I believe that a man can be either a sports geek or a movie geek, but not both. This sentiment is sort of like that deleted scene from “Pulp Fiction,” in which Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) interviews Vincent Vega (John Travolta) before their big date, and asks him if he is an Elvis fan or a Beatles fan. “Elvis fans can love the Beatles, and Beatles fans can love Elvis, but no one loves them both equally,” she says. I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment (and I’m a Beatles fan, for the record), and I believe that the sentiment applies to sports/movie geek-dom as well.
You can put me firmly in the latter category. I like sports…but I love movies. I don’t follow NFL football or NCAA basketball, but I’ll happily see a movie on the subject. I have never attended a boxing match, but I always enjoy watching a good mano-a-mano, pugilist drama on the big screen. It does seem to me that boxing and baseball movies strive for greater realism than other sports films, and you won’t be surprised to find three of each on the list below.
With the advance disclaimer that I have never seen “The Bad News Bears” (gasp!), I present my ranking of the top ten sports movies: