SPORTS MOVIES

Best sports movies: 'Caddyshack' is a part of our vocabulary

Quotable from then to now 'til the end of time,
Quotable from then to now ‘til the end of time, “Caddyshack” has been the mainstay on all “best-of” sports movie lists for 40 years now. (Warner Bros. 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.

I made my wife watch it for a little while, but she lost interest in a hurry. Perhaps it was because I’m one of those guys who can recite virtually every line in it, and loves to do so.

“Caddyshack” is just one of those movies for me. The 1980 comedy was a megahit starring guys like Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase and Ted Knight.

An exclusive golf club, a loudmouth intruder, a bunch of ne’er-do-well caddies, an eccentric groundskeeper who keeps trying to hunt down a troublemaking gopher, the Baby Ruth pool scene … what’s not to love?

Make no mistake, sports is secondary here. It’s all about the humor, certainly crude for its time.

By the way, I used to have an oversized, colorful golf bag like the one Dangerfield’s character, Al Czervik, had in this movie. Minus the beer tap and stereo.

Oh, the one-liners here. Where to start?

“I’d keep playing. I don’t think the heavy stuff’s going to come down for quite a while.”

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“I think this place is restricted, Wang, so don’t tell ’em you’re Jewish, OK? Fine.”

“Cinderella story. Out of nowhere. A former groundskeeper now about to become the Masters champion … Oh, he got all of that one!”

“Fifty bucks says the Smails kid picks his nose. Double or nothing he eats it.”

I won’t sit here and recite all the lines. Though I could.

Some of the movies on my list are of the serious variety. “Hoosiers” was great, “Hoop Dreams” might just be the best sports documentary ever made, “Rocky” was, well, “Rocky.”

But sometimes you’ve just got to laugh. “Caddyshack” makes me do that every single time.

My Top 15 sports movies

1. Slap Shot

2. Caddyshack

3. Hoosiers

4. Major League

5. Hoop Dreams (documentary)

6. The Longest Yard (original)

7. Talladega Nights

8. Mystery, Alaska

9. Field Of Dreams

10. Rocky

11. Ice Guardians (documentary)

12. The Natural

13. White Men Can’t Jump

14. A League Of Their Own

15. North Dallas Forty

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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