Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Best of the Worst" Sports-Themed Sitcoms and Movies

I've taken over Ren's Ten for this week..let's get into it.

I bet when we all sit back and think of our favorite movies or television shows, among the best are those with a sports-related theme. Who didn’t cry at the end of Rudy? Who doesn’t channel Rocky Balboa when gearing up for something big, whether a corporate meeting or your slow-pitch softball championship? We can draw from these places because this is what inspires us. At the soul of every sports fan is a person who just wants to succeed, who just wants to win.

I share these traits. As a female ex-athlete/sports fan, I can relate to these movies and shows. I can also however point out the ones that probably were a bit too stupid to inspire, too cheesy to impress, and too convoluted to make any sort of rational sense. If it’s in the realm of “I really, really, really don’t think that could ever happen,” then it probably ended up on our list.

Here is a list of the 10 WORST sports-themed films and TV sitcoms.

10) Who’s the Boss: Great, great sitcom. Much love to Tony Masselli. But it wasn’t great because of the underlying storyline. I mean, who can honestly believe that an ex-major leaguer would have to become a nanny to a wealthy female ad exec to be able to make ends meet and raise his daughter? Throw in that Tony's career was cut short by an "errant Ozzie Smith backflip" (that's not a joke). I am sure the show still would have been a success (and maybe even more believable) if Tony was simply a weekend warrior that loved adult softball leagues.

9) Hang Time: Reggie Theus coaches a high school basketball team whose best players are a 6’5” German girl and accused rapist Anthony Anderson. Much love for AA, but football would have been more convincing for the portly fella. Theus, however, was so convincing that the Sacramento Kings hired him as a coach.

8) Big Brother Jake: This one just came to us recently. And it’s only “sports-themed” because “Body by Jake” Steinfeld was the star.

Here is an online description:
Love was all around in this sunny sitcom set in a bustling interracial foster home in Brooklyn. At the center of things was Jake, a beefy former Hollywood stuntman who had returned to the home in which he was raised to help his foster "Mom," a sweet black woman named Connie, raise her next generation of foster kids. She certainly needed the help. Her husband, Isaac, had passed away, and there were kid problems everywhere. Her charges were Lou, a chubby teenager; Kateri, a bright studious young black girl; Jill, an older, boy obsessed teen; and Andy and Dave, preteen terrors who looked like twins, but were not in fact related. After two seasons grownup Jill left and was replaced by Caroline, a little abandoned oriental girl. Gary was Jake's amiable pal from high school, now a Manhattan lawyer, and Jane was Jake's old former high school girlfriend. Miss Morgan was the original social worker, replaced in year two by the dreaded and cranky Miss Domedian. The older kids attended Frederick Douglass High School. Jake narrated.

When do we get to the funny part? I think the network was tricked from the start. They thought they had a great new show starting Jerry Seinfeld. They ended up getting Jake Steinfeld. Serenity now....

7) Learning the Ropes: The Original Juicer, Lyle Alzado, as a private school teacher who moonlights as a professional wrestler to keep food on the table. It was pinned after the first season.


I Lied- I am really not certified to teach in this state.


6) Girl Fight: There is no way Michelle Rodriguez would have beat that dude. Ever. I am not even discussing this further.

5) Rookie of the Year: Little Henry Rowengarten breaks his arm, somehow gains the ability to throw a 100 mph fastball, and becomes a starting pitching for the Cubs. Isn’t it usually the other way around for Cubs pitchers? Gary Busey plays the washed up club ace Chet “Rocket” (real original guys) Steadman. Busey plays the washed up part well but he looks as much like an ex-surfer/FBI agent as he does a future Hall of Famer. Throw in Daniel Stern as bench coach Phil Brickma and the real Cubs have a better chance of winning the World Series then this movie has at being believable.


Sometimes a picture needs no words.


4) Little Big League: A grandfather dies and leaves his 12-year-old grandson as the GM of the Twins. He then fires the manager and takes over the team. And then Kirby Puckett follows a woman into the restroom and…wait…nevermind. The only satisfying thing about this movie was the sprinkling of “that guys” Jonathan Silverman, Dennis Farina, John Ashton, and Timothy Busfield, ex-major leaguers like Kevin Elster and Leon “The Bull” Durham and cameos by Junior Griffey, The Big Unit, Rock Raines, and Leather himself.

3) The Cutting Edge: A romantic comedy with a sports theme. I smell bullshit. This is a classic “lets appeal to both genders” movie. A former hockey player becomes a pairs figure skating in order to win a gold medal. They start out filled with hate toward each other but then fall madly in love. I was filled with hate all the way through.

2) The New Karate Kid: A girl? If I were Ralph Macchio, I’d still be pissed. He was only 45 when this one came out and had at least one more unrealistic Daniel Larusso performance in that skinny-fat frame of his.

1) (tie) Any movie involving an athletic animal:

Air Bud - did anyone know there were six of these things? Air Bud, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, Air Bud: World Pup, Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, Air Bud Strikes Back, and Air Buddies
Ed - a chimp playing baseball (also titled the Sal Fasano Story)
MVP Most Valuable Primate and MVP Most Vertical Primate
Snow Dogs

I can’t continue, seriously this is hurting my head. I have to go watch Hoosiers to make the bad images go away.

-posted by Ariel

36 comments:

PK Ward said...

First of all, it's Rowengartner. Second, that movie is awesome.

Hugging Harold Reynolds said...

We stand corrected on the spelling.

We are not knocking the movie, but rather the premise being so absurdly ridiculous (As inspired by Tony Masseli becoming a maid. What references could he have possibly had? He shows up from NYC in a shady van in upper class CT, and convinces this otherwise intelligent lady that he can cook and clean? ABSURD.)

Any suggestions on additions?

Cane said...

I don't think you can call a sitcom "Sports Themed' just because the main character
had a past in sports, that's just stupid, there was no real sports theme in that show.

What are you thinking by putting Big Brother Jake in, you said it yourself,
"it’s only “sports-themed” because “Body by Jake” Steinfeld was the star."
That doesn't make it sports themed, by that fact then Saved by the Bell:
The college years should be in your list, because it was horrible sitcom
and it starred Bob Golic in it, that show wasn't sports themed, but by your
theory it is.

Maybe you should have considered:

Slap Shot 2
Mighty Ducks 3
or the worst Movie of them all
Necessary Roughness

Hugging Harold Reynolds said...

Oooh good call on Bob Golic. Plus, you have to consider AC Slater's wrestling background.

Also, a great call on NR.

Obviously, this was meant for fun, and had no idea people would take such an interest in it.

How about this one for a stretch...Mr. Kawicki's Diner (Dick Butkis) on My 2 Dads.

Cane said...

Of course we get into it, it's sports + TV & Movies

Mr. Kawicki's Diner (Dick Butkis) on My 2 Dads, that's a good call

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Great list guy(s)! But you forgot a few. I did a list a few weeks ago...15 of them actually.

Top 15 Awesomely Bad Sports Movies.

Whalewager.com said...

Good stuff Huggin'

btw, ANYTHING that Butkis does is GOLD!!!!!

Hugging Harold Reynolds said...

Hot damn, Rev., kicked ourselves after the post for the Ladybugs omission. Much like Gleaming the Cube, I think we all enjoyed Airborne & All the Right Moves too much to include them.

Like Butkis, Seth Green = GOLD.

And who doesn't appreciate trying to believe that 4'10" Maverick (I flew with his old man) could be a legitimate college football prospect only to have evil Hayden Fox hold him back. Priceless.

Samuel said...

In Little Big League he becomes a closer, not a starting pitcher. It is much more believable as a reliever.

Ryan said...

I guess Who's the Boss would have made more sense if he was a for NFL player who'd had a few concussions. Then being a nanny would be an optimistic take.

Also, let's not forget Inside Schwartz. Breckin Meyer plays a sportscaster who imagines his personal life as a series of sports analogies. Ugh, I feel dirty.

Riots said...

Am I the only one that remembers Kevin Bacon in a horrible basketball movie called "The Air Up There"? I NEVER see it listed as a bad sports movie, which can only mean that people actually think it was good. Nothing like a one-on-one scene where Bacon (as the washed-up point guard) breaks down the overhyped white prospect with "Jimmy Dolan's shake-n-bake".

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