SPORTS MOVIES

Best sports movies: 'Rudy' still has an inspiring message

Before playing the heroic hobbit Samwise Gamgee,
Before playing the heroic hobbit Samwise Gamgee, "Goonies" great Sean Astin starred as Notre Dame football icon Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger in 1993's "Rudy." (Tri-Star Pictures)

Editor’s note: The Gazette sports staff has compiled lists of its top 15 favorite sports movies. Each day, a different staffer will share some insight into one of their favorites. Some of them are classics, watched and re-watched time and time again. But for a few, maybe we’ll be able to convince some of you to check it out for the very first time.

With all the prep sports the visuals staff normally photographs, I say we qualify as honorary sports department staffers.

So, I thought I’d offer up my top 15 sports movies. The list could easily be longer but these would be my go-to films. The ones where I’d stop channel surfing and watch regardless of where in the movie I happen to catch it.

It was a tough choice for the top slot but “Rudy” gets my vote. Who doesn’t love a story of determination when odds are stacked against the protagonist?

With Sean Astin, as Notre Dame football player Rudy Ruettiger, doing his Knute Rockne Gipper speech and quotes like: “I’ve been ready for this my whole life,” and “You’re 5 feet nothin’, 100 and nothin’, and you got hardly a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in with the best college football team in the land for two years,” as well as chats of “Rudy, Rudy Rudy” that just get me right in the feels.

Catch me on a different day, in a different mood and I’ll likely have a different top pick.

My Top 15 sports movies

1. Rudy

2. Senna (Documentary)

3. Caddyshack

4. Victory

5. Bloodsport

6. Necessary Roughness

7. The Longest Yard (1974 original)

8. Major League

9. Slap Shot

10. Rocky IV

11. A League of Their Own

12. Breaking Away

13. Prefontaine

14. Murderball (documentary)

15. Goon

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