100 Greatest Sports Movie Characters, Plus 50 Sports Movie Atrocities

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2010

100 Greatest Sports Movie Characters, Plus 50 Sports Movie Atrocities

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    I love sports.  I love movies.  So it makes sense that I would love sports movies.  There have been many movies based on sports that are legitimately great films.  There have been plenty that were so bad they were funny.

    This list will showcase 150 of the most memorable characters in sports movie history. That does not necessarily mean that nothing but good movies will be represented here.  On the contrary, many of the performances mentioned within this article are included because the acting or writing was so bad that it was funny.

    If you have any favorites that you think I should have included, please detail my omission in the comments section of the article.

    So without further ado, let's get it on!

The Greats

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    We'll kick off the slide show with some of the greatest sports movie characters...

100: Pepper Brooks: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

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    Played By: Jason Bateman

    Why He's Great: One of the staples of the sports comedy genre is the funny color-commentary guy.  One of the best characters of that variety was Dodgeball's Pepper Brooks.  Almost every word from his mouth was brilliant.

    Memorable Quote:  

    Cotton McKnight: "In 23 years of broadcasting I thought I'd seen it all, folks. But it looks like Peter La Fleur has actually blindfolded himself." 

    Pepper Brooks: "He will not be able to see very well, Cotton."  

99: Bill Murray: Space Jam

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    Played By: Bill Murray

    Why He's Great: Seems kind of ridiculous to have to explain why Bill Murray is great.

    Memorable Quote:  "Larry's not white. Larry's clear."

98: Ernie McCracken: Kingpin

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    Played By: Bill Murray

    Why He's Great:  The final bowling scene.

    Memorable Quote:  "It all comes down to this roll. Roy Munson, a man-child, with a dream to topple bowling giant Ernie McCracken. If he strikes, he's the 1979 Odor-Eaters Champion. He's got one foot in the frying pan and one in the pressure cooker. Believe me, as a bowler, I know that right about now, your bladder feels like an overstuffed vacuum cleaner bag and your butt is kinda like an about-to-explode bratwurst."

97: Neon: Blue Chips

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    Played By: Shaquille O'Neal

    Why He's Great: Shaq's movie career is filled with some real gems.  His best part: essentially playing himself in Blue Chips.  Much of this movie is laughable, but Shaq's athleticism and insane size translates to the big screen. It was fun to watch.

    Memorable Quote:  "How'd you like the spin move?"

96: Mr. Larson: Happy Gilmore

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    Played By: Richard Kiel

    Why He's Great: One of his employees shot him in the head with a nail gun, and he still strongly supported that employee when he later became a professional golfer.

    Memorable Quote:  "And you can count, on me, waiting for you in the parking lot."

95: Jimmy MacElroy: Blades Of Glory

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    Played By: Jon Heder

    Why He's Great:  The opening scene when his hand was a swan was enough for me.

    Memorable Quote:  "Zip it Chazz, just zip it, or I'll punch you in your crap-lousy face!"

94: Hal: Happy Gilmore

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    Played By: Ben Stiller

    Why He's Great: He ran a real tight ship at that nursing home.

    Memorable Quote:  "I got good news. We're extending arts and crafts time by four hours today."

93: Joe Pendleton: Heaven Can Wait

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    Played By: Warren Beatty

    Why He's Great: It took dying to teach him, but Joe found out the true meaning of life isn't all about football.

    Memorable Quote:  "I'm not supposed to be here."

92: Skip Engblom: Lords of Dogtown

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    Played By: Heath Ledger

    Why He's Great:  The movie may not have been great (it certainly doesn't touch the documentary that covers the same subject matter), but Heath Ledger's work is on point.  He played the California surf dude extremely well.

    Memorable Quote:  "Yeah, this is Skip Engblom and the Zephyr Skateboard Team. Here's our entry fees. Now where's our trophies?"

91: Junior Battle: Coach Carter

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    Played By: Nana Gbewonyo

    Why He's Great: Coach Carter doesn't feature great acting or writing, but the actual basketball is about as close as any movie has come to looking real.  One of the most authentic-looking players was Junior Battle.  He had plenty of nice dunks and big blocks.

    Memorable Quote:  "All ball!"

90: Sanka: Cool Runnings

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    Played By: Doug E. Doug

    Why He's Great:  Sanka provided much of the comic relief for what ends up being an inspirational movie.  He has plenty of great scenes, from his frozen dreads to attempts at line dancing to his lucky egg.  Plus, his loyalty to Derice was awesome.

    Memorable Quote:  "How 'bout I draw a line down the middle of your head so it looks like a butt?"

89: Reese Bobby: Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

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    Played By: Gary Cole

    Why He's Great: How do you apply greatness to someone who abandons his son and wife?  It's not as difficult once you realize that person is one Reese Bobby.  Full of wisdom and motivational lines, Reese became a great mentor to his son Ricky.

    Memorable Quotes:  "If you're not first, you're last."

88: George Gipp: Knute Rockne All American

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    Played By: Ronald Reagan

    Why He's Great: He's "The Gipper," come on!

    Memorable Quote:  "Win one for the Gipper!"

87: Hamilton "Ham" Porter: The Sandlot

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    Played By: Patrick Renna

    Why He's Great: This movie is truly a classic, filled with lots of memorable characters.  Who doesn't remember Ham?  His "Bambino" impression is superb.

    Memorable Quote:  "This pop isn't workin', Benny! I'm bakin' like a toasted cheese-it! It's so hot here!"

86: Frank Dux: Bloodsport

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    Played By: Jean-Claude Van Damme

    Why He's Great: One of the greatest tournament fighters we've ever known!

    Memorable Quote:  "No, it's DUX."

85: Larry Musgrove: The Big Green

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    Played By: Patrick Renna

    Why He's Great: He became an awesome goalkeeper.

    Memorable Quote:  "While you're here, who's giving out speeding tickets and scooping dead animals off the highway?"

84: Tyler Durden: Fight Club

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    Played By: Brad Pitt and Edward Norton

    Why He's Great: He would've been a beast in the current MMA-crazed world.

    Memorable Quote:  "Hey, you created me. I didn't create some loser alter-ego to make myself feel better. Take some responsibility! "

83: Don Billingsley: Friday Night Lights

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    Played By: Garrett Hedlund

    Why He's Great:  Hedlund did a fantastic job of portraying the high-school football star who drinks to escape the pressure of the game and his overbearing father.  Billingsley had issues hanging on to the football, but he came up big in the clutch.

    Memorable Quote:  "I'm gonna miss the lights." 

82: Coach Skip: Fantastic Mr. Fox

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    Played By: Owen Wilson

    Why He's Great: The explanation of the game Whackbat.

    Memorable Quote:  "Basically, there's three grabbers, three taggers, five twig runners, and a player at Whackbat. Center tagger lights a pine cone and chucks it over the basket and the whack-batter tries to hit the cedar stick off the cross rock. Then the twig runners dash back and forth until the pine cone burns out and the umpire calls hotbox. Finally, you count up however many score-downs it adds up to and divide that by nine."

81: Paul Crewe: The Longest Yard

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    Played By: Burt Reynolds

    Why He's Great:  Organizing a bunch of prison inmates for a game of tackle football against the guards was great.

    Memorable Quote:  "The most important thing to remember is: to protect your quarterback - ME!"

80: Jack Lengyel: We Are Marshall

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    Played By: Matthew McConaughey

    Why He's Great: That southern drawl.

    Memorable Quote:  "When you take that field today, you've got to lay that heart on the line, men. From the souls of your feet, with every ounce of blood you've got in your body, lay it on the line until the final whistle blows. And if you do that, if you do that, we cannot lose. We may be behind on the scoreboard at the end of the game but if you play like that we cannot be defeated. Now we came here today to remember six young men and sixty-nine others who will not be on the field with you today, but they will be watching. You can bet your ass that they'll be gritting their teeth with every snap of that football. You understand me? How you play today, from this moment on is how you will be remembered. This is your opportunity to rise from these ashes and grab glory. We are..."

79: Gale Sayers: Brian's Song

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    Played By: Billy Dee Williams

    Why He's Great:  The real life Gale Sayers was one of the best backs in football during his career.  In the movie, Billy Dee Williams does the character justice in every way.

    Memorable Quote:  "I'd like to tell you about a guy I know, a friend of mine. His name is Brian Piccolo. And he has the heart of a giant, and that rare form of courage that allows him to kid himself and his opponent, cancer. He has a mental attitude that makes me proud to have a friend who spells out the word 'courage,' 24 hours a day, every day of his life. Now you honor me by giving me this award. But I say to you here now Brian Piccolo is the man who deserves the George S. Halas award. It is mine tonight... and Brian Piccolo's tomorrow."

78: Jim Craig: Miracle

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    Played By: Eddie Cahill

    Why He's Great: This movie was full of solid performances, but of the players, one stands out above the rest.  Jim Craig was the rock of the team and Eddie Cahill was the rock of the young cast members.

    Memorable Line:  "Yeah, umm... it's nothing against you or anything. I just don't see what it has to do with stopping the puck."

77: Brian Piccolo: Brian's Song

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    Played By: James Caan

    Why He's Great:  Caan has played plenty of seedy characters in his career. But for "Brian's Song" he went inspirational and he pulled it off.

    Memorable Quote:  "It's all so pointless, Gale. I mean, I know perfectly well what's wrong with me. Gale, I think I'm pregnant."

76: Charles Billingsley: Friday Night Lights

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    Played By: Tim McGraw

    Why He's Great:  McGraw proved that he's got some serious acting chops in this role.  He was completely believable as the washed-up high school superstar who can't let go of the past.

    Memorable Quote:  "You just, you ain't gettin' it. You don't understand. This is the only thing you're ever gonna have. Forever, it carries you forever. It's an ugly fact of life, Donnie. Hell. It's the only fact of life. You got one year, one stinkin' year to make yourself some memories, son. That's all. It's gone after that. And I'll be damned if you're not gonna miss it."

75: Birdie: Above The Rim

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    Played By: Tupac Shakur

    Why He's Great: It's Tupac in a sports movie.

    Memorable Quote:  "You might be on the other team, but you playin for me. Remember that."

74: Stefen Djordjevic: All The Right Moves

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    Played By: Tom Cruise

    Why He's Great: Cruise did it all in the 80s.

    Memorable Quote:  "You know, Nickerson, you are not God! Huh? You're just a typing teacher!"

73: Phil Weston: Kicking and Screaming

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    Played By: Will Ferrell

    Why He's Great: The way he overcame his personal vice of coffee to lead his team to the title was truly inspirational.

    Memorable Quote:  "You're my assistant. You're supposed to back me up and go get me juiceboxes whenever I want. Now go get me a juicebox!"

72: Vince Papale: Invincible

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    Played By: Mark Wahlberg

    Why He's Great:  A lot of sports movies are about the underdog and this one is a great underdog story.  Papale overcame huge obstacles to make his dream come true.

    Memorable Quote:  "I didn't play college ball."

71: Phillip Elliot: North Dallas Forty

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    Played By: Nick Nolte

    Why He's Great: Just take a look at that picture.

    Memorable Quote:  "Jo Bob is here to remind us that the biggest and the baddest get to make all the rules."

70: Nacho: Nacho Libre

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    Played By: Jack Black

    Why He's Great:  He rose from his lowly station as lunch lady and became a legendary Lucha Libre.

    Memorable Quote:  "Chancho. When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It's for fun."

69: Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg: Blades Of Glory

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    Played By: Will Arnett and Amy Poehler

    Why They're Great: Great sports-movie villains who were willing to do anything to get the gold.

    Memorable Quote:  "You know I'm not a violent person. But I would like to hold them down and skate over their throats."

68: Jimmy Morris: The Rookie

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    Played By: Dennis Quaid

    Why He's Great: Making your dreams come true over a decade after you thought they were dead is pretty great.

    Memorable Quote:  "Fastball, fastball, and... fastball!"

67: Johnny Utah: Point Break

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    Played By: Keanu Reeves

    Why He's Great: Great surfer, great detective.

    Memorable Quote:  "Vaya con Dios, Brah."

66: Jimmy King: Ready to Rumble

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    Played By: Oliver Platt

    Why He's Great:  The suits at WCW tried to push him out, but they underestimated the King and his subjects from the great state of Wyoming.

    Memorable Quote:  "Give me the stuff or I'll crown ya!"

65: Dr. Rick: Fired Up!

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    Played By: David Walton

    Why He's Great:  The Crocs, the soundtrack to his life, his inevitable career as a doctor, the fact that he called himself Dr. Rick.

    Memorable Quote:  "I can take life as quickly as I can give it!"

64: "Shoeless" Joe Jackson: Eight Men Out and Field of Dreams

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    Played By: D.B. Sweeney and Ray Liotta

    Why They're Great: "Shoeless" Joe achieved legendary status as a baseball player for things done both on and off the field.  He's the conflicted player in "Eight Men Out" and the cool ghost in "Field of Dreams".

    Memorable Quote:  "Getting thrown out of baseball was like having part of me amputated. I've heard that old men wake up and scratch itchy legs that been dust for over fifty years. That was me. I'd wake up at night with the smell of the ball park in my nose, the cool of the grass on my feet... The thrill of the grass."

63: Jules Paxton: Bend It Like Beckham

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    Played By: Keira Knightley

    Why She's Great:  She may not have been the main character, but does anyone remember anyone else from this movie?

    Memorable Quote:  "Yeah, as in male, Joe! Joe, our coach, Joe, man, Joe!"

62: Eddie Felson: The Hustler

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    Played By: Paul Newman

    Why He's Great: Is there anything Paul Newman is not great in?  As a pool-playing hustler, he's as cool as he ever was.

    Memorable Quote:  "Fat man, you shoot a great game of pool."

61: Chubbs: Happy Gilmore

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    Played By: Carl Weathers

    Why He's Great: Can anyone think of a greater mentor than Chubbs Peterson?  He was a coach, a philosopher and, most importantly, a friend.

    Memorable Quote:  "Just easin' the tension, baby. Just easin' the tension!"

60: Maggie Fitzgerald: Million Dollar Baby

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    Played By: Hilary Swank

    Why She's Great: Swank won Best Actress for her portrayal of Maggie.  Her determination throughout the film was the strongest aspect of her character.  That's why I think her final request betrayed who she was.  Nevertheless, the performance was fantastic and the character was certainly memorable.

    Memorable Quote:  "Working the bag, boss."

59: Joe Gould: Cinderella Man

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    Played By: Paul Giamatti

    Why He's Great:  Giamatti's portrayal of Joe Gould was fantastic.  He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.  He was a great "sidekick" character to Russell Crowe's James Braddock.

    Memorable Quote:  "I got you another fight."

58: Paul Aufiero: Big Fan

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    Played By: Patton Oswalt

    Why He's Great:  I could probably replace great with pathetic on this one, but the performance by Oswalt in this movie earns him a spot on this countdown.  Paul Aufiero's life revolved around the New York Giants in "Big Fan" and Oswalt got me to buy every second of it.

    Memorable Quote:  "It's gonna be a great year!"

57: Jackie Moon: Semi-Pro

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    Played By: Will Ferrell

    Why He's Great: I actually think this is one of the worst movies that Ferrell has been in.  However, his work was typically brilliant.

    Memorable Quote:  "No refunds, consider your refund escaping this death trap with your lives!" 

56: Willie Mays Hayes: Major League

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    Played By: Wesley Snipes

    Why He's Great: The blistering speed.

    Memorable Quote:  "The American Express Card. Don't steal home without it."

55: Dottie Hinson: A League Of Their Own

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    Played By: Geena Davis

    Why She's Great:  She had a great deal of heart and determination.  She led her team, but made a huge sacrifice in the end for her sister.

    Memorable Quote:  "You got yourself into the league. I just got you on the train."

54: Mike Winchell: Friday Night Lights

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    Played By: Lucas Black

    Why He's Great:  He put the team on his shoulders when superstar running back James "Booby" Miles went down.  He was one of the easiest characters in sports movie history to root for.  He was quiet and humble, but he still put in work.

    Memorable Quote:  "You ever feel cursed, Coach? Like, no matter what, inside your heart you feel that you're gonna lose. Like something's hanging over you, following you like a witch or a demon that just... I feel like that all the time. Even when things are going good. When we're winnin', it's there. And when we're losin', it's there."

53: Cal Naughton Jr: Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

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    Played By: John C. Reilly

    Why He's Great:  He was a loyal friend to Ricky through thick and thin, even when he was committing the ultimate robbery by snagging Ricky's wife.  Turns out, he actually did Ricky a favor as he wound up with Susan.

    Memorable Quote:  "I got a message for all of 'em. Shake... and bake."

52: Maximus: Gladiator

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    Played By: Russell Crowe

    Why He's Great: How about an ancient sport?  We think sports stars today are competitive, how about ancient gladiators that competed for their lives?  "Gladiator" won Best Picture and Crowe won Best Actor for his work.

    Memorable Quote:  "Are you not entertained?"

51: Leigh Anne Touhy: The Blind Side

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    Played By: Sandra Bullock

    Why He's Great:  I'm not much of a Bullock fan in most cases, but her work in "The Blind Side" was darn good.  She believed in Big Mike's potential and she helped him make his dreams come true.

    Memorable Quote:  "You threaten my son, you threaten me."

Intermission

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    Let's take a short break from the greats and change gears a bit...

The Atrocities

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    How dare Hollywood subject to us to these sports movies, characters or actors...

50th Worst: Farmer Fran: The Waterboy

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    Played By: Blake Clark

    Why It's Atrocious:  Shawn Hunter's dad from the incomparable "Boy Meets World" steals the show in an Adam Sandler movie.  Right on the border between great and atrocious...

    Memorable Quote:  Can anyone translate some Farmer Fran for me?  I'd really appreciate it.

49th Worst: Malcolm Moore: Gridiron Gang

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    Played By: Xzibit

    Why It's Atrocious: I liked "Pimp My Ride"... When's that show comin' back?

    Memorable Quote:  "You know you're an idiot, right?"

48th Worst: Kurt Sloane: Kickboxer

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    Played By: Jean-Claude Van Damme

    Why It's Atrocious:  This hurts a little bit. Oh so close to the line between greatness and atrocity.

    Memorable Quote:  "I want Tong Po! Give me Tong Po!"

47th Worst: Gerry Bertier: Remember The Titans

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    Played By: Ryan Hurst

    Why It's Atrocious:  How bad would this movie have been without Denzel Washington?  It's really hard for a 24-year-old to be believable as a high school kid, especially when that 24-year-old is incapable of acting.

    Memorable Quote:  "Honesty? You want honesty? Honestly, I think you're nothing. Nothing but a pure waste of God-given talent. You don't listen to nobody, man! Not even Doc or Boone! Shiver push on the line every time and you blow right past 'em! Push 'em, pull 'em, do something! You run over everyone in this league, and everytime you do you leave one of your teammates hanging out to dry, me in particular!"

46th Worst: Shane Falco: The Replacements

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    Played By: Keanu Reeves

    Why It's Atrocious:  Keanu Reeves was believable as a stoner.  Everything else, not so much.  Trying to get us to believe he was a professional quarterback, wow.

    Memorable Quote:  "I read blitz."

45th Worst: John Kreese: Karate Kid

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    Played By: Martin Kove

    Why It's Atrocious:  Man, can I really do this?  Kreese is so close, sooo close, to that line between greatness and atrocity.  I'll just blame his placement on his poor sportsmanship.

    Memorable Quote:  "Sweep the leg."

44th Worst: Clubber Lang: Rocky III

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    Played By: Mr. T

    Why It's Atrocious:  The Rocky movies really started to fall apart by No. 3.  The first one was truly fantastic, No. 2 was borderline, but for No. 3, everything came crashing down.  I laughed a lot at Clubber Lang, so I guess that would be a reason to think about throwing him in with the greats.  Ultimately, that's just not enough to overcome his acting.

    Memorable Quote:  "Hey, Woman. Hey, Woman! Listen here. Since your old man ain't got no heart, maybe you like to see a real man. I bet you stay up late every night dreamin' you had a real man, don't ya? I'll tell you what. Bring your pretty little self over to my apartment tonight, and I'll show you a real man."

43rd Worst: Lincoln Hawk: Over the Top

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    Played By: Sylvester Stallone

    Why It's Atrocious:  This movie was so outrageous, it was near amazing.  Lincoln Hawk abandoned his son because his father-in-law didn't care for him.  He wins his son's heart by arm wrestling and driving a semi-truck through his father-in-law's front door.  Hmmm....

    Memorable Quote:  "Tell you the truth, the truck is, uh, you know, the most important thing for me. I... I don't really... it doesn't matter if I, uh, become the champion or anything. That's, that's not the most important... I... I need this truck."

42nd Worst: Tenley Parrish: Summer Catch

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    Played By: Jessica Biel

    Why It's Atrocious:  It's "Summer Catch," have you seen this movie?

    Memorable Quote:  "Let yourself be great."

41st Worst: Roy "Tin Cup" McAvoy: Tin Cup

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    Played By: Kevin Costner

    Why It's Atrocious:  This movie is downright awful.  Here are some excerpts from a few reviews: "You're about to get bonked on the head with a has-been story, mediocre acting, and some squirmingly painful dialogue."  "Dispiritingly conventional and obvious."  "If you are a golfer, you'll have a better time out on the links."

    Memorable Quote:  "It's a lock! I hit my 7-iron like John Daly hits the 3."

40th Worst: Jimmy Dolan: The Air Up There

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    Played By: Kevin Bacon

    Why It's Atrocious: "The Air Up There" is the only movie that I cannot find on Netflix in any format.  The opening scene, when Bacon plays the incoming recruit in a game of one-on-one, is so bad it's almost glorious.

    Memorable Quote:  "Sister! You're allowed to kiss?"

39th Worst: Ivan Drago: Rocky IV

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    Played By: Dolph Lundgren

    Why It's Atrocious: The Rocky franchise just kept getting worse with each film.  The first one was truly a fantastic film. But by the time this one came out it was almost a joke.

    Memorable Quote:  "I cannot be defeated. I beat all man. Someday, I will beat a real champion. If he dies, he dies."

38th Worst: Cole Trickle: Days Of Thunder

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    Played By: Tom Cruise

    Why It's Atrocious: Don't get me wrong, I actually think Tom Cruise is a great actor.  However, his turn as a Nascar driver was shaky at best.  One critic said: "The story is predictably pedestrian, the conflict laughable and the dialogue too lifeless to be laughable, but closer to that than convincing or compelling."  Plus, the character's name is Cole Trickle.

    Memorable Quote:  "Speed. To be able to control it. To know that I can control something that's out of control."

37th Worst: Ryan Dunne: Summer Catch

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    Played By: Freddie Prinze, Jr.

    Why It's Atrocious:  How to explain why a Freddie Prinze performance is bad, hmmm...  This whole movie is rough, and it's hard to decide who's worse between Freddie and Matthew Lillard. But I have to go with Prinze.  One critic said: "Freddie Prinze Jr. has become the opposite of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. His face on a movie poster guarantees a bad time."

    Memorable Quote:  "Thanks, but I can screw this up on my own." 

36th Worst: Justin: She's The Man

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    Played By: Robert Hoffman

    Why It's Atrocious:  This guy should really stick to dance movies.

    Memorable Quote:  "I did not cry during that game. I had something in my eye."

35th Worst: Ryan McCarthy: Never Back Down

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    Played By: Cam Gigandet

    Why It's Atrocious: Cam plays the villain in this movie. He channeled the same inner-evil he did for his stellar work in the O.C.  The movie itself is terrible.  One critic said: "Never Back Down is a tired, asinine attempt to piggyback on a fight club subculture and it does wonders to make MMA seem like the most idiotic undertaking in recent memory."

    Memorable Quote:  "If you gonna be the best, you have to take out the best." 

34th Worst: Billy Hoyle: White Men Cant Jump

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    Played By: Woody Harrelson

    Why It's Atrocious: I wish I could believe Woody in this role.  I wish they could have pulled this off.  I don't mind the concept, but it just fell short.

    Memorable Quote:  "I'll tell you what. Why don't we take all these bricks and build a shelter for the homeless, so maybe your mother will have a place to stay."

33rd Worst: Timo Cruz: Coach Carter

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    Played By: Rick Gonzalez

    Why It's Atrocious: I actually feel like "Coach Carter" does a better job with the actual basketball scenes than most movies about the sport.  However, off the court many of the characters are laughable.  Timo Cruz is not only that—he's also not likable.

    Memorable Quote:  "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. "

32nd Worst: Charlie Tweeder: Varsity Blues

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    Played By: Scott Caan

    Why It's Atrocious: How tall is Scott Caan?  5'0"?  5'1"?  He's playing a receiver, right?  This movie was base, crude and absurd.  Caan's character was as bad as any in perpetrating those issues.

    Memorable Quote:  "Hey, you wanna see the new Tweeder end zone dance?"

31st Worst: Tony D'Amato: Any Given Sunday

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    Played By: Al Pacino

    Why It's Atrocious:  Pacino is the lead in two movies that I could honestly put in the top 10 all-time:  Godfather I and II are both phenomenal films.  Pacino's resume over the last 10 to 15 years?  Not so much.

    Memorable Quote:  "You find out life's this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game—life or football—the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that's gonna make the fucking difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying!"

30th Worst: Andy Brinker: Brink!

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    Played By: Erik von Detten

    Why It's Atrocious: I'd love to play to your childhood sentiments regarding Disney Channel Original Movies and defend this film, but I won't.

    Memorable Quote:  "Skate better!"

29th Worst: Todd Howard: Teen Wolf Too

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    Played By: Jason Bateman

    Why It's Atrocious:  As if the first "Teen Wolf" wasn't outrageous enough, they made another one.

    Memorable Quote:  "I just had a beard over every inch of my body... fingernails the size of french fries... teeth from here to Texas... and she called me a dog... a dog..."

28th Worst: Barney Gorman: The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking...

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    Played By: Tony Danza

    Why It's Atrocious: Honestly?  Are you really going to make me?

    Memorable Quote:  "They want me to try out as they kicka!"

27th Worst: Radio: Radio

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    Played By: Cuba Gooding, Jr.

    Why It's Atrocious:  One critic sums up this movie really well: "As the principal says, 'I'm not sure we're trying to help someone here, or whether you're using him as a glorified mascot." Exactly.

    Memorable Quote:  "That's a goo' one!"

26th Worst: Scott Howard: Teen Wolf

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    Played By: Michael J. Fox

    Why It's Atrocious: Man oh man, I really wish I could put this one in with the greats.  This movie is always good for a laugh. However, I just cannot justify a 5'4", 24-year-old man playing a high school basketball star.

    Memorable Quote:  "I'm not a fag. I'm... a werewolf."

25th Worst: Bobby Knight: A Season On The Brink

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    Played By: Brian Dennehy

    Why It's Atrocious: The "30 for 30" series they have going now is good, but all that ESPN Original Entertainment from a few years ago was awful.  3?  Bad.  Junction Boys?  Bad.  Code Breakers?  Bad.  Playmakers?  Ridiculous.  Tilt?  Hilarious!  The worst of all though: "A Season On The Brink."  Dennehy comes off as little more than a tired, old joke.

    Memorable Quote:  "We're starting a season we're not even close to being ready for. We can't beat a single team on our schedule, not one. And, one thing for sure, somebody besides me is gonna have to start providing some leadership around here. Now personally, I don't think you could lead a whore into bed, but you're gonna have to...starting now."

24th Worst: Bud: Air Bud

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    Played By: Buddy the Dog

    Why It's Atrocious:  Come on, do we really need to waste any time on this?

    Memorable Quote:  "Woof!"

23rd Worst: Jack Elliot: Mr. Baseball

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    Played By: Tom Selleck

    Why It's Atrocious:  This quote from a critic sums up "Mr. Baseball" perfectly: "Stupid comedy that's insulting to both Baseball and the Japanese."

    Memorable Quote:  "I need someone to tell me how to take a crap."

22nd Worst: Charlie Conway: Mighty Ducks

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    Played By: Joshua Jackson

    Why It's Atrocious: Charlie was just such a sad, pathetic little boy.  Don't worry though, the Ducks will get some love on this list.

    Memorable Quote:  "Oh, man. It's my mom. She looks pissed."

21st Worst: Ann Marie Chadwick: Blue Crush

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    Played By: Kate Bosworth

    Why It's Atrocious: "When the movie attempts to tell a story on land, you might want to bring along a flashlight and a magazine."  Brilliant analysis.

    Memorable Quote:  "Somebody got to go to college, and it isn't going to be me."

20th Worst: Jonathan Cross: Rollerball

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    Played By: Chris Klein

    Why It's Atrocious:  Look at that picture.

    Memorable Quote:  "You can't make me quit."

19th Worst: Edwina "Eddie" Franklin: Eddie

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    Played By: Whoopi Goldberg

    Why It's Atrocious: A perfect review for this movie: "Whoopi Goldberg becomes the coach of the Knicks in this silly and utterly harmless sports comedy. Too bad it just isn't funny."

    Memorable Quote:  "Bailey! Bailey! Bailey, you gonna try something new tonight, like trying to coach? It's the NBA, buddy—no buttheads allowed, but you keep coming back. I don't understand it."

18th Worst: Jack "Deuce" Cooper: Ed

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    Played By: Matt LeBlanc

    Why It's Atrocious: Hard to believe LeBlanc hasn't done anything in Hollywood since his "Friends" spinoff failed, isn't it?

    Memorable Quote:  "How dumb do I look? You wanted to play hardball remember? There's a sandbox down there so go pee your socks off, and quit banging on the door."

17th Worst: Ernest P. Worrell

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    Played By: Jim Varney

    Why It's Atrocious: Ernest did a lot of things. Basketball was as unbelievable as any of 'em.

    Memorable Quote:  "I made lemonade for the whole team..."

16th Worst: Jim Carroll: Basketball Diaries

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    Played By: Leonardo DiCaprio

    Why It's Atrocious: Leo is a really good actor.  He's been stellar in many, many roles.  As a basketball player?  I just don't see it.

    Memorable Quote:  "You gotta have presence on the court. Presence like a cheetah rather than a chimp. Sure, they both got it, but Chimpy gotta jump his nuts around to get it. The shy cheetah moves with total nonchalance, stickin' it to them in his sexy, slow strut. Me? I play like a cheetah."

15th Worst: Quincy McCall: Love and Basketball

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    Played By: Omar Epps

    Why It's Atrocious:  I know a lot of people like this movie. I just don't know why.  The acting is terrible, the script is ridiculous, and the lead is played by the seriously height-impaired Omar Epps.  He's not even remotely believable as a basketball player.

    Memorable Quote:  "Who you goin' to the dance with anyway? Spalding?"

14th Worst: Jake Huard: Annapolis

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    Played By: James Franco

    Why It's Atrocious:  I've heard Franco is solid in Danny Boyle's new movie, "127 Hours."  Everything I've seen him in, he has been terrible in (unless he's playing a stoner, then he's pretty believable).

    Memorable Quote:  "Sir, the latitude of Annapolis is 38.58 degrees north. Sir, the first three admirals were Dewey, Porter and Farragut. Sir, I've been in the Navy all my bloomin' life, sir. My mother was a mermaid, my father was King Neptune. Every bone in my body is a spar. And when I spits, I spits tar. I's hard. I is, I am, I are."

13th Worst: Gus: Benchwarmers

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    Played By: Rob Schneider

    Why It's Atrocious: I was actually pretty excited about this movie when I first heard about it.  Decent cast, solid concept... However, this thing fell flat on its face.  Rob Schneider as the jock?

    Memorable Quote:  "Hey. Are you the kid who got farted on earlier?"

12th Worst: Jensen Ames: Death Race

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    Played By: Jason Statham

    Why It's Atrocious: I actually think Statham is a good actor, but I don't know why he keeps showing up in these kinds of movies.  They get bad reviews, they don't make much money, and yet producers and those who cast the movies keep bringing him in.  I'd love to see him start to show up in some real films. 

    Memorable Quote:  "Someone once asked me if I was the best future for my little girl. I've thought about this for long time, and here's what I've decided: No one in this world is perfect. Heaven knows I'm not. But I love her more than anyone else possibly could. In the end, that's all that matters."

11th Worst: Madison Bell: Swimfan

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    Played By: Erika Christensen

    Why It's Atrocious: According to one critic: "Drowning's too good for this sucker."

    Memorable Quote:  "Christopher? Do you have guests? No, of course not. That'd mean you have friends."

10th Worst: Merrill Hess: Signs

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    Played By: Joaquin Phoenix

    Why It's Atrocious: Yeah, this isn't a sports movie, but Joaquin plays a baseball star who saves the day by taking out aliens through swinging for the fences.  That scene was enough to get him on this portion of the list.

    Memorable Quote:  "I'm a miracle man."

9th Worst: Bill Yoast: Remember The Titans

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    Played By: Will Patton

    Why It's Atrocious:  Patton is like some kind of fungus attached to every movie he's ever been in.  His acting skills are at best, rough.

    Memorable Quote:  "Gerry, just keep your mouth shut and get back on that field!"

8th Worst: Joe Cooper and Doug Remer: BASEketball

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    Played By: Trey Parker and Matt Stone

    Why It's Atrocious: Here's a good review: "An inane, painfully unfunny comedy."

    Memorable Quote:  "Hah! You lose! Dude that was a sweet psyche-out!"

7th Worst: Torrance Shipman: Bring It On

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    Played By: Kirsten Dunst

    Why It's Atrocious: Roger Ebert said: "We get a strange mutant beast, half Nickelodeon movie, half R-rated comedy. It's like kids with potty-mouth playing grownup."

    Memorable Quote:  "You know, mothers have killed to get their daughters on squads."

6th Worst: Molly McGrath: Wildcats

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    Played By: Goldie Hawn

    Why It's Atrocious: According to one critic: "A flaccid football yarn that certainly gains no comedic yardage with the frazzled Goldie Hawn in the starring role."

    Memorable Quote:  "You owe me a new stop watch... you pussies!"

5th Worst: Steve The Pirate: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

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    Played By: Alan Tudyk

    Why It's Atrocious: This movie was hilarious, but it was full of gimmicks that just didn't work.  The worst of all was Steve the Pirate.

    Memorable Quote:  "Yarr, I be the dread pirate Steve!"

4th Worst: Scott McKnight: Just Wright

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    Played By: Common

    Why It's Atrocious: Common is a solid rapper and he's even a solid actor.  Neither of those skills could help him overcome this script.

    Memorable Quote:  "You really think you can get me back?"

3rd Worst: Maggie Peyton: Herbie Fully Loaded

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    Played By: Lindsay Lohan

    Why It's Atrocious: Lindsay's career and life are both absolute trainwrecks right about now.  After watching "Herbie" all those years ago, I can't say I'm surprised about trainwreck No. 1.  The music video attached to this movie might have been the warning sign for trainwreck No. 2.

    Memorable Quote:  "I'm being carjacked by my own car!"

2nd Worst: Jonathon "Mox" Moxon: Varsity Blues

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    Played By: James Van Der Beek

    Why It's Atrocious: James "The Forehead" Van Der Beek has never once been believable in any role he's ever tackled, not even as Dawson.

    Memorable Line:  "If we go out and half-ass it 'cause we're scared, then we'll always wonder if we were really good enough. But if we go out there and give it all we've got... that's heroic. You guys wanna be heroes?"

Worst Atrocity: Jamal Jefferies AKA Juwanna Mann: Juwanna Mann

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    Played By: Miguel A. Nunez, Jr.

    Why It's Atrocious: One critic said: "What a stiflingly unfunny and unoriginal mess this is!"

    Memorable Quote:  "No, it's black... FE-male!"

Back to The Greats!

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    Let's get back to business!

50: Robert "Bobby" Boucher Jr: The Waterboy

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    Played By: Adam Sandler

    Why He's Great:  The innocence, the ferocious sacks, the primitive screams.  He was a defensive beast the likes of which college football has never seen before or since.

    Memorable Quote:  "Look who's on TV mama... it's the devil."

49: Apollo Creed: Rocky I-IV

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    Played By: Carl Weathers

    Why He's Great: Apollo was a character in a movie, but that guy looked like he could get in the ring and do some work on real deal boxers.  Weathers played the hot-headed heavyweight to near perfection in Rocky I and II.

    Memorable Quote:  "Southpaw nothing. I'll drop him in three. Apollo Creed meets the Italian Stallion. Now that sounds like a damn monster movie."

48: Jesus and Jake Shuttlesworth: He Got Game

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    Played By: Ray Allen and Denzel Washington

    Why They're Great:  The overbearing father is another common character for this genre, but Denzel brought freshness to the role.  As for his on-screen son, who better to play a basketball prodigy than the greatest shooter of all-time?

    Memorable Quote:  "Basketball is like poetry in motion. Cross the guy to the left, take him back to the right, he's fallin' back, then just J right in his face. Then you look at him and say, "What?" 

47: White Goodman: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

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    Played By: Ben Stiller

    Why He's Great: Ben Stiller is one of the funniest guys in Hollywood and White Goodman was one of his best characters.  He was one heck of a dodgeball player and he led his team to great success, despite falling in the finals.

    Memorable Quote:  "Get off of me, don't you touch me! It is over between us, Kate. Nobody makes me bleed my own blood—nobody!"

46: Chazz Michael Michaels: Blades of Glory

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    Played By: Will Ferrell

    Why He's Great: Sex on ice.  The outfits.  The comb.  The hair.  Need I go on?

    Memorable Quote:  "No exaggeration, I could not love a human baby more then I love this brush."

45: Rod Tidwell: Jerry Maguire

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    Played By: Cuba Gooding, Jr.

    Why He's Great: Who knows what has happened to Cuba's career at this point?  It's sad, really.  However, he had some shining moments in the earlier part of his acting days and his portrayal of professional football player Rod Tidwell was one of those moments.

    He played the big personality professional athlete to near perfection.  He earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work.

    Memorable Quote:  "I wanna make sure you're ready, brother. Here it is: Show me the money. Oh-ho-ho! SHOW! ME! THE! MONEY! A-ha-ha! Jerry, doesn't it make you feel good just to say that! Say it with me one time, Jerry."

44: Terence "Terry" Mann: Field Of Dreams

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    Played By: James Earl Jones

    Why He's Great: His timeless wisdom.

    Memorable Quote:  "Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. 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."

43: Morris Buttermaker: Bad News Bears

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    Played By: Walter Matthau

    Why He's Great: One of the most memorable coaches in sports movie history.

    Memorable Quote:  "Now get back to the stands before I shave off half your mustache and shove it up your left nostril."

42: Adam Banks: Mighty Ducks

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    Played By: Vincent Larusso

    Why He's Great:  Was there ever a more promising hockey prospect?  Banks' skills were off the charts!

    Memorable Quote:  "I woke up this morning... and the pain was gone."

41: Jerry Maguire: Jerry Maguire

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    Played By: Tom Cruise

    Why He's Great:  Ditched the big agency and made it on his own.  Plus, Cruise just oozes big-time agent in this movie.

    Memorable Quote:  "You complete me."

40: Ricky Vaughn: Major League

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    Played By: Charlie Sheen

    Why He's Great: "Major League" had its fair share of memorable characters, none more so than Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn.  His life and style were as wild as some of his fastballs, as evidenced by his trademark specs.

    Memorable Quote:  "My first autograph. I couldn't give these away a few weeks ago." 

39: Frankie Dunn: Million Dollar Baby

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    Played By: Clint Eastwood

    Why He's Great: Eastwood has been responsible for a great deal of memorable characters during his career.  He's also been responsible for a slew of great movies as well.  "Million Dollar Baby"  is one of his best.  Eastwood won Best Director and was nominated for Best Actor for the film.  It also won Best Picture.

    Memorable Quote:  "Okay, you did two things wrong, one is you asked a question and two is you asked another question."

38: Herb Brooks: Miracle

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    Played By: Kurt Russell

    Why He's Great: "Miracle" followed the typical sports movie blueprint in many ways, but it somehow still felt fresh.  I think that was due to the fact that it was a true story, and Kurt Russell's portrayal of Herb Brooks was awesome.

    Memorable Quote:  "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 ten 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."

37: Randy The Ram: The Wrestler

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    Played By: Mickey Rourke

    Why He's Great: Rourke's portrayal of the washed-up ex-superstar wrestler is incredibly intense.  He was nominated for Best Actor for his work.

    Memorable Quote:  "I don't hear as good as I used to, and I ain't as pretty as I used to be. But I'm still here—I'm the Ram."

36: Carl Spackler: Caddyshack

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    Played By: Bill Murray

    Why He's Great: Murray stole the show in "Caddyshack."

    Memorable Quote:  "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!"

35: Reggie Dunlop: Slap Shot

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    Played By: Paul Newman

    Why He's Great: One reviewer called this: "The quintessential hockey flick."

    Memorable Quote:  "Ya gotta earn it, Killer."

34: Gary Gaines: Friday Night Lights

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    Played By: Billy Bob Thornton

    Why He's Great:  Led his team to the state finals even after the star running back went down.  He faced plenty of pressure from the town, but he stood tall against all odds.

    Memorable Quote:  "I want you to take a moment, and I want you to look each other in the eyes. I want you to put each other in your hearts forever because forever is about to happen here in just a few minutes. I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to think about Boobie Miles, who is your brother. And he would die to be out there in that field with you tonight. And I want you to put that in your hearts. Boys my heart is full. My heart is full."

33: Forrest Gump: Forrest Gump

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    Played By: Tom Hanks

    Why He's Great: He was a world-class football player, ping-pong player and cross-country runner.

    Memorable Quote:  "That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going."

32: Michael "Squints Palledorous: The Sandlot

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    Played By: Chauncey Leopardi

    Why He's Great: We all love "Squints" for a lot of different reasons.  The way he played that lifeguard went down in history.

    Memorable Quote:  "Of course I did. been planning it for years."

31: Shooter McGavin: Happy Gilmore

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    Played By: Christopher McDonald

    Why He's Great: He wasn't just one of the best sports movie bad guys, he's one of the best villains across all genres.  Plus, he was one heck of a golfer.

    Memorable Quote:  "Just stay out of my way... or you'll pay! LISTEN to what I say!"

30: Herman Boone: Remember The Titans

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    Played By: Denzel Washington

    Why He's Great:  He put together a great performance amidst some of the worst acting in sports movie history.  "Remember the Titans" is arguably the most overrated movie in this genre, but you can't blame Denzel for how bad it was.  The story is great, Denzel was spot on, but everything else was atrocious.  Way to rise above the mire, Denzel!

    Memorable Quote:  "I don't scratch my head unless it itches and I don't dance unless I hear some music. I will not be intimidated. That's just the way it is."

29: Seabiscuit: Seabiscuit

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    Played By: Multiple horses

    Why He's Great: Truly a majestic athlete.

    Memorable Quote:  "Nay!"

28: Jim Braddock: Cinderella Man

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    Played By: Russell Crowe

    Why He's Great: There are a lot of great boxing movies and they often center around a big underdog who overcomes great odds.  Braddock was one of the best such characters.

    Memorable Quote:  "You think you're telling me something? Like, what, boxing is dangerous, something like that? You don't think working triple shifts and at night on a scaffold isn't just as likely to get a man killed? What about all those guys who died last week living in cardboard shacks to save on rent money just to feed their family, 'cause guys like you have not quite figured out a way yet to make money off of watching that guy die? But in my profession—and it is my profession—I'm a little more fortunate."

27: Daniel Larusso: Karate Kid

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    Played By: Ralph Macchio

    Why He's Great: One of the ultimate underdogs.  Plus, he won that final match on one leg.

    Memorable Quote:  "Wouldn't a fly swatter be easier?"

26: James "Booby" Miles: Friday Night Lights

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    Played By: Derek Luke

    Why He's Great: The top-notch prospect whose career is derailed by injury is played almost flawlessly by Derek Luke.

    Memorable Quote:  "Y'all wanna win? Put Boobie in."

25: Gordon Bombay: Mighty Ducks

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    Played By: Emilio Estevez

    Why He's Great: Everyone loves the legendary Gordon Bombay for different reasons.  For me, it's gotta be the triple deke!

    Memorable Quote:  "I hate kids. They're barely human."

24: Walter Sobchak: The Big Lebowski

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    Played By: John Goodman

    Why He's Great: I know you're saying this isn't a sports movie, but hear me out.  There's an awful lot of bowling.  That being said, Walter was one of the coolest characters ever.

    Memorable Quote:  "Over the line!"

23: Mr. Kasuke Miyagi: Karate Kid

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    Played By: Pat Morita

    Why He's Great: One of the ultimate sports-movie mentors.  Did anyone spit more wisdom than Miyagi?

    Memorable Quote:  "You learn plenty."

22: Jeffrey Lebowski: The Big Lebowski

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    Played By: Jeff Bridges

    Why He's Great: The dude abides.

    Memorable Quote:  "Well, I dig your style too, man. Got the whole cowboy thing goin'."

21: Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh: Bull Durham

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    Played By: Tim Robbins

    Why He's Great: Honestly, I think Bull Durham is one of the most overrated movies ever.  But if I put him in the other section of this slideshow, you people would have cyber-bullied the tar out of me and I just don't know if I could take it.

    Memorable Quote:  "What's this guy know about pitching? If he's so good how come he's been in the minors for the last 10 years? If he's so good how come Annie wants me instead of him?"

20: Henry Louis "Lou" Gehrig: The Pride Of The Yankees

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    Played By: Gary Cooper

    Why He's Great: He's the pride of the Yankees.  What else do you want?

    Memorable Quote:  "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

19: Happy Gilmore: Happy Gilmore

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    Played By: Adam Sandler

    Why He's Great: There are so many reasons why Happy Gilmore is great.  I'll settle on his driving ability.

    Memorable Quote:  "Are you too good for your home?!?"

18: Michael Jordan: Space Jam

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    Played By: Michael Jordan

    Why He's Great: He's the greatest basketball player of all time and the concept for Space Jam is just plain awesome.  The combination of the two could yield nothing but greatness.

    Memorable Quote:  "Thanks guys, you got a lot of... a lot of... well, whatever it is, you got a lot of it."

17: Rubin "Hurricane" Carter: The Hurricane

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    Played By: Denzel Washington

    Why He's Great: Denzel was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of Rubin Carter and one reviewer said: "There's no denying it's powerful stuff, which, for want of a better phrase, really packs a punch."

    Memorable Quote:  "Hate put me in prison. Love's gonna bust me out."

16: Jimmy Chitwood: Hoosiers

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    Played By: Maris Valainis

    Why He's Great: He was so money with that J.

    Memorable Quote:  "I'll make it."

15: Muhammad Ali: Ali

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    Played By: Will Smith

    Why He's Great: Will Smith was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of the man who most people feel is the greatest boxer of all-time.  He transformed himself into a bad man.

    Memorable Quote:  "I'm gonna give 1,000 dollars to the man who brings me Howard Cosell's toupee, dead or alive."

14: Mickey Goldmill: Rocky I-III

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    Played By: Burgess Meredith

    Why He's Great: One of the best coaches in sports movie history.  He took a struggling, amateur southpaw from the streets of Philly and turned him into a legit world-heavyweight contender.

    Memorable Quote:  "Women weaken legs! "

13: Shooter: Hoosiers

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    Played By: Dennis Hopper

    Why He's Great: One of the biggest personalities in the classic hoops movie "Hoosiers." The role of the father who puts too much pressure on his kid is in a lot of sports movies.  Hopper played it nearly flawlessly.

    Memorable Quote:  "I know everything there is to know about the greatest game ever invented."

12: Ty Webb: Caddyshack

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    Played By: Chevy Chase

    Why He's Great: Without a doubt the best character in the sports movie classic "Caddyshack".

    Memorable Quote:  "Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're a tremendous slouch."

11: Jimmy Dugan: A League of Their Own

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    Played By: Tom Hanks

    Why He's Great: Hanks is brilliant in every role he plays.  His work as Jimmy Dugan is no exception. 

    Memorable Quote:  "There's no crying in baseball!"

10: Ricky Bobby: Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

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    Played By: Will Ferrell

    Why He's Great: He was the ultimate winner.

    Memorable Quote:  "Well let's see. I got mauled by a cougar, my Crystal Gayle shirt is ruined, and I didn't learn dick about driving. Other than that, it was great."

9: Jake La Motta: Raging Bull

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    Played By: Robert De Niro

    Why He's Great: De Niro's portrayal of La Motta was incredible.  He played an emotionally self-destructive boxer with a violent temper that made him great inside the ring, but wrecked his life outside of it.  De Niro was entirely believable.

    Memorable Quote:  "I'm da boss"

8: Chubby: Teen Wolf

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    Played By: Mark Holton

    Why He's Great: Is he amazing or atrocious?  I still don't really know for sure.  All I know is the sight of this character brings pure joy to my heart... every time.

    Memorable Quote:  "Yeah!"

7: Benjamin Franklin "The Jet" Rodriguez: The Sandlot

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    Played By: Mike Vitar

    Why He's Great: Benny the Jet's baseball abilities border on legendary status.  He led his rag-tag bunch of friends and helped everyone at the sandlot fit in.

    Benny's greatest moment?  The retrieval of the Babe Ruth ball.

    Memorable Quote:  "Man, this is baseball. You gotta stop thinking. Just have fun. I mean, if you were having fun you would've caught that ball."

6: Eric Liddell And Harold Abrahams: Chariots Of Fire

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    Played By: Ian Charleson and Ben Cross

    Why They're Great: These were two great athletes whose personal convictions were as strong (or stronger) than their will to win.  The story is truly inspirational.

    The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay.

    Memorable Quote:  "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."

5: Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger: Rudy

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    Played By: Sean Astin

    Why He's Great: So many sports movies are about underdog stories, and this is one of the best.  This "five-foot nothin', a hundred and nothin" kid had a dream a lot bigger than his body.  He wanted to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  Against all odds, he made it happen.

    Memorable Quote:  "We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. We're gonna get 'em on the run boys and once we get 'em on the run we're gonna keep 'em on the run. And then we're gonna go go go go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goal line. This is a team they say is... is good, well I think we're better than them. They can't lick us, so what do you say men?"

4: Ray Kinsella: Field Of Dreams

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    Played By: Kevin Costner

    Why He's Great: Mostly because this is one of the only decent individual performances in the pantheon of Costner's career.  

    Plus, he listened to a ethereal voice from somewhere outside the tangible world that told him to build a baseball field on his farm.  Then, long gone spirits played on the field and he sat and watched the game like it was normal.

    Sarcasm aside, this is a great movie and Ray Kinsella was a great character.  The film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score.

    Memorable Quote:  "It's okay, honey. I... I was just talking to the cornfield."

3: Roy Hobbs: The Natural

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    Played By: Robert Redford

    Why He's Great: He was a baseball prodigy whose career was sidetracked by a gunshot wound.  He came back years later with a "magical" bat that he constructed for himself and named "Wonderboy".  

    The home run off the lights, followed by the trot in the raining sparks is one of the greatest sports movie scenes ever.

    Memorable Quote: "Pick me out a winner, Bobby."

2: Norman Dale: Hoosiers

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    Played By: Gene Hackman

    Why He's Great: The leather jacket, the no-nonsense attitude, the team-first system, his maverick style, the list goes on and on.  

    Coach Norman Dale took a band of basketball misfits and one superstar and molded them into a unit.

    Memorable Quote:  "I would hope you would support who we are. Not, who we are not. These six individuals have made a choice to work, a choice to sacrifice, to put themselves on the line 23 nights for the next four months, to represent you, this high school. That kind of commitment and effort deserves and demands your respect. This is your team."

1: Rocky Balboa: Rocky Franchise

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    Played By: Sylvester Stallone

    Why He's Great: The Original "Rocky" was the best underdog story in the history of sports movies.  The movie itself was not just one of the all-time great sports movies but one of the all-time great movies in general.  

    Written by Stallone, and directed by John G. Avildsen, it won the Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Editing and Best Picture.  It was nominated for seven other Oscars including Best Actor and Best Screenplay for Stallone.

    Memorable Quote:  "You stop this fight, I'll kill ya'!"

Your Thoughts?

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    What do ya say?  How do you feel?  Who did I miss?  Let me know what you think in the comments section!

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