Here’s a thought for everyone in WNST land. Considering the Raven’s season is over and the writer’s are still on strike, quality entertainment may be a little tough to come by for the next few weeks. So here is my Christmas gift to you: a top-five list of not so mainstream sports movies the you may have never seen to help your cure the winter blues.
1. Prefontaine: Steve Prefontaine was the greatest distance runner in American History. And while I think track is as boring as the next guy (hey, I’m a baseball guy) this movie is great. There is also a version called “Without Limits,” which is also good. If you find either version, rent it, and you’ll enjoy the next two hours.
2.When We Were Kings: It’s a documentary about Ali and Foreman’s Rumble in the Jungle. For any of you who weren’t old enough to remember this live, it is as entertaining as it is informative. This fight was such a big deal in Africa. There was supposed to be a three-day festival surrounding the event, and the guy who filmed this actually went there to film the musical performances that we supposed to accompany the bout. However, Foreman got cut in training and the fight was postponed for six weeks. Everyone went home except Ali and Foreman, who were “forced” to stay until the fight went off. So the film guy figured that since he had already paid his way there and had all the equipment, he might as well stay and film Ali and Foreman in Africa. It’s no Rocky, Million Dollar Baby, or even Cinderella Man, but it’s good, and you can’t help but learn something. If you like boxing, or just like Ali, you’ll like this.
3. Searching For Bobby Fischer: I know that Chess isn’t really a sport, but this is a very good movie. When I’m president, every parent will be forced to watch this and write a two-page report. Also, the cast of Laurence Fishburne, Ben Kinglsey, Joe Montegna and Joan Allen doesn’t hurt.
4. The Greatest Game Ever Played: As far as golf goes, there’s Caddyshack and everything else. Well, I have to be honest, Tin Cup never gets old for me. (Cheech was fantastic. And the real golf commentators made it seem authentic). But this Disney movie about the US Open of 190… something is certainly worth watching. Think about it, if they made a movie about a real golf event form 100 years ago, it must have been a pretty good story.
5. Rebound: The Legend of Earl “The Goat” Manigault: I think was a made for HBO movie, but whatever it was, it was a heartbreaking story about a playground legend and his career that never was. Don Cheadle plays the Goat, and Forest Whitaker gives his usual top-notch performance. Because of this movie, going to see the Rucker Tournament in inner city New York was added to my list of things to do before I die. You can also see a young Kevin Garnett and even Maryland legend Joe Smith in cameo roles.
Happy holidays to everyone.