Tag Archives: Miracle

My Top Six Underdog Sports Movies

Everyone loves a good underdog story, especially  in the world of sports. Although we celebrate feats of athletic domination (e.g. The Dream Team’s romp towards the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Gold, Manny Pacquiao’s various world titles in eight weight divisions, and Roger Federer’s 17 grand slam singles titles), unexpected triumphs elicit a more endearing emotional response.

Being a movie buff and a sports nut for around half my life, here’s a list of the sports movies I’ve enjoyed the most:

Wimbledon (2004)

Let’s be honest with each other here. I’m quite certain that every sports-minded fellow out there has felt some sort of superhuman boost in performance because of that thing called love. This movie takes the concept even further – much further at that, considering the stakes.

wimbledon_film_poster

The Karate Kid (1984)

Who would’ve thought that waxing the car, painting the fence, and sanding the floor could instill martial arts fundamentals?

karate_kid

Rocky I (and Rocky III and Rocky IV)

No sports movie list is complete without Rocky. This is the granddaddy of all underdog sport movies, with its iconic training montages, barely-coherent Stallone slurs, and gory fictional fights-to-the-finish.

rocky_poster

The Replacements (2000)

This is about getting an unexpected second shot at sporting glory – and making it count. Definitely my favorite Keanu Reeves film.

Replacements_ver3.jpg

Miracle (2004)

I haven’t seen a live ice hockey game my entire life, but the sheer impact of one of the greatest upsets in sporting history resonates despite the differences in seasons. This is a classic David and Goliath story… on ice.

miracle_film

Rudy (1993)

This is, without a doubt, my favorite sports film of all-time. Sean Astin was fantastic in his portrayal of the headstrong protagonist. Jerry Goldsmith’s musical score made the movie even more memorable.

rudy2

Dream On!

I watched “Miracle” again for the first time since my college days. The movie was inspiring, to say the least. Who would have thought that a bunch of U.S. collegians could beat the best team in the world? Well, they had thousands of screaming American fans, a great coach and a bad-ass conditioning program to back them up.

“Miracle” is one of the best sports movies I’ve ever seen, definitely at par with the best of them. Despite living in a tropical country, I’ve always found ice hockey movies particularly interesting. The entire game, for this noob, is one helluva big oxymoron – with the graceful motion of skating juxtaposed with the fast-paced (oft violent) action of team sports.

I particularly liked the end credits, where each member of the gold-medal winning team was given a brief post-Olympic rundown. The classic Aerosmith hit “Dream On” plays as the credits roll on.

It was an apt theme, considering where the 1980 Miracle on Ice team came from. Watch the movie, if you haven’t seen it yet!

%d bloggers like this: