We Need More Sports Movies Starring Women

Written by :
Published on : October 1, 2016

 

It’s no mystery that SBS loves sports movies. We have done lists of the best ones, covered some of our favs in detail and make callbacks to the best lines and moments in many articles. At this point, these films have become part of the larger culture, an integral part of the modern sports landscape. Which brings me to my point, we need more sports movies featuring women. We have an embarrassingly low amount of them and that needs to change.

 

Boys grow up with a plethora of male athletes in many different sports to act as their role models. Plus all the fictional ones in movies, video games and television. Young women have way less in this department which is tragic because growing minds need movies to show them they can do anything. Cinema is the telling of a hero’s story. It may sound silly but where else does a kid learn that they can overcome any obstacle and win it all with just hard work and determination? Of course from the parents but that message needs to be echoed in the world for it to truly stick.

 

bend-it-like-beckham

 

Sports movies show us a narrative of the underdog and reveals the viewer’s own potential. It is incredibly powerful. Not just for athletes, for everyone. Understanding all that, you can see my call for action. After a little research I found these films. All starring women, set in sports.

 

A League of their Own (1992)

The Next Karate Kid (1994)

Eddie (1996)

Girlfight (2000)

Bring it On (2000)

Bend it like Beckham (2002)

Blue Crush (2002)

Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Against the Ropes (2004)

Ice Princess (2005)

Whip It (2009)

 

I’m sure I’m missing some but still, that’s not a lot. Part of the criteria is that these all had to be theatrically released. No made for TV garbage. Also no dance movies were considered. But cheerleading counts. This is because cheer is deeply rooted in the American sport experience and if I included dance flicks then most of the list would be dance movies and that’s not what this is about. And some of these had sequels but we are talking original sports stories.

 

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

 

Shout outs to Wimbledon (2004) and Little Giants (1994) for having strong female roles but the main characters are still men. She’s the Man (2006) is a female lead and has soccer in the background but the sports angle isn’t really strong enough. Amanda Bynes does disguise herself to play on the men’s team which is fun but it’s more of a romantic comedy than anything else. I half considered adding The Hunger Games (2012) but, you know, not a real sport. Still good though.

 

It’s a sad state of affairs when studios make multiple sports pictures about men pretending to be women so they can compete (Lady Bugs, Juwanna Man) but no one wants to make any real stories of female athleticism. And while I’m on my soapbox, let’s get some more diversity on screen. It can’t all be white people. I watch sports. I know.

 

So I challenge Hollywood and all the executives, male and female, make more sports movies starring women. We must have these stories for our kids so they get to see heroics can come from all walks of life. Everyone is an underdog and sports teaches us that it’s okay. We can overcome.

 

Play like a girl.

 

 


The Best Classic Sports Video Games EVER!

Written by :
Published on : July 27, 2016

 

 

Sports video games these days are hyper-real. The latest versions of Madden and FIFA are so intense that I can barely stand it. I prefer my games a little more pixelated. It builds character. And if I wanted life-like sports action then I will just watch real sports. Which I do, all the time. But if you have a Super Nintendo and Mutant League Hockey then I’m coming over. So, let’s make some pizza rolls, get the bean bag chairs and blow the dust out of some of the best sports video games ever made.

 

I was born in 1985, so there aren’t too many legit sports games that are “before my time.” Odyssey, Atari, Apple Computers, Nintendo, Sega, Super Nintendo, Neo Geo, Sega Genesis, 32X, Playstation, Sega CD, Virtual Boy, Dreamcast, Xbox, Wii, PS4, Xbox 360—I’ve played it all. Plus all the handheld systems. Not just Game Boy, I mean everything. So believe me, these are the greatest sports video games Japan has to offer. I’ll break it down by sport because it’s too hard to rank them.

 

atari soccer

 

Basketball

Double Dribble

This Konami production was one of the first b-ball arcade games around. Full 5-on-5 action with fun cut sequences and even the singing of the National Anthem.

 

Barkley Shut Up and Jam!

This game makes the list because it was the first I can remember to feature street ball. Tipoff takes place on outdoor courts and players go by cool nicknames like Funky D and Fly By. Clearly, Sir Charles was ahead of his time.

 

NBA Jam

Two-on-two action with real NBA stars. No fouls, witty commentators and awesome secret code options for unlockable characters make this a classic. “He’s on fire!”

 

NBA Jam

 

Hockey

Mutant League Hockey

Monsters? On skates? Yes please. One of my personal favs. It was colorful, brutal and lots of fun. And better than its football equivalent (Mutant League Football).

 

Blades of Steel

Surprisingly good gameplay for 80’s standards. This release had full fledge hockey mechanics that blazed the trail for future titles. Plus it had fighting. So everyone loved it.

 

NHL ’94

Maybe the best hockey game ever made. It had real players and teams and dope controls for super fun action. The replay value was off the charts.

 

NHL 94

 

Baseball

– Wii Sports: Baseball

Maybe a little young to be a true classic but you get to really throw and swing using the motion-sensing controller. This blew everyone’s minds when it first came out. It also led to some property damage as my over-zealous friends threw the wii-motes around the living room.

 

RBI Baseball

The first console game to get the MLB license so it could feature real ball player’s names. Pretty deep in terms of options for hitting and pitching.

 

Hardball!

This earns its spot on the list because of how complex it was. Nothing was as deep or advanced as Hardball!. Options abound in play and management. An epic accomplishment.

 

HardBall

 

Football

Tecmo Super Bowl

What can be said about Tecmo that hasn’t already been said about Jesus? This was the standard to which all others will be measured.

 

NFL Blitz

Like NBA Jam but for football. Smaller play books, less players on the field but maximum entertainment. Most memorable thing would have to be insane, bone-crushing hits. Let’s see that again.

 

John Madden Football

This launched the biggest sports video game franchise ever. John Madden graced the cover. I don’t think he was worried about any curse.

 

Cyberball

7-on-7 football featuring robots of different shapes and sizes. The bots exploded if you tackled them hard enough. An arcade favorite for good reason.

 

NFL Quarterback Club 96

Full NFL license for teams and names? Check. Depth of plays and modes? Check. Quarterback challenge mode? Check. Challenge mode lets you take one QB and compete in a series of tests and drills. It’s the best.

 

QB Club 96

 

Other

Cruising USA

Still one of the sickest racing games. The arcade version rocks and can be found in bowling alleys and movie theaters around the country. This game was the model for all the fancy racers we have today.

 

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

Best boxing game ever. Also one of the hardest. But it makes sense because no one could beat Tyson back then.

 

Duck Hunt

A Hall of Fame classic. Only thing I don’t like about this game is that fucking dog. If he laughs at me one more time, I swear we are taking him to live on grandpa and grandma’s farm.

 

Duck-Hunt

 

Road Rash

A motorcycle game where players compete in illegal street races for cash and glory. It’s the original Fast and the Furious. Also, you got to hit the other bikers with chains and clubs. You know kids liked that.

 

Pong

The original gangster of the sports video game world. There was nothing before Pong.

 

California Games

The first surfing game ever. Additionally, it featured skateboarding, roller skating, hacky-sack, frisbee and BMX. I’m not kidding. Hacky-sack or freestyle footbag as they call it. I’m surprised there isn’t any avocado in there.

 

california_games

 

I’m sure I’ve left out tons of awesome video games. Leave a comment and if it’s convincing enough, I’ll go on ebay and buy it. But if you want to come over and play then you’ll need to bring snacks. Bagel Bites or better.

 

Pass the controller.

 

 


Your Sporting Summer Checklist

Written by :
Published on : July 25, 2016

 

 

 

As July melts into August, we can sense that summer is burning out. Kids and adults alike are dreading the return of the regular routine. Don’t despair, it’s not too late to save your vacation. All you need to do is get out of the house and get moving. Below is a bucket list of sports activities that should be enjoyed while you still can. Get out the sunscreen and your favorite tank-top because here is Your Sporting Summer Checklist.

 

1. Go see a baseball game

I know the MLB season is most of the calendar year but there is nothing like a summertime trip to the ballpark. One beer and a hotdog, please and thank you. I prefer the later start games that bleed into night. Often there are fireworks and the cooler evening air just makes everything perfect. Bring your glove, because you might just catch a souvenir. Another beer and hotdog, please.

 

2. Something on the water

kayaking-1

 

Could be boating, tubing, kayaking, swimming, or even living that canoe life but do something on a natural body of water. I’m talking oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, hot springs, whatever you got. Splashing in the pool is fun but a man-made watering hole is not the same as enjoying the outdoors of this majestic planet.

 

3. Hike/walk

Plan a fun route and make a day of it. Or at least a few hours. Bring water, your fully charged cell phones and maybe even a little snack. Going on a real-deal hike? Then up the gear. Med kit, map, ways to signal for help when phones won’t do the trick, more water, sun screen, etc. Dress appropriately. Hat and or sunglasses, multiple layers depending on conditions, and good footwear. No brand new hiking boots. These will hurt. You need to break them in first. No shitty old sneakers either. They offer no ankle support and often have little grip left on the bottoms. New to the game? Start small and easy. No one wants to get stuck on the endless hike to nowhere.

 

4. Bikes

Oil that chain up and go for a ride. It may look dumb but wear the helmet. Your brain will thank you later. Being on a bike transports you back in time to when you were a kid. Even your old ten-speed will zap you into nostalgia. There is just something about the freedom you feel on a bike that cannot be mirrored by anything else.

 

5. Camping

camping

 

Within two hours driving from anywhere, there is a camp ground in the United States. Load up the car with essentials and hit the open road. If you plan accordingly, you can do most of the items on this list in one excursion. It will be an epic trip but you deserve an epic trip. Camping is excellent because you can’t help but feel connected to the earth. Don’t forget the bug spray, and a hatchet always seems to come in handy.

 

6. Try something new

Whatever is new to you. Go surfing, learn tennis, rock climb, paintball, something. Challenge yourself to explore different activities. If you need, rope your friends or family into it. You may not fall in love with the experience but there is no doubt you will be better off having tried it.

 

7. Be safe

There is a wealth of info on anything you want to pursue. Do a little research, be prepared. Have the stuff you need to safely have your summer fun. Nothing ruins a good time like a trip to the E.R. Be smart, plan ahead and don’t half-ass the the important stuff.

 

I promise that if you do each item on this list then you will have a great summer. Then when someone asks what you did over vacation, your only problem will be which adventures to share first.

 

Sunshine.

 

 


SBS Film Vault: Teen Wolf

Written by :
Published on : January 28, 2016

 

 

Have you seen Teen Wolf? Not the TV show that Google won’t stop talking about, I mean the (other) Michael J. Fox vehicle from 1985 (I was also born that year, obviously a great year for Michaels). This movie is all-around awesome. Fox is great – this kid’s a star – and everything around him has gotten funnier in a cheesy, 80s time-capsule sort of way. But besides that, this is also one of the best high school basketball movies ever made.

 

The movie starts on the basketball court as Scott (Fox) misses two free throws. Not that it would make a difference; his team, The Beavers, are getting absolutely killed by their rivals, The Dragons. Scott is ready to quit the team, but then this whole discovering-he’s-a-werewolf-thing totally distracts him. When he accidentally transforms into The Wolf in the middle of the next game, the whole crowd is shocked… until The Wolf wins everyone over with some amazing basketball skills.

 

 

Seriously who cares if he’s an inhuman monster? Did you see that jump shot? The Wolf dominates the court so much that his teammates feel left out. You’d think these guys would just be happy with an easy ride to the Championship, but no, Teen Wolf doesn’t play like that. This is a movie about strength of character, being yourself and ultimately, being a team player.

 

After Scott realizes that being The Wolf won’t solve his problems, he shows up to the Championship game ready to play. But only as himself, not The Wolf. Scott rallies his team with a classic “give ’em hell” speech, and they hit the court. And because it was the 80s, they put a super boss jam on the soundtrack to get your blood pumping.

 

 

There’s lots of great stuff in there: obvious personal fouls, slow-motion celebrating, cheerleaders. But you know what the best part was: teamwork. Scott assists other players as much as he scores, having realized that the only way to win is as a team. In the end, Scott has to return to the free throw line to decide the game. I won’t spoil the outcome, but since that song on the last clip is called “Win in the End,” I think we know how this goes down.

 

Also! I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Teen Wolf’s biggest contribution to pop culture: Surfing the Wolfmobile. Only technically a sport, but definitely super not-safe. I legally cannot endorse you doing anything but watching this clip, but I do highly recommend that.

 

 

Ow-ow-ooooooooooooo!

 

 


Playing sports after 30

Written by :
Published on : November 23, 2015

 

 

If you are like me, then you are old now. I love sports but I can’t play them like I could when I was 18. So now I have to pick my battles. Here is a little advice on how to keep rocking in the free world AKA playing sports after 30.

 

1. Stay away from traps

If you can’t ball then don’t go down to the court. Don’t put shorts on and drive all the way down there to pretend like you can keep up. I’m not saying you can never hoop again, I’m just saying not with these people. Maybe pop-shot basketball at the fair or arcade is more your speed. Or balled pieces of paper and your office trash can. Whatever, just don’t set yourself up for failure. If your friend plays racquetball and asks you to come play racquetball, you say no. You suck at racquetball. And your friend is good at racquetball. Fuck that.

 

Gotta love a sport with goggles

 

2. Find your groove

Pick a low impact game where they serve drinks: darts, pool, golden tee, real golf, bowling. Something that you can age into. You don’t need to be too mobile to play any of these and it still makes you look like an athlete (kinda).  Also, you can always leverage your skill in these games into gambling good times. “If I pick up this spare you buy the next round” sounds like it’s paying off already.

If for some weird reason you are not bad at everything then please stop reading. I don’t think that’s fair to anyone. I mean you already have everything. You need my jokes too?

Okay, I think they are gone. Anyway. You don’t need to be good at everything anymore. Just pick one thing. That’s your thing now. No one expects you to be good at more than one. And if you are good at more than one then I think I already told you to leave.

Find the activity you really dig and get into it. But please stop pretending that you rock climb or want to play adult dodge ball. You like cycling or whatever. Just admit it.

 

3. Stretch

Do it. It will help. I get that it is maybe embarrassing to do in public. Hide, get it done. This should be a no-brainer.

 

Reach!

 

4. Shut up about it

No one cares. Shut up. If you find someone who exactly likes your same shit, then perfect. But assume everyone hates it. Don’t be ashamed just shut up about it. If it comes up, try and play it cool, for once. You’re 30 or older. Everyone makes fun of crossfit believers because they are constantly talking about how awesome it is. Like some kind of fitness cult. That’s what you sound like with whatever yoga or surfing garbage you love.

Another reason to play it cool is because if your hidden batting cage prowess is revealed naturally then you will be a legend in that moment. But not if everyone knows you hit the cages three times a week. So shut up about it. Rule of thumb: never say anything until someone good looking brings it up first.

 

 

So that’s it. Remember to stay active and I don’t mean the gym. Toss the football around, hallway hockey, something with a kayak. Have fun. Be safe. And don’t take too many pictures.

 

 


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