7 life lessons you can learn from sports movie clichés
Every single year Hollywood releases approximately one thousand new sports movies that all look exactly the same. They change up the sport, they change up the cast, they even change up the wacky obstacle the team will have to overcome, yet the story remains exactly the same. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from these cliche sports movies (besides the most obvious one that the all-white team will never win) that you can apply to your everyday life. So whether you’re the new coach in a small backwards southern town or you’re in charge of organizing the relay races at the company picnic, take note of the following life lessons.
Photo credit: kla4067, Flickr
7 Winning isn’t everything
It turns out that winning isn’t even that important — as long as you inspire people (preferably an entire nation) along the way. Does anyone remember who won first place in Bobsledding during the Winter Olympics of 1988? No. We all remember trying to hold back tears as the Jamaican bobsled team lifted that bobsled over their heads and walked it over the finish line. And it certainly didn’t hurt Rocky that he didn’t ultimately win his big boxing match — he went on to have 25 more movies about made about him – give or take a few trequels
6 Be different
Stop trying to fit in with everyone else and embrace your uniqueness. Do you own a quirky car that would rather race instead of just drive you around? Great! Are you a dog with an uncanny ability to play sports? Even better! Anyone who has seen the plethora of Airbuds know this. Buddy proved to all of us that just because golden retrievers are supposed to roll over and play dead, doesn’t mean they should let their soccer, basketball,football, beach volleyball and rugby skills go to waste. And The Rookie showed us once and for all that there is a place for aging teachers in the major leagues – if and only if they look like Dennis Quaid.
5 Girls can do everything boys can do
Turns out girls can not only leave the kitchen to go to work and wears pants in public, but they can also play sports just as well as boys can. Sure they might have to dress like a man in order to make the team, but in the end everyone realizes that their press-on nails and long hair won’t actually make the team lose the game. No one actually believed a woman could hold a bat in her hands and hit a ball until League of Their Own showed us how it’s done. They not only just play, but they can also coach! Professional lip-grower Meg Ryan taught us two powerful lessons in Against the Ropes, not only can women coach male boxers, but Meg Ryan herself can be cast in a movie that isn’t described as a romantic comedy.
4 Pep talks make all the difference
No one who has ever sat through half-time in the locker room of a losing team without listening to a passion-driven speech chock-full of cliches . I don’t think anyone has ever heard the coach’s speech in Miracle and not wanted to tattoo an American flag across their chest. Nor has anyone ever seen Friday Night Lights and not had the urge to jump out of their seats and join a Texas football team. So always remember the game isn’t over until it’s over because while the other team may have better players with more skills and an undefeated record, you have the heart and are willing to give 110% until the final whistle is blown.
3 Being inclusive is good
Not even the cruelest person in the world can walk away from a race-related sports moving without wanting to start their own ragtag team of misfits, minorities, and rejects. Remember the Titans taught everyone that racist threats are no match for a on-field song and dance performance. And now ancient film Bad News Bears inspired every awkward kid out there that the bench isn’t the only position for them on the team. Everyone knows that the football team with six scrawny kids, three goths, two girls, and one cripple will beat the undefeated team in the final seconds of the championship game. Duh.
2 Magic is all around us
There’s no place more magical and mysterious than a sports field. Just ask Kevin Costner who heard voices telling him to build a baseball field in his corn crops and then watched as dead players began to play baseball. Or if you’re more into celestial magic refer to Angels in the Outfield where all it took was a young boy’s prayers to bring angels to earth. But perhaps the most magical of all is the The Legend of Bagger Vance in which a golf pro appears just when he’s needed most. Who wouldn’t trust a well-dressed stranger who gives inspirational speeches in the woods (assuming he can pass a background check)?
1 If you win against all odds, Hollywood will call
If you’re reading this post and thinking to yourself that it kinda sounds like your autobiography then grab your phone and find an agent. Hollywood loves true stories because it means they can keep making the same sports movies over and over again — but keep calling them original because it starts by saying based on true events. Sandra Bullock’s performance in The Blind Side would have been called cheesier than Miss Congeniality 3 if it wasn’t based on a true story. It’s hard to even imagine a movie about a swim team even making it to theaters, but throw in the fact that it’s a true story and you’ve got Pride. So if you’re running a little low on cash, gather up a neighborhood team of freaks and geeks, coach them until they win the state championship in ultimate frisbee, and then wait for the phone to ring.