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Friday, January 28, 2022

With college basketball talking brackets, baseball season preparing to get into full swing and college football's spring practice looming, it's about as good a time as any to take a break from the sports world.

Sunday night was my version of the Super Bowl: the Academy Awards. So in the spirit of the Oscars, here's what I believe to be the best sports movies of all time.

No. 10 - Tin Cup: The brilliant thing about Tin Cup is that the ending comes off as happy even though it stays true to Kevin Costner's character. (SPOILER ALERT) Roy McAvoy never fails to self-destruct at the chance for greatness, and that's why no one will forget his hole in 12.

No. 9 - Field of Dreams: It starts out as a movie about a potentially crazy man building a baseball field in the middle of his cornfield for the ghosts of former players. It turns into a deeper journey about faith and family.

No. 8 - Remember the Titans: Out of the tons of movies made about football, this film is truly something special. It's the perfect blend of social turmoil and the battle on the field. When people said black and white couldn't work, the Titans made it work every day.

No. 7 - The Sandlot: There are a few standout kids' sports movies (think "Rookie of the Year," "The Mighty Ducks" and "Little Giants") but nothing can beat s'mores, a giant, slobbering dog, Wendy Peppercorn and a summer spent playing ball with your best friends.

No. 6 - Bull Durham: This film is the perfect date flick for the totally sports-minded male, because it's a beautiful balance between love for the game and love for love. The cast is perfect, the dialogue is witty and we all learned that no matter what the circumstance, you must respect the streak.

No. 5 - Rudy: He was 5-feet-nothing and 100 pounds without a speck of athletic ability, but Rudy's will and determination makes his story legendary. Plus, the movie features one of the greatest slow claps of all time - if you find yourself not choking up at the end, you basically have no heart.

No. 4 - A League of Their Own: It's rare for a sports movie based on women to leave a lasting impression, but this one holds up even next to the typical guy sports film. There's no crying in this movie - it's perfect from the storyline down to the casting.

No. 3 - Hoosiers: This small-town Indiana basketball team's story is a classic David and Goliath tale with one of the best musical scores in cinema to go along with it. It's basically the Bible for any disciple of basketball.

No. 2 - Caddyshack: A dancing gopher + a crazy groundskeeper + a philosophical Chevy Chase = cinematic gold. Even the American Film Institute recognized the genius of Bill Murray when it dubbed his "It's in the hole!" monologue No. 92 on its top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.

No. 1 - Rocky: This film, which received 10 Academy Award nominations in 1977, actually won Best Picture, and it's easy to see why. More than 30 years after its release, hundreds of people still run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art because Rocky Balboa resonates with the underdog in everyone.

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