What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

The Dubsism March Sports Movie Spectacular

In America, March means Brackets.  In the Blogosphere, it is now a requirement to bracketize something which had not yet previously been reduced a field of 64. Since ostensibly, this is a blog about sports, we thought “Why not a Sports Movie Bracket?”

Honestly, we are still in the process of selecting a field of 64 teams, but our approach is somewhat similar to that of the NCAA, meaning totally cloaked in secrecy and bribery.  The first step we had to take was to broaden the available field; we had to suspend our definitions over what constitutes a “real” sport. Not only have we made our point on that subject, but it would have forced us to exclude some damn good movies from the pool of potential candidates.

Fletch: Not Enough Sport To Make The Cut, Even If He's 6'9" With the Afro

This led to the creation of a list of the 169 most notable sports movies. Why 169? Because that’s how many that mattered which we could remember.  Believe, we all know there’s a lot more than that, but let’s be honest, the odds that we forgot a movie that doesn’t suck are pretty remote. Sure, there might be a few, but honestly, what are the odds that #172 on the list is going to change your life?

Another bullet point for the creation of this list was we ignored sequels and remakes. With The exception of Godfather II, sequels all suck, but it isn’t a problem we needed to worry about until machine-gunning a dude at a toll-booth becomes a sport. There were remakes available in the sporting genre, but they all suck as well.  To that end, we simply didn’t include any film that fell into this category.

The next step was to break the list down into based on the film’s selected sport of subject.

Auto Racing:

  • Days of Thunder (1989)
  • Death Race 2000 (1975)
  • Grand Prix (1966)
  • Heart Like A Wheel (1983)
  • Le Mans (1971)
  • Spinout (1966)
  • The Last American Hero (1973)
  • The Love Bug (1968)


  • *61 (2001)
  • A League of Their Own (1992)
  • Angels in the Outfield (1951)
  • Bang the Drum Slowly (1973)
  • Bull Durham (1988)
  • Cobb (1994)
  • Damn Yankees! (1958)
  • Eight Men Out (1988)
  • Fear Strikes Out (1957)
  • Field of Dreams (1989)
  • For the Love of the Game (1999)
  • It Happens Every Spring (1949)
  • Major League (1989)
  • Mr. 3000 (2004)
  • Mr. Baseball (1992)
  • Rookie of the Year (1993)
  • Soul of the Game (1996)
  • The Babe (1992)
  • The Babe Ruth Story (1948)
  • The Bad News Bears (1976)
  • The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)
  • The Fan (1996)
  • The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)
  • The Natural (1984)
  • The Pride of St. Louis (1952)
  • The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
  • The Rookie (2002)
  • The Sandlot (1993)
  • The Scout (1994)
  • The Stratton Story (1949)


  • Above The Rim (1994)
  • Eddie (1996)
  • Glory Road (2006)
  • He Got Game (1998)
  • Hoop Dreams (1994)
  • Hoosiers (1986)
  • Love & Basketball (2000)
  • One on One (1977)
  • The Air Up There (1994)
  • White Men Can’t Jump (1992)


  • Pumping Iron (1977)


  • Ali (2001)
  • Body and Soul (1947)
  • Champion (1949)
  • Cinderella Man (2005)
  • Diggstown (1992)
  • Fat City (1972)
  • Gentleman Jim (1942)
  • Girlfight (2000)
  • Million Dollar Baby (2004)
  • Night and the City (1950)
  • Raging Bull (1980)
  • Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)
  • Rocky (1976)
  • Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
  • The Champ (1931)
  • The Fighter (2010)
  • The Great White Hope (1970)
  • The Harder They Fall (1956)
  • The Hurricane (1999)
  • The Set-Up (1949)
  • When We Were Kings (1996)


  • A Day at the Races (1937)
  • Balls of Fury (2007)
  • Blades of Glory (2007)
  • Brewster’s Millions (1985)
  • Caddyshack (1980)
  • Dodgeball (2001)
  • Fast Break (1979)
  • Kingpin (1996)
  • Million Dollar Legs (1932)
  • Semi-Pro (2008)
  • Slap Shot (1977)
  • Talladega Nights (2006)
  • The Big Lebowski (1998)
  • The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1978)


  • All the Right Moves (1983)
  • Any Given Sunday (1999)
  • Brian’s Song (1971)
  • Everybody’s All-American (1988)
  • Friday Night Lights (2004)
  • Heaven Can Wait (1978)
  • Horse Feathers (1932)
  • Invincible (2006)
  • Jerry Maguire (1996)
  • Johnny Be Good (1988)
  • Knute Rockne All-American (1940)
  • Leatherheads (2007)
  • Necessary Roughness (1991)
  • North Dallas Forty (1979)
  • Paper Lion (1968)
  • Remember the Titans (2000)
  • Rudy (1993)
  • Semi-Tough (1977)
  • The Best Of Times (1986)
  • The Blind Side (2009)
  • The Express (2008)
  • The Freshman (1925)
  • The Longest Yard (1974)
  • The Program (1993)
  • The Replacements (2000)
  • Varsity Blues (1999)
  • We Are Marshall (2006)
  • Wildcats (1986)


  • Dead Solid Perfect (1988)
  • Follow the Sun (1951)
  • Happy Gilmore (1996)
  • Pat and Mike (1952)
  • The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)
  • The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
  • Tin Cup (1996)


  • Miracle (2004)
  • Mystery, Alaska (1999)
  • Strange Brew (1983)
  • The Mighty Ducks (1992)
  • The Rocket (2005)
  • Youngblood (1986)

Horse Racing:

  • Champions (1984)
  • National Velvet (1944)
  • Phar Lap (1983)
  • Seabiscuit (1949)
  • Secretariat (2010)

Olympics or Sports Found in the Olympics:

  • Breaking Away (1979)
  • Chariots of Fire (1981)
  • Cool Runnings (1993)
  • Downhill Racer (1969)
  • Fire and Ice (1986)
  • Ice Castles (1978)
  • Jim Thorpe, All-American (1951)
  • Matti (2006)
  • Olympia (1938)
  • Personal Best (1982)
  • Prefontaine (1997)
  • The Cutting Edge (1992)
  • The Karate Kid (1983)
  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
  • Without Limits (1998)


  • 8 Seconds (1994)
  • Junior Bonner (1972)
  • The Cowboy Way (1994)
  • The Great American Cowboy (1973)
  • The Lusty Men (1952)

Roller Derby:

  • Kansas City Bomber (1972)
  • Rollerball (1975)
  • Whip It (2009)


  • Forever Strong (2008)
  • Invictus (2009)
  • This Sporting Life (1963)


  • Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)
  • Gleaming the Cube (1989)
  • Grind (2003)
  • Lords of Dogtown (2005)


  • Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
  • Victory (1981)


  • Big Wednesday (1978)
  • In God’s Hands (1998)
  • The Endless Summer (1964)


  • Beyond the Mat (1999)
  • Take Down (1979)
  • The Wrestler (2008)
  • Vision Quest (1985)

Obviously some sports have many more films than others, but which is why we decided to treat each individual sport like the NCAA treats conferences.  Every sport on this list will get at least one team in the field; the movie that gets ranked as the best in its sport gets an automatic bid just as a conference tournament winner gets an invite to March Madness.

In the next few days, we will be finalizing the field of 64 for our tournament. So, if you’ve perused the list and see a glaring omission, hit up our comments section, email us, send a carrier pigeon or whatever works wherever you are. Keep in mind given the construct of this field, if nobody suggests another credible movie about bodybuilding, that homoerotic oil-fest “Pumping Iron” is in the field. But on the other hand, what movie about bodybuilding wouldn’t be a homoerotic oil-fest?

In any event, one thing you can do here while we are still completing the field is to cast a vote on the list of movies in the discussion to be awarded a #1 Seed.  Your vote will definitely play a role in awarding the top seeds in this bracket.  Be like Chicago; vote early and often, and don’t let being dead stop you!

About J-Dub

What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

17 comments on “The Dubsism March Sports Movie Spectacular

  1. tophatal
    March 2, 2011

    If it’s baseball then I’ve got to go with “The Natural ” !

    Boxing ……… in part Raging Bull ! That’s a given …………. Requiem For A Heavyweight !

    In terms of martial arts perhaps Enter The Dragon dependent on whether or not you liked ….. Bruce Lee ?

    tophatal ……………….


    • JW
      March 3, 2011

      There was an element of discussion about the “Martial Arts” movies. The Karate Kid made the list because it has all the elements of a sports movie; the “Bruce Lee” type flicks are more about revenge and ass-kicking to the fatal level. If we were going to consider killing bad guys a “sport,” then Dirty Harry and half the John Wayne filmography are in the conversation.

      As for the other three movies you mentioned, while the seeding process is not yet complete, it’s a very safe bet those three are not “on the bubble.”


      • tophatal
        March 3, 2011


        But you also had the premise of the kumite tournament as a backdrop to Enter The Dragon so it wasn’t all ’bout kickin’ ass .

        I don’t think due justice was as such done with The Hurricane as to how good and brutal Reuben ” Hurricane” Carter was as a fighter ! Denzel brought great magnitude to the role but it was bogged down by a great deal of the plotline and some of the rather hackney eyed character portrayals by members of the supporting cast .

        tophatal ………..


      • JW
        March 3, 2011

        It’s too bad about the movie about “Hurricane” Carter, but this isn’t about the athlete, it’s about the movie. Babe Ruth rates exceptionally high on any list of baseball players, but every movie made about him sucks bag.


  2. Chris Humpherys
    March 3, 2011

    I voted, but you forgot to include “The Fish Who Saved Pittsburgh.”

    Shame on you.


    • JW
      March 3, 2011

      Check again – look under “Comedies.”


  3. Chris Humpherys
    March 3, 2011

    Curses, foiled again!

    Far be it from me to question the crack staff behind the Dub.

    You have my sincerest apologies, sir.


  4. tophatal
    March 3, 2011

    Well it goes with the territory of Ruth and Ty Cobb ! But like any athlete and human being we all have our flaws ……warts and all .

    Most thought that OJ and Woods were paragons of virtue ’til that veil of culpability was unmasked to show their dark side .

    Off the beaten track as such who’d you want to see portray Don King in an autobiographical movie given his overall track record ? I know that Mykelti Williams and Ving Rhames have portrayed him but merely as a side character those specific pieces of work . Though in Rhames’s case it was as a broad based flick that was said to be ……… part fact and part fiction .

    tophatal ……


  5. I thought “The Natural” may have been a bit overrated. But then again I hate movies.

    Why am I posting on this article then?



  6. chappy81
    March 4, 2011

    One movie I didn’t see on there that I enjoyed when I was growing up was Basketball Diaries. Jim Carroll was a great writer no matter how drugged out he was, and I thought the movie was pretty good too…

    Also, I’m not sure if Baseketball would count since it wasn’t a real sport, but that was one of my all-time favorite “making fun of ESPN and sports movies” spoofs!


    • JW
      March 4, 2011

      Rollerball is not yet a real sport, and it is on the list.

      We simply overlooked Basketball Diaries.

      Consider your suggestions added for consideration, good sir…


      • chappy81
        March 5, 2011

        Sweet, I hope they make it in the brackets! I think they could upset a few movies. IF not they would be dominant in the NIT!


  7. Drew
    March 5, 2011

    I’m taking Fast Break to shock the world!! D.C., Hustler, Swish, Preacher…it just doesn’t get any better!!

    Final Four: Caddyshack, Hoosiers, Fast Break and The Bad News Bears (with a hard fought victory over The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh in the elite 8)


    • JW
      March 5, 2011

      Fast Break, a basketball movie, as a cinematic version of George Mason…there gotta be irony in there somewhere.


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