What Happen to the Greatness of Sports Movies?

  • The Sandlot (1993) gave us a story about a new kid in town who lacked the personality to go out and make friends.
  • The Might Ducks (1992) is all about a band of misfits without a coach who really cares about them.
  • Rudy (1993) is about a kid who lacks everything it takes to play football at the college level, he struggles to achieve the minimum academic success needed to play at a major college, let alone his lack of physical abilities.

As a kid growing up in the 90’s I was blessed to witness some of the greatest things pop culture had to offer us. In my opinion, the 90’s generation got to experience some of the best music, style, tv shows, and movies. If you clicked on this article you most likely feel the same way but in the current generation of movies filled with superheroes (which I love), remakes, or spinoffs.

What happened to the genre that made the 80’s 90’s and early 2000’s so great? Yes, I’m talking about our favorite Sports Movies. Rather you were a nerdy kid or a athletic prodigy there was a character or story you could relate with. For example; The Sandlot (1993) gave us a story about a new kid in town who lacked the personality to go out and make friends. He was more comfortable sitting inside playing with his toys. Eventually, he spotted a group of ragtag boys playing a game of baseball in the ‘’Sandlot’’ after embarrassing himself in front of all them by trying to throw the ball he ran off ashamed. The leader of that group of boys hunted him down and asked him to join them again.

This taught my generation that you don’t have to be great to enjoy the game, let’s be honest no one except Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez was any good at the sport, but they all lived to be around each other. Every day doing whatever they could to get a ball so they could play. A story that showed the bond that young men can have with each other can last a lifetime and those memories made are some of the most cherished possessions we have. I’m sure you can think back to the last time you played with your friends, you all said goodbye to each other never knowing that it would be the last time you played together.

My personal favorite 90’s movie is The Mighty Ducks (1992), so much that I make my seven-year-old daughter sit and watch the whole series with me at least two times a year. This movie is all about a band of misfits without a coach who really cares about them. Even at first the new coach for the District 5 team was only there because he was mandated by law to be. It didn’t take long for the kids to grow on the coach and remind him of why he loved the sport so much. He contributes his hatred for hockey to the tactics his coach used on him as a kid and decided he wasn’t going to be the same way. This might be your first example of what nowadays we would call a “players coach” in professional sports, instead of yelling and punishing the kids for every mistake, he taught them to love the game and have fun playing it. The kids loved their coach so much that when they got an opportunity to play at a high-end prep academy a lot of them were tentative because Coach Bombay wasn’t going to be there with them.

This story is a great example of how much of an effect a coach can have on a group of kids, rather negative or positive. No matter how talented you are, they might drive you to give up on your dreams or they can take you from shooting pucks into a briefcase in a alleyway to having one of the most feared slapshots in the whole league.

Some would say one of the greatest sports movies from the ’90s is Rudy (1993). This story is so powerful. It’s all about a kid who lacks everything it takes to play football at the college level, he struggles to achieve the minimum academic success needed to play at a major college, let alone his lack of physical abilities. After experiencing the tragic loss of his best friend, arguably the only person who believed he could play football at Notre Dame. Rudy quit his job and did everything he had to do to make his dreams come true, he busted his butt in the classroom at a Junior College so he could transfer. He worked hard to maintain the field for the team and eventually befriended the groundskeeper who let him sleep in his office since Rudy was homeless. Constantly fighting an uphill battle and never quite feeling like he was going to win Rudy stayed on his grind to make his dreams come true.

All his hard work paid off when his teammates all came to his side to convince the new coach to allow Rudy to dress out for the final game of the season. He wasn’t going to get a chance to play in the game until the starting running back disobeyed his coach and ran for a touchdown instead of taking a knee, that way the defense had to take the field one last time. The crowd started to chant for Rudy to take the field and the Coach let him, Rudy ended up sacking the other teams QB and was carried off the field by his teammates. Rudy taught us how hard work can pay off and to never give up on your goals no matter what tries to stop you.

In conclusion, these movies were both entertaining and life-altering. Growing up watching movies like The Sandlot, Mighty Ducks, Rudy, Brink, Remember The Titans, Cool Runnings, Little Giants, Angles in the Outfield, Space Jam, The Big Green, Gridiron Gang, Friday Night Lights, Motocrossed, Johnny Tsunami, Blue Crush, and Coach Carter inspired me to write my books. If you grew up watching any of these movies I encourage you to track them down somehow and save them. Taking time to sit with your kids and rewatch some of your favorite movies and explain to them what you learned from it and how it helped you grow into the Man or Woman you are today will be beneficial to both of you. If you ever find yourselves in a situation where your kids are experiencing something and you don’t know exactly how to help them, think about all of these movies. Each of them offers many life lessons, they may just have what they need.

The movies I listed are just some of my personal favorites. If you guys have any I missed or you think should be mentioned, for sure let me know! Thank you for reading!

Kyle Headlee

Kyle Rae Headlee is the author of Dream Chooser Series, his goal is to use stories of kids with less than ideal circumstances to inspire the youth of the nation to never give up on their dreams.
https://dreamchooser.webnode.com

Leave a Reply