Hollywood simply loves sports. Most sports have enough inherent drama to act as the perfect basis for stories, and since there’s no better story for mainstream cinema than one that focuses on underdogs, it’s a good thing sporting heroes usually are fighting from a position of relative weakness. Whether it’s the Olympic games, specific sporting matches, or even boardroom drama fueling the narrative, there are some excellent movies out there that take sports as their subject. Here are the 10 best sports movies of all time, in no particular order (because we just can’t decide which of them is best overall!).
Moneyball (dir. Bennett Miller, 2011)
The director of Moneyball may be Bennett Miller, but this is Aaron Sorkin’s picture, and it shows. The motor-mouthed screenwriter brings his signature dialogue to bear on a fascinating story of baseball statistics; it doesn’t sound interesting from its elevator pitch, but Sorkin finds a way to make it leap off the page. Brad Pitt is great as the hangdog Billy Beane, who’s at the end of his rope trying to find success in the baseball world, and Jonah Hill surprises as economics graduate Peter Brand, a numbers whiz.
Cool Runnings (dir. Jon Turteltaub, 1993)
Everyone knows the story of Cool Runnings, right? It focuses on the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team and their disastrous inaugural Olympic games competition, which ended in disaster but resulted in a hero’s welcome for the team at home. It’s a story that bears a Hollywood retelling; as founding member Devon Harris told Betway, he thought it was the “most ridiculous idea ever conceived”, and yet Cool Runnings’ mixture of easy comedy and genuine underdog pathos makes it a mainstay of the sporting genre.
Rocky (dir. John Avildsen, 1976)
Like all the best sports movies, Rocky isn’t really about its sport. Rather, it’s a character study of Sylvester Stallone’s ridiculously endearing Rocky Balboa, who finds himself challenging the world heavyweight champion despite coming from unassuming beginnings. Stallone is likeable in the role, of course, but the real star here is Talia Shire, whose Adrian is tough, sassy, and a perfect foil for Balboa’s aw-gee-shucks all-American schtick.
Miracle (dir. Gavin O’Connor, 2004)
This sports drama tells the story of the 1980 US men’s ice hockey squad, led by a game Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks. It’s based on a true story, although there are naturally dramatic embellishments in order to make the narrative pop a little more. This is a classic underdog tale; it’s perfect fist-pumping fare for anyone who likes to watch unlikely heroes succeed against the odds. Russell is magnificent as Brooks, too; the real Brooks never got to see the movie, unfortunately, but we’re sure he would have loved Russell.
Bend It Like Beckham (dir. Gurinder Chadha, 2002)
Gurinder Chadha’s movie is named after the way in which David Beckham could famously curve free kicks, bamboozling goalkeepers and defenders alike in the world of football. This feel-good romp follows Jess Bjamra as she tries to follow in the footsteps of Beckham and play football for the national England squad. The narrative is pretty predictable, but the affable nature of the performances and the sharp, snappy script make this a must-watch for sporting aficionados.
The Wrestler (dir. Darren Aronofsky, 2008)
Mickey Rourke’s comeback performance is a tour de force in Darren Aronofsky’s excellent The Wrestler. If you think pro wrestling is fake, watching Rourke slam against the mat as Randy “The Ram” Robinson should make you think again; while certain events and narrative beats may be scripted, a lot of the pain and injury in wrestling is very real. The Wrestler juxtaposes Robinson’s painful personal life with his reckless abandon in the ring, both of which are killing him slowly.
White Men Can’t Jump (dir. Ron Shelton, 1992)
Forget the vastly overrated Space Jam: this is a vastly superior basketball movie, and it hasn’t aged anywhere near as poorly as that bizarre animation mish-mash has. Wesley Snipes teams up with Woody Harrelson for some irresistible back-and-forth badinage, playing two street basketball players who team up with one another to tackle some local challenges. There’s an irrefutable sense of wistful melancholy hanging over White Men Can’t Jump, too, making it the perfect cocktail of joy and sadness.
Senna (dir. Asif Kapadia, 2010)
Unlike our previous movies on this list, Senna is a documentary. Assembled with characteristic care and attention by documentary legend Asif Kapadia (who largely made his name with this film, but went on to equally great things), Senna tells the story of a complex icon, a charismatic hero with an incredible talent for his work. It also tells the story of the world that existed around him, an often mercenary and cruel structure that arguably led to his downfall.
Raging Bull (dir. Martin Scorsese, 1980)
If Rocky is a likeable rags-to-riches sports movie, then Raging Bull is its dark underside; a character study with a hungry Robert De Niro in the title role. De Niro is unafraid to be hateful and completely alienating at times; his Jake LaMotta is violent and shot through with toxic masculinity, serving as the perfect counterpoint to Balboa and his down-home antics. If you liked Rocky but you think it could have stood a little more psychological depth, Raging Bull is your movie.
Creed (dir. Ryan Coogler, 2015)
Creed director Ryan Coogler would go on to make Black Panther for Marvel, and looking at this story of a young African-American man growing up in the shadow of his famous father, it’s easy to see why. Creed is a Rocky sequel, sure, but it’s more than that; unlike the increasingly ridiculous Rocky movies, it casts Stallone as an ageing prize fighter looking to pass on his knowledge, and an incredibly fit Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed, learning what it means to carry that legacy.
3 Distinct Aspects to Consider Before Buying Quad Skates for the Outdoors
Roller skates, sometimes known as quad skates, were first introduced in 1863, with two sets of wheels placed next to each other. Since their inception, they have been widespread in numerous regions of the globe, especially in North America. The skating movement reached its pinnacle during the roller-disco boom in the 80s.
This leisure sport has remained popular with many individuals and has even seen a resurgence in recent months as people seek minimal contact activities in the aftermath of the pandemic. If you have tried this fun sport, you’ll understand why it’s so fascinating.
If you want to securely enjoy skating in the open outdoors, you’ll need a pair of outdoor roller skates. This article will dive deeper into the nuances of enjoying this sport in the open outdoors.
The Distinct Characteristics of Indoor and Outdoor Quad Skates
Because you cannot use outdoor and indoor roller skates interchangeably, it is crucial to understand their distinct characteristics.
1. The Hardness Value of the Wheelset
The hardness of the wheelset is a critical distinction between outdoor and indoor quad rollers, which is related to its numerals. Indoor quad rollers, for example, have a durometer hardness value of 88A to 103A, whereas rollers specific for the outdoors rarely surpass 90A. The hard composite is suitable for flat, level, and obstacle-free surfaces. Skating on uneven outdoor surfaces necessitates wheels with high impact resistance, improved traction, and reduced slipping potential, which a stiff compound wheel will not deliver.
2. Hard and Soft Boot Construction
After deciding the hardness value of the wheel you prefer on your outdoor roller skates, you’ll need to pick whether you need a hard or soft boot (the section your foot slips into). Hard boots offer extra sturdiness and ankle stability, making them ideal for vert and outdoor riding. In skates with a hard boot construction, you can cruise for hours. Skates with a soft boot, on the other hand, provide more versatility, which is vital if you wish to perform in them. Soft boots are often more ventilated than hard boots, enabling airflow, and they are far lighter by design.
3. Placement of the Plate
The plate is the part of the shoe where the wheelset is mounted. Outdoor roller shoes, unlike indoor pairs, have the plate positioned up front, putting most of the mass in the toe region. When overcoming obstacles such as pebbles, potholes, or patchy roads, it prevents the front of the roller from experiencing a lift. Although not all outdoor pairs have the plate in this configuration, it is something to watch for if you are looking for optimum long-term performance.
You won’t be able to enjoy skating outdoors to its full potential unless you own a pair of suitable roller skates designed for the outdoors that adequately accommodate your feet. They should give the greatest degree of protection and support while still looking stylish. Keep in mind the fundamentals mentioned above, and you will end up with a perfect outdoor-ready pair of skates that will provide optimal performance and fun.
How Betting Apps Have Made Online Betting More Convenient Than Ever
The popularity of betting apps has grown exponentially in recent years. Thanks to the convenience and accessibility they offer, more and more people are using them to place bets on their favourite sports teams through betting platforms you can find at e.g., wsn.com.
However, as with anything else, there are both good and bad sides to this trend. On the one hand, betting apps provide a great way for people to get involved in the world of sports betting without having to go to a brick-and-mortar casino or bookie. And let’s not forget that there is always the risk of becoming addicted to gambling and losing money that you can’t afford to lose.
Overall, as long as you’re fully aware of all the potential risks, you can enjoy the full convenience of betting apps and we’re here to delve into that further.
How betting apps have made online betting more convenient and accessible
The proliferation of betting apps has made online betting more convenient and accessible than ever before. With a few taps on your smartphone, you can now place a bet on your favourite team, horse, or racecar.
This convenience has led to a boom in online betting, as more and more people are discovering the joys of placing a wager from the comfort of their own homes. Betting apps have also made it easier to track your bets and see how much you’ve won or lost over time.
If you’re thinking about getting into online betting, be sure to check out our guide to the best betting apps. We’ve reviewed all the top options out there so you can find the perfect one for your needs.
What are the benefits of using betting apps?
Other benefits of using betting apps include the following:
Betting apps often offer better odds than physical betting shops. They can do so because there is less overhead associated with running an app, so bookmakers can afford to offer more competitive odds.
Another benefit is that betting apps usually come with a host of other features that can be extremely useful for bettors. For example, most apps allow you to set up alerts so that you will be notified as soon as the odds on a particular event change. With such a feature you can take advantage of any sudden changes in the market and get the best possible value for your bets.
Are there any downsides to using betting apps?
While there are many benefits to using betting apps, there are also a few potential downsides that users should be aware of.
First, it is important to note that not all betting apps are created equal. Some app developers have more experience than others, and some may be more reliable than others. As such, it is important to do your research before downloading any betting app onto your device.
Second, betting apps can sometimes be glitchy or slow to load, which can be frustrating for users, especially if they are trying to place a bet in a hurry.
Finally, some betting apps may not be available in all countries. Such restricted options can limit the options available to users, and make it difficult to find an app that meets their needs.
What Sports League is the Best Investment?
We know that there is a lot of money floating around the sports industry. The most talented professional athletes can earn themselves millions each year for their efforts on the pitch, field, court, or track. They’re just one example though, teams, leagues, TV companies, and sponsors have ballooned into huge companies off the back of the growth of professional sports. In more recent years, iGaming has got in on the act, with online sports betting sites enjoying success after success as more fans look to place wagers on sports. This growing demand has led to the creation of sites like oddschecker that help bettors compare different betting apps to see which ones offer the best bonuses.
Combined, all of these different areas of the sports industry generate hundreds of billions in revenue each year, money which helps to improve the show for fans and the conditions for competitors.
But if you’re an investor, which leagues offer the best prospects, both for future growth and the prospect of dividends?
Formula 1 is the world’s biggest motorsport. It sees some of the most prestigious brands in the car industry, including Ferrari, Mercedes, and Alfa Romeo, race around legendary tracks like Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, and Monza. Driving these cars are famous names like Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, and Fernando Alonso, all of whom have huge followings both in their home countries and right around the world.
F1 was bought by Liberty Media in 2017 and the company has since listed some shares on the stock market, making it easy for investors to get a piece of the action for themselves.
Is it a good investment, though? Well, past performance certainly suggests that is has been.
When FWONA, the series A shares were listed on the NASDAQ back in June 2017, they were valued at $35.07 each. By late January 2020, they had risen to $45.67, a 30% increase. After a brief blip, which saw the price bottom out at $20.61 in early April of that year, they have rallied, reaching a high of $63.17 in early April 2022.
Looking forward, things seem promising. The sport’s new owners made it clear they wanted to expand to new markets and reach more people in existing ones, all while growing revenues and profits.
So far, they appear to be winning all four of those races. The championship calendar has been expanded to 22 Grands Prix for this season, and this number could go even higher in the future as the sport signs more deals with circuits.
The American market still has a long way to go before it reaches maturity. So while it may be a struggle to compete with Indycar and NASCAR, F1 certainly looks to be making all the right moves at the moment.
Better use of social media, embracing esports, and the commissioning of the Netflix documentary series, Drive to Survive, have all helped achieve growth and continued innovation could compound this further.
Major League Soccer
Soccer, like Formula 1, has always struggled to really gain much traction in the United States, but this is beginning to change.
In fact, the top-flight American league, MLS, is the fastest-growing soccer league in the world. That may be a little hard to believe at first when you consider that it is competing against the Premier League, Bundesliga, and La Liga, but it has started from a much smaller position, making growth easier.
MLS has undergone several expansions since it was founded in 1993 and now has a total of 28 teams. This will grow to 29 in 2023 and additional teams are expected to be added in the coming years.
The introduction of the “designated players” system in the 2000s allowed teams to sign star players that would bring both talent and attention to their games. This led to high-profile signings like David Beckham’s moved from Real Madrid to LA Galaxy.
Today, the quality of both domestic and international players has improved greatly, helping to boost the action seen on the pitch. Having more talent is partly down to the fact that the league is seen as a leading competition rather than somewhere for players who couldn’t make it in Europe.
The result has been a more than ten-fold increase in average franchise valuations between 2008 and 2021. Today, the mean value of clubs in MLA is $550 million.
Unlike Formula 1, MLS is not listed on a stock exchange, so it isn’t possible for an average investor to buy up a slice of the sport. That said, there are opportunities for wealthy investors with experience in sports team ownership, as there are plans for at least three more teams.
National Football League
Some of soccer’s historic struggles have been the result of the NFL. The domestic league has grown into the world’s largest and most valuable sports league, despite the fact it has a relatively small international following.
Each year its championship game, the Super Bowl, is watched by more than 100 million Americans, with several million more tuning in from abroad. This puts it up there with other major sporting events like the UEFA Champions League Final.
Domestically, there is probably not as much scope for growth as there is with other leagues. The games are brutal, which already means NFL players compete in a small fraction of the number of matches played by their counterparts in the NBA, NHL, and MLB. Adding one game in the 2021 season was already a battle, so further expansion here is going to be a struggle.
However, like most American sports leagues, the NFL has a limited audience outside the US. This gives it a lot of room to expand internationally, with potential revenue from additional TV deals, merchandise sales, and match tickets.
Previous attempts to attract an international audience have had mixed success. A dedicated European league failed after a few years, but individual games held in Mexico and the UK have proven popular.
With that in mind, those that can invest in the NFL could see potential upside if international expansion is successful. However, the league and most teams are privately held, giving average investors few opportunities to take a slice.
There is one exception to that, the Green Bay Packers, but shares in the team don’t allow trading and grant no rights to dividends. Instead, a better option may be to acquire interests in NFL sponsors and companies that trade with the league that might stand to benefit from its growth.
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