Sports Movies That Need to Be Made
Are all the quality sports movies behind us?
I don't consider myself a ravenous cinephile, but you don't have to be Richard Roeper to know a league-sponsored movie about a draft isn't going to be the next Miracle.
Perhaps I harbor too much love for the classics, but there seems to be a dearth of genuinely entertaining sports films in the movie industry. Dramas, comedies—you name it.
Barring a few exceptions (42, The Fighter, Moneyball), the last half decade or so of sports-centric films has been underwhelming at best. Let's fix that.
These are the sports movies that need to be made. They vary in genre from serious drama to Caddyshack-esque comedy, but all have one thing in common: They'll put butts in seats and entertain the tar out of said bottoms.
Plot: Undersized college quarterback from Texas rises to national stardom one Miller Chill at a time.
There will be a Johnny Manziel movie one day. You can bet on that.
The Twist Scene: Nighttime. Cabo, Mexico.
Manziel and Drake sit alone on the roof of a hotel overlooking the Gulf. They stare out at the dark ocean, talking and swigging on a bottle of Fireball.
Drake: "So I told 'em, I've always been a Kentucky fan...Like, Bearcats for life, naw mean?"
Manziel: "I feel that."
Drake: [Leans in close to Manziel's face.]
Manziel: "Whoa! What you doing, man?"
Drake: "Just trying to tell you a secret, bruh..."
"[whispers] ...I started from the middle."
Plot: A dark comedy inspired by the continued existence of Metta World Peace.
The Twist Scene: Nighttime. David Stern's office.
Metta World Peace is shown into the room by Stern's secretary. He is here to answer for his elbowing of James Harden's head.
Peace: [Sits down]
Stern: [Slides manila folder of cash across desk]
"That's half. Next time finish the job."
Plot: The sports reporter versions of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein risk their careers to investigate shady dealings within the NCAA.
A movie about the NCAA's inner workings and the myth of the student-athlete should be made. It will never be made.
The Twist Scene: Nighttime. Empty parking garage.
Jay Bilas walks through the dimly lit garage in a hoodie. The muffled sound of Young Jeezy is playing through his headphones. He stops at a shadowy pillar, takes his headphones off and leans back into the concrete.
Voice: "Were you followed?"
Bilas: "I need you to go on the record. You can wear the getup, but we need names. We need you to say what Emmert said to you at the Christmas party."
[Stanford Tree steps out of shadows]
"You know this will ruin me."
Miss Martial Arts
Plot: A feisty, Coyote Ugly-style bartender who is tired of hustling for tips turns to mixed martial arts.
Ronda Rousey is a reality television star and an MMA dynamo, so it only figures that she'll appear in The Expendables 3 with Sylvester Stallone soon.
The Twist Scene: Early morning. Gym.
Rousey pulls into the parking lot at 4 a.m. for her morning workout. She takes out her keys but notices the front door of the gym is ajar.
Rousey: "Hello?" [Switches on lights. A giant, blond man is standing by the boxing ring.]
Dolph Lundgren: "You're late."
The Longest Trot
Plot: David Ortiz fights off strange beasts, hunger and the elements on a harrowing, six-month trip around the bases.
Rounding the diamond after a home run is like a hot air balloon race around the world for Big Papi. Exciting, but it takes awhile.
I'd watch a two-hour movie of Ortiz trudging from plate to plate like Charles Marlow on safari, setting up camp along the way and writing letters to Drake on his progress.
The Twist Scene: Nighttime. Jungle.
Ortiz blasts his way through the underbrush with a baseball bat, keeping one eye on the dirt basepath at his feet. He enters a clearing and sees a mangled fence with a sign marked "Beware: Raptors."
[Velociraptor pushes its head through bushes. It is right next to Papi.]
Ortiz: "...Clever girl..."
Dick Fowler, P.I.
Plot: After years of doing it by the books, golf cop Dick Fowler uncovers a ring of crooked fixers at Augusta National and finds himself on the wrong side of the law.
Dick Fowler is Rickie Fowler's private investigator alter ego. You kick out of the woods on his watch, you get a knee in the back of the neck.
The best part of a Dick Fowler movie would be casting Benicio Del Toro as "The Caddie."
The Twist Scene: Nighttime, the darkened inner sanctum of the Butler cabin. Billy Payne sits tied up with rope on the floor.
Fowler: "Time to bring down [Pulls off sunglasses] this house of Payne."
[Pulls off Billy Payne's mask.]
Fowler: "Donald Trump?!"
Trump: "And I would've gotten away with it..."
Blue Mountain State: The Movie
Plot: Alex Moran graduates and takes a job as a Patriots public relations guy. He spends his time chasing sideline reporters, partying with Rob Gronkowski and goofing around until Thad Castle is traded to New England. The growing Gronk-Castle inner team rivalry becomes the biggest story in the NFL.
A Blue Mountain State movie is already in the planning stages, so all that's left is to nail down a plot.
I, for one, will be fine with any storyline that puts Rob Gronkowski and Thad Castle in the same locker room staring each other down Top Gun style.
The Twist Scene: Nighttime. Bill Belichick's office.
Thad is arguing with Belichick.
Belichick: "Now, listen to me. You're going to put this in the away locker room." [holds up black box].
Thad: "But...that's my pocket-"
Belichick: "I don't care what it is. I put a camera in it, and it's going where I say it goes."
Thug Scholar: The Richard Sherman Story
Plot: Poor kid from Compton born with everything but money struggles to get himself and his family out of a rough neighborhood.
A movie needs be made about the life of Richard Sherman. It must happen.
His story is more than some rags-to-riches, Aladdin rehash. Sherman is meatier than that. He isn't a hulking innocent like Michael Oher. He is not humble. He is not just "happy to be here."
Sherman is the guy who will put you on your back if you come after his, and an actor could win an Academy Award portraying the "thug" salutatorian who graduated from Stanford, won a Super Bowl and won't apologize for a second about it.
The Twist Scene: Nighttime. 2014 NFC Championship Game.
Richard Sherman bats ball away from Michael Crabtree, causing an interception. Sherman smacks Crabtree on the butt.
Sherman: "YEA! WOOH!"
Crabtree: [Pulls helmet off]
Sherman: "Tyler Perry??"
Perry: "I'm in everything, bro." [Walks off field]
Mighty Ducks: American Redemption
Plot: Gordon Bombay becomes coach of the United States hockey team. Instead of selecting pros, he fills his roster with Charlie Conway and the rest of the Mighty Ducks. This enrages the NHL community, that is, until Bombay's team destroys everyone in its path on the way to a gold-medal victory against Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Incalculable life lessons about friendship and teamwork are learned in the process.
I know it sounds like an improbable premise, but U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
The Twist Scene: Daytime. Boardroom of the NHL.
Gordon Bombay stands in front of the committee in his old varsity jacket. His arms are at his hips.
Bombay: "So what if they've never played in the NHL? They're ready to go!"
Gary bettman: [Whispers to colleagues, who look up at poster of Rick DiPietro on far wall]
"Well, technically you don't have to 'play' to be in the NHL..."
Animal House: World Cup Edition
Plot: Bluto, Otter and the rest of Delta House head to the World Cup in Brazil on a school-sponsored "cultural ambassador" mission.
Given the measures Brazil's president has taken in order to ensure minimal debauchery occurs at the 2014 World Cup, throwing the Delta boys into the mix would make for a delicious story.
Remember, we're casting the ideal movie of our dreams. In this one, John Belushi will be alive and rushing the field on horseback with a bra strapped to his head.
The Twist Scene: Morning. Dumpy hotel in Rio de Janeiro.
Otter escorts an older woman through the lobby, kisses her goodbye at the door. Bluto sits in a chair drinking beer. He is wearing no less than five pounds of festive beads.
Otter: "So, what do you think of that minx? I mean, what a woman."
Bluto: "I think that was the police commissioner's wife."
Did we give up when the Nazis bombed Pearl Harbor?