Guys That Are in Every Sports Movie
Just as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Sylvester Stallone disproportionately star in action films, there are a handful of Hollywood actors who seem to be partial to sports-related scripts.
But this particular list is dedicated to those few actors who crave athlete-driven roles with the unyielding enthusiasm of a sold-out crowd.
From the veteran savvy of a crafty Kevin Costner to the buffoonery of Will Ferrell, these are the guys that are in every sports movie.
Films: Trouble With the Curve; Rudy; Major League; Hoosiers
If you're familiar with Chelcie Ross' sports films, you probably look at the Billy Bob Thornton doppelganger in an unpleasant way.
He was the coach who was reluctant to play his pint-sized overachiever in Rudy, a spitball-dependent pitcher in Major League and the force against coach Norman Dale in Hoosiers.
When it comes to playing a real creep, the guy has Philip Seymour Hoffman-like range.
Films: Rookie of the Year; D2: The Mighty Ducks; D3: The Mighty Ducks
Many young boys of the '90s spent their formative years crushing hard on the magnetic Ms. Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine.
She was hot enough for the cover of Tiger Beat and infinitely more skilled in goal than the vastly overrated Greg Goldberg.
At a time when we had 8 p.m. bedtimes and drank from juice boxes, Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine was our Marilyn Monroe.
Films: Happy Gilmore; The Longest Yard; The Waterboy
No one captures the carnal rage of sports quite like an unhinged Mr. Gilmore.
Some might argue against the artistic integrity of Adam Sandler's films, but there's no debating his ability to capture the undiluted frustration of missing a gimme putt.
Films: He Got Game; The Hurricane; Remember the Titans
Denzel Washington is one of the most versatile and commanding actors in the world.
As long as there are roles for enlightened coaches or magnetic sports personalities, Mr. Washington will have work.
Films: Hoosiers; The Natural
Barbara Hershey is the only name on this list with only two sports films, but her whimsical and supportive presence in Hoosiers gives her dominion over other competitors.
Watch this clip and argue otherwise. It's impossible.
Films: Jerry Maguire; Days of Thunder; The Color of Money
Between his "Show me the money!" scene in Jerry Maguire and shirtless volleyball game in Top Gun, Tom Cruise vaunts some of the silver screen's signature sports moments.
Though when you're 5'7" with salon quality hair at all times, scripted melodrama is about the only way to affect the culture of sports.
Films: White Men Can't Jump; Play It To the Bone; The Fan; Major League; Wildcats
Say what you will about his accounting skills, but Wesley Snipes' range as an actor in sports movies is absolutely unmatched.
He's played a baseball player for two different franchises, a hustler on the pick-up basketball court and—in the most galvanizing role of his career—a defiant malcontent-turned-high school football hero in Wildcats.
Films: Two for the Money; Major League; Major League II; Tin Cup
Sports movie aficionados know that on-field scenes can only do so much to develop an athlete's character arc. So, there's always a snarky and free-spirited love interest to challenge the protagonist.
Rene Russo was more than a pretty face. She was there to remind Roy McAvoy and Jake Taylor of the things that really matter in life.
Films: Semi-Pro; Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Kicking & Screaming
Often times, sports movies can be insufferably grandiose. You can thank (or blame) films like Coach Carter, Rudy and Remember the Titans for inspiring a generation of melodramatic sideline motivators.
Will Ferrell, however, provides a refreshing pardon from the typically exaggerated artistry of sports.
Films: Soul Surfer; The Express; The Rookie; Any Given Sunday
Dennis Quaid is one of Hollywood's most prolific brooders. He’s also blessed with the silver-haired moxie of a Vikings-era Brett Favre.
In sum, he's a more believable old-hand athlete than R.A. Dickey or Andre Miller, which is why he’s constantly playing the past-his-prime jock.
Films: White Men Can’t Jump; Semi-Pro; Play It to the Bone; Kingpin; Wildcats
If you placed a $5 bet on Woody Harrelson becoming a leading man after his film debut in Wildcats, you'd be drinking from a bottle of Dom Perignon on a private beach in St. Barts right now.
Despite his humble beginnings, Harrelson's become a Hollywood icon and vaunts starring roles in arguably two of the greatest sports movies ever: White Men Can't Jump and Kingpin.
Films: The Hustler; Slap Shot; The Color of Money
Long before he became the face of salad dressing, Paul Newman was a sports movie juggernaut.
He was especially brilliant in pool hall movies like The Hustler and The Color of Money, but he also played the iconic role of Reggie Dunlop in the hockey film Slap Shot.
Films: Space Jam; Kingpin; Caddyshack
With all due respect to Cuba Gooding Jr., Billy Murray's performance as Ernie McCracken (Kingpin) deserved the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1996.
If for no other reason than to afresh Murray's bowling alley hijinks, Hollywood needs to develop a Pete Weber biopic.
Films: Field of Dreams; Bull Durham; For The Love of The Game; Tin Cup
Kevin Costner is to the weathering, veteran ballplayer as Michael Cera is to the idiosyncratic wallflower.
The Bull Durham star delivers on-field life lessons like a mildly athletic, considerably more photogenic Mr. Feeney.
Without quarrel, Costner is the sports movie king.