By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you woke up today and one of your gift wishes was to read the latest installment of Nobody Asked, well, then, bless you.

If you woke up with no intention of looking at this, well, then, Merry Christmas anyway.

Because it's the holidays, we're going to keep things light. A lot of folks are going to have a heavy dinner in a few hours, so a little light right now can't hurt.

And what's lighter than one of those dreaded sports lists that sports talk radio hangs its hat on so often.

It's the perfect topic when there is nothing to talk about on a certain day and one of my local stations just did an imperfect list that needs to be addressed.

I won't mention the call letters of the radio station, but there's one just like it in your town - the station that doesn't have any real reporters covering the local teams, just one that gathers (steals?) information and then calls it their own so they look good. Yes, yes, now you know the station.

Enough ripping of those folks, let's get down to it. We all love sports movies, even though Hollywood doesn't because most don't make money and trying to capture the best is fun.

So, in the spirit of Christmas, we here at Nobody Asked Central (NAC) put together the 12 best sports movies of all time. Now, maybe we should have done these rankings in the 12 days leading up to Christmas, but we don't think that far ahead.

OK, let's go:

#12 - Cool Runnings: No, it's not Gone With The Wind or the Caine Mutiny, but it's a nice little story of a group of guys from a country (Jamaica) that never sees snow that reached a goal of making the Winter Olympics. It leaves you cheering and that's always cool.

#11 - Seabiscuit: The star is a horse and it still works. Enough said.

#10 - Phar Lap: The star in this one is an unknown horse to most of us in this country, but the story is gripping.

#9 - Major League: A great movie that just begged for no sequels. Unfortunately, there were sequels, but the original still makes up for them.

#8 - The Wrestler: Sad. Brilliant. Sad.

#7 - Raging Bull: Saw this in the theater as a youngster, not knowing Robert DeNiro from Jake LaMotta. It didn't matter.

#6 - Bang The Drum Slowly: DeNiro, again, as a fictional baseball catcher dying from an incurable illness. Sound corny? It isn't.

#5 - Brian's Song: A made for TV movie with future stars Billy Dee Williams and James Caan portraying Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo, rookie running backs for the Chicago Bears. Piccolo has cancer and you know the rest.

#4 - North Dallas Forty: The closing scene with Nick Nolte purposely dropping a Mac Davis pass on a city street sums up a wonderfully told story of excess in pro football.

#3 - Field of Dreams: Don't like this classic being rated so high? OK, just watch it with your son (no matter how old he might be) and try not to cry at the end. If you can hold off, well, I kind of feel a little sorry for you.

#2 - The Longest Yard: The real one, with Burt Reynolds, not the terrible remake with Adam Sandler (an actor I really like, but not by a long shot in this case).

Reynolds played college football and its shows. The game action throughout is legit. And the two "shots" the nasty Ray Nitschke takes from Paul Crewe (Reynolds) below the belt are unforgettable.

#1 - Rudy: Is there a better scene in a sports movie than when Ned Beatty, Rudy's father, gets off the bus at Notre Dame and says to himself, "This is the most beautiful site these eyes have ever seen? "

Talk about goosebumps. And then when Rudy gets a sack against Georgia Tech - It actually happened, check YouTube - if you're either not cheering or crying, or both, you might need to see your local physician. I could watch this one every day.

Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several newspapers in the Philadelphia area for more than 25 years.

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