26) North Dallas Forty— A semi-fictional account of life with the Dallas Cowboys in the early ‘70s; based on a book written by Pete Gent, who played WR for the Cowboys.
Nick Nolte, Mac Davis, Bo Swenson, Charles Durning, Dabney Coleman; quality cast.
25) Youngblood— A 17 year old farm boy is offered a hockey tryout; his brother drives him to Canada to try out. The kid is skilled, but doesn’t like to fight; he has fast legs, slow fists, but he makes the team, and because he is Rob Lowe, he dates the coach’s daughter.
Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves are two of his teammates; Youngblood’s dad is played by Eric Nesterenko, who in real life, played in the NHL/WHA for 23 years.
24) Breaking Away— An Indiana teenager who is obsessed with the Italian cycling team tries to win the heart of a college girl; he and his townie friends try to beat the college kids in a bicycle race, which is an uphill battle.
Paul Dooley is great as the kid’s father; Dennis Quad plays one of the kid’s friends, so does the guy who was Kelly Leak in The Bad News Bears.
23) Caddyshack— An exclusive country club has problems with a brash new member (Rodney Dangerfield) and a mischievous bunch of gophers.
Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dangerfield, Ted Knight. Some of the guys I went to college with knew every line of the movie by heart, and watched it often.
22) A League of Their Own— Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry. Tom Hanks is the manager. Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna are two of the players.
21) Love & Basketball— A young man, young lady grow up next door to each other in Los Angeles, and both become college basketball players.
The guy from the Allstate commercials (Serrano in Major League) is the young man’s dad who also played in the NBA. Alfre Woodard is the young lady’s mother.
20) The Replacements— During a pro football strike, the owners hire substitute players, one of whom is Keanu Reeves. Gene Hackman is the team’s coach, Jack Warden the owner; they even had Pat Summerall, John Madden announcing the team’s games.
19) Heaven Can Wait— Not really a football movie, but……
— Rams win the Super Bowl in this movie, at a time when I wasn’t really sure if they would ever win the Super Bowl in real life.
— Jack Warden is the trainer of the Rams; Jack Warden was freakin’ awesome.
— When this movie came out, I got a theater poster from someone and had it on my bedroom wall. It is still upstairs somewhere.
18) The Bad News Bears— An aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California Little League.
Walter Matthau is brilliant as the sarcastic coach; his best pitcher is a girl (Tatum O’Neal), he recruits his best player the the kid runs his motorbike around the Little League complex.
Bears were sponsored by Chico’s Bail Bonds, I always remember that.
17) He Got Game— The father (Denzel Washington) of a highly sought-after high school basketball star (Ray Allen) has to convince his son to go to a certain college so he can get a shorter jail sentence; the governor went to Big State- the warden (Ned Beatty) explains that to the father, before he gets a work release to try and convince his son.
Jim Brown plays a probation officer keeping his eye on the father; John Turturro is the coach at Tech U, which is also trying to recruit the son. Underrated movie.
John Turturro also plays Joey Knish in Rounders; very good actor.
16) Hoosiers— A coach with a checkered past (Gene Hackman) coaches a small town high school basketball team to become a contender for the Indiana state championship; one of his assistant coaches (Dennis Hopper) is the town drunk, the father of one of the players.
The coach is about to get fired when the team’s star player, who had been sitting out, decides to play again; he wants the coach to stay, and because its the movies, the teams keeps winning, even though the coach always seems to want the star to be a decoy on key plays. Even the drunk guy knows that Jimmy should take all the big shots.
15) The Natural— An unknown slugger comes out of nowhere to become a big hitter for the New York Knights, making the Knights a contender.
This movie was filmed at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, where the Bills played before Rich Stadium was built.
14) Little Big League— Owner of the Minnesota Twins died unexpectedly, leaves the team to his 12-year old grandson, who winds up firing the manager and naming himself to the job. Believe me, this movie is a lot better than it sounds. The scenes in the first 25:00 with the grandfather and the kid are very well done.
TV highlight of the day:
Magnum PI episode with Frank Sinatra was on today.