5. Rudy – The Rudy Play
Though not exactly historically accurate, it is nice to see little Rudy get the sack to finish the game against Georgia Tech and fulfill his dream of playing Notre Dame football.
Like I said before, any time you give me an underdog coming through, you’ve got me.
This scene is pretty self-explanatory, so let’s take a moment to consider how strange Sean Astin’s career has been. Lord of the Rings, Rudy and Goonies make for a pretty awesome resume, but everything in between is pretty unremarkable. He’s kind of like the Pat Burrell of acting: a good movie/season every other time out or so.
4. Poolhall Junkies – “Shoot It All”
I’m not sure I consider pool a full-fledged sport, but I am sure that I consider Poolhall Junkies to be a hell of an entertaining movie.
In this scene, we get classic Christopher Walken, a menacing Chazz Palmintieri, an adult Rick Schroeder, and star/director Mars Callahan (who looks like a hybrid of Ben Affleck and John Cusack) engaging in a high-stakes game of pool.
Walken steals the show with his “I’m a millionaire” line, and in the next scene Callahan steals the cash with some trickery of his own.
3. Rocky – Rocky vs. Apollo Creed
What more can be said about this fight that hasn’t already been said? A truly awesome movie, an awesome scene, and it’s even better that Rocky loses. I never saw that coming the first time I saw the movie.
It’s still amazing that Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in this movie. That’s quite an accomplishment for the same guy responsible for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.
2. Hoosiers – Jimmy Chitwood’s Shot
No sports movie best-of list would be complete without Hoosiers. The movie has set the standard for what a sports film should be, and I chose this final scene out of many worthy candidates.
Jimmy Chitwood saying “I’ll make it” is one of the coolest moments ever in a sports movie, and it’s made even cooler when he makes good on his promise.
One interesting note about this scene and this list is that actor Chelcie Ross (seen at 2:20 in the clip below) was also in Major League and Rudy, both on this list as well. When you throw in the fact that he was the senator in the movie featuring the #1 most unrealistic sports scene of all-time, I’d say this guy deserves some kind of sports movie lifetime achievement award.
1. Blue Chips – Coach Pete Bell’s Postgame Speech
Yes, I realize this is probably way too high for this scene, but Blue Chips is my favorite sports movie and this is my favorite scene from it.
What I love about Blue Chips is that the things I loved it for when it came out – cameos by NBA players, pretty realistic basketball action, gratuitous profanity – are less important now (except the gratuitous profanity, I still love that) but the impact of the movie is still just as great.
18 years ago, Blue Chips was giving us a glimpse inside the seedy underbelly of college athletics, and I suppose some of the innocence of watching sports was lost for me after seeing this movie. When I hear scandalous recruiting stories nowadays, I picture the late J.T. Walsh and his character Happy.
Nick Nolte had plenty of great moments in this movie, but I chose this one because it is the most authentic of all of them.
During most of the movie Nolte portrays a gentler version of Bob Knight, and while that is certainly entertaining, it is the vulnerable side of Coach Bell that I enjoy most now. You can tell that the man loves basketball with all of his heart, loves it despite realizing the inevitability that it can’t be the pure endeavor he has tricked himself into thinking it is.
It’s also fitting to choose this one since I made the first movie post after discussing Blue Chips with MSF editor Jerod Morris, who posted about its continued relevancy here. Full circle, my friends.
Now it’s time for your opinions.
What scenes did I leave out? Let’s hear from you in the comments below.