The 10 most inspirational sports movies of all time

Keeping boredom at bay over break

Derek Baker

Thanksgiving break is just around the corner and we’ll be faced with the ultimate challenge: boredom. College students will notoriously take any opportunity to binge-watch our favorite TV shows and movies, and as much as I love sports, I am also just as passionate about movies.  Here’s my list of the most inspirational sports movies of all time.

10. The Sandlot

Set in the 1950s, Scotty Smalls moves into a new neighborhood with his mom and stepdad. Smalls feels the urge to learn baseball and make friends. Neighborhood baseball stud Benjamin Rodriguez shows Smalls the ropes, and soon he’s a part of the local baseball crew. Adventures soon ensue at the fair, the tree house, the local pool, and on the diamond against their rival baseball team.

9. Friday Night Lights

Based on a book about a real high school football team in Odessa, Texas, in the late 1980s, this film depicts life in a town where football is all that matters. Quarterback Mike Winchell must meet the expectations of the town and his mother while battling opposing teams on the gridiron. The film follows Winchell and other players as they try to give hope to a town that has none every Friday night during football season.

8. Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire is a successful sports agent with big clients and a beautiful fiancée. One night, he questions his purpose in life and writes a mission statement recording all that he has learned in his years as an agent and what he feels is wrong with job. Unfortunately, his company doesn’t agree with him. After being released, Jerry decides to go it alone with one client and one assistant. Facing the odds, this unlikely trio must lean on one another and face their hardships together.

7. The Karate Kid (1984)

A classic underdog story with one of the most iconic catchphrases in movie history (“Wax on, wax off”), this film is has truly stood the test of time, even spawning four sequels and a remake. With an amazing soundtrack and classic montages, this film is perfect for the whole family.

6. A League of Their Own

A fictional story of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Set during World War II when major league players were going off to fight, this film shows women trying to play ball at a time when females rarely received respect as athletes. This film is preserved in the Library of Congress because of its cultural and historical plot.

5. Miracle

Quite possibly the greatest upset in sport history and the single greatest moment in American sports history, the 1980 US Olympic hockey team faces an uphill battle against the Soviet Union.

4. Remember the Titans

Set in the early 1970s and the forced desegregation of a Virginia high school, this film follows the T.C. Williams high school football team as they make a run for a state championship and unite a town through their play.

3. Rocky

The story of an unknown fighter who climbs his way to the top of the world in a heavyweight championship fight against Apollo Creed, this film spawned five other films just as emotional and hard hitting.

2. Hoosiers

This 1986 classic is about an underdog high school basketball team that is lead to the state finals by a coach and assistant who have demons of their own. Hickory High is an undersized high school in a small town who takes on the big city basketball team and learns much about life and family throughout the season.

1. Rudy

Highly acclaimed movie critic Roger Ebert called it, “a small but powerful illustration of the human spirit.” It’s based on the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, who dreams of playing for the Irish of Notre Dame. With the odds stacked against him and his family skeptical of his ambitions, this film is a true masterpiece.

Derek is senior studying business sport management.