Now that most TV shows that are worth watching have gone away on Summer Hiatus (Game of Thrones still has a couple of weeks left), you may be looking for things to watch to pass your time. I would recommend looking into some sports movies going into championship season (Central Regions, Provincials, Senior Nats, Age Group Champs). Those of you who know me well likely know that one of my majors was in film, so I present to you: Coach Mike's Top 5 Sports Movies (that you should watch some time soon) Countdown.
I watched this recently and really liked it from an aesthetic standpoint and from a sports fan standpoint. The story follows 2 estranged brothers who enter an MMA championship for different (and very emotional) reasons. The final 10min was outstanding and Tom Hardy was brilliant! Strong family and brother overtones, more of a guy movie, but still VERY good!
#4. Money Ball. I also watched this one recently and it's more the story of team building than a team success story, but it details how Billy Bean (Brad Pitt) built the Oakland A's from nothing to significance with next to no money. Strong message about team playing and about motivation to win. My favourite line from this one is from Brad Pitt's character: "I hate losing, even more than I want to win."
#3. The Blind Side. Hard to believe that this movie had both me and my wife in tears at the end... more so because of the family community built out of love and faith. I read the book after watching this film (which was VERY different) but it didn't take anything away from the inspirational message of this film.
#2. The Fighter. I HATE both Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale and didn't identify with many characters in this film, but I was compelled to keep watching because it was done so well. Very emotional story about a former champion boxer (Bale) who is a washed up drug addict and his younger brother who is faced with the dilemma of upsetting his family by making it big and going to vegas or staying at home and supporting his hangers on. As I said, I didn't identify AT ALL with any of this, but it was done so well that I didn't care at all and was totally into it. Bale steals the show (you won't recognize him). Exercise caution here, it is not necessarily family friendly due to substance abuse, nudity and hard language.
#1. Friday Night Lights. I love this movie SO MUCH; I could watch it 3 times daily. I really identified with it the first time I saw it at age 25, right around the time that I returned to coaching. I always felt that all of the pushing and pushing on amateur sports had to mean more to someone else than the athletes. In some cases, the athletes aren't even sure who they are doing the sport for. This film details the Permain High Panthers in their pursuit of the Texas State Football Championship. Based on a true story, this film details the anxiety of the Fans, Parents, Athletes, Coaches and the Media during a rocky season. Watch as these athletes bond together and form a family that only athletes can truly understand. I think this should be shown at a mandatory athletes meeting prior to all major competitions! WATCH THIS MOVIE TONIGHT!
One thing that sports movies do so well is capture the FAMILY like atmosphere that can really only happen with athletes that work closely together and no each other in a very unique way. I saw this relationship between athletes yesterday in our HHBF end of year party. I enjoy seeing the positive side effects of sports; it really touches me and reminds me why I do what I do for a living.