In sports – and in sports movies – it often seems that winning is the only thing that matters. Defeat is failure and failure is unacceptable. Well, from the underdogs to the hads, never-haves, and some no-hopers, these characters never even imagined the possibility of victory, but they didn’t let such a small thing stop them in their tracks.
Some of these films are incredible biopics based on the remarkable lives of people who refused to give up. Others are sports stories that get to the heart of what drives a player when all hope is lost. And some, despite their heroes having no chance of success, stand among the most inspiring films ever made. Whether they were unlikely Olympic heroes, or boxers armed only with an iron chin and a chance to punch, these athletes proved that there is much more to the sport than winning.
‘The Replacement’ (2000)
On a loose basis in the 1987 NFL strike, Substitutions Follows a misfit roster of average Joes who are given an unlikely shot at playing pro football when the Washington Sentinels’ roster goes on strike with four games remaining before the playoffs. The replacement team crowd is the epitome of disappointment, but no one can deny they have a ton of heart.
That alone proved to be enough for a while as they won three of their last four games to secure a place in the play-offs. Unfortunately for the fill-ins, the strike inevitably ends shortly after and their lifelong dream of playing football comes to an abrupt end.
‘Bull Durham’ (1988)
in happening Bull Durham Being a rom-com doesn’t mean it can’t even be a great sports movie. With an underrated performance from Kevin CostnerIt follows a minor league baseball veteran who is recruited by the struggling Durham Bulls to mentor their young superstar pitcher.
“Crash” Davis (Costner) seems like an unlikely sports hero, whose major league career lasted just 21 days. When he proves himself a valuable player, he is released the second time his understudy makes it to the major leagues. It’s not all doom and gloom though, after a record-breaking retirement season he returns to Durham and finds a girl.
When you are a person who inspires to build RockyIt’s hard to see when you’ve had a chance. Chalk Tells the story of real-life boxer Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber), a heavyweight boxer, struggling to make ends meet after being given a shot at the title by Muhammad Ali in Bayonne, New Jersey.Poch hallIn 1975.
While completely out of his league, Wepner would also make a good account of himself by scoring a knockdown on the champion as the fight progressed well into the 15th and final round, despite predictions of “Allie in three”. The film also delves into Wepner’s tumultuous life outside the ring, showing how the fearsome brawler coped with his sudden fame after the fight.
There are outgunned in size, skill, speed, or strength; Then there’s the complete outmatch in terms of salary cap space, as was the case for the Oakland Athletics in the biographical picture. Moneyball. Following club GM Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), it illustrates how the club sought to combat their financial non-competitiveness with a new approach to inventory management.
By focusing on player statistics and efficiency, the Athletics assembled an affordable team that proved its worth throughout the season, winning a then-record 20 consecutive games and even making an appearance in the 2002 American League Division Series. The team revolutionized the game, the roster lacked the star-power to finally go all the way, and they were outplayed by the bigger teams in the competition.
Rocky Balboa (2006)
After four increasingly ridiculous sequels, The Rocky The franchise was revived with the success of 2006’s Most Unlikely Hit Rocky Balboa. The Legacy sequel is as much a high fantasy as it is a sports drama, with its protagonist Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) comes out of retirement for one final fight after a simulated CGI bout between his younger self and the current champion sparks interest in an exhibition match.
From the commentators to Rocky’s own son to the audience watching at home, Balboa believes he has a chance to see out the first round just by winning the fight. But, with a perfect serving of nostalgic majesty and the title character’s trademark heart, Rocky Balboa ensured that the Italian stallion went down swinging.
An American classic of heart and undying devotion, Rudy What is American football? Rocky Boxing was to be done. Eager to play football for Notre Dame but lacking both the academic ability and physical qualities to qualify, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger (Sean Astin) attends nearby Holy Cross College and works under Notre Dame’s groundskeeper to get closer to his goal.
Given the huge emotional impact the film had on so many, it’s surprising to remember that Rudy takes the field for just one game. While Rudy never had the opportunity to pursue football as a career, his tenacity is an inspiration to all who meet him.
‘Whip It’ (2009)
Beat it Many things proved true. proved Drew Barrymore A natural behind the camera, roller derby has one of the biggest nicknames — or “derby names” — of any sport in the world, and, ultimately, it showed that there’s more to the game than winning.
supreme joy (Eliot Page) is an ordinary teenage misfit who rebels against her mother when she discovers the brutal sport of roller derby. Transfixed, she joins the “Hurl Scouts” and, while they often don’t win, they provide Bliss with a sense of belonging and independence. They also prove that there is nothing wrong with coming in second place, even if there are only two teams competing.
‘Eddie the Eagle’ (2015)
All sports have some universally inspiring no-hopers Eddie the Eagle. A young man from working-class England with the simple goal of competing in the Olympics (he doesn’t care which sport), Matthew “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Edgerton) finally finds his calling in the dangerous winter sport of ski jumping.
At the 1988 Games he became the first English athlete in 60 years to represent the nation at the Games after scraping through qualification through sheer determination. Although he never had the chance to defeat his rivals, he broke British records and won over people through his passion, courage and his self-belief which inspired millions around the world.
‘Cool Runnings’ (1993)
The 1988 Winter Olympics had it all. Cool Runnings Following the journey of the Jamaican bobsled team is another biographical film from the memorable games. The movie won millions with its hilarity, underdog antics, and irresistible fun, best remembered for its poignant ending.
Against the likes of the Swiss and competing with second-hand equipment on the back of a rudimentary and short training regime, the Jamaicans are a good innovation, but not considered to have any chance of winning. Through teamwork and determination that much almost changes, but a malfunction of their sled in their final race deals a crippling blow to their ambitions. Who could forget, teams pushing their sleds across the finish line to cheers from the crowd and their competitors.
Still seen as the ultimate underdog story, Rocky follows an old-fashioned bar-room brawler who is given the opportunity of a lifetime when the heavyweight champion of the world offers him a shot at the title. In case viewers aren’t confused about how hopeless his chances of winning are, the iconic training montage, Bill Contiand lots of heart from Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) that everyone believed could be impossible.
The fight proves to be a classic, with both men beating the hell out of each other. Rocky, Apollo Creed (Karl Weather), may not win the fight, but he wins the night, and proves to himself that he’s not just another bum off the street. While Creed won by split decision, the chanting crowd couldn’t care less about the result.
Next: The 30 Greatest Sports Movies of All Time