The 25 Worst Athletic Performances in Entertainment
Sports movies seem to play either on the sap of the athlete making an incredible comeback, a miraculous journey by a team or individual to a title or a romantic comedy.
What is usually lost in casting is getting actors that are actually athletic.
Seeing some of these performances on screen seem like a waste of time.
Actors who can't run, catch, shoot or dribble or are just too old, short, or out of shape playing athletes make you wonder what the casting director was really thinking.
25) Any Movie With Animals Playing a Sport
Air Bud, Ed, or Gus the mule placekicker.
Any movie that chooses to have an animal playing a human sport definitely deserves to be on this list.
24) Thomas Ian Nicholas, Rookie of the Year
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A 12 year old leading the Cubs to a World Series Victory? Definitely only in a movie.
After a freak accident, Henry Rowengartner’s gains rocket velocity in his arm.
No one had a chance from the start; virtually no 12-year-old could make a believable athlete.
23) Garrett Morris- Chico Escuela
Although we only see Morris as Chico Escuela in only his spring training comeback, he is never really believable as a baseball player.
The sketches were always among the best in the early year of Saturday Night Live.
Escuela's catchphrase, "Baseball been berry berry good to me," was later repeated by Sammy Sosa as a joke.
22) Anthony Michael Hall Johnny B. Good
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Hall doesn’t even come close to the part as troubled Quarterback.
21) Jon Heder- Blades of Glory
Can anyone really ever believe that Napoleon Dynamite is athletic at all?
The best part is Heder's character answering a question in Japanese.
Heder is actually fluent in Japanese after serving an LDS mission there.
20) Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany - Wimbledon
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Dunst and Bettany will not be imitating Kim Clijsters and Andy Murray any time soon.
19) Michael J. Fox - Teen Wolf
A movie about werewolves playing basketball led by the 5’4 Fox. Enough said.
18) Freddie Prinze Jr. - Summer Catch
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Freddie Prinze Jr. was much more believable as the lead romantic interest to Jessica Biel.
He didn’t look the part as a star pitcher in the Cape Cod League.
17) Sylvester Stallone - Rocky Balboa
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By the time we got to Rocky Balboa (The sixth in the Rocky series), Sylvester Stallone was 59 years old.
While boxing has definitely had some over-the-hill fighters make comebacks, 59 is ridiculous.
To make matters worse, he fights Mason “The Line” Dixon, played by former fighter Antonio Tarver.
16) Keanu Reeves - The Replacements
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Based on the 1987 NFL players strike, the film was about as believable as Reeves was as a former NFL Quarterback.
15) Jackie Mason - Caddyshack II
Possibly one of the worst sports movies of all time. Mason couldn’t even hack it as a leisurely country club golfer. Al Czervik he wasn’t.
14) William Bendix - The Babe Ruth Story
Playing one of the greatest athletes ever at the age of 42 isn’t exactly the formula for success for an actor playing an athlete. Ruth must have been embarrassed while appearing at the premiere.
Bendix never had the arm to play Ruth. The Babe was legendary as a pitcher before switching to the outfield. Ruth would die three weeks after the movie was released.
13) Anthony Perkins - Fear Strikes Out
Perkins' performance in Fear Strikes Out is either legendary or infamous.
In the story of bipolar Jimmy Piersall, the pre-"Psycho" Perkins was the perfect person to play him.
Perkins lack of athletic ability was panned by everyone including Piersall.
Asked about the man playing him, Piersall said "He threw a baseball like a girl and danced around in the outfield like a ballerina."
Rumors were that Perkins was a natural lefty who tired to throw right-handed to play Piersall. At least the Director or Producer didn’t have Piersall become lefty for artistic value.
12) Tim Robbins - Bull Durham
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Robbins is one of the greatest actors of our time. As Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh, he was awkward as a pitcher. He had a slow and anguished delivery.
Nuke was supposed to be that way to a point. Robbins looked like an Octopus as he delivered the ball. His arms flailed all over. He was wild and threw 95 miles per hour, including hitting the mascot.
It's a good thing for Director Ron Shelton that the chemistry between Robbins and Susan Sarandon was undeniably believable.
11) Gary Cooper - The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig in "Pride" is legendary for lack of athletic ability.
Bosley Crowther wrote in The New York Times in 1942, about the lack of Pride’s baseball scenes, “This underemphasis of Gehrig’s profession is partially excused by the fact that Gary Cooper, who plays the great hero, doesn’t look too good slamming or scooping ’em up.”
As in other movies, Cooper’s lack of ability to hit left handed meant he had to hit right handed. As a result, he ran to third base instead of first.
Because of that, the film negatives were flipped to show Cooper/Gehrig batting left handed and running to first.
10) Ryan O’Neal - The Main Event (1979)
Considering that O’Neal was a Golden Gloves boxer in the 1950’s, his performance in The Main Event is embarrassing.
Denzel as Hurricane Carter, Will Smith as Ali and DiNiro as Jake LaMotta are better options.
9) Kathy Ireland-Necessary Roughness
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Kathy Ireland previous sports experience was as a swimsuit model for Sports Illustrated.
As a kicker she definitely should not get any cameo’s for an NFL team.
She made Katy Knida look like a Pro Bowler.
8) Michael Caine - Victory
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Are we supposed to believe that Caine was capable of playing a professional soccer player at age 48?
Caine plays a pudgy POW, almost an oxymoron.
Good thing Caine’s teammates included former world class soccer players Pele, Bobby Moore, John Wark, Russell Osman and Osvaldo Ardiles.
7) Michael O’Keefe - The Slugger's Wife
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The fact that this was based on a Neil Simon play speaks volumes about why the athletic ability was missing. As a baseball player on screen, O’Keefe should stick to golf (Caddyshack).
His baseball swing was brutal and they didn’t show much of his throwing. Thankfully this article is only about athletic ability.
As O’Keefe’s lover, Rebecca DeMornay played a singer who was just as brutal.
6) Adrian Grenier - Harvard Man
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Grenier is completely believable as Vinnie Chase on Entourage. He takes care of his boys and attracts virtually any woman he wants.
In Harvard Man, Grenier did not look the part as a college basketball point guard. His ball handling and shooting both were off.
Hopefully, neither Vinnie or Adrian will be cast in a sports role in the future. I am sure this is a movie that Grenier would soon forget and have all the fans forget as well.
5) Quinton Aaron- The Blind Side
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By his own admission Quinton Aaron said “and wasn't good at it at all” when asked about if he had every played football.
Admittingly, playing a professional athlete and first-round NFL draft pick has its challenges.
Finding someone that size that can both act and portray the athletic part of the role is difficult.
4) Bernie Mac in Mr. 3000
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Mac was 47 years old when Mr. 3000 was released in 2004.
Jamie Moyer and Satchel Paige he wasn’t.
3) John Goodman: The Babe
When Goodman played Dennis Quaid’s best friend and key blocker as an offensive lineman in Everybody’s All-American, he was believable.
His swing definitely missed and his delivery as a pitcher would require years in the minors leagues to correct (think Charles Barkley’s golf swing for ugliness).
It seems as if the only reason Goodman was cast was for his stature.
2) Ray Liotta - Field of Dreams
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Through no fault of his own, Liotta portrayed “Shoeless” Joe Jackson as a right handed hitter. Jackson was a left handed hitter in his career.
Couldn’t they have taught Liotta how to hit left handed or used a left handed actor?
1) Chris Klein - Rollerball
In the original Rollerball, James Caan played Jonathon with grit, toughness and was the perfect actor to depict the future society that Rollerball is based in.
In the 2002 sequel, Klein was none of the above. His portrayal was more wimpy and hollow.