BTL Top 5 Friday: The Best Sports Movie Moments

Maybe they’re too cliché, maybe it would never happen in real life but you know what, who cares. Sports movies are there to make sure the good guys win, even if they don’t. Often they transcend the sport itself and become life lessons of what really matters. Time and again the best moments are there to give us that satisfying conclusion that we always wanted in the real world. Without out further ado, BTL’s Top 5 Sports Movie Moments:

Honorable Mention: Daniel Russo wins the All-Valley Karate Tournament

  • Usually don’t do honorable mentions but this and Hoosiers was too close to call.
  • Champions the underdog role that many sports movies on this list do.
  • Daniel’s determination to gut out a debilitating knee injury scores major points with me.
  • The final point scored by Russo in his “Crane” stance is sports movie legend.

5. Jimmy Chitwood sinks the game winning basket in Hoosiers

  • The ultimate backyard fantasy played out on the big screen.
  • Just enough cliché in the final moments (although that trap pass was pretty bad haha).
  • Jimmy hits the game winning shot and the little guy gets their day as everybody storms the court in pandemonium.

4. Team USA defeats the Russians in Miracle

  • One of the few on this list that was an actual historical moment.
  • The real Al Michaels call voice-over during the last minute really hit home.
  • The barely contained anticipation of the US team vs the maniacal desperation of the Soviets was nail-biting.
  • The final historic call still gives me the chills.
  • Herb Brooks emotional reaction in the tunnel is heartfelt.

3. Tony D’Amato’s pre-game speech

  • The title holder for “Best Sports Movie Speech Ever”.
  • Only Al Pacino could’ve pulled this off, his penchant for screaming and still owning the scene worked beautifully here.
  • I find it perfect that two NFL legends (Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor) are taking in this speech.
  • The speech transcends the game itself with its relation to life and the six inches in front of your face.
  • If you’re not motivated by that, you’re not human

2. Rudy gets carried off the field in his last game

  • This movie and more specifically this scene made me a Notre Dame fan.
  • The musical score that backdrops this is perfect. It has been used in many other cinematic features.
  • The very moment Rudy gets carried off the field nearly open the floodgates every time with me.
  • Throw in the historical aspect of this moment and that it has never happened at Notre Dame since just makes this all the more special.

1. Rocky goes the distance with Apollo Creed

  • In the ultimate metaphor for life and the quintessential sports movie underdog theme, the end of Rocky gets my top nod, and it wasn’t that close.
  • As I’ve said earlier, most of these transcend the sport itself. Rocky states before the fight that he knows he can’t beat Apollo, but he just wants “to go the distance” with Creed. No one has ever done that before. Who else in life has followed through on something when their prospects looked bleak at best?
  • I decided to go with the entire fight scene here because it really does build the apex of the moment perfectly.
  • As soon as the “Go the Distance” score begins (4:04), we see the persistent perseverance of Rocky take over as he suffers the beating of a lifetime from Creed.
  • But he doesn’t give up, he throws his punches back. And now it’s not just Rocky fighting for his life but the champ as well.
  • Everything crescendos in the 14th Rd. as Apollo knocks down Rocky for the final time; Micky tells him to stay down, Adrian suffers along with him and yet he gets up….Apollo can’t believe it…
  • Rocky nearly knocks out Apollo in the 15th Rd. but he is saved by the bell. Neither want a rematch as they can barely stand.
  • As the musical score bellows and pandemonium ensues Rocky only wants one thing; not the score card decision, not the fact that he was just apart of the greatest exhibition of boxing stamina in the history of the ring…..
  • He wants to tell Adrian that he loves her. And in the end, that’s all that ever mattered.


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