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Top sports movies to watch at home

Illustration by Claudia Hernandez

The absence of sports has caused a strain on many die-hard fans viewing habits and now instead of watching a marquee NBA game, sports fanatics have turned to streaming services that include notable sports films from decades past. Watching a blockbuster sports film does not fill the void of viewing a Lakers versus Celtics, Yankees versus Red Sox, or an Ultimate Fighting Championship main event, but it can suffice in the meantime.  

Here is a look at five sports films that fans can put on replay during these tough times and can exude a feeling of bliss by seeing some form of competition and success on a big screen. 

Rocky” (1976) 

The ultimate underdog story is one that will resonate from generation to generation. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire and Burt Young, this 1976 film depicts a struggling Philadelphia fighter named Rocky Balboa looking to make his big break against heavyweight champion Apollo Creed played by Carl Weathers.  

This film skyrocketed the career of Stallone and shows that anything is possible with determination and grit.  

There are apparent differences in the fight scenes in this film from boxing films of today with sound effects and choreographed moves, but the cultivating storyline makes up for thatSpawning seven sequels show just how successful the blueprint to the Rocky series is and will stand the test of time.  

Coach Carter (2005) 

Starring Samuel L. Jackson, this mid2000s film based on a true story of the 1999 Richmond High School Basketball team’s season that was temporarily suspended due to academic sanctions imposed by head coach Ken Carter is genuinely a fascinating picture 

The team at the time of the suspension was undefeated and was plunged into many national headlines 

The main reason to watch the film is the exceptional acting displayed by Jackson and the ensemble cast that includes Channing Tatum, Rob Brown and rhythm and blues singer Ashanti. A solid mix of drama and a tale of redemption will draw viewers from start to finish along with a few comedic scenes.  

Jackson accurately portrays a hard-nosed and tough coach but, at the same time, shows his empathic nature and desire to see his players not only succeed on the court but off the court 

A more modern tale of the game of basketball as opposed to an older classic such as 1986’s Hoosiers, this film captives an audience with its high-flying and heartracing basketball scenes and is a must-watch for fans of the game.  

Remember the Titans (2000) 

To this day, the closing minutes of the film are tough to watch and will tug at your heartstrings. This film, which stars icon actor Denzel Washington is a gridiron classic and after watching, you will not hear “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” by Steam in the same manner ever again.  

Another film that is based on a true story on this list is an exceptional tale of the 1971 T.C. Williams High School football team in Alexandria, Virginia. The school, which was at the time newly integrated, is a battleground for racial tension and indifferences between players. Throughout the film, the players deal with racial problems from opposing schools and coaches.  

Actors Wood Harris and Ryan Hurst play real-life athletes Julius Campbell and Gerry Bertier, respectively, and form a five-star on screen friendship. 

The message of community and success through adversity is one that is embedded during the film. Tears will fall and the urge to clap your hands is understandable once the closing credits are rolling.  

Creed (2015) 

The seventh film in the Rocky film series brought a successful reboot to the iconic film series and managed to bring generations together. Michael B. Jordan is a solirepresentation of this generation’s version of Rocky Balboa starring as Adonis Creed the son of Balboa’s notorious rival Apollo Creed.  

Stallone reprises his role as Balboa and shines throughout the film with his on-screen tale of the now aged and physically deteriorating former heavyweight champion. Stallone earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor his portrayal of Balboa 

Jordan’s determination to accurately represent a physically opposing boxer and tell a great story of a fighter that is struggling to step out of the shadows of his famous father is extraordinary and brought fans of the 1976 film glued to this version bell to bell.  

Glory Road (2006) 

This list is not complete without a film that is treasured by fans across the Sun City and the nation. The 1966 National Championship UTEP men’s basketball team broke barriers in the sport of basketball and its impact has lasted for decades.  

Glory Road stars Josh Lucas as Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Don Haskins as he leads the Miners to a national championship while facing racial injustice and doubt that the team can have success.  

The team is still the only men’s division I program in the state of Texas to win a national championship.  

Parts of the film were shot in El Paso, such as El Paso High School and was recently aired on ESPN and promoted on social media by several notable sports figures such as Jalen Rose and Dick Vitale. 

Whether you are a fan of basketball or not, this is a mustwatch and a film that will have you cheering on this underdog team throughout the entire duration of the film.  

Isaiah Ramirez may be reached at [email protected]. 

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About the Contributor
Isaiah Ramirez
Isaiah Ramirez is a senior multimedia journalism major at the University of Texas at El Paso. Isaiah has worked for the university’s paper The Prospector since Spring 2018 and has held the position as a sports editor and is currently a reporter at the publication. During the fall semesters he also works as an on-air reporter for Football Friday Nights a weekly radio show showcasing local football games broadcasted by 600 ESPN El Paso. He covers local news as well as local and UTEP sporting events such as football, men’s and women’s basketball, and has covered the annual Hyundai Sun Bowl game and two-time NBA champion Danny Green’s basketball camp here in the Sun City.
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Top sports movies to watch at home