Worst (n.): a: most unfavorable, difficult, unpleasant, or painful; b: most unsuitable, faulty, unattractive, or ill-conceived; c: least skillful or efficient
That’s how Merriam-Webster defines the word “worst,” and I’ll be honest, I’m not sure it’s fair to call what I’m about to publish a list of the “Worst Sports Movies Ever,” given the entirety of that definition. For starters, some of these movies are universally well-liked. Some of them tell great stories. Some, I’ve watched over and over again. (Others? Not so much.)
You have to be pretty good to be bad, after all. Google “Worst Sports Movies,” and you’ll get lists of films I’ve never seen and that you, most likely, haven’t either. I’m a huge baseball fan, but I’m not going to spend $10 to walk into the theater, buy a tub of popcorn and drench my insides with a box of Mike and Ikes and a gargantuan Pepsi — Man, those were the days. — to watch Joey Tribbiani play baseball with a chimpanzee. Because I know that’s going to be bad.
What I’m talking about here is the movies we’ve all seen, for one reason or another, that just disappointed you in some way. A catastrophic lack of attention to detail, for starters. An blatant insult to the intelligence of sports fans. Poor writing. Poor acting. All-around disappointment.
Over the last few weeks, my esteemed colleague Joe Baress — master page designer/blossoming film critic/former Holy Cross basketball legend — published his choices for top sports movies of all time. It was an intriguing list, well-thought out, expertly analyzed and passionately written. I agreed with very little of it.
That’s the nature of these lists, though. And, it’s the nature of film and art and anything in life not based on fact.
Tomorrow on this blog, I’ll start writing my own subjective list, an idea I had to spin off Joe’s. It will be called my list of the 10 Worst Sports Movies; it won’t be a list of bad movies you shouldn’t watch, though. It will be a rundown of movies we’ve all probably seen that could have been better and fell short, movies whose storylines were too ridiculous to even consider (but…Hollywood) or movies that have so frustrated a middle-aged sports writer over the years that he can’t get past the little downfalls.I have rewatched them all in preparation for this rundown. After all, they’re sports movies. They’re supposed to be fun. And, for all of their faults, many of them still are.
Will you agree with everything I write? No. Am I perhaps going to list your favorite movie? I bet, for many of you, I will. It should be fun, though. Hopefully, you’ll read along.
Donnie Collins has been a member of The Times-Tribune sports staff for nearly 20 years and has been the Penn State football beat writer for Times-Shamrock Newspapers since 2004. The Penn State Football Blog covers Nittany Lions, Big Ten and big-time college football news from Beaver Stadium to the practice field, the bowl game to National Letter of Intent Signing Day. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5368; @DonnieCollinsTT