Flood Watch: Top five sports films of all time

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A bucket of Orville’s best, a 32-ounce cola and a 50-foot wide screen showing a motion picture.
The corn and the soda are pretty consistent, but with films, we’ve kind of got ourselves a hit-or-miss scenario. For example, if you took high school Spanish classes, you know that everyone claims that their Spanish video they made was “the best ever” or “the funniest video ever.” Sorry folks, I don’t think we’re finding any Spielbergs in a freshman Spanish elective.

The bottom line is that some movies make us laugh harder or get us more emotionally involved than we probably should. Sports movies are no exception. Now, I’m no IMDb writer, so this is totally opinion. If you don’t agree with me, good news! There should be a red “x” in the top right part of your screen if you’re using a PC and a red circle in the top left for Macs that will help you out with that.

Starting off at No. 5, we’ve got the movie every kid that’s played baseball loves to this day. “The Sandlot” is a right-on mix of comedy, adventure, and of course, baseball. A group of kids with the most legendary nicknames you could think of (you’re killing me, Smalls!) have their share of fun each summer. From hittin’ dingers over a trash wall into “The Beast’s” home, to chewing Red Man and then going on carnival rides, to the classic 4th of July fireworks scene that mesmerized the young folks since day one. Need a dose of nostalgia? Throw in “The Sandlot.”

Next up at No. 4, we’ve got “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” Pre-nutcase Shia LaBeouf starred in this golf film about a young man who chased his dream of playing competitive golf. After qualifying for the U.S. Open, Francis Ouimet squares up against Harry Vardon, his very own golf idol. With a 10-year-old boy for his caddie and the entire town behind him, Ouimet became the first amateur to win the U.S. Open and was a future golf Hall of Famer. For the non-golfer, maybe this isn’t something you keep in your DVD case, but if you see it on TV, give it a shot.

Getting the bronze at No. 3 is a title of which many haven’t heard. “The Legend of Baggar Vance” is another golf movie with a surprisingly big name cast. Will Smith and Matt Damon co-star in this movie about a young golfer with a history of drinking (Damon) who is invited to play in a local golf tournament against real-life golf greats Bobby Jones and Walter Hagan. After declining the invite, Rannulph Juno, the main character, meets Baggar Vance (Smith), a long-lost caddie with advice for more than just the next golf shot. A philosophical story with a good dose of comedy and golf makes for a very well-balanced film.

Our runner-up at No. 2 is “Remember the Titans,” a timeless classic. Starring what many believe to be the greatest African-American actor who has challenged racial stereotypes in Hollywood, Denzel Washington made this movie great. A fantastic story about racial divide during the Civil Rights era as seen in high school football in the south, a group of misfits come together to form not only a great football team, but friendships and bonds that showed overcoming racial struggle. This movie will make you sing, dance, laugh and, yes, tear up. “Remember the Titans” is a must-see for sports fans and those not interested in sports alike.

Topping the list is another low-profile film about a man trying to support his family through boxing in the Bronx during the Great Depression. “Cinderella Man,” starring Russell Crowe, features a family struggling to get by and pay the bills and a man who feels the extreme pressures of society to provide for his family during the worst economic period in the U.S. Once a boxing champion, James J. Braddock, now out of his prime, is invited back into the ring to have another shot at success. A true Cinderella Story, this underdog film based on a true story will have you rooting for Braddock inside and outside of the ring with a perfect mix of failure and success, a few laughs, the American Dream, and a whole lotta feels.

Next time you have a spare hour or two, hit up that bucket of easy pop and a Coke and pop in one of the flicks on the aforementioned list. Maybe re-watch one of your favorites or watch a new movie. Either way, I can promise you that you cannot go wrong with any of these sports classics.