#8220Rudy#8221; greatest sports movie of all time

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006

With all the blockbuster movies being released this summer, like &#8220Superman” and &#8220Pirates of the Caribbean 2,” there is one thing missing: a sports movie.

A summer without a good sports movie is like a summer without football- it stinks.

Since there have been no sports movies this summer, I will break down the best sports movies in each sport.

Baseball: &#8220For Love of the Game”- Now, I may get into trouble for this pick but I have to say that &#8220Field of Dreams” is not the best baseball movie or even the best Kevin Costner baseball movie. That distinguished honor goes to one of Costner's other baseball movies, &#8220For Love of the Game.” &#8220For Love of the Game” is a perfect, suspenseful baseball movie intertwined with a love story that will leave audiences of all ages and genders pulling for the lowly Detroit Tigers. When it comes to baseball movies, Costner knows best.

Honorable mention: &#8220Field of Dreams,” &#8220Bull Durham,” &#8220The Natural,” &#8220Major League,” &#8220A League of Their Own,” &#8220The Sandlot,” &#8220Eight Men Out,” &#8220Bad News Bears (Original).”

Basketball: &#8220Hoosiers”- Not a tough one here. There hasn't been as many basketball movies as other sports, but some of the ones that have been made are some of the best sports movies out there. &#8220BASEketball” is another great sports comedy, but because I am mnot sure whether it belongs in the baseball or basketball catagory, it will have to settle for an honorable mention. &#8220BASEketball” is good but &#8220Hoosiers” is without a doubt the best basketball movie ever made and if you don't start the slow, gradual clap to go along the pregame speech scene, then you really shouldn't be allowed to watch sports movies.

Honorable mention: &#8220Blue Chips,” &#8220BASEketball,” &#8220Hoop Dreams,” &#8220Glory Road,” &#8220Teen Wolf.”

Football: &#8220Rudy”- &#8220Rudy” not only ranks as the best football movie of all time, but it is quite possibly the best sports movie ever made. Although Notre Dame is not a favorite among fans in this state, it is nearly impossible not to get choked up when Rudy gets his acceptance letter to Notre Dame and when he gets his big shot in the final game of the year versus Georgia Tech.

Honorable mention: &#8220The Program,” &#8220Everybody's All-American,” &#8220Remember the Titans,” &#8220Varsity Blues,” &#8220The Longest Yard (Original),” &#8220Brian's Song,” &#8220Jerry Maguire,” &#8220The Best of Times.”

Golf: &#8220Caddyshack”- This one was a toss up with &#8220Tin Cup,” but if you watch the original version of &#8220Caddyshack” without laughing violently, no matter how many times you have seen it, then something is wrong with you. If you have ever said &#8220Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na,” during one of your friend's putts while out on the course, you have this great movie to thank.

Honorable mention: &#8220Tin Cup,” &#8220Legend of Bagger Vance,” &#8220Happy Gilmore.”

Racing: &#8220Days of Thunder”- I could not be more excited about the release of &#8220Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby,” but until that is released and I have a chance to see it, &#8220Days of Thunder” will have to remain the greatest racing movie of all time. The all-star cast of Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Randy Quaid and Robert Duval makes this a great sports movie, whether you like racing or not.

Honorable mention: &#82203,” &#8220Stroker Ace,” &#8220Cannonball Run.”

Boxing: &#8220Rocky III”- Once again, I may take some flack for this one as well, but the Rocky series hit its peak when they created the third installment. Featuring Mr. T as Clubber Lang and Hulk Hogan as Thunderlips, Rocky III has the most action and the most drama of any Rocky movie.

Honorable mention: &#8220Rocky,” &#8220Rocky II,” &#8220Rocky IV,” &#8220Cinderella Man,” &#8220Hurricane,” &#8220Raging Bull,” &#8220Ali.”

Now that you know which sports movies are the greatest of all time, go out, pick one up and enjoy Hollywood's take on what inspires us all.

Austin Phillips is The Greenville Advocate sports editor.

You can contact him by e-mailing austin.phillips@greenvilleadvocate.com or by calling 382-3111 ext. 122.