Top five sports movies to celebrate the holiday season

The holiday season starts this week. Thanksgiving always marks the day we all start listening to our favorite Christmas carols, enjoying family favorites around the kitchen table, and indulging in the many holiday treats that only this time of year can bring. It’s also a great time to watch a movie.

With family at home more than usual, streaming services and your favorite DVDs are coming out of the collection. On a cold late night of leftovers or hot chocolate by the fireplace, holiday movie watching is the best on a cold winter evening. Here are five great sports movies to kick back, turn on the flat screen and enjoy.

5. Tin cup

Released on August 16, 1966, Tin Cup stars Kevin Costner as Roy McAvoy, a legendary “golf ball hitter” who owns and operates a dilapidated driving range in the dusty, windswept, sleepy West Texas town of Salome.

“The Cup,” as he is fondly called by the locals and his friends, plays college golf at the University of Houston with PGA professional and main antagonist David Sims, played by Don Johnson. Johnson is part of an all-star cast that includes Cheech Marin as McAvoy’s best friend Romeo, Renee Russo as Dr. Molly Griswold, and several cameos including PGA pros Phil Mickelson, Craig Stadler, John Cook, Johnny Miller , Lee Janzen, Billy Mayfair, Corey Pavin, Fred Cupples and Peter Jacobsen. The authenticity of the film is the golf scenes shot on a course in North Carolina. With Jim Nance and Ken Vettori in the tower at 18. The production trailer features Lance Barrow, Peter Costis, Jimmy Roberts, Brian Hammonds playing themselves. One great line to note is that Roy talks about the risky nature of his golf game by saying that “greatness judges failure.”

Tin Cup is a great sports movie that you shouldn’t miss.

4. Miracle

If you haven’t seen Miracle, you should too. This poignant film about the 1980 US men’s ice hockey team sent to the picturesque town of Lake Placid in upstate New York for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Domestically, 1980 was a difficult time in the US with skyrocketing energy prices and long queues at petrol pumps. But for two weeks in February, Americans forgot about their troubles at home and settled in to watch the fortunes of the US Olympic team.

The USA Hockey team didn’t get much of a shot at a medal. Men’s hockey was dominated by the Soviet Union, where professional players were “amateurs” for two weeks. Their only mission was to bring home another gold medal, as the Soviet Union team usually handled almost any nation. In hockey, the idea of ​​competing with them, much less beating them, was a pipe dream. With Kurt Russell as coach Herb Brooks, Brooks will set about putting together a team and a strategy to not just compete, but defeat the Soviets. In Oslo, against the Norwegian national team, Team USA tied Norway 3-3 in an exhibition game. Brooks sensed the team wasn’t trying hard and began tinkering with his roster. After the game, Team USA was back on the ice doing a “bag skate” drill. When they return to the states and begin playing, they play in their final exhibition game against the Soviet Union and get destroyed in the process, losing 10-3. From there, they would play Sweden, heavily favored Czechoslovakia and lesser powers Norway, Romania and West Germany to earn a spot in the medal round. From there, you know the rest of the story. Al Michaels was on the call along with Ken Dryden. As the clock ticks down to 12:10 remaining on the clock in the gold medal game, Michaels recreates the legendary “Do you believe in miracles?” call.

Herb Brooks, who Kurt Russell portrayed in the film, would pass away during principal photography. Don’t forget to note the end credits.

3. Friday Night Lights

On October 8, 2004, the movie Friday Night Lights was released in the US, based on the book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by HG Bissinger, tells the story of a high school in Odessa, Texas.

In 1988, Permian High School competes for a state championship with head coach Gary Gaines, played by Billy Bob Thornton, is the driving force behind a team that struggles against the immense talent found in Texas. The film focuses on a trio of players: quarterback Mike Winchell, fullback Don Billingsley and defensive end Brian Chavez are the players the film is built around and tells their story, which is incredibly personal but fueled them to win a state championship for Perm.

The magic of Friday Night Lights is built around the fact that Texas high school football is about tradition and family. Players are celebrated, coaches become deities, and a championship can sustain a city for a generation. As you watch this masterpiece, you’ll see how Perm, nicknamed “MOJO,” makes his way back to the final few moments of a football game, where absolute football nirvana is both close and painfully out of reach, and how small-town America prides itself on the team that is the heart of a community.

Friday Night Lights is only as good as the book. It’s a special read and an even better viewing experience.

2, Moneyball

Released on September 9, 2011, Moneyball is based on the Oakland A’s baseball season in 2002. General manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, is tasked with rebuilding the team to compete not only in the AL West, but and win the pennant and World Series after losing to the New York Yankees in the 2001 American League Division Series. With star players Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi and Jason Isringhausen leaving in free agency, Beane had to assemble a contending team for 2002. with Oakland’s tight budget. His fortunes and philosophy begin to change after meeting Peter Brandt, played by Jonah Hill, a Yale graduate with an economics degree who has an unorthodox approach to player evaluation. Sabermetrics, which according to Miriam-Webster is detailed statistical analysis of baseball data (for the purposes of evaluating player performance and developing game strategies). Sabermetrics posits that “traditional measures like batting average and strikeouts are of limited use in predicting whether a player can actually help win ballgames.”

While Beane and Brand began assembling a team built around their statistical viability to help Oakland win, the very concept was ignored by manager Art Howe, who employed a traditional method of building his day-to-day lineup. Acquiring undervalued players like Chad Bradford, Jeremy Giambi, Scott Hatteberg and the David Justice trade have mostly been met with derision, as Howe believes this theory is ruining the A’s organization.

At the start of the 2002 season, Oakland found itself 10 games out of first place in the AL West. Bean convinced team owner Steven Schott to stay Brandt’s course. To get defensive help, Beane traded Giambi to the Phillies for John Mabry and orchestrated the trade of potential All-Star first baseman Carlos Peña to the Tigers, leaving Howe no choice but to use the team that Beane and Brandt had built. In three short weeks, the A’s managed to claw their way back to within four games of the lead.

Oakland would win the West, only to lose to the Minnesota Twins in the AL Divisional Series. As far as baseball movies go, this is as good as it gets. Talk to the outsider who was told you can’t do it. The pace, the strategy, the stories that unfold over the course of a year that touch all seasons of the calendar. It’s special and it’s romantic.

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill give an incredible performance breaking the rules in their quest to remake the game.

1. Hoosiers

Released on November 14, 1986, Hoosiers was inspired by the story of the 1954 Indiana state champions, Milan High School, located in rural southern Indiana.

The cast is solid and has the type of actors that don’t overshadow the roles they play in this movie. Veteran actor Gene Hackman stars as head coach Norman Dale. Dennis Hopper, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role as the town drunk, plays the Gunslinger. Shooter, who was a legend at Hickory, has a son who plays on the team. Actress Barbara Hershey rounds out the cast as Myra Fleener, a teacher who wants local shooting legend Jimmy Chitwood to graduate and leave Hickory. In the end, a town vote keeps Dale as head coach, and he and Chitwood take the small town of Hickory on the trip of a lifetime. It is worth noting that unlike today, where high school athletics is based on student enrollment. In 1954, Indiana was not. These days, smaller schools compete with other smaller schools, while much larger ones do the same within their classifications. When the fictional Hickory team entered the postseason, Indiana had one state basketball tournament for all of its high schools. This practice continued until 1997. In 1954, it served as the backdrop for the typical David vs. Goliath matchup, especially when Hickory entered Butler Fieldhouse before the championship game.

Few of today’s generation have seen Hoosiers on the big screen. This is a real shame, as the cinematography of rural Indiana in the fall is absolutely stunning to the eye of the beholder. It’s a slice of Americana.

As head coach Norman Dale takes the court for the first time, he can hear the fans cheering. He looks up as he makes his way onto the court and says, “Welcome to Indiana Basketball.” A great movie for basketball fans, it is an absolute must watch.

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