Friday, December 17, 2010

On sports and sports movies.

I do not love baseball, either playing or watching. But I love baseball movies (Bull Durham, Bang the Drum Slowly, Bad News Bears, The Natural [is this really a baseball movie? probably not.]). I do not love football. But I love football movies (North Dallas Forty, Any Given Sunday, Invincible, etc.). And--here's a theme--I have no idea if I love hockey, but I do know I love hockey movies (Slapshot, Mystery Alaska,). I actually love soccer, watching and playing, and also I love soccer movies (Bend it Like Beckham, Victory). Running? cannnnnnnot love running, but I adore running movies (Chariots of Fire, Personal Best). And I love basketball in all its forms, especially the movie form (Hoosiers, He Got Game, White Men Can't Jump, possibly others too embarrassing to mention).

And boxing movies: I'm pretty sure I don't have what it takes to actually see a boxing match. I once watched Ali fight Spinks (I think) on television, and it was hard to watch, how he stayed on the ropes and took the punches to the body. But a boxing movie is great. I just perused a list of boxing movies and there are a bunch of great ones I have not seen, but we just saw The Fighter tonight, and it was entirely satisfying in the way that sports movies are. It's partly about the kind of naked need to prevail, but it's more about the life in the body, I think, the in tune-ness that an athlete exhibits. And a good actor can convey what an athlete does, living in the body in a way that is completely at one with character.


  1. "I do not love baseball."

    Why do you hate America Lisa B.?

  2. lisa, you forgot to talk about dance movies. because dancing is a sport. gatorade says so. um, and what about ice skating? Ice Castles, hello.

  3. I heart Melissa Leo. I will likely see this movie.

  4. Ice skating: Cutting Edge!

  5. How about cricket - Lagaan?
    And if you're counting dance - Strictly Ballroom.

    I do not like to watch sports unless people I know are playing (and even then some pretense of enthusiasm is necessary) but I do like sports movies. Why is this?

  6. I could watch that movie. Thanks for excellence in reviewing.

    I actually have very fond memories of watching the Friday night fights with my grandpa and my Uncle Bob when I was a really little girl. Yes, I do.

  7. I've been thinking this one over and wonder if it's that you love the characters and the story of sports but not the actual, you know, sports, themselves. Movies have characters and themes and words and, you know, pictures, whereas sports have long, tedious spells of listening to blahblahblah sports announcers like Craig Bollerjack whilst waiting for someone to hit or catch or throw a ball.

    I bet you like those little video moments during the Olympics where you learn all kinds of information about the participant and his/her family or children or training regime, right?

    And probably you really like the entertainment aspect of sports like the half-time show and the Jazz dancers and the Utes marching band, right?

    See, you like the story and the entertainment value, which is why I'm 98% certain you'd love NASCAR if you gave it a chance...lots of time for those video stories...



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