SBS Film Vault: Over the Top

Written by :
Published on : February 24, 2017



Sylvester Stallone was straight killing the 80’s. He was stacking hit after hit while juggling multiple franchises. Sly was flying high. In 1987, he returned to the sports movie world but this wasn’t another installment of Rocky, this was a little diddy about a truck driver finally trying to do right by his son. It’s all about family but with a solid jolt of sweaty arm wrestling. Not only is Stallone the star but he also helped write the script so you know it’s good. Now, for your nostalgic viewing pleasure, the SBS Film Vault proudly presents Over the Top.


The Story

Stallone plays Lincoln Hawk, a trucker who is meeting his 12-year-old son, Michael, for the first time. Hawk picks him up from the military academy at the request of the boy’s dying mother who just wants the father-son team to finally meet. It’s a rocky start as Michael and Lincoln are worlds apart but the road proves to be bonding ground. At their first pitstop, Michael learns why Hawk is so famous. A rando challenges Lincoln to an arm wrestling match and Stallone goes to work. Michael loves it as much as we do.


over-the-top kid


There are many classic scenes and lots of action but in terms of story, this tale is about a father and son creating the framework for a real relationship. This is a sports redemption story but the redemption is about the modern American family, where maybe everything isn’t all perfect. This is the hero step-dad movie.“One great weekend can fix it all!” Oh, also there is also some big tournament in Las Vegas, because there always is some big random thing in Vegas. Life-changing prize money and a new Semi truck. How convenient.


Arm Wrestling

The first battle we see is Hawk vs. Smasher. Hawk draws him into the trap then rotates his grip and destroys. This is when we learn that Lincoln is not to be underestimated. The next match we see is Hawk’s son Michael against, let’s call him “Arcade Bully.” It’s best 2 of 3 and Bully wins the first. Lincoln gives Michael a pep talk and he wins the next two. It must be the good genetics.


After all that and a bunch of family stuff, we have the tourney in Vegas. Huge stakes, Hawk sells his truck and bets the money on himself. AKA the American Dream. The tournament is kind of like the end of Karate Kid, it’s a double elimination round robin. Meaning you gotta lose twice to be kicked out. Hawk loses early, using up his one life-line. But Stallone rallies like a mother. He kicks ass and makes it to the finals against the 5-time champ, Bull Hurley. A giant, bald, beast of man.


Over-the-top arm


Before the finals, we see a confessional style interview with Lincoln Hawk where he explains that when he turns his trucker hat around, it’s like a switch. That wakes the truck-sized engine in Hawk’s body. I could tell you how the last round goes but you know. Still go see it, because it’s even better than you imagined.


Hawk or Hawks?

While watching the film, half of the time it seems people say “Hawks” instead of “Hawk”which is the character’s correct last name. Makes me think that the issue was so bad on set that the editors just used the best footage and didn’t care if the names were wrong. At least everything was in focus. New drinking game: pick on of the two variations and drink every time they say the opposite. Either way, you get drukn.



This is the movie Stallone made after Cobra but before Rambo III, just let that venom sink in. Head-esplode! Sly for president. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the grandpa/bad guy is TV’s Robert Loggia. Stupid’s Alex’s favorite. Alright, your assignment for this week is to arm wrestle someone.





Roger Pretzel’s Review ‘N Brew: Conference Championships

Written by :
Published on : January 27, 2016




In this little corner Roger Pretzel will review his favorite play of the week along with a thoughtful review of what beverage he was imbibing at the time.


Conference Championships: Kurt Coleman Picks Carson Palmer in End Zone After Carolina Gives Up Ball

 That’s so pretty.





All right guys, after these Conference Championships I’m officially excited for the Super Bowl. We’ve got Denver, whose defense threw Tom Brady around the field like a rag-doll all day, against a Carolina offense that racks up points faster than a hobo eating a ham sandwich. Both these games were packed with stellar plays, but one in particular tickled my mercurial fancy.


With only a ten point differential in the game, Cam launched a ball he probably shouldn’t have, getting picked off by Patrick Peterson for a substantial return and great field position. He might’ve taken it to the house too had Ted Ginn not been able race back for the tackle. The Cardinals defense had come through to give AZ a much-needed break from the hard charging Carolina offense, and a great shot at narrowing the score gap.


But the very next play Palmer gives the ball right back, as Kurt Coleman goes up big for a full extension, two-handed catch that would be one of two interceptions for the Safety on the day. It’s not like John Brown could’ve gotten that ball anyway, what with some excellent Carolina coverage in the backfield. It was a long day for Arizona, and this is just one example of how they were thoroughly manhandled on both sides of the ball. Simply put, Carolina looks like a championship team to me.


Conference Championships: A Bunch of Stuff Your Grandparents Drink


Your Grandpa called this week and wanted me to come over and help him move the big ladder “back into the damn garage.” I promised I’d come over on Sunday to help him and watch the games.


After the minute-and-a-half it took to return the ladder to its proper place we settled in for some well-earned relaxation and football goodness. Your Granddad offered me a drink, and I was much obliged. One lead to another, and soon we were telling tales and getting cheerful. Here’s a recap of what your grandparents keeps on hand for guests.


I.W. Harper Whiskey:


We got things started off right with the hard stuff. He broke me off some ice cubes that tasted like the nasty plastic tray they came from into my souvenir ballpark cup and then poured out a generous dose of the brown stuff.
“Whoo –whe, That’ll get yer ticker started,” your grandfather told me as he slugged a good deal of his back. “When I was a pup we used to make our own, but this grocery store business tastes a might better’n what we was used to.” I thanked your Grandfather and downed my glass, noticing that the telltale bottle of I.W. Harper was from the 1970’s. Tom Brady got sacked, and we both hooted and hollered.


It was about that time that your Grandmother came in. She snagged a pack of Tareytown smokes out of the freezer and glared at us. She packed the cigs against her palm, and then lit one up as your grandparents glared at one another. I felt very uncomfortable.


“How you doing Roger?” she asked in her thick accent, leaving the room before I could answer.


See also: J&B Scotch, Canadian Club, Wild Irish Rose


Schlitz Beer:



When we finished the bottle of Harper your Grandpa said he’d “go to the icebox and grab us some cold ones.” I assured him he didn’t need to get up, but he insisted, shuffling all the way out to the garage, moving aside the tall ladder, and pulling out a couple sixers of Schlitz. I asked your Grandfather why he kept the beer in the garage when there was a minifridge in the living room where his wife kept her cigarettes, but he simply told me to “shut up, and mind my own damn business.” The beer wasn’t the tastiest, but it was cold as the dickens, and Tom Brady was mounting a comeback, so I fixed my eyes on the blue light of the cathode-ray tube.


I think we both cheered when New England failed to complete the game-ending two-point conversion. That’s when the trouble really started. You’re Grandma burst into the room, waving a broom at me and shouting at your Grandpa in Italian.


“You know I don’t understand no goddamned eye-talian,” your Grandfather informed her. I got up to leave, finishing the last of my Schlitz. They both yelled at me to sit back down in unison. “You too! Sit down for chrissakes, will ‘ya woman?” Your Grandmother scowled at us and left the room again.


See also: Grain Belt, Falstaff, Rainier


A Jug of Carlo Rossi:

Jug DSC01359


But a moment later, your Grandmother returned with a jug of Carlo Rossi and two small glasses. Before I could protest she poured me out a healthy belt telling me it was good for my heart. She helped herself to a glass and we all settled in to watch the Arizona/Carolina game.


During the commercials your Grandma asked me all kinds of questions without waiting for an answer: “When are you going to have children? Why did that nice girl leave you? When are you going to get a real job?” I was actually quite thankful not to be able to get a word in edgewise. She also kept making me eat these cookies that had really pretty wrappers but tasted like almonds and cardboard.


Grandpa kept knocking back his Schlitz cans and Grandma kept refilling our glasses. The room was turning blue from all the Tareytown smoke, and I was actually getting a little nauseous but your Grandparents didn’t seem to mind.


During the second half your Grandparents were getting loose! They told me all about their experiences during the war, and how they met later in America. They told me lots of funny stories about your parents and they even started dancing with each other each time the Panthers scored a touchdown.


On the cab ride home I thought about how much I like your grandparents. You should probably give them a call sometime.


See also: Shitty Chianti in a Straw Wrapped Bottle, A big bottle of oxidized Merlot, “I don’t have any wine.”



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