesley Snipes challenges a couple of guys to two on two with any partner they choose. All the black players assume the goofily-dressed Woody Harrelson can’t ball, so they pick him to play with Snipes. Result? Snipes and Harrelson take a couple hundred and head to the liquor store… Nice. Best Moment: Harrelson draining a half-court hook shot… that cat can play ball.

7. Remember the Titans (2000) – Yes, the movie which inspired our blog name is undoubtedly one of the greatest sports movies of the last two decades. The only detriment to Remember the Titans is that it sparked a slew of similar movies in different sports. Glory Road told the story of black players struggling to gain equality in basketball, Pride showed black swimmers trying to gain equality in the swimming pool, and The Express again focused on black football players (for a great article on this phenomenon click here). While it is a Disney joint (which takes away some of its street cred), it is still a great movie, and easily one of the top 10 of the last 20 years.

6. Happy Gilmore (1996) – This movie has so many priceless scenes, quotes, gestures, and anecdotes that one paragraph can’t do it justice. Hollywood has made a killing by mocking the uptight world of golf (including good movies like Caddyshack and disasters like Who’s Your Caddy?), and this movie used that mockery perfectly. The writers only plugged in a few stereotypical golf jokes, opting instead to focus on the uproarious nature of Happy Gilmore, his hockey-fueled past of violence, and his frequent mishaps with golf clubs and fake hands. Absolute comic brilliance. If you don’t believe me now, then watch the following. This is what sports comedies should be:

5. Jerry Maguire (1996) –Powerful plot lines, intense character relationships, and emotional peaks and valleys lead drama films to success. Unlike a sports comedy, dramas do not have a punch-line to fall back on. Instead, they have to appease the audience with an in-depth story, which drags the viewer so far into the movie that they can’t wait for the next scene. With powerful acting and memorable lines, Jerry Maguire’s star power lifts it to this rank. Who can forget lines like “Who’s comin’ with me?” “Show me the money!” and “You had me at hello.” Unforgettable lines that cement Jerry Maguire’s place as one of the greatest sports films in recent history.

4. Major League (1992) – Believe me, I’m as surprised as you are to see Wesley Snipes in two of the top eight movies on this list. The Cleveland Indians owner tries to hire the worst team money can’t buy, but instead recruits Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, and Wesley Snipes— NICE! Take your pick of things to love: Charlie Sheen’s glasses, Wesley Snipes’ speed, Rene Russo’s hair, or even Corbin Bernsen just being a colossal bag of douche over at third base. Any way you slice it, Major League is easily one of the funniest sports movies of all time.

3. Rounders (1998) – Yes, I know that poker is technically not a sport. However, based on ESPN2’s recent love affair with all types of competitive poker, I find it fitting to place Rounders on this list. In 1998, poker had not hit it big-time yet. Of course the game was played, but unlike today, 97% of America had not watched a game of poker on ESPN. Rounders changed all that. It made poker sexy instead of sinful, and created an aura around poker which made it secretive enough to be desirable. Most of all, I like the tag line associated with this movie, which I have taken to heart as a personal credo: Trust everyone… But always cut the cards.

2. Field of Dreams (1989)If you rank it number two, they will come. Or so I hope. You think I was surprised when I put Wesley Snipes on here twice? Think about my reaction when I realized that that guy who starred in Waterworld made this list twice… Field of Dreams lets the viewer escape to a world where sports fantasies are possible. It is a true sports epic, with an open-ended conclusion which leaves the viewer to determine the fate of Costner’s baseball field. The only drawback to the movie, in my opinion, is seeing Moonlight Graham walk off the diamond every time I watch the movie. This movie has transcended sports movies and become part of American film history. Like Kevin Costner believed: If you build it, they will come.

1. Rudy (1993) – This list culminates in arguably the greatest “feel-good” sports movie of all-time. Rudy addresses both personal hardships and self doubt. The lead character has to face criticism from family, peers, coaches, and even teammates, but perseveres through it all to reach his goal. Everybody wants to reach their dreams, and in Rudy the viewer takes part in the one of the greatest accomplishments in sports history: a 5’ 7” walk-on player suiting up for the Fighting Irish, recording a sack on the field, and being carried out of Notre Dame Stadium on the shoulders of his teammates. This movie achieves true greatness.

Read and react with what you believe should and shouldn’t be on this list.

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