Sports is life. Life is sports.
In between, we watch some movies. Personally, I can’t get enough of sports movies. Whether its fiction or non-fiction, I really don’t care. You give me a sports movie, I’ll watch it.
In life, though, there are some stories that even the best screenwriters could not think of. There is no substitute for real life, the real emotions that go along with each gut-wrenching or joyful story other individuals endure during their time of fame and fortune or torment and failure.
From Brock Lesnar, Lance Armstrong and Mark Herzlich’s duels with illness to Kurt Warner’s rags-to-riches story, these are the 10 best sports movies never made.
These are just four words to describe Tonya Harding.
You’ve heard this one before, without a doubt.
Tonya Harding, her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and her bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt hired a hitman, Shane Stant, to attack and break Nancy Kerrigan’s leg before the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Kerrigan was followed by Stant, who failed to break her leg.
Still, Kerrigan was forced to withdraw from the event due to the bruise above her knee.
At least the end result worked out for the paying trio.
Harding ended up winning the event and it was later revealed that she helped cover up the attack.
If this doesn’t make for a great movie storyline, I don’t know what does anymore.
This former footballer or soccer player, depending on where you live, has been a Liberian politician and humanitarian. He was unsuccessful in his run for Liberian president in 2005, but has been a model citizen in this world successfully.
Weah won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2004 ESPY awards and was also the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Weah has used his influence to help children of Liberia and, in 2004, appealed to warlords to stop using children as soldiers.
Weah is the type of inspirational sports figure everyone could look up to. Not just fans of sports, but fans of people as well.
Ah, Jose Canseco has quite the awesome story.
I’m sure you’re on one side of the fence when it comes to Canseco.
He did baseball justice by telling all in his famed book “Juiced,” which filled everyone in on the behind-the-scenes steroid abuse in Major League Baseball.
Or the other side of the fence are people that believe Canseco ruined baseball by providing information on the steroid abuse when it should have been left as some taboo folklore left to the imagination of the fans.
Regardless, how fun would it be to watch a comedy about Jose Canseco and steroid abuse?
Let’s have Canseco, perhaps played by Mario Lopez, better known to most of us as AC Slater from Saved by the Bell, constantly injecting teammates with steroids throughout the movie and see them blast home runs all over baseball stadiums across America.
Then we can have Canseco admit to steroid abuse and try to take down baseball’s top stars.
Finally, we’ll top it off with a less-juiced up Canseco getting beat down by a much bigger MMA fighter, Hong Man Choi.
Or maybe he’ll just get tied up and beat down by everyone he outed in “Juiced.”
Whichever ending is fine by me.
This fiery Boston College linebacker has had quite the life thus far.
Millions grow up wanting to play in the NFL.
Not many get that opportunity.
Herzlich is on his way this year as a projected second or third-round draft selection. Yet his road to the pros has been a rocky one, one that was on a one-way street far, far away from the NFL.
Herzlich is an intense linebacker. It is his intensity and determination that has paved his way to the NFL.
It is his intensity and determination that has kept him with us.
In May 2009, Herzlich announced to the world that he had been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
Herzlich fought this potential doomsday and just a few months later announced that he was cancer free.
Although he had to sit out the 2009 season, he returned in 2010 to once again be a star for Boston College.
We all look forward to seeing him in the pros.
Brock Lesnar is one of the finest athletes this world has ever seen.
I mean that.
Lesnar has been a wrestler since he was a young beast.
Then he grew up.
He grew up to become an animal, a monster, a man-beast.
He became an amateur wrestling phenomenon.
Then he became the fastest-rising WWE superstar in history. Lesnar decimated everyone in his path.
Yet he quickly grew tired after doing it all in WWE and feeling the effects of life on the road.
After leaving WWE, he joined the Minnesota Vikings but was cut before the regular season began. At least he got to lay out Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Damon Huard.
In 2008, Lesnar then decided he wanted to become a mixed martial arts star.
Of course, Lesnar succeeded.
Shortly after joining the UFC, he became the heavyweight champion.
A year later, he had to stop fighting due to a serious illness that almost took his life.
Almost a year later, Lesnar returned to UFC.
Although he lost his heavyweight championship, his story is an immense one full of top achievements and accolades.
Ah, good ole Tiger Woods.
One of my favorite falls from grace in sports history.
Tiger Woods had it all. He was the most dominant golfer for over a decade. He brought golf to new heights of popularity.
He literally had it all.
The endorsements, the dominance, the popularity and a gorgeous family.
Yet that wasn’t enough for Woods. Woods needed more.
He needed more sex in his life.
As most would assume from the extravagant life of an elite athlete, women threw themselves at Woods.
And Woods couldn’t resist.
Turns out, he should have.
On Thanksgiving weekend 2009, Woods suffered minor injuries after being involved in a car accident outside his home.
It was revealed later that Woods had sexual relations with more than one woman despite being married to Elin Nordegren.
The two divorced and Tigers Woods’ golf game has suffered mightily.
Once atop the PGA, Woods is struggling to get back.
Ah, how quickly all is lost.
Who wouldn’t want to watch an entire movie dedicated to that amazing Thanksgiving weekend? The fantastic fight that must have ensued in the Woods’ household, the epic getaway attempt by Woods, followed by his abysmal return to the PGA Tour.
So much goodness wrapped in one.
I get chills when I hear the story and watch the videos.
Jason McElwain, or J-Mac to you, became an inspiration phenomenon at Greece Athena High School in New York.
McElwain, the autistic manager for the Greece Athena basketball team, was given the title by coach Jim Johnson for his love of basketball.
When the team had a large lead in the division title game, Johnson finally let J-Mac enter the game for the first-and-last time that season with four minutes left in the game.
McElwain entered to the roar of the crowd which had his face planted on posters.
McElwain, already a star of the school, fell short, or went too long for that matter, on his first three-point attempt.
He then missed a layup.
Coach Johnson wondered if McElwain would ever score a bucket.
But then it was as if J-Mac had divine power.
In just a few short minutes to end the game, J-Mac nailed seven shots, including a whopping six three-pointers!
J-Mac, as he said, was truly “hotter than a pistol.”
You know the story.
You may even be sick of it.
But you’ll watch it anyway.
Lance Armstrong is truly one of the world’s greatest inspirations.
Testicular cancer spread across his body in 1996.
He fought it.
He owned the world.
Armstrong won the Tour de France.
That was after the cancer treatment.
He didn’t just win the Tour de France, though.
Don’t get me wrong, it’d still be an amazing story.
Except Armstrong went on to win the event a record seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005.
You read that correctly. After beating cancer, he beat everyone else in cycling, winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times.
On the court, Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble were an amazing duo.
Off the court, they were a remarkable duo.
This is a story of true friendship.
Gathers and Kimble played high school ball together and won a championship in 1985.
They were both recruited by USC and began their college basketball careers with the program.
They then both transferred together to Loyola Marymount. They remained a great duo, despite having to sit out one season due to NCAA rules.
Then disaster struck.
On March 4 1990, Gathers collapsed following an alley-oop dunk. He tried to get up but was forced to lay down by teammates.
Gathers never got up.
He was pronounced dead on arrival at age 23.
It was revealed in the autopsy that Gathers suffered from a heart condition.
One day, Kimble and Gathers will once again play ball on the same team, where they were always meant to be.
Kurt Warner’s story always jumps to mind when I think of a potential sports movie.
He truly has one of the most remarkable rags-to-riches story of all-time.
Every single team passed on Kurt Warner in the 1994 NFL Draft.
Every single one of them.
Despite being undrafted, he was invited to the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately for Warner, he was released before the season started.
As he waited for the next NFL team to come knocking on his door, Warner took a job bagging groceries and stocking shelves at a local supermarket, making next to nothing.
In 1995, Warner used the Arena Football League to jump start his professional football career.
Warner was a star of the AFL, leading the Iowa Barnstormers to the Arena Bowl in both of his seasons.
In 1998, Warner finally signed with an NFL team, the St. Louis Rams.
With the Rams, Warner would become an NFL superstar following an injury to then-Rams starter Trent Green.
In his career as a starting quarterback, Warner led the Rams to two Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl XXXIV and being awarded Super Bowl MVP. He also led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl in 2008.
Not only was Kurt Warner a two-time NFL MVP, he also won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2008 and the Bart Starr Man of the Year Award in 2009.
Warner is truly one of the great NFL quarterbacks of all-time, and he has an all-time epic rags-to-riches story to go along with the ride.