Hooray for Hollywood!
To write a great sports film is no easy task.
To we fans who sit and watch games on a daily basis, creating a believable level of suspense and excitement that rivals a real game is difficult. Try filming a scene that matches the intensity of the last grueling minutes of Super Bowl XLII or the silent chills of a Masters' 18th green putt. It's an uphill battle in many ways.
Boy howdy, why? It's because Hollywood isn't looking in the right places.
There's no reason to plunk down copious amounts of dead presidents to some overpaid writer to pen the next Field of Dreams when there's a deep well of living and breathing athletes with real-life stories that could be the next blockbuster.
Throw some extra butter on that popcorn, open that box of Goobers, and enjoy this list: the next great sports films in the making, right in front of our eyes.
It's just like being at the theater, minus the $13 ticket price, chatty teenagers, and obscenely sticky floors.
Potential titles: The Artest (like The Artist), Metta World Destruction, The Other Fight Club
Actor: Mekhi Phifer
Tagline: "He was on Dancing With the Stars...remember?"
Plot: You can be sure that LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" will play in the film's trailer. Model citizen Ron Artest often confuses basketball courts for boxing rings as he's all flying fists, chucked elbows and all-around rotten attitude on the hardwood. There will be more fake blood on set than one would expect for a basketball movie.
Oscar Odds: 700/1
Potential titles: Mr. Congeniality, I (Don't) Love New York, Off His Rocker
Actor: The guy who played Ted in Hey Dude
Tagline: "He wore an Indian on his hat, but he wouldn't sit next to one on the subway."
Plot: Not quite a walking Statue of Liberty, John Rocker was the outspoken bonehead of the early Aughts, earning himself very few friends in the Big Apple, and helping angered Mets fans find a place to dispose of their dead batteries. Racism, monster mullets, steroids, and a enough controversy to fill up Scrooge McDuck's money bin, Rocker's story will be the not-so-feel-good black comedy of the year. Take the kids!
Oscar odds: Slightly behind the next Leprechaun film
Potential titles: Dennis the Menace, My Best Friend's Wedding...to Myself, Spare the Rod
Actor: Wesley Snipes...in his first post-prison performance.
Tagline: "No boundaries for this rebounder."
Plot: Sure to include a cameo by Carmen Electra and hair courtesy of Hot Topic, but not to include his winning performance in 2004's forgettable reality competition, Celebrity Mole, Dennis Rodman's colorful and oddball life is a sight to see on the silver screen. Playing as part tabloid shocker and part no-holds-barred sports flick, the NBA's most colorful-haired character's biography is no bull...or maybe a lot of bull.
Oscar odds: 1,000/1
Potential titles: Mall(ard) Rats, Happy Webbed Feet, Duck and Cover, Going-Going-Oregon!
Actor: Throw Bronson Pinchot a bone, put him under that costume.
Tagline: "If you don't see it, you're all wet!"
Plot: At this point, it's quite clear that the Oregon Ducks mascot has a more interesting life than you or me. Now we'll get to ride side-saddle with this fluffy, crowd surfing, lovable quacker, living vicariously through his daily antics that are surely no day of eating bread in the park. Feathers fly when madcap mayhem and tomfoolery follow our favorite sports fowl around. We're all "down" to enjoy this sure-fire blockbuster!
Oscar odds: 12/1 (it'll be the shocker of the decade)
Potential titles: Broken-Batman, A "Shot" at Victory, Baseball's Brett Favre, Rocket Fuel
Tagline: "Houston, we have a retirement problem."
Plot: Baseball's most notorious headhunter, The Rocket got himself into a world of trouble with a hot temper and a perjury trial after high-publicized steroid accusations. Found guilty in the court of public opinion, this stocky 50-year-old has recently found himself back on the mound, pitching for the minor league Sugar Land Skeeters. The amount of retirements and comebacks Clemens has had will fill a movie longer than The Lord of the Rings played back to back to back. Make sure to buy an extra-large popcorn.
Oscar odds: 75/1
Potential titles: Rotten Fruit, Darr-ylll Darr-yllll, Mixed Berry
Actor: Donald Faison
Tagline: "This straw doesn't suck."
Plot: Success, drugs, money, an appearance on The Simpsons...no it's not guitar-playing melted candle Keith Richards. It's both one of the most controversial and beloved figures in New York sports history, eight-time MLB All Star, and four-time World Series champion, Darryl Strawberry.
Blessed with all the natural talent in the world, and nearly squandering it all, the Straw's roller coaster of a life is played out, both painfully and joyous before our very eyes. Bring a Kleenex, bring your foam finger, and bring your thumbs in an "up" position.
Oscar odds: 12/1
Potential titles: Every Rose Has its Thorn, All Bets are Off, Hall of Shame, Hustle and Flow
Actor: Michael Madsen
Tagline: "4,256 hits, but he's missing out on one thing."
Plot: Pete Rose, all-time MLB hits leader, remains to this day one of the most controversial figures in professional sports. You'll laugh and celebrate with his achievements and feel the lows as Charlie Hustle is on the outside looking in at what was a Hall of Fame career. You can bet that budget won't be used on either wardrobe or hair stylists.
Oscar Chances: 18/1
Potential titles: Be-LT, One Giant Mess, To Helmet and Back
Actor: Ving Rhames
Tagline: "LT: Lots of Trouble"
Plot: Well, it is basically one big "Snapfish-y" collection of LT's mugshots. Drugs, prostitutes, arrests, living his life with a reckless abandon that would make even the most hardened of Jersey Shore cast members blush with embarrassment will make the MPAA earn their overtime pay as this movie is the definition of the "hard-R" rating. The eventual sequel will feature an actual football storyline.
Oscar odds: 56/1 (Get it?)
Potential titles: Die Hard 5: Livestrong, Dope on a Bike, Way Too Easy Rider
Actor: Christopher Eccleston
Tagline: "French Lies"
Plot: Forget the yellow jacket, it's the yellow jersey that stings the most. Experience the climatic ups and downs of the one-time hero and cancer survivor to his tumultuous and scandalous fall from the top of the cycling world. Sheryl Crow will not be on the soundtrack.
Oscar chances: 40/1
Potential titles: Juice in Jail, Post McDonald's Murder, End Zone Bonehead
Actor: Danny Glover (Note: Kato Kaelin will not star as himself, he'll be too busy being the janitor on set.)
Tagline: "Not-so-fresh squeezed."
Plot: Take the worst scenes of Hostel, a pinch of gridiron segments, add in a dash of shouted, "You can't handle the truth!" courtroom drama, then throw it in a rusted blender. Voila! Buy Pepto-Bismol in bulk, 'cause this hacky hacker flick will repeat on you like a bad chili dinner.
Oscar odds: 500/1
Potential titles: 90 Months for Slashing, Singing the Blues, Putting Them on Ice!
Actor: Give Taylor Kitsch a month of White Castle, and then give him the job.
Tagline: "Jason, you aren't the only hockey-masked killer around anymore."
Plot: In April 2004, St. Louis Blues' Mike Danton (who was born Stephen Jefferson) was arrested for attempting to hire a hitman to kill his agent, David Frost, with whom Danton had a tumultuous relationship. It's like Melrose Place...but for dudes. Not that I've ever seen the show...really.
Oscar odds: 25/1
Potential titles: The Intimidator, The Man in Black, Hardt of Gold
Actor: Tom Selleck
Tagline: "Number three on the door, number one in your heart."
Plot: The biography of one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time. Dale Earnhardt was a giant in his sport, an aggressive driver with a trophy case full of victories who ultimately lost his life doing the very thing that brought joy to his heart and to the hearts of his legions of fans. A story of triumph, of a champion and the tearjerker of the year.
Oscar odds: 5/1
Potential titles: Life's a Mulligan, Anger Management 2, One Shirt Two Shirt Red Shirt Blew It
Actor: Donald Glover
Tagline: "This tiger's a cheetah"
Plot: Details too risque for this site. It'll most likely be NC-17...and probably feature some golf, too.
Oscar chances: 100/1 (not so par)
Potential titles: Reaching the Summitt, Triumph in Knoxville, Cutting the Net
Actress: Ellen Burstyn
Tagline: "Charlie Sheen may have coined 'winning!', but she defined it."
Plot: In a list of wackos, oddballs, and good 'ol fashioned nutcases, Pat Summitt is a refreshing breath of class and undeterred winning spirit. Known for her icy stares and demanding coaching style, the former Tennessee Lady Vols basketball coach has nearly 1,100 career victories, leading all NCAA Division 1 coaches, both men's and women's.
Sadly, her early retirement due to being diagnosed with early onset-Alzheimer's Disease leaves a void in college basketball that won't be filled anytime soon. A story that if made well, could become a sports film classic in the making.
Oscar odds: 3/1