The Breakdown: Sometimes it rains |

The Breakdown: Sometimes it rains

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans

To quote Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh from the 1988 film “Bull Durham”, “Baseball is a simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes, you win; sometimes, you lose; and sometimes, it rains. Think about that for a while.”

Well, I’ve often thought about it, and I have no clue what he’s talking about. Regardless, it’s a fitting (and funny) ending to one of my favorite sports movies of all time.

And, it’s a film regularly near the top of most lists for Best Sports Movies of All Time.

Really, when you look at it, “Bull Durham” is kind of a “chick flick” more than a true sports movie. Sure, it’s about a couple minor league baseball players – played by Tim Robbins (a.k.a. “Nuke”) and Kevin Costner (a.k.a. Crash Davis) – but there aren’t any real iconic sports scenes in the movie. It’s mostly jokes, dialogue and love scenes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the movie. And when a film has three Academy Award winners in it (Robbins, Costner and Susan Sarandon, who plays the love interest, Annie Savoy), you have to give it its due.

(Note: Ignore the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” which also has three Oscar winners in Sean Penn, Forest Whitaker and Nicolas Cage. That movie makes that last sentence I wrote look completely and utterly stupid.)

Anyway, I had a point to all this, which was … um … Oh yeah – the Best Sports Movies of All Time.

So, with the Oscars being aired tonight on TV, most sports websites are polling readers to see how they rank some of the top sports flicks.

I’m not going to do that. After all, I just wrote a 700-word column a few days ago about how people get too obsessed with calling teams or players “the greatest of all time.”

I don’t want to be a hypocrite here. I mean, if I wanted to be one, my top-5 would go like this (in some order): “The Natural,” “Rocky,” “Caddyshack,” “Slap Shot” and “Miracle.” But I’m not someone to go back on my words.

I’m getting a bit off track again. Sorry.

You see, the real point to writing all this is that there are many really good sports movies that simply never get their due.

For instance, the 1986 film “Youngblood.” This brilliant hockey flick, filled with mullets, Zubaz and some pretty terrible acting, stars Rob Lowe as Dean Youngblood, a hot-shot American player in a Canadian junior league.

The plot goes like this: Youngblood joins a junior team, scores a bunch of goals, scores with the coach’s daughter and then quits mid-season after his best friend and teammate – played by Patrick Swayze – gets severely injured. Youngblood then comes back to the team after a nice three-minute training montage, scores three goals in the championship game and beats up the league’s biggest thug – in a stick fight.

Between Lowe and Swayze looking more awkward on the ice than a three-legged dog, the improbable plot and one impossible-to-understand quote from a young Keanu Reeves (he plays the team’s goalie), the movie is about a 9 on the unintentional-comedy scale.

It’s great.

So I guess the point I’m really making now is that a film doesn’t exactly have to be the “best” sports movie ever made to be worth watching.

I mean, this isn’t exactly the best column I’ve ever written, and you’re still reading it.

I don’t know, I think I’m still confused by that quote at the beginning. Maybe this is what “Nuke” meant by “sometimes it rains.”

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