Why isn’t there an Oscar for sports movies?

by Gary Shelton on March 5, 2018 · 2 comments

in College Sports in Florida, general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Monday, 4 a.m.

What we need here is a red carpet.

What we need here are blinding flashes and stupid questions and an actor out of 1997 who still thinks he's a star. What we need are Caitlyn Jenner and Dennis Rodman and Will Farrell and Margot Robbie, presenting awards. What we need is an after-hours party where Johnny Manziel takes the stage and signs Johnny B. Goode.

What we need is an Academy Award ...

... for sports movies.

Yeah, yeah. All the Oscars need, you think, is another category. There are 24 of them as it is, and they include categories-no-one-

 Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

cares-about such as Best Makeup, Best Live Action Short Film and Best Sound-mixing. Someday, they will have an award for the Kid-Who-Goes-to-the-Deli-for-Lunch Award. You know what the little categories are at the Oscars? They're the part of the football game with the marching bands.

Still, seeing how hard Hollywood tries to score a touchdown, why not have a sports award? Really. Is anyone watching who yells "Come on, Martha! It's cinematography!"

Look, sports and life kind of run parallel in this world. Just check out some of the sports movies, and it seems as if they predict the future. Steroids? In the 1938 film The Gladiator, Joe E. Brown takes "an experimental serum" that gives him super strength. In Hold that Line, in 1952, it's "vitamins" that pump up the players.

Point-shaving? In 1965's John Goldfarb, Please Come Home, the suggestion is for Notre Dame to lose on purpose.

Illegal recruiting? In 1952's Bonzo Goes to College, a chimp is recruited to play quarterback. In 1976's Gus, a donkey becomes the team's field goal kicker.

Illegal payments? In 1939's $100,000 a Touchdown, a coach pays anyone who can score a touchdown. In 1932's  That's My Boy (another movie was made with the same name in 1951)  a player demands $50,000 to keep playing.

Rule-breaking? How about 1949's It Happens Every Spring, in which a professor rubs a liquid in his glove that makes the ball avoid bats.

Shades of Tonya? As early as 1927's The College Hero, a jealous teammate trips a player and causes an injury.

You can picture it, can't you? Nike Foles escorts, wearing a lovely silver gown designed by Oscar de la Renta, Dennis Rodman. Together, they read over the list of movies: Battle of the Sexes (the Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King movie), I, TonyaBorg vs. McEnroe and Goon: Last of the Enforcers.

And the winner is ...

Battle of the Sexes. But it doesn't have the fiction element of I, Tonya, which is about as close to the truth as a Star Wars movie.

How serious should we take sports movies? Think of the actors who have embraced them: Robert DeNiro. Paul Newman. Robert Redford. James Stewart. Sly Stallone. Burt Lancaster. Tom Cruise. Al Pacino. Kevin Costner. Denzel Washington. Almost everyone else, too.

Almost every year, you could pick a sports movie, and the category would probably be seventh on the list of Oscars' favorites (behind best actor and actress, best supporting actor and actress, best director and best picture).  You could even change the statuette. Has anyone imagined Touchdown, Oscar?

A list of (would-be) previous winners:

1927: The College Hero

1928: Warming Up

1929: The Forward Pass

1930: Maybe It's Love

1931: The Champ

1932: Horse Feathers

1933: College Coach

1934: Gridiron Flash

1935: Hold 'Em, Yale

1936: The Big Game

1937: Navy Blue and Gold

1938: Up the River

1939: $1,000 a Touchdown

1940: Knute Rockne, All-American

1941: Harmon of Michigan

1942: Pride of the Yankees

1943: Never Been Licked

1944: National Velvet

1945: The Great John L

1946: Joe Palooka, Champion

1947: Good News

1948: The Babe Ruth Story

1949: It Happens Every Spring

1950: The Jackie Robinson Story

1951: Jim Thorpe, All-American

1952: Hold That Line

1953: The Winning Team

1954: Roogie's Bump

1955: The Long Gray Line

1956: Somebody Up There Likes Me

1957: Fear Strikes Out

1958: Damn Yankees

1959: Third Man on the Mountain

1960: Thunder in Carolina

1961: The Hustler

1962: Requiem for a Heavyweight

1963: This Sporting Life

1964: Ride the Wild Surf

1965: John Goldfarb, Please Come Home

1966: Grand Prix

1967: Banning

1968: Paper Lion

1969: Number One

1970: The Great White Hope

1971: Brian's Song

1972: Fat City

1973: Bang the Drum Slowly

1974: It's Good to Be Alive

1975: The Longest Yard

1976: Rocky

1977: Slap Shot

1978: Heaven Can Wait

1979: Breaking Away

1980: Raging Bull

1981: Chariots of Fire

1982: Rocky III

1983: All the Right Moves

1984: The Natural

1985: The Slugger's Wife

1986: Hoosiers

1987: Long Gone

1988: Bull Durham

1989: Field of Dreams

1990: Days of Thunder

1991: A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story

1992: A League of Their Own

1993: Rudy

1994: Hoop Dreams

1995: Tyson

1996: Jerry Maguire

1997: The Boxer

1998: Varsity Blues

1999: The Hurricane

2000: The Legend of Bagger Vance

2001: Ali

2002: Bend It Like Beckham

2003: Seabiscuit

2004: Million Dollar Baby

2005: Cinderella Man

2006: Rocky Balboa

2007: Blades of Glory

2008: The Wrestler

2009: The Blind Side

2010: The Fighter

2011: Moneyball

2012: Trouble With the Curve

2013: 42

2014: Foxcatcher

2015: Creed

2016: Eddie the Eagle

2017: Battle of the Sexes




{ 0 comments… read it below or Subscriptions }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: