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The 50 Worst Sports Movies of All Time

Sam WestmorelandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2011

The 50 Worst Sports Movies of All Time

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    Sports movies have become an integral part of American culture and American cinema. When they're done correctly, they can inspire, they can make grown men cry (I still get choked up at the end of Field of Dreams) and they can remind us why we love sports all over again. 

    When they're not, they wind up on this list. We're taking a look at the 50 most gag-inducing, channel-changing, eye-rolling films in sports movie history, and showing you why they're so bad. 

    But, be warned: We knew better than to include clips of these films, lest your eyes and ears start bleeding. But the mere mention of these motion pictures can cause nausea, heartburn, headaches and a need to ceaselessly quote bad dialogue. 

    In short, those of you with weak constitutions should probably leave. 

    For everyone else, let's get started!

50. Here Come The Tigers

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    Sort of like Bad News Bears, if the original had been bereft of any character, witty dialogue and creativity.

    Oh, and Walter Matthau was replaced by a Village Person. Then, you'd have this movie. 

49. D3: The Mighty Ducks

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    The first two Mighty Ducks movies rank among the better sports movies of all time. The third one? Not so much. 

    With only 10 minutes of Emilio Estevez, and way too much relationship drama going on, this one was a, well, lame duck. 

    Sorry. I had to say it.

48. The Replacements

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    Not even the greatest imaginary coach in history (Gene Hackman; remember him from Hoosiers?) could save this one. Between wide receiver Orlando Jones and quarterback Keanu Reeves, this was one of the goofiest, cheesiest movies of all time. 

    Although, it did give us the line, "Pain heals, chicks dig scars, and glory lives forever." Which is worth something, right?

47. The Bear

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    I don't care how much makeup you put on him; Gary Busey is NOT Bear Bryant. This one was a disgrace to the houndstooth hat. 

46. Youngblood

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    Yeeah. Rob Lowe as a hockey player? No thank you. Where were the Hanson brothers when we needed them? 

45. The Legend Of Bagger Vance

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    What happens when you take two of the best actors of our generation and put them in a movie about golfers?

    This. Will Smith and Matt Damon couldn't save it, although there are plenty of people out there who like this one. 

44. The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh

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    The Pittsburgh Pythons stink. So, a ballboy tuns to astrology, and decides to form a team entirely from players born under the same sign as the star player (Dr. J). 

    The team takes off, and wins the title, but you're left remembering that people did a lot of drugs during the '70s. 

43. Gus

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    Gus tells the story of a head coach (Don Knotts) who signs a football-kicking mule from Yugoslavia to turn his team's fortunes around. 

    Yeeah. To give you an idea of how bad this was, Knotts and co-star Tim Conway have done five movies together. In four of them, they're a fairly strong comedic duo. In this one, they are never even on screen at the same time. 

    Because when your two big names are in a movie, the last thing you want is for them to play off of one another. Then you might end up with a good movie. 

42. Any Given Sunday

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    Yep. It's here. Like it or not, this was a potentially fantastic movie that didn't deliver. The football sequences were among the most poorly-played of any football movie in recent memory. 

    Not even Al Pacino's speech can save this howler. 

41. Major League: Back To The Minors

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    The first Major League is a classic, one of the best sports movies ever. 

    Major League II isn't great, and really isn't all that good, but is definitely watchable. 

    By the time Back to the Minors rolled around, most of the stars were too big (or, in the case of Tom Berenger, too stoned) to come back, so they made do with the immortal Scott Bakula, and no Willie Mays Hays or "Wild Thing" Ricky Vaughn. 

    Needless to say, fart jokes and bad puns ensued, and gave the series a massive black eye. 

40. Little Big League

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    A kid inherits ownership of the Minnesota Twins, and names himself manager. The hapless Twinkies band together under their lilliputian skipper and rally to win the division. 

    Apart from the idea that a kid would rather manage a baseball team than play for it, why the Twins? After all, it wasn't like the franchise was hopeless (they had gone 90-72 two years prior to the 1994 release), and there were other teams (Kansas City, Philadelphia) who were much worse.

    Plus, the main character was one of the more obnoxious kids in sports movie history, which is no small feat. 

39. Racing Stripes

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    Wow. What a great concept—a racing zebra! And with headliners like Frankie Muniz and David Spade, how could it fail? 

    Yeesh. Even the zebra in the poster looks dumb. 

38. 8 Seconds

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    A good rule of thumb: When you have a bull-riding movie, you should probably have bigger headliners than Luke Perry and Stephen Baldwin. 

    8 Seconds apparently didn't get the memo, which meant people managed to watch the movie for less than the period of time in the title. 

37. Six Pack

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    e.g. 'Chicago Blackhawks', 'Chicago Cubs'

    Somehow, The Gambler got Diane Lane to co-star in this movie with him and a motley crew of kids. 

    I'm even more impressed by Rogers for that than for having the balls to put this movie out. 

36. Air Bud

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    Sure, the dog is cute, and can make baskets with his mouth. But that's pretty much all this movie's got going for it.

    And don't get me started on the 500 "Bud(dies)" spinoffs Disney has milked out of this one. 

35. Stroker Ace

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    Burt Reynolds should stick to Smokey and the Bandit and all of his other running-from-the-law movies. 

    Admit it, you knew this awkwardly titled movie was about NASCAR from the instant you saw the title, didn't you? 

    The inappropriate puns just fly with this one.

34. Ready To Rumble

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    The worst part about this movie? The fact that in order to make it, David Arquette had to become the real WCW World Heavyweight Champion. 

    I think that says it all. 

33. Summer Catch

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    Freddie Prinz Jr. is a top prospect playing in the Cape Cod league. Jessica Biel is a rich girl whose family doesn't approve of poor people. Naturally, sparks fly. 

    There's very little baseball in this movie, and even less chemistry. 

    To prove how bad this movie is, consider this: Jessica Biel wears a bikini at one point (the most skin she'd shown to that point), and it's still awful.

32. Sudden Death

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    Ok, so check out this plot. Jean Claude Van Damme is a fire safety officer at Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. He stumbles across a plot involving a criminal holding the U.S. vice president and a suite full of VIP's hostage, until the end of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, when he will blow up the arena and everyone in it. 

    To make matters worse, his daughter has been kidnapped by a woman in the Penguins mascot costume. 

    Van Damme has to fight his way through to disarm the bombs, beat the Penguin, and save his daughter, while forcing the game to go to overtime. 

    When one of the principal villains is a mascot, you know you're in for a classic. 

31. Necessary Roughness

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    To be honest, this should have been good. After all, it's got Hector Elizondo and supermodel Kathy Ireland in it. 

    And yet, it was nowhere near greatness. Why? I blame Scott Bakula. 

30. Eddie

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    Let's make one thing clear: I like Whoopi Goldberg. She killed in Sister Act, and was stellar in Captain Planet

    But Whoopi didn't bring much in this one; in fact, it might be one of her least watchable movies. 

    After all, there are only so many "I'm a woman in the men's locker room!" jokes that can be made before you've got to move on to something new. 

29. The Scout

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    I think the accolade at the top of this picture tells you all you need to know about The Scout. When you have to get that specific to give praise, it's never a good sign. 

    I will say this for Brendan Fraser: When he's on (The Mummy, Encino Man), he's excellent. But when he's not, it gets ugly. And he's not in this one. 

28. The Main Event

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    Barbra Streisand should never be in a boxing movie. EVER. And with a protagonist named Kid Natural, it's hard for this one to ever get off the ground.

    All in all, it's a disaster.

27. Matilda

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    Yes, Matilda is a boxing kangaroo. And by "boxing kangaroo," I mean a guy in a poorly constructed kangaroo suit punching people in the face. 

    Yeah. The '70s were weird. 

26. The Benchwarmers

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    Rob Schneider, David Spade and Jon Heder star in this one about three losers who try to prove they're not losers. 

    How do they do that? They decide to play Little League. As adults. 

    Talk about a failed premise. And sadly, not even this trio's star appeal could save this one. 

25. Rebound

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    Here's the pitch for this one:

    "Martin Lawrence isn't funny on his own, right? So why don't we make him a basketball coach, who gets sent to a middle school to do his thing? Then, he can play off the funny kids, and we'll make millions!" 

    Someone explain how this movie was a good idea. 

24. Rad

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    It's about a guy named Cru, who races BMX bikes at Helltrack.

    Oh yeah, this is going to win Oscars, I can feel it. 

23. Airborne

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    Mitchell's a totally cool rollerblader/surfer whose radical moves get grounded when he's sent to live in Cincinnati, Ohio. He pisses off the hockey team, and angers a group known as the "Preps."

    But, through his sweet blading skills, Mitchell wins over the hockey team, and he helps them beat the Preps down Devil's Backbone. 

    Apart from a lack of knowledge about the city of Cincinnati, this might be one of the most hackneyed plots in sports movie history. Which says a lot. 

22. Crossover

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    How authentic is this streetball movie? Just ask Wayne Brady.

21. Johnny Be Good

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    All you need to know about this '80s stinker is that Anthony Michael Hall, a.k.a the nerd from The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, has been transformed into a jock. 

    He'd almost be believable, were it not for the tiny fact that he's the nerd from The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. 

    Although, given all of the "Be on your best behavior, or the college investigators will get you" talk in this one, maybe Cecil and Cam Newton should have watched it. 

20. The Cutting Edge

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    What happens when you take a stuck-up figure skater and a blue-collar hockey player, and make them skate together? 

    You get this steaming pile of film, that's what. I don't know what's worse, the original movie, or the fact that there are two sequels out there, proving that even bad ideas get run into the ground in Hollywood. 

19. Fever Pitch

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    Way to go, Farrelly brothers. You managed to ruin one of the few moments of pure, unadulterated joy and celebration in sports by running Drew Barrymore and the incredibly un-funny Jimmy Fallon onto the field at Busch Stadium in St. Louis when the Red Sox wrapped up their first World Series win in 86 years. 

    And all in the name of this abomination of a movie. You should be ashamed. That scene alone is enough to put this one on the list. 

18. The Rookie

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    Why is this potentially inspiring true story so high on this list? Dennis Quaid. People keep casting him in baseball movies (and movies in general) and he immediately turns them into terrible films. 

    Where was Kevin Costner for this one? If we keep Dennis Quaid out of sports movies, maybe the rest of Hollywood would get the memo. 

17. Over The Top

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    Sylvester Stallone stars in this movie about competitive arm wrestling. I think that's all that needs to be said to justify this spot. 

16. Slap Shot 2: Breaking The Ice

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    Sure, the Hansons are back, but replacing Paul Newman with Stephen Baldwin is like trading Sidney Crosby for a flaming bag of dog poop. 

    Needless to say, Baldwin has no shot of saving this blatant cash grab. 

15. Who's Your Caddy?

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    It's like someone said, "What would happen if we combined Soul Plane with Caddyshack, only we took out every funny moment in Caddyshack and replaced it with fart jokes and terrible puns?" 

    This steaming turd of a film was their answer. 

14. Ed

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    How do you know you've got a bad sports movie? When your headlining actor gets his scenes stolen by the chimp who's saving his baseball team, that's how. 

    In Matt LeBlanc's defense, the monkey's got like 15 I.Q. points on him. 

13. Ladybugs

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    When you combine Rodney Dangerfield, Jackee Harry, a young child crossdressing, and girls' youth soccer, things are never going to end well. 

    And rest assured, they don't here, either. 

12. Juwanna Mann

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    Who decided to take a little-known comedian, turn him into a bad-boy basketball star forced to pretend to be a woman, and make him play in the WNBA?

    As an aside, Miguel Nunez Jr. might be the least convincing drag queen in movie history. And remember, Patrick Swayze played one, too. 

11. Wimbledon

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    Doomed by some of the worst tennis scenes in human history. I was less convinced that Paul Bettany was a tennis star than I was that Dennis Quaid could throw 95 miles per hour.

    And that's saying a lot. 

10. The Babe

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    I like John Goodman. Let's get that out of the way first. He's a fantastic actor, who could have pulled off the depth of character required to play Ruth. 

    Unfortunately, this movie seems so concerned with killing people's false assumptions about the player that they leave out any positives, which in turn, kills the movie. Just a poor effort. 

9. The Slugger's Wife

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    In case your couldn't tell from the poster shown here, this one is another chick flick disguised as a baseball movie. 

    In fact, it kind of feels like one of those cheesy romance novels. All that's missing is Fabio wearing the jacket instead of Michael O'Keefe.

8. The Fan

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    De Niro! Snipes! Baseball! Obsessive fan! 

    How did this one even get off of a studio executive's desk? Please, someone, explain that for me. 

7. Rollerball

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    I'm not talking the original Rollerball, with James Caan. That is a classic.

    Instead, I'm talking the terrible, horrible 2002 remake of Rollerball, starring Chris Klein, in what is arguably one of the worst performances in sports movie history.

    Given that he's remaking a classic, you'd think he'd at least try and do a good job. But he managed to make a movie all about a violent sport not fun to watch. 

    Which is quite the accomplishment, if you think about it. 

6. Like Mike

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    I don't think this one needs any explanation. Feel free to look it up if you're confused why it's here. You'll figure it out pretty quickly. 

5. Caddyshack 2

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    This one was a complete and utter disaster. With no Bill Murray, no Rodney Dangerfield, and a brief cameo by Chevy Chase, this thing couldn't get a laugh out of The Joker. 

    Plus, the gopher talks, which is just strange. 

4. Bad News Bears Go To Japan

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    I feel like everyone knew this one was going to be bad. Even the directors, actors and studio. 

    Which begs the question: What were they thinking? 

3. Amazing Grace and Chuck

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    Talk about a weird one This feels like a movie from the '70s, but it came out in 1987. Chuck is a little kid living in Montana. He tours a nuclear silo one day, and decides that he's not going to pitch for his Little League team until nuclear weapons are disarmed.

    He's joined by Boston Celtics star "Amazing Grace" Smith (NBA player Alex English), and several other professional athletes. 

    For having such heavyweights as Gregory Peck and Jamie Lee Curtis in it, Chuck misses the mark in a big way. Even English looks bored during the basketball scenes. 

2. Rocky V

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    It's 1988. Sly Stallone is getting old, but he's not done yet. He decides to make another Rocky movie, where the champ has to come back to teach his former pupil a lesson. 

    The result was this disaster. The villain, Tommy Gunn, was easily the worst in the series. The plot was downright awful, and there's not even really a happy ending to the film. 

    How bad was this one? Bad enough that Rocky fans don't even count it as part of the series.

1. Mr. 3,000

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    For a movie to pass Rocky V on this list, you know it has to be awful. 

    And Mr. 3000 was just that. From the casting (Bernie Mac playing a baseball player?! Really? Martin Lawrence wasn't available?) to the bad jokes and cliched plot, this film was the biggest flaming turd to come out of the sports movie genre. 

    Even more impressive, it surpassed Rocky V without the benefit of Tommy Gunn's help. 

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