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The Best Sports Scenes from Non-Sports Movies

Sean EvansContributor IIIOctober 17, 2013

The Best Sports Scenes from Non-Sports Movies

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    Hollywood and sports mix about as well as 2 a.m. and text messages. From chimpanzees playing hockey to vampire baseball, screenwriters seem to deliberately troll the jersey-adorned masses.

    But Tinseltown gets it right on very rare occasions, and it's only fair that we pay our respects. Grab a handful of popcorn and turn off your cell phone as we present the best sports scenes from non-sports movies.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Jefferson Makes Lincoln Pay

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    Jeff Spicoli might be a surfboard-dependent burnout, but he's no dummy.

    After totaling a Camaro that belongs to Ridgemont's volatile linebacker, he stages the wrecked vehicle as a taunt by rabble-rousers from Lincoln High School.

    Jefferson, the car's enraged and physically imposing owner, exacts revenge on the gridiron. Cue the montage of murderous hits, bloodthirsty screams and Lincoln's skill position players spiraling to the turf.

Top Gun: Beach Volleyball

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    Tom Cruise might have to cloak himself in a trench coat and sit on Val Kilmer's shoulders to sneak into a R-rated movie, but the guy has no problem soaring above the net to deliver a game-clinching volleyball spike. 

    It's these kinds of clutch, athletic aberrations that make sports great.

Escape from L.A.: Score or Die Trying

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    Escape from L.A.'s post-apocalyptic basketball scene is a delicious tablespoon of Creole seasoning in an otherwise rancid meatloaf.

    Kurt Russell dribbles over his head and shoots like Matt Bonner, but he has an uncanny ability to put the ball in the net under pressure.

    His full-court shot at the buzzer is especially impressive when you consider the debilitating effect his eyepatch must have on his depth perception.

Along Came Polly: Sasquatch Basketball

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    Most of us have banged bodies with a sweaty musk ox in the post during a game of pick-up basketball, which is what makes this scene in Along Came Polly so relatable. 

    Philip Seymour Hoffman's role as an AND1 T-shirt personified is Oscar-worthy as well.

    At 2:17, Sasquatch goes up for a junior skyhook and leaves a pool of belly slush on Ben Stiller's face. We hope you're not eating.

     

Forrest Gump: "But He Sure Is Fast"

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    If you're willing to overlook subtle details—like a guy who appears to be in his late 30s outrunning kickoff coverage with a six-second 40this is one of the greatest scenes in Forrest Gump

    It represents a shift in Gump's life, from bullied town halfwit to charmingly forthright overachiever. 

    We should also note that the film's pingpong scenes deserve an honorable mention on this list.

Wayne's World: Game On!

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    "Game on" is a phrase that lives in the childhood sports Hall of Game alongside "Balls in, coming down!" and "Tackle or touch?" 

    In this street hockey scene, Wayne and Garth (albeit in their 30s) remind us of formative-year athletics, with a sight gag for good measure.

Wedding Crashers: Touch Football

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    The Chicago Bears should take a look at Bradley Cooper because that man can blitz off the edge like Lawrence Taylor on bath salts. If this bone-jarring hit on Vince Vaughn is any indication, he's the guy to shore up that struggling defense.

The Social Network: The Henley Sequence

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    And the Winklevoss twins lose. Again.

    The Social Network is a story about winning and losing, and Harvard's race at the Henley Royal Regatta is a visually stunning microcosm of the film.

    Losing can mean finishing in second place or missing the boat on a $100 billion IPO. Unless you're one of the Winklevoss twins—then both interpretations apply.

The Last Boy Scout: Six Points by Any Means Necessary

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    Warning: Video contains NSFW language.

    A lot of athletes claim to do whatever it takes to win, but few are willing to commit a murder-suicide to improve their yards-after-catch average.

    As it turns out, a revolver is a good way to get separation from the defense. Oh, Hollywood.

Teen Wolf: The Wolf's Debut

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    When a high school basketball player turns into a wolf-like creature on the court, you can either dart it with a tranquilizer or continue playing. 

    Luckily for Scott Howard, the city's impulsive animal control unit was not in attendance.

    Whether it's because the team has a "next man up" philosophy or because he can dunk, the Beavers rally around their new, especially shaggy point guard. 

     

Problem Child: Inside-the-Park Massacre

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    The carnage that's implied in this scene is unfathomable. Junior, the film's complicated protagonist, defends his adoptive father by assaulting an entire Little League infield with an aluminum bat.

    There are more than 100 adults in attendance, but they all seem content to just stand by and watch.

    In the '90s, a movie director could offset the most detestable sequence of events by closing the scene with a riff from "Bad to the Bone." It was a simpler time. 

Swingers: Trent Makes Wayne Gretzky's Head Bleed

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    Warning: Video contains NSFW language.

    As beer-bellied everymen, we'll never swat a Russell Westbrook jump shot into the stands and scream toward the stadium rafters or spike a ball in the end zone to the roar of a sellout crowd.

    To insinuate competitive dominance over other human beings, we're reduced to talking trash during sports video games. 

    This highly quotable exchange between man-children embodies that pathetic tradition that's been around since Atari introduced Pong.

The Cable Guy: Pickup Basketball

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    Every pick-up basketball game has its cast of characters, like the cherry picker or the savvy veteran with the old-man game. 

    But sadly, the health club basketball court's most prominent doofus is the guy who tries way too hard. 

    This scene is for anyone who has caught an intentional elbow in the post from a weekend warrior with something to prove.

The Dark Knight Rises: "Let the Games Begin"

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    This scene represents about one percent of The Dark Knight Rises' running time but like 60 percent of the movie's trailer. 

    From the aerial shots of Manhattan to Heinz Field becoming a sinkhole, it's nearly three straight minutes of beautiful destruction. 

The Naked Gun: Frank Drebin the Umpire

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    Believing that one of the game's players has plans to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II (who is in attendance), officer Frank Drebin secures a position as home-plate umpire during a Mariners vs. Angels game.

    His plan is to pat down the players, but he becomes more interested in playing to the crowd.

    Update your Netflix queue because the full scene features an epic bench-clearing brawl.

The Big Lebowski: Over the Line

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    Warning: Video contains NSFW language.

    Under normal circumstances, Walter probably would have let Smokey's toe slip slide. But this is a league game that determines which team enters the next round robin, so the rules must be upheld, even if it requires deadly force.

    This scene doesn't need context. As a standalone piece or a short, it's absolutely perfect.

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