Most people love both sports and movies, but just about everyone loves an underdog. Given that the majority of sports movies are built around underdogs, such films are among the most popular out there.
Hundreds of sports movies have hit the big screen over the years but, as you would expect, all of them aren’t created equal.
The list below gives a shout to some of the best ever produced.
Has there been a bigger underdog than Sylvester Stallone’s iconic character Rocky? It would be hard to argue otherwise. What’s even more special about this movie is the fact that Stallone was an underdog in real life prior to the movie getting made.
The now-legendary actor wrote the film’s script in just three days but was rejected by all of the Hollywood producers he shopped it to as he was insistent on playing the lead role and was pretty much unknown as an actor.
He eventually got the movie out there and, despite getting released in 1976, is still one of the most popular films today. It earned a global box office of $225 million and was the highest-grossing film that year.
Rocky presents an uneducated, small-time boxer who defies the odds to earn himself a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship and eventually win it. The movie has been followed by five sequels and two spinoffs, with one more of the latter coming in November 2022.
Murderball is a 2005 documentary film depicting disabled athletes who play wheelchair rugby. It’s about the rivalry between the Canadian and American teams heading into the 2004 Paralympic Games. This year’s iteration of the games ended just last month but there’s quite a lot going on in the world of sports at the moment and fans in Canada could snatch an opportunity to make some serious money from BetMGM Ontario.
The film was shot on a very low budget with pretty cheap equipment but the reviews were impressive. It has a 98 percent approval rating while it was No.1 on the Rotten Tomatoes countdown of the top sports films.
The 1993 film, Sandlot, is a nostalgic piece released with the intention of taking viewers back to their childhood days, when they had zero worries.
The movie focuses on nerdy, timid fifth-grader Scott Smalls who moves to the Los Angeles suburbs with his parents in the summer of 1962. Scott is urged to make friends in the neighborhood by his mother and attempts to join a group of boys who play baseball in a local sandlot.
Unfortunately for young Scott, he isn’t great at catching or throwing a baseball and only succeeds at getting himself a black eye when trying to learn to play catch with his stepfather. Despite his embarrassing inabilities, Scott is invited to join the team by its best player, who shows him the ropes.
Michael Jordan was the most popular athlete in the world in the 90s and, in 1996, the Chicago Bulls superstar starred in Space Jam, a film in which he teamed up with Looney Tunes characters to defeat an alien race.
Jordan has the odds stacked up against him as the aliens have stolen the skills of some of the best players in the NBA at the time, while his Looney Tunes teammates have very little actual skill.
Like its star, Space Jam was one of the most popular launches of the 90s. It really was a great watch, with a soundtrack that was just as good.
Adam Sandler loves making sports movies and stars in a good few of them but The Waterboy stands out as the best.
Sandler plays Bobby Boucher Jr., a mentally challenged, socially inept character in the 1998 film. Boucher, 31, serves as a waterboy for the University of Louisiana football team and it’s later discovered that he’s a remarkable linebacker.
Basically, Bobby can take anyone out as long as he pictures them as a bully, which is pretty easy as he’s been getting bullied his whole life.
Rudy is widely considered to be one of the best sports movies ever made and, back in 2005, ESPN named it one of the best 25 to be released in the previous 25 years. It was also ranked 54th-most inspiring film of all time in the American Film Institute’s 100 Years series.
The 1993 film gives an account of the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who wants to play football for Notre Dame but doesn’t meet any of the requirements such as grades, money, stature, and certainly is not thought to have the talent.
Rudy takes up a job at a steel mill with his father and older brother where he loses his best friend Pete in a tragic explosion. He decides to follow his dream after Pete’s death and makes a crucial sack against Georgia Tech to help Notre Dame win the final game of the season.