20 fun facts about sports movies
With a nod to the Academy Awards, Norm Cohen and Todd Schwartz compiled this list of 20 fun facts about sports movies.
THE WINNING TEAM (1952)
Doris Day got top billing over the actual star, Ronald Reagan, in this story of Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander. The reason: studio politics.
Three sports movies have won the Oscar for best picture: "Rocky" (1976), "Chariots of Fire" (1981), and "Million Dollar Baby" (2004), shown above.
"Rocky" not only spawned five sequels but provided a landmark statue in Philadelphia.
PRIDE OF THE YANKEES (1942)
Young Lou Gehrig trades his Honus Wagner card for a chance to play in a sandlot game. That card could be worth more than a half million dollars today.
Sorry to ruin that touching ending, but Joe Montana has said no one offered up their jersey, and there was no chanting for Rudy, and Dan Devine has said he was not "opposed" to putting Rudy Ruettiger into the game.
SPACE JAM (1996)
At the end of "Space Jam," while Looney Toons characters are battling over who gets to say, "That’s all folks,” Michael Jordan asks “Can I go home now?”
FIELD OF DREAMS (1989)
Shoeless Joe Jackson was a lefthanded hitter, but Ray Liotta (above, left) portrayed him as righty.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (2004)
Connie Britton played the wife of Coach Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thornton) and then played coach Eric Taylor’s wife (shown above) in the TV sequel, which picks up some 20 years later at fictional version of the school.
CHARIOTS OF FIRE (1981)
Received seven Academy Award nominations in 1981 and won four, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.
Babe Ruth has been portrayed in various movies by William Bendix ("The Babe Ruth Story," 1948), John Goodman ("The Babe," 1992) and himself ("Pride of the Yankees," 1942, pictured above).
THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED(2005)
Although this is about the U.S. Open, the golf movie starring young Shia LaBeouf was filmed in Montreal.
THE BAD NEWS BEARS (1976)
Walter Matthau’s character, Morris Buttermaker (second from right), had pitched in one major league game and had a minor-league no-hitter on his resume.
NECESSARY ROUGHNESS (1991)
Kathy Ireland (shown above) played the Texas State University Fighting Armadillos’ field-goal kicker in a film that included cameos by Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Dick Butkus, Earl Campbell, Tony Dorsett, Randy White and Herschel Walker.
THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY (1950)
Jackie Robinson portrayed himself in “The Jackie Robinson Story.”
Costner's sports movie roll call: "American Flyers" (cycling, 1985), "Bull Durham" (baseball, 1988, pictured above), "Field of Dreams" (baseball, 1989), "Tin Cup" (golf, 1996), "For Love of the Game" (baseball, 1999).
PAPER LION (1968)
Best line of "Paper Lion" occurs when Vince Lombardi tells Sports Illustrated's George Plimpton, played by Alan Alda, who is trying to find a team that will let him try out for QB: "You try the AFL?"
RAGING BULL (1980)
Hershey’s chocolate was substituted for blood in the black-and-white film because it looked more dramatic.
The Hickory Huskers were based on the 1954 Indiana State Champion Milan High School Indians.
HORSE FEATHERS (1932)
The Marx Brothers's movie "Horse Feathers" may be the only time you’ll see a college football team score a touchdown in a horse-drawn garbage wagon.
(Photo shown is of the Marx brothers, not the movie.)
FEVER PITCH (2005)
Yankees fans should probably never watch this Red Sox fanboy flick, if for no other reason than the Yankee toilet paper.