Sports movies resonate with many of us, helping us relive glories of yesterday or watch the worst team in the league suddenly win the big game. For years now, sports movies have been part of our culture, evolving with our ever-changing world and bringing larger-than-life characters to the big screen.
Not only do the movies themselves become etched in our memories, but the quotes of characters become part of our everyday conversation, worming their way into our language until we wonder how we ever did without them. But which one is the best?
Warning: Some of the videos have NSFW language, so be careful.
Harry Doyle: It looks like Willie Hays is trying to hit Rick Vaughn, and why not? Everybody else in the league does.
Harry Doyle is the epitome of what a movie baseball announcer should be: funny, critical and drunk. You could probably make a list of Harry's best quotes, but for today, we'll just pick one and let you know there are tons more.
Juuuuuuuuuuuuuust a bit outside.
Shane Falco: I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn't be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory...lasts forever.
Is it cheesy? Absolutely. Is it Keanu Reeves? Unfortunately, yes. But within the context of the movie, it works and has a chance to give you a hint of those goosebumps we love so much.
(Video has NSFW language to the end.)
Tommy: Get him a body bag! Yeah!
Seriously, have there ever been more hated teenage boys than the Cobra Kai? I mean, they took the role of high school bullies and pushed it to new limits. I couldn't decide on this one or "sweep the leg," but this one elicits more laughs and is therefore the better quote.
Ham Porter: You play ball like a GIRL!
Come on, who didn't use this insult at least once while playing Little League? Ham Porter busted out the big guns just when the snotty kids with the real uniforms deserved it. Not only that, but he backed up those words and celebrated by puking tobacco all over unsuspecting carnival-goers.
William Gates: People ask me, will I remember them if I make it? I tell them, will you remember me if I don't?
One of the most underrated documentaries about sports, Hoop Dreams follows the story of young inner-city youths trying to work their way out of poverty through basketball. It's an amazing story that young people everywhere should see and it provides great moments like the one above.
Norman Dale: If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we're gonna be winners.
In what some have called the best sports movie out there, tiny Hickory High School defies odds time and time again to beat bigger and better-funded schools. Gene Hackman's performance as coach Norman Dale has often been imitated but never quite duplicated.
Gary Gaines: Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It's not about winning. It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn't let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn't one more thing you could have done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman, you're perfect!
In the ultimate ode to big-time high school football, Friday Night Lights brought back memories for all former players, no matter if they were stars or not. In a town obsessed with winning, coach Gary Gaines put in perspective what it means to be a real winner, something that is lost on a lot of people today.
Mike Eruzione: I play for...the United States of America!
Unless you're dead (or Canadian), it's almost impossible not to get goosebumps during this scene. After a particularly bad game against an inferior opponent (Norway), USA coach Herb Brooks skates his team until they are about to drop. Only team captain Mike Eruzione saves them when he realizes that the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the one on the back.
Coach Yoast: All right, now, I don't want them to gain another yard! You blitz...all...night! If they cross the line of scrimmage, I'm gonna take every last one of you out! You make sure they remember, forever, the night they played the Titans!
Even though Turk from Scrubs gets replaced with the guy from The Notebook, this scene still remains my favorite in the whole movie. After being cheated by racist officials, Coach Yoast decides to leave no doubt on who the better team is. I think it's a great quote because of the line itself, and also because of Will Patton's great delivery.
Ray: Hey Dad...wanna have a catch?
What guy can't relate to throwing the baseball around with his dad? It is almost acceptable for a man to cry during this scene, but not quite. That honor is reserved for an entry later on this list.
Clubber Lang: No, I don't hate Balboa, but I pity the fool.
Mr. T was a 1980s icon and, seriously, is one guy more well-known for a single quote than this one? Our hero, Rocky, was getting a little full of himself and it took a Mr. T beating to regain that eye of the tiger.
Herb Brooks: Great moments...are born from great opportunity. And that's what you have here, tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game. If we played 'em 10 times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it.
A movie that needed no "dramatic license," Miracle perfectly captures the spirit of the underdog, fighting against a seemingly unbeatable opponent and playing well beyond what their talent dictates. Kurt Russell gave a great performance as legendary coach Herb Brooks and this speech is his crowning achievement.
Jimmy Dugan: There's no crying! There's no crying in baseball!
Tom Hanks, in one of his signature performances, carries A League of Their Own to greatness with his performance as the alcoholic, womanizing manager Jimmy Dugan. While this quote might be the most famous, it is certainly not his only zinger in the movie, hence why the movie is still played at least three times a day on TNT.
Adrian: There's one thing I want you to do for me. Win...Win!
With those words, Adrian sends her husband into a rematch with Apollo Creed and drops her "you can't do it!" wet blanket attitude that made all of Rocky's fans hate her guts. I would have inducted the whole training montage, but that's not really a quote, now is it?
Terrance Mann: The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh...people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
Enhanced by James Earl Jones' awesome voice, Terrance Mann perfectly sums up why baseball is so important in the American culture. There's something very soothing about going out to a baseball game and cheering men who play a game that has been played for over 100 years.
Carl Spackler: It looks like a mirac—it's in the hole! It's in the hole!
Who hasn't golfed and done their own commentary? Not only is this a scene from one of the funniest movies of all time, but it's also completely improvised by Bill Murray, making it all the more impressive.
Gale Sayers: I love Brian Piccolo. And I'd like all of you to love him, too. And so tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him.
Now here's the movie where it's permitted for men to cry. Brian's Song made an entire generation of wives turn to their husbands and say, "What is wrong with you?" If you've never seen this movie, then you're doing yourself a disservice because it's probably the best made-for-TV movie ever. Like they say, all true stories end in death, and this is a true story.
Skip: What's our record Larry?
Larry: Eight and 16.
Skip: Eight and 16...how'd we ever win eight?
Larry: It's a miracle.
Skip: It's a miracle!
*REALLY NSFW language at the end here.*
Bull Durham, the best movie about minor league baseball ever made, has many quotable lines that have no doubt been repeated to an annoying level during beer league baseball games. Between Kevin Costner's speech about what he believes in, giving Tim Robbins advice about how to give interviews and telling other players what pitches are coming, there is no shortage of great lines here.
The Voice: If you build it, he will come.
Parodied to no end, the Voice provided main character Ray Kinsella with the inspiration to build a baseball field and ease his own pain. While everyone else in the town thinks he's insane, his wife, daughter and James Earl Jones understand the importance of his mission.
Rocky: Where's your hat?
Threw you for a loop there, didn't I? "Yo, Adrian" gets all the press and wins all the Best Quote awards, but this one perfectly sums up the character of Rocky Balboa.