Let's be clear here: Sports movies are about a whole lot more than just sports. Characters have deep and nuanced relationships that we become invested in. Universal themes are explored, and powerful messages are sent to viewers. Conflicts extend far beyond the field and run much deeper than Team A vs. Team B.
But sports movies should still have awesome sports.
This list is not concerned with character development or storyline whatsoever. The themes are not relevant here, nor are the inspiring speeches given by the coaches in the locker room.
Rather, this list is focused on the action: Which sports films have the most exciting scenes that actually involve players in action—running a race, riding around a track or playing game? Which sports movies do the best job at actually showing us sports?
There were two criteria I used to determine which movies and scenes would be eligible for my list:
1. The action has to be the primary focus of the scene. This means scenes focused on dialogue or scenes that just used action as the backdrop don't cut it.
2. The movies need to be sports movies. Yes, I know there is a great pickup basketball scene in The Cable Guy. Doesn't count.
I like to consider myself the ultimate authority on the quality of sports movie action scenes, so the rankings put together here are really completely indisputable.
If you have a problem with that, take it to the comments section.
We'll settle it there.