I'm up today as part of a post over at the Chairman of all things HR Tech - Steve Boese. Steve's got a great post up from the 8 man Rotation - Steve, Tim Sackett, Lance Haun, Matthew Stollak and myself - on the best sports movies in the opinion of that committee. Go check it out, lots of good stuff from the aforementioned gang. Here's my submittals as part of that post:
He Got Game: Denzel, Spike Lee, a backdrop of hoops and Ray Allen starring as “Jesus Shuttlesworth”. I love the story of a complicated father/son relationship as Denzel tries to parlay his way out of prison by encouraging his son (Jesus) to play at Big State U, which just happens to be the school of choice for the governor. Great music spanning a lot of tastes from dramatic orchestra scores to Public Enemy. Spike Lee perspective in Camera shots. Fun fact: One of my sons got asked at church at a young age what the last name of Jesus (son of god, not Ray Allen) was. That’s a trick question in a church setting. My young son didn’t miss a beat – he raised his hand like Horseshack in Welcome Back Kotter and enthusiastically said, “Shuttlesworth”. Welcome to the Dunn family, where everything has a hoops influence.
Bull Durham: You haven’t lived until you’ve had a son who’s played baseball and coached with another guy who knows all the lines to this movie. The game in front of you actually becomes secondary. You sit down next to a 10 year old in the dugout and say, “get a notepad, because it’s time to practice your cliches.” Two minutes later, the kid is repeating the wisdom of Crash Davis - “I just hope I can help the team” and “It’s a simple game – you throw the ball, you catch the ball”. After he has the cliches down, you bring the kid inside for senior level Crash Davis: “Anything that travels that far should have a stewardess” as an example. Then, the fun is suddenly over when he commits two errors in the field and you resume screaming at him to "man up”. Sports movies can only take you so far.
Any Given Sunday: A must for any sports fan who wants to think about talent from the lens of sports. While I agree with Tim Sackett that the Pacino speech is classic, I’m going deep in this movie and tell you that hall of famer Jim Brown is the hidden gem. Playing the role of Defensive Coordinator, he steals the movie from Pacino and Jamie Foxx with two scenes that are coaching classics. The first scene involves Brown going on a sidelines diatribe towards his defense and a player encouraging him to calm down before he has a stroke, to which Brown replies, “I don’t get strokes Mother#######, I GIVE THEM”. The second scene involves Brown addressing the team at halftime and using a chalkboard diagraming X’s and O’s, with the following gem: “Now you’re dumb enough, so we made it simple enough. We made this #### real ####ing simple (as he pounds the chalk against the board)”. Who among us couldn’t use that line at times in corporate America?
Go check out the opinions of Boese, Haun, Sackett and Stollak on best sports movies, leave a comment over there about what we missed.