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Top 5 Lamest Sports Movie Superstars

Posted 2/20/2008 6:30 am by

Ah, the sports movie. A genre of film as necessary to the American experience as the warm apple pie we smother with vanilla ice cream. The tales can focus on the strength of individual athletes or the transcendent nature of being part of a team. There will be victors and there will be sore losers. There will be coaches turning blue in the face and close-ups of the spittle on their chapped lips (it gets cold during those night games). Sports movies are uplifting and inspirational. But sometimes the star athlete looks more like someone who got beat up in gym class more often than he won blue ribbons. Take a look at our Top 5 Lamest Sports Movie Superstars for proof.

5. Devon Miles (Nick Cannon in Drumline)

It may be a stretch calling this a “sports” movie, but a flick about marching bands that doesn’t involve Alyson Hannigan, sexual innuendo or flutes? I don’t get it. Nick Cannon is a cocky, punk kid from NYC who goes to college in Atlanta and tries to takeover the school’s drumline section… in the marching band. And since he is uber talented at laying down the phat beats, he gets to learn how to be “one of the team” and take his place at the front of the line. Gimme a break! What the hell kind of sports movie is this?

The cheerleaders in the background have more sweat on their faces than Nick Cannon does throughout the whole movie. If I’m supposed to be inspired by this kid’s ability to overcome his own arrogance, then I think I will be better off paying twenty bucks to see Step Up 2: The Streets in theaters.

Just remember, it’s all about the marching band: Halftime IS game time.

4. Jonathan “Mox” Moxon (James Van Der Beek in Varsity Blues)

In an attempt to tear down the stereotypes about football players, Varsity Blues focuses on a high school quarterback struggling to convince his father that his academic future is more important than going pro. I will give the writers props for breaking away from the typical story of a successful quarterback realizing halfway through his senior year that there is more to life that tossing the pigskin around on Friday nights— all while falling in love with his attractive after-school tutor.

But getting Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek’s infamous WB character) to part from his creek to become said quarterback is (and always will be) one of the weirdest choices in movie casting history. I’m sure the studio was banking on Van Der Beek’s teenage girl fan base to draw a big crowd to the film, and it totally worked. The movie grossed over three times its estimated budget when it was in theaters. But every time I watch Mox deliver one of his heartfelt monologues, whether he is giving his team a pep talk or standing up to his father, I can’t help but think of all the overdramatic dialogue from Dawson’s Creek and shudder uncontrollably.

I don’t want yer life either, Mox. Not if it involves using 73% more words per sentence on average. Jaw fatigue can turn into a serious condition, so I hear. From Katie Holmes. (See her Today Show interview for more details.)

3. Red Pollard (Tobey Maguire in Seasbiscuit)

When a horse’s athletic ability upstages your own, then you’ve successfully earned your rightful place on this list. I’m talkin’ to you, Tobey Maguire. The horse was the talent here, not Red. So, I am forced to wonder why the studio decided to pad Pollard’s biography with manly lies. Perhaps to make up for Maguire’s complete lack of this aforementioned manliness? I think so. Red Pollard was blind in his right eye, a fact mentioned repeatedly in the film. In real life, this occurred as the result of being hit in the eye with a stray rock during a race early on in his career.


In the movie, they described the injury being the result of a boxing match Red competed in at some point before teaming up with Seabiscuit. Yes, because if he can take a few in the ring, then we will automatically be convinced that he is a stellar athlete. Don’t kid yourselves, script writers. I didn’t buy Tobey as a boxer for a second.

2. Every Cheerleader From Every Bring It On Movie Ever

Sure, the first one was funny. Eight years ago. Big names (or at least familiar faces) coupled with a hilarious script make for a genuinely entertaining teen movie. Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union sure weren’t looking to win any awards, but they did a good job of making a movie about cheerleaders with souls in the first Bring It On film (2000). And the physical comedy didn’t hurt. After that, it was all downhill. Three years later, some genius came up with the idea to make a sequel.


Perhaps Bring It On Again (2003), the second installment in what has now become a franchise, might have been a success if the sequel had more than just its producers in common with the original. Cliché’s abound in this straight-to-video film about more cheerleaders with more problems who hate each other, but must learn to work together. And that plot (plus the straight-to-video descriptor) should cover the third movie from 2006 (Bring It On: All or Nothing), which stars Hayden “I’m just a cheerleader” Panettiere before she ever donned the now sacred Claire Bennet (Heroes) cheerleader costume, and the fourth film titled Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007)—which was released only two months ago.

Why do these so-called filmmakers insist on trying to destroy our resolve? They must tell themselves every night, “Hey, someone other than my 10-year-old daughter will take my movies seriously one day!” Everyone was cool with stomaching the idea that there was at least one sports movie about cheerleading because it was actually funny, but then they had to go and write lines like, “I love the smell of hairspray in the morning,” for the sequels. If we can all just shut our eyes real tight, then we can will a robot from the future to come back in time and stop these movies from ever happening.

1. Buddy the Dog (Buddy in Air Bud)

Because, you know, he’s a dog. And because the villain in this movie is a clown. That’s right, you heard me. A clown. You might be thinking, “But this movie is for kids! It’s by Disney, for goodness sake!” and you’d be correct. But let’s think back to 1992 for a second when The Mighty Ducks was released in theaters and kids across America dreamed of starting their own ragtag street hockey teams. As you can see, a genuine sports movie can indeed be achieved without the use of profanity and a tale of athletic triumph can be carved out of a few preteen faces sporting mouth-guards.


But Air Bud quickly turns from a promising story about a young boy finding the strength to compete in athletics once more by befriending a golden retriever into an inefficient commentary on animal abuse. Sure, Air Bud has spawned a never-ending list of straight-to-video sequels, but did he get his own animated series? No. Case closed.

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