Top 25 Sport Movie Characters
Sports movies? Somebody say they sucks, somebody is indifferent, but I just love them. So, I have try to create a list of my favorite sport movies, then try to narrow the list and separate the movies by sports, and finally I decide to make a list of best sport movie characters. The choice was rather difficult, because there is so many movies of so many sports; finally, there it is: top 25 characters from sport movies!
Bill Murray: Space Jam
Played By: Bill Murray
Why He’s Great: Seems kind of ridiculous to have to explain why Bill Murray is great.
Memorable Quote: “Larry’s not white. Larry’s clear.”
Skip Engblom: Lords of Dogtown
Played By: Heath Ledger
Why He’s Great: The movie may not have been great (it certainly doesn’t touch the documentary that covers the same subject matter), but Heath Ledger’s work is on point. He played the California surf dude extremely well.
Memorable Quote: “Yeah, this is Skip Engblom and the Zephyr Skateboard Team. Here’s our entry fees. Now where’s our trophies?”
Sanka: Cool Runnings
Played By: Doug E. Doug
Why He’s Great: Sanka provided much of the comic relief for what ends up being an inspirational movie. He has plenty of great scenes, from his frozen dreads to attempts at line dancing to his lucky egg. Plus, his loyalty to Derice was awesome.
Memorable Quote: “How ’bout I draw a line down the middle of your head so it looks like a butt?”
Tyler Durden: Fight Club
Played By: Brad Pitt and Edward Norton
Why He’s Great: He would’ve been a beast in the current MMA-crazed world.
Memorable Quote: “Hey, you created me. I didn’t create some loser alter-ego to make myself feel better. Take some responsibility! “
Birdie: Above The Rim
Played By: Tupac Shakur
Why He’s Great: It’s Tupac in a sports movie.
Memorable Quote: “You might be on the other team, but you playin for me. Remember that.”
Eddie Felson: The Hustler
Played By: Paul Newman
Why He’s Great: Is there anything Paul Newman is not great in? As a pool-playing hustler, he’s as cool as he ever was.
Memorable Quote: “Fat man, you shoot a great game of pool.”
Maggie Fitzgerald: Million Dollar Baby
Played By: Hilary Swank
Why She’s Great: Swank won Best Actress for her portrayal of Maggie. Her determination throughout the film was the strongest aspect of her character. That’s why I think her final request betrayed who she was. Nevertheless, the performance was fantastic and the character was certainly memorable.
Memorable Quote: “Working the bag, boss.”
Billy Hoyle and Sidney Dean: White Men Can’t Jump
Played By: Woody Harelson & Wesley Snipes
Why She’s Great: Had to put these two together. Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes are the perfect duo in this classic hoops flick. Both can actually play ball and are athletic which helps the basketball scenes appear real. Any sports geek can pinpoint an actor who can’t play. Not the case in this flick. The dialogue between Hoyle and Deane is better than any other sports duo in movie history. I can watch this movie all the time.
Memorable Quote: “Your mother’s an astronaut”, or “”I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we take all these bricks and build a shelter for the homeless, so maybe your mother will have a place to stay.”
Jesus and Jake Shuttlesworth: He Got Game
Played By: Ray Allen and Denzel Washington
Why They’re Great: The overbearing father is another common character for this genre, but Denzel brought freshness to the role. As for his on-screen son, who better to play a basketball prodigy than the greatest shooter of all-time?
Memorable Quote: “Basketball is like poetry in motion. Cross the guy to the left, take him back to the right, he’s fallin’ back, then just J right in his face. Then you look at him and say, “What?”
Ricky Vaughn: Major League
Played By: Charlie Sheen
Why He’s Great: “Major League” had its fair share of memorable characters, none more so than Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn. His life and style were as wild as some of his fastballs, as evidenced by his trademark specs.
Memorable Quote: “My first autograph. I couldn’t give these away a few weeks ago.”
Frankie Dunn: Million Dollar Baby
Played By: Clint Eastwood
Why He’s Great: Eastwood has been responsible for a great deal of memorable characters during his career. He’s also been responsible for a slew of great movies as well. “Million Dollar Baby” is one of his best. Eastwood won Best Director and was nominated for Best Actor for the film. It also won Best Picture.
Memorable Quote: “Okay, you did two things wrong, one is you asked a question and two is you asked another question.”
Randy The Ram: The Wrestler
Played By: Mickey Rourke
Why He’s Great: Rourke’s portrayal of the washed-up ex-superstar wrestler is incredibly intense. He was nominated for Best Actor for his work.
Memorable Quote: “I don’t hear as good as I used to, and I ain’t as pretty as I used to be. But I’m still here—I’m the Ram.”
Reggie Dunlop: Slap Shot
Played By: Paul Newman
Why He’s Great: One reviewer called this: “The quintessential hockey flick.”
Memorable Quote: “Ya gotta earn it, Killer.”
Forrest Gump: Forrest Gump
Played By: Tom Hanks
Why He’s Great: He was a world-class football player, ping-pong player and cross-country runner.
Memorable Quote: “That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.”
Herman Boone: Remember The Titans
Played By: Denzel Washington
Why He’s Great: He put together a great performance amidst some of the worst acting in sports movie history. “Remember the Titans” is arguably the most overrated movie in this genre, but you can’t blame Denzel for how bad it was. The story is great, Denzel was spot on, but everything else was atrocious. Way to rise above the mire, Denzel!
Memorable Quote: “I don’t scratch my head unless it itches and I don’t dance unless I hear some music. I will not be intimidated. That’s just the way it is.”
Gordon Bombay: Mighty Ducks
Played By: Emilio Estevez
Why He’s Great: Everyone loves the legendary Gordon Bombay for different reasons. For me, it’s gotta be the triple deke!
Memorable Quote: “I hate kids. They’re barely human.”
Mr. Kasuke Miyagi: Karate Kid
Played By: Pat Morita
Why He’s Great: One of the ultimate sports-movie mentors. Did anyone spit more wisdom than Miyagi?
Memorable Quote: “You learn plenty.”
Happy Gilmore: Happy Gilmore
Played By: Adam Sandler
Why He’s Great: There are so many reasons why Happy Gilmore is great. I’ll settle on his driving ability.
Memorable Quote: “Are you too good for your home?!?”
Michael Jordan: Space Jam
Played By: Michael Jordan
Why He’s Great: He’s the greatest basketball player of all time and the concept for Space Jam is just plain awesome. The combination of the two could yield nothing but greatness.
Memorable Quote: “Thanks guys, you got a lot of… a lot of… well, whatever it is, you got a lot of it.”
Muhammad Ali: Ali
Played By: Will Smith
Why He’s Great: Will Smith was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of the man who most people feel is the greatest boxer of all-time. He transformed himself into a bad man.
Memorable Quote: “I’m gonna give 1,000 dollars to the man who brings me Howard Cosell’s toupee, dead or alive.”
Mickey Goldmill: Rocky I-III
Played By: Burgess Meredith
Why He’s Great: One of the best coaches in sports movie history. He took a struggling, amateur southpaw from the streets of Philly and turned him into a legit world-heavyweight contender.
Memorable Quote: “Women weaken legs! “
Jake La Motta: Raging Bull
Played By: Robert De Niro
Why He’s Great: De Niro’s portrayal of La Motta was incredible. He played an emotionally self-destructive boxer with a violent temper that made him great inside the ring, but wrecked his life outside of it. De Niro was entirely believable.
Memorable Quote: “I’m da boss”
Eric Liddell And Harold Abrahams: Chariots Of Fire
Played By: Ian Charleson and Ben Cross
Why They’re Great: These were two great athletes whose personal convictions were as strong (or stronger) than their will to win. The story is truly inspirational.
The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay.
Memorable Quote: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”
Ray Kinsella: Field Of Dreams
Played By: Kevin Costner
Why He’s Great: Mostly because this is one of the only decent individual performances in the pantheon of Costner’s career. Plus, he listened to a ethereal voice from somewhere outside the tangible world that told him to build a baseball field on his farm. Then, long gone spirits played on the field and he sat and watched the game like it was normal. Sarcasm aside, this is a great movie and Ray Kinsella was a great character. The film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score.
Memorable Quote: “It’s okay, honey. I… I was just talking to the cornfield.”
Rocky Balboa: Rocky Franchise
Played By: Sylvester Stallone
Why He’s Great: The Original “Rocky” was the best underdog story in the history of sports movies. The movie itself was not just one of the all-time great sports movies but one of the all-time great movies in general. Written by Stallone, and directed by John G. Avildsen, it won the Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Editing and Best Picture. It was nominated for seven other Oscars including Best Actor and Best Screenplay for Stallone.
Memorable Quote: “You stop this fight, I’ll kill ya’!”