Cinema has provided with stories of triumph, tragedy, and defeat.
More importantly, it has provided us with some of the greatest sports stories ever told. Within those stories, lie great teams with limitless skill and potential.
This list will pay homage only to the best of fictional teams, though; because it takes a true mastermind to conjure up the Flint Tropics and the Miami Sharks rather than recreating the Permian Panthers or the 1980 U.S. Hockey team.
Some of these teams won championships, and some of these teams won nothing, but they all have one thing in common: They possessed the potential to be great, whether or not they achieved it.
From NASCAR to Indiana high school basketball, and everywhere in between, here are the Top 10 best sports movie teams of all-time.
Most remember the Flint Tropics as a team personified by financial misguidance, player-coach-owner Jackie Moon, and overall horrendous play.
What most do not remember, however, is that this franchise not only set the standards for organizational structure, but also should have been merged into the NBA.
First and foremost, Jackie Moon was a pioneer in sports entertainment. This is the man who brought a live grizzly bear into his basketball arena, choreographed landmark dance pieces, and, most importantly, orchestrated THE FLINT MICHIGAN MEGA BOWL.
Easily his most storied accomplishment to date.
On the court, the Tropics were no slouches either.
Granted, the first half of their 1976 season is among the most abysmal in sports history, it was their play after the ABA Owners meeting that marked this team's legacy.
Anchored by guard Clarence Withers (a.k.a Coffee Black, Downtown "Funky Stuff" Malone, Sugar Dunkerton, and "Jumping" Jonny Johnson), the only player on the roster to make the leap to the N.B.A., as well as former NBA champ and point guard Ed Monix, and Jackie Moon himself, the Tropics demolished every one in their path in the second half of the '76 season.
The Tropics' low post game, featuring Jackie Moon's deadly turnaround jumper and automatic free throw shooting, as well as giants Twiggy Munson and Vakidis, allowed Monix, Withers, Bee Bee Ellis, and Scootsie Double Day to thrive on the perimeter.
Despite meeting the qualifications for the NBA/ABA merger, and even after defeating the NBA's San Antonio Spurs (even without Clarence Withers for most of the game), the Tropics were backstabbed by Comissioner Alan Ault, and the NBA, and left out of the league.
Had Ault and the NBA lived up to their word, the Tropics could have become a force to be reckoned with in the association; however, Flint's majestic 1976 still remains as one of the great accomplishments of one of the greatest sports movie teams to ever step foot on the hardwood.
The Charlestown Chiefs are by no means a great hockey team, and they do not possess much skill either.
Instead, they make this list because of the overly-aggressive, brutal style of play they bring on the ice, thanks in large part to the Hanson Brothers.
The Hanson Brothers are easily the most recognizable and famous sports movie hockey players of all time, and they earned that fame by demolishing every player in their path on the ice.
Set aside the Hanson Brothers, and the Chiefs are not much to salivate over. However, Reggie Dunlop is a master-motivator of a coach, and Ned Braden and Dave Carlson, among other Chiefs players, make for some pretty decent hockey players.
Because it is unclear whether or not this team ever wins a World Series, the individual players on the roster makes this one of sports movie's all-time great baseball teams.
Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn, Jake Taylor, Pedro Cerrano, Willie 'Mays' Hayes, Isuro Tanaka, and Rube Baker come together to give the Indians two miraculously memorable playoff runs.
The Indians' downfall comes at their inability to put a solid season together.
They constantly run into huge slumps, creating locker room riffs, which in turn give manager Lou Brown a heart attack.
Fortunately for the Indians, they do find ways to get it together down the stretch. If this team was able to put their personal issues aside, multiple World Series titles could have been in reach.
The Miami Sharks, often credited as the most realistic football team ever depicted on the silver screen, are easily the most chaotic and turmoil-filled team on this list.
They have a quarterback controversy, a coach-owner rift, a near-dead linebacker, psycho offensive linemen, and a dirty team doctor. These are just a few of the issues surrounding the once dominant franchise.
Push all of that aside, and Miami has a pretty awesome football team.
Willie Beamen is literally a play-maker, conjuring up big plays out of nothing, Coach Tony D'Amato and offensive coordinator Nick Crozier team up for an all-star coaching staff, and J-Man Washington gives the Sharks a potent rushing attack.
Even though the Sharks are not necessarily the best team in their own league, (they lose in the Pantheon Cup) they have one of sports movie's all time great inspirational coaches in D'Amato (even though the first play after Pacino gives his famous speech, the opposing team returns a kickoff for a touchdown), and an all-around great roster.
(While we're here, how incredible are this team's parallels to the Dallas Cowboys over the past few years?
We have an over-involved, championship hungry owner (Jerry Jones), a young, elusive quarterback replacing an injured, storied veteran (Tony Romo/Drew Bledsoe), and even a hotshot offensive coordinator with a head coach on the hot seat (Wade Phillips/Jason Garrett. Crazy.)
(Yes, Hoosiers is based on a true story. The fiction pales in comparison to the real story, though. Head over to the movie's Wikipedia page for a list of differences. It is quite a long one.)
The boys from Hickory High had never seen a skyscraper until they traveled to Indianapolis for the 1952 state title game, but they played like giants.
Built on discipline, trust, and efficiency, Hickory High became a model of conservative play and teamwork.
Anchored by late addition and star player Jimmy Chitwood, Hickory plays a defense-first brand of basketball, which allows them to roll through Indiana's best teams, and eventually to the state title.
Everything about Hickory represents triumph and greatness, making this team the best underdog sports movie team of all time.
With all due respect the original, 1974 version of the Mean Machine, the 2005 squad is far and away a better team.
While the '74 Mean Machine relied on brute power and dirty play to defeat their guards, the '05 team uses that power, but also a combination of speed and skill to defeat their prison staff.
Paul Crewe at quarterback and Deacon Moss (Michael Irving) at wide receivers gives the Mean Machine a potent and overwhelming passing attack. Plus, they are able to establish a deadly run game with Earl Meggett (Nelly) at running back.
The Mean Machine also present massive size along their offensive line and defensive front seven, allowing them to overpower the guards.
With some more preparation and coaching, and a non-point shaving quarterback, the Mean Machine could take potentially take down any sports movie football team.
Would you pay to see this team take on the Miami Sharks?
The kids from District 5 go from laughingstock of the Minnesota pee-wee hockey ranks to world power over the course of the first two installments of the Mighty Ducks trilogy.
The Ducks reach their peak in D2, however, as they represent the United States at the "Junior Goodwill Games."
The team's sponsor takes their entire existing roster, adding only Julie Gaffney, Dwayne Robertson, Kenny Wu, and Luis Mendoza. Of course, Russ Tyler and Dean Portman give the Ducks/USA some much needed depth.
Some might call the Ducks a fraud due to their use of zany and fluky plays, such as the knuckle puck and swapping of Goldberg and Russ Tyler late in the final against Iceland (clearly an illegal move).
But the Ducks feature an unbeatable duo of goaltenders, two of the world's best young enforcers in the Bash Brothers, and future NHLer Adam Banks. And, of course, arguably the world's great coaches in Gordon Bombay.
Not to mention, they shut down future NHL lottery pick Gunner Stahl in the Junior Games final.
The Ducks are easily the most prolific and storied pee-wee hockey team of all time. Pound for pound, this could be one of the great hockey teams of all-time. One thing is for sure. This is the greatest hockey movie team of all-time.
Considering almost the entire roster of players who emerge from the corn field of Ray Kinsella's Iowa farm are all-time greats, this team was a lock for this list.
Headlined by Shoeless Joe Jackson, the roster features members of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox and other scattered baseball legends.
Unfortunately, we do not get to see this team face-off against others, leaving their true skill and greatness as a big question mark. Could this team's old-fashioned brand of baseball been effective against a modern-day team?
It's a question that not only would have interested the entire world (Kinsella could have raked in millions of dollars by bringing in a major league team to play them), but would have proved this team's true worth.
Either way, bringing legends of such stature onto the field at the same makes for the best baseball movie team ever assembled.
Will Ferrell's athletic prowess is on display again, this time in the form of NASCAR superstar Ricky Bobby.
Bobby, while dominating NASCAR before his near-fatal crash, is not the only driver to make Dennit Racing the powerhouse it was.
Cal Naughton, Jr. and Jean Girard team up with Bobby to make Dennit Racing arguably the most prolific racing team of all time. However, there are too many questions surrounding this team to put it higher on the list.
First, Cal Naughton, Jr. makes for one of NASCAR's deadliest drivers, and possibly a superior one than Bobby.
After all, he lets Bobby win virtually every race they compete in together. Granted, Naughton wins at Talladega at the end of the movie, but did Bobby tarnish Naughton's potential legacy?
Couldn't Naughton have won every race instead of giving Bobby the shake and bake? Naughton is the John Stockton to Bobby's Karl Malone.
Meanwhile, Jean Girard is a powerhouse himself. He takes over for Bobby during his extended absence, and absolutely dominates the NASCAR ranks.
But how can Girard's run be viewed as a legitimate one when Bobby was out of the sport? Girard dominates when NASCAR's best driver was sidelined.
Not to mention, upon his return, Bobby keeps up with Girard even with a dangerous and inconvenient Fig Newton sticker plastered on his makeshift stock car's windshield.
Dennit Racing is easily the best racing team in sports movie history, and contains three of the best sports movie drivers of all-time. If these three could have truly come together as a team, the sky was the limit.
Why is there an asterisk next to the Monstars name, you ask?
Well, let us not ignore the obvious.
The Monstars and Tune Squad face off in 1996. Right in the midst, and arguably the climax of the Steroids Era.
There's no denying the Monstars' use of performance enhancing drugs, either. They grow at an inhumane rate, developing extremely odd bodily features along the way.
That being said, the Tune Squad participates in a little bit of juicing of their own. The "Special Stuff" that Bugs Bunny spreads around the locker room at halftime of the Tune Squad/Monstars matchup is clearly a PED, regardless of Michael Jordan's attempt to explain that it was "just water."
Anyway, although the Tune Squad does defeat the Monstars in their lone matchup, let's not ignore the Monstars' obvious superiority either.
They match up better than the Tune Squad in every aspect of the game, but the Monstars' downfall? Overzealous coaching and no perimeter game.
They collapse in the second half under the oppressive pressure of their coach, Mister Swackhammer. Swackhammer does not help his team by raising the stakes of the game, therefore inspiring M.J., the last person who needs extra-motivation to win a game.
On the court, if any of the Monstars could develop a perimeter jump shot, this team is unstoppable. They dominate in the low post throughout the entire game, until they start buckling late in the game. A shooter or two would have won this game for the Monstars.
Still, the Monstars stand as sports movie's greatest team of all-time.