15 Years Ago Today: Average Joe’s Get Away with a Foot Fault in Sudden Death vs Globo Gym
June 18, 2004…an iconic day in sports movie history.
The Average Joes came back to defeat Globo Gym in sudden death overtime when Peter Lafleur smashed one off the face of nemesis White Goodman. What a moment it was! The crowd went wild. Pepper needed new shorts. It was the bold strategy of being blindfolded that paid off.
However, it should have never happened.
Unfortunately, review was not an option at that point in time. If it was, the video evidence clearly showed Peter Lafleur had one foot out of the designated throwing area. Therefore, should have been disqualified as a result.
It will not change the fact that Dodgeball is still one of the greatest sports movies ever. But the controversial end still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
While we are on the subject, The Karate Kid was another fantastic movie that ended with controversy. The rules clearly stated that contact with the face was illegal. It was a crane kick to the nose from Daniel Larusso that sent Johnny Lawrence packing.
Eliminating the two biggest blown calls in movie history, here are some of my favorite sports movie moments…
10. Any Given Sunday – Inch by Inch
For an actor who delivers some of the best monologues such as Integrity and Courage from Scent of a Woman and Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy in Scarface, Pacino delivers one of the best speeches in movie history and certainly in the realm of sports movies. However, his speech isn’t the last to make my memorable moments.
9. Major II – Wild Thing Returns
This scene doesn’t have the same impact without the heckling fan played by Randy Quaid. He’s calling for the vile thing. The clear your throat and make you choke thing. Blow it out your ass lard mouth. OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! Quaid runs back to his seat and he’s back on the bandwagon. Vaughn comes out rocking his leather jacket, old haircut and of course the skull glasses as the crowd erupts to Wild Thing. Of course he goes on to call out Parkman and kills with ole number one, the Terminator.
8. Miracle – Who Do You Play For?
One of the most powerful scenes in all of sports movies and a valuable lesson in life. You always play for the name on the front of the jersey. Herb Brooks has Team USA doing sprints until finally Mike Eruzione while out of breathe screams his name to which Brooks responds with and who do you play for? The United States of America and the sprints are done. AGAIN!
7. Facing the Giants – Death Crawl
Although I have never actually seen the movie, this scene is by far one of the most powerful. When the star player of a football team doesn’t have faith in the team to win the next game, the coach makes him do a death crawl blindfolded. I don’t want to spoil the rest, but look up death crawl on Youtube. Really awesome stuff.
6. Remember the Titans – Leave No Doubt
Coming from my second favorite sports movie of all time. When Coach Yoast defends Herman Boone who the high school football association is trying to sabotage, he calls his defense on him and delivers a passion filled tirade of making their opponent regret stepping on the field tonight. After his defense mauls the opposing offense, he tells Herman “run it up Herman. Leave no doubt” signifying the final moment they would ever be at odds with one another. #FuckRacism
5. The Sandlot – The Jet Steal Home
As someone who aspired to be a broadcast, the end scene of The Sandlot hits home hard. How cool would it be to make the call of your childhood best friend who taught you everything you know about baseball stealing home for the LA Dodgers? After he does it, Benny looks to the booth at Smalls giving the thumbs up and the camera pans to the picture of the group at the Sandlot. THE JETS STEALS HOME!
4. Miracle – Great Moments Are Born From Great Opportunity
Another great moment from Miracle is Herb Brooks’ speech before squaring off with Russia in the Semi’s of the 1980 Olympics. No matter the odds, no matter the situation, you can lose 9/10, but make just one count. Sometimes one is all it takes.
“Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them and we shut them down. Because we can. Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players, every one of you. You were meant to be here, tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It’s over. I am sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the soviets are. Screw em! This is your time! Now go out there and take it.”
3. Draft Day – Vontae Mack No Matter What
Being an absolute mark for the NFL draft, this is one of my favorite movies. In the beginning of the movie, Kevin Costner, who plays Browns GM Sonny Weaver, puts a sticky note in his pocket and we have no idea what it says. After mortgaging the whole future of the team to trade up for the first pick, everything thinks he is taking QB messiah Bo Callahan. He makes moves to get his picks back and then some. Prior to doing all that, he knows his guy and he is tired of being pushed around with who to take. He selects linebacker Vontae Mack first overall. After selecting him, he throws the stick note on the table that he kept reaching for the entire movie. Someone opens it and it reads “Vontae Mack No Matter What.” He picked his damn guy.
2. D2 The Mighty Ducks – Ducks Fly Together
Of course the speech in the locker room when we get the first indoctrination of the new blood to the Ducks. This is the first and only time we see them wear the new white Ducks jerseys in the movie. BECAUSE WE ARE DUCKS AND DUCKS FLY TOGETHER!
1. Rocky Balboa – It Ain’t About How Hard You’re Hit
Probably the worst movie on the list, but it gets the nod for best sports movie moment. This easily goes down as my favorite monologue in movie history. Rocky’s son is tired of living in his father’s shadow and keeps blaming him for his shortcomings. Rocky delivers an all-timer.
“You ain’t gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here.
I’d hold you up to say to your mother, ‘This kid’s gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid’s gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.’ And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watching you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow.
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!
I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain’t gonna have a life.”