Jul 19, 2010

Top 10 sports movie characters

Gregory Urbano over at cbssports.com put together something called Spin's Top 10 Sports Movie Characters. A pretty weak effort looking to appeal to the masses with a lot of Hollywood silliness. That makes sense for cbssports.com because they actually APPEAL TO THE MASSES. As for ILTCSC, we appeal to this guy:

We put together our own top-10. First, a quick recap of Urbano's top 10:

10. Ray Kinsella, Field of Dreams. Boooooooooooooooooooo. I can think of about 4,000,000 actors who could've played the role of Ray Kinsella as good or better than Kevin Costner, including top Kevin Costner lookalike Andy Franklin. I think Urbano/CBS wanted to give a nod to the movie, but this wasn't a top 10 sports movie list.
9. Shooter McGavin, Happy Gilmore. One of two characters on both lists. More on McGavin later.
8. Jimmy Dugan, A League of their Own. And here's the second. The fact Urbano has him No. 8 should tell you what the rest of his list looks like. More on Dugan later.
7. Nuke LaLoosh, Bull Durham. First of all, BD isn't a sports movie; it's a regular movie with a few sports scenes in it. And if it wasn't for Rudi Stein in Bad News Bears Tim Robbins' LaLoosh character would have the worst pitching windup and delivery in baseball movie history.
6. Rudy Ruettiger, Rudy. Again, a great sports movie, but Sean Astin as a 5-1, 104-pound middle linebacker playing Division I college football doesn't qualify as a top-10 sports movie character. Like Costner/Ray Kinsella, anyone could've been Astin/Rudy.
5. Rick Vaughn, Major League. The only character in Major League to make his list. That should tell you a little more. Charlie Sheen had some great lines ("They got chili dogs over there?"), but Urbano is missing two characters in ML that belong on a top-10 list.
4. Roy Hobbs, The Natural. Terrible.
3. Hanson Brothers, Slap Shot. Never seen Slapshot, but from what I've heard, Steve, Dave and Jeff Hanson were fantastic. Based on word of mouth, I'll let this one slide.
2. Rod Tidwell, Jerry Maguire. Mehkkh.
1. Carl Spackler, Caddyshack. We all love Bill Murray, but the No. 1 sports movie character is Carl Spackler? Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) and Judge Smails (Ted Knight) were much funnier than Spackler. Spackler is probably the fifth-funniest character in the movie (Czervik, Smails, Ty Webb and Smails' son, Spaulding).

You know what, Spaulding is the funniest. Czervik No. 2.

Overall, not a great list.

Here's a better one...

10. Hamilton Porter, Sandlot. "Ham", played by Patrick Renna, only cares about baseball and swimming. Gets into legendary kid-insult war with one of the rival kids. Wins with "you play ball like a girl" line, out-lasting rival kid's "you bob for apples in the toilet, and you like it."
Extra points: Gets about seven extra points for not appearing in any of the Sandlot sequels.

Best line (As Scott Smalls runs from left field to home plate with the ball): "What the hell is he doing?"

9. Terence Mann, Field of Dreams. Mann goes from angry, violent, former 60s radical, Terrence, to jolly, Baseball Encyclopedia-reading "Terry" in a matter of four scenes. That's how good of a movie this was.
Extra point: Becomes the Jackie Robinson of baseball movies when he is the first black player to be invited into the cornfield.

Best line: "We have a learning disability here?"

8. Tanner Boyle, Bad News Bears. Boyle is the un-questioned leader of the Bears even though he is 3-3, 42-pounds and a bigot and sexist.


* "fights the 7th grade"
* gets thrown into a trash can defending Lupis
* throws his glove at a base-runner on several occasions
* uses the phrase "booger-eatin' moron"


* makes 139 errors at second base

Extra point: Called out at first on a grounder to second base in second game of the season against the Athletics. Appeared to have beaten the throw.

Best line: "Engelburg, quit your crummy belly-achin' and throw the ball to first base!"

7. McGavin, Happy Gilmore. He's like Judge Smails but sinister and with much better hair.
Extra point: Does a great double mouth-click finger-gun.

Best line: "I saw two, big, fat naked bikers in the woods off 17 having sex. How can I chip with that going on?"

6. Stillwell, A League of their Own. Over the course of the movie, Evelyn's portly son, played by Justin Scheller, eats the lineup card; nearly runs the Peaches' team bus off the road when he covers the driver's eyes and is nearly killed by a flying glove before game seven of the World Series.
Extra point: Stillwell as an adult is played by Mark Holton, whose character occupies our No. 2 ranking.

Best line (Just before getting hit with the glove): "You're gonna lose, you're gonna lose, you stink, you're gonna lose..."

5. Shooter, Hoosiers. I mean, Dennis Hopper's character is so drunk he wanders out onto the court during the Sectionals against Terhune, screams gibberish at the referees and gets the Huskers a technical foul. Before that, he takes over for an ejected coach Norman Dale, runs the Picket Fence and beats Dugger with a last-second shot.
Extra point: Claims to know "everything there is to know about the game of basketball." That's good enough for me.

Best line (To referee after stumbling onto court): "You're out of position to make the call!"

4. Eddie Harris, Major League. Unbelievable workload for a starting pitcher who is obviously in his late-40s/early 50s and can't throw harder than 45 M.P.H. Did the Indians have a bullpen? Harris, played by sports movie legend Chelcie Ross (see: Hoosiers; Rudy), is devoted to the lord, yet reads Hustler and has about six different foreign substances on his body to cheat with while on the mound.
Extra point: Goes 8 2/3 innings and throws 273 pitches (unofficial) in the one-game playoff against the Yankees. Gets no-decision.

Best line: "Are you trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curve ball?"

3. Dugan, A League of their Own. Tom Hanks is the greatest movie coach/manager of all time and it's not even close. Dugan scratches his crotch for an entire inning; knocks a six-year old unconscious by throwing a glove at his head; and tells the umpire he looks like a penis with a little hat on. That's just a few examples....

EXTRA POINT: But he's in the top 3 because of this conversation-

Walter Harvey: You kind of let me down on that San Antonio job.
Jimmy Dugan: I, uh, yeh, I, uh... I freely admit, sir, I had no right to... sell off the team's equipment like that; that won't happen again.
Harvey: Let me be blunt. Are you still a fall-down drunk?
Dugan: Well, that is blunt. Ahem. No sir, I've, uh, quit drinking.
Harvey: You've seen the error of your ways.
Dugan: No, I just can't afford it.
Harvey: It's funny to you. Your drinking is funny. You're a young man, Jimmy, you still could be playing, if you just would've laid off the booze.
Dugan: Well, it's not exactly like that... I hurt my knee.
Harvey: You fell out of a hotel! That's how you hurt it.
Dugan: Well, there was a fire.
Harvey: Which you started, which I had to pay for.
Dugan: Well, now, I was going to send you a thank-you card, Mr. Harvey, but I wasn't allowed anything sharp to write with.

2. Chubby, Teen Wolf Too. A modern-day Renaissance Man. Chubby is not only the heavyweight on Hamilton University's boxing team, he also:

- Plays the tuba in the school's orchestra
- Was the producer/engineer of Teen Wolf Too's live performance of Do You Love Me
- Was on the school's fencing team.

Extra point: Got the boxing team to sing Hamilton's alma mater before the big state final match against the Nimitz Academy.

Best line: All lines are fantastic.

1. Harry Doyle, Major League. Bob Uecker as Harry Doyle.

Extra point: Essentially in a one-man booth because color commentator, Monty, doesn't speak.

Best lines:

"The Duke leads the league in saves, strike outs and hit batsmen. This guy threw at his own kid at a father-son game."

"A lot of new faces in Chief Wahoo's tribe this year...and hopefully we'll have some of the names that go with those faces before their first at-bat."

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