Sports Stories from This Year That Should Be Hollywood Movies

Matt Haupert@@matthaupFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2014

Sports Stories from This Year That Should Be Hollywood Movies

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    Some of our favorite movies ever been made have been based on true stories so great a screenwriter never could have come up with it.

    Miracle. Seabiscuit. Remember the Titans. And coming soon, When the Game Stands Tall.

    So now the question is—what's next? Which sports stories of today will be the blockbusters of tomorrow?

    With almost five full months to go before the end of the year, 2014 has already offered plenty of promising stories that could captivate audiences if reenacted by the likes of Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt or Kevin Costner.

    Two hockey players from the same team have provided inspirational stories of perseverance in the face of tragedy.

    An NFL player overcame a unique obstacle to win a Super Bowl.

    And Yasiel Puig got involved in a story that transcends anything that could happen on a baseball diamond.

    Take a look through the following slides at 10 sports stories from 2014 that could one day fill the television screen in your living room.

Donald Sterling's Demise

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    Movie Title: Stained

    Cast: Anthony Hopkins as Donald Sterling, Kevin Spacey as Adam Silver, Denzel Washington as Doc Rivers

    Synopsis: Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling stained his franchise in the midst of one of its most promising seasons to date by making racist remarks that cast a dark shadow over the entire league.

    With a team led by a black coach and a predominantly black roster, conflicts rise as coaches and players are torn between the team they love and represent and the ideals that they stand for.

    Anthony Hopkins stars in this moving drama that reminds us both that racism is still alive and well in today's society and that we have the power to overcome it when we band together.

LeBron Comes Back to Cleveland

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    Movie Title: The Homecoming

    Cast: Morris Chestnut as LeBron James, Alan Rickman as Pat Riley, Hollywood as Cleveland

    Synopsis: More than a story of a player or a team or a sport, The Homecoming tells the story of a city—a city in desperate need of a savior.

    In a breakout performance, Morris Chestnut stars as LeBron James, who leaves his team and his city in ruin as he darts for Miami for a better chance to win a championship. Only then does it become how much this one man meant to Cleveland and how much the city suffers in his absence.

    Alan Rickman turns in a chilling performance as Miami Heat president Pat Riley, who serves as the antagonist in the story, luring James further and further from his hometown roots. When James returns to Cleveland, hope springs anew, and it becomes clear that professional sports are about so much more than just playing games.

Jason Collins Becomes NBA's 1st Openly Gay Player

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    Movie Title: The Gay Athlete

    Cast: Jamie Foxx as Jason Collins

    Synopsis: Already earning Oscar buzz for his moving turn as basketball player Jason Collins, Jamie Foxx shines in this biopic, aptly named for the Sports Illustrated issue with the same title that first revealed to the world that Collins was gay, making him the first openly gay athlete in major American professional sports.

    Experience the moving story about a man who hid is true identity for over 30 years as he tried to fit in to a brotherhood that wasn't ready to accept him for who he was.

    A tale of understanding and living honestly, The Gay Athlete—which follows Collins' journey from childhood to his Sports Illustrated piece to getting another chance to play in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets—pushes boundaries in a way that no sports film has done before.

Dominic Moore Leads Rangers After Tragedy

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    Movie Title: On Broken Ice

    Cast: Ian Somerhalder as Dominic Moore, Scarlett Johannson as Katie Moore

    Synopsis: When everyone else was still busy playing hockey, Dominic Moore had something much bigger to worry about. His wife Katie had been diagnosed with incurable cancer, forcing him to take an 18-month leave of absence from his sport. But Dominic and Katie refuse to give up.

    Ian Somerhalder and Scarlett Johannson star in this heartbreaking story that follows two young people in love, fighting to enjoy every fleeting moment together, building and moving into their dream home just in time for Katie to pass away.

    In the wake of tragedy, Moore turns his focus to the only other thing he knows, hockey, leading the New York Rangers all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

USMNT Falls Just Short of Reaching Quarterfinals

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    Movie Title: No Miracles

    Cast: Vin Diesel as Tim Howard, Eminem as Clint Dempsey, Kevin Costner as Jurgen Klinsmann

    Synopsis: Nobody expected the United States to have any success in the 2014 World Cup. Tim Howard, played by a powerful and inspired Vin Diesel, had a different idea.

    In a performance for the history books, Howard leads his team into a tournament where everyone doubts them, including their coach. Unfortunately, Howard's stunning performance proves not enough, as the U.S. team falls just short of advancing past the round of 16 in what would have been an upset for the ages against Belgium.

    Is there still glory in heartbreak? Is there inspiration to be found in falling short? And where does America turn from here?

Derrick Coleman's Unlikely Road to the Super Bowl

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    Movie Title: Hear No Evil

    Cast: Omari Hardwick as Derrick Coleman, Matthew McConaughy as Pete Carroll, Elsie Fisher as Inspired Girl

    Synopsis: Derrick Coleman wasn't supposed to make it to the NFL. That's because Coleman is deaf. He didn't let that stop him.

    Omari Hardwick dazzles in his powerful, moving turn as Coleman, a man who overcame adversity and did something he never should have been able to do. In his road to being the unlikeliest of Super Bowl champions, Coleman became an inspiration for one specific little fan, his coach, his teammates and football fans across the world.

Northwestern Unionizes

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    Movie Title: One For All

    Cast: The cast of Friday Night Lights as the Northwestern football team

    Synopsis: The cast of acclaimed series Friday Night Lights is back, now as a college football team, starring in the most intellectually gripping sports film since Brad Pitt's Moneyball.

    Northwestern players shocked the world when they decided to make the decision to attempt to unionize, forming the National College Athletes Players Association and potentially changing the face of college athletics forever. Watch the incredible minds of these players come together to show the system that it won't be their boss forever.

Martin St. Louis Honors His Mother

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    Movie Title: Onward

    Cast: James Marsden as Martin St. Louis

    Synopsis: The NHL playoffs are the most important time of the year for any star NHL player. For Martin St. Louis, this year's playoffs suddenly lost a lot of their importance.

    During a series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis received news that his beloved mother had passed away. Struck with tragedy at a time when the city of New York was counting on him for a comparatively meaningless game, St. Louis would not back down, leading his Rangers past the Penguins and all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

    James Marsden captivates audiences as St. Louis, inspiring all of us to find strength when it seems the hardest to find.

Yasiel Puig's Dangerous Escape

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    Movie Title: For What He's Worth

    Cast: Chadwick Boseman as Yasiel Puig, Ving Rhames as Leo

    Synopsis: Yasiel Puig makes things look easy on the baseball diamond. His road there off the field hasn't been so smooth.

    After escaping from Cuba with the help of smugglers—led by a man named Leo, played by Ving Rhames—Puig finds himself the subject of death threats as those same smugglers turn up again, demanding the fee that they claim to deserve. Leo and his men will go to extraordinary lengths to get what they believe is rightfully theirs. Puig stays focused on hitting baseballs.

    This action-packed film will have you on the edge of your seat, more aware than ever of the dangerous backstory hiding behind one of baseball's brightest stars.

Brandon Poulson's Unlikely Success Story

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    Movie Title: The Art of the Fastball

    Cast: Armie Hammer as Brandon Poulson, Brad Pitt as Elliott Strankman

    Brandon Poulson wasn't exactly on scouts' radars during his mediocre pitching career at the Academy of Art University. But Minnesota Twins scout Elliott Strankman saw something in him. He saw an incredible stature, an incredible drive and breathtaking natural athletic gifts. He still didn't see potential.

    It wasn't until another day, much later, when Strankman stumbled upon Poulson pitching for the Healdsburg Prune Packers of the Golden State Collegiate Baseball League, that he saw something else: a 100 mph fastball.

    Later that year, the Twins offered Poulson, who had gone undrafted, a contract worth $250,000. Brad Pitt builds on his success in Moneyball by bringing Strankman to life in this inspiring story about a kid from nowhere who finally got his chance.

    Got any other ideas? Let me know on Twitter.