Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Absurd

You know how sometimes you're watching a movie, and there's a sports scene in it and you think "That's ridiculous and totally fake. Way to go stupid movie?" Well, here's the top ten absurd sports moments I can think of in an hour of thinking I did. A couple of things first:

1. I only thought about this for about an hour and I didn't rewatch these movies/parts unless I could find it on YouTube. I'm sure there is a lot I missed or got slightly wrong. Feel free to tell me.
2. I haven't seen every sports movie, and there are a lot I haven't seen enough to really remember. I have never seen Remember the Titans because it looks like stupid crap for overly sentimental idiots. And I saw Blue Chips so long ago, I don't really remember it. There are plenty of other examples.
3. Obviously, Shoeless Joe appearing in a cornfield, a kid breaking his arm and developing a wicked fastball and playing for the Cubs, and a kid becoming General Manager of the Twins are pretty absurd. But that's not the kind of absurd we're talking about.
5. True stories are exempt. So even though it's absurd that a little weiner like Sam from Lord of the Rings could somehow walk on to Notre Dame and get a sack in his last ever game, I had to leave it off.
4. I tried to find clips of these moments whenever possible.

Now, the top 10 most absurd sports moments, as chosen by a panel of me, from least absurd to most absurd.

10. Bad News Bears in Breaking Training: Now, I really like this movie, quite a bit, but there are two pieces that just can't be ignored as far as absurdity goes. The first is the whole, thirteen year olds outsmarting all their parents and organizers of the big game at the Astrodome, using an old van and a 50 year old mentally challenged lawn guy. The second is the entire Astrodome chanting "Let them Play." Seriously, if I was at a doubleheader for the Twins, and a bunch of stupid kids came out to play, and they took too long and had to have their game cut short there's no way in hell I want them to get to play longer. And if that coach comes out and tries to start a chant, I'm thinking he's a loony, not that I want to join in and help out. Good movie though.

9. The Natural: The big homerun. Seriously, have you seen how high up those lights are? Plus, he had been shot. Plus, they totally changed the ending from the book. Still, this scene gives me chills just watching it on YouTube.

8. Zapped: I'm guessing most people haven't seen this, and it's not an actual sports movie, but there's one part that always drove me crazy as a kid, and it's baseball related. The movie centers around Scott Baio and his friend played by Willie Aames, and Baio's character somehow figures out a secret formula to create a potion to freeze time, kind of like Evie from Out of this World. He uses it to pause time in a baseball game against the big rival, and becomes the hero, hitting a homerun against the scary pitcher who is supposed to be awesome.

There's only one problem, they went ahead and got a big, giant guy to play the pitcher, but he has clearly never thrown a baseball - like ever. And he looks like he's about forty. We're supposed to think he's awesome, but it is clear he couldn't get a fastball to go even 40 mph unless he put it in his car. It drove me crazy then, and it drives me crazy now. I can't find a picture or a video, but if you knew what I was talking about, you'd totally be nodding your head right now.

7. Jerry Maguire: Yes, this whole movie is pretty absurd, and there aren't even many sports scenes, but the one they have is totally ridiculous. It's when Cuba Gooding's character gets hurt, then gets up and dances for half an hour, magically making the crowd love him and the owner decide that now he needs to pay for a big contract, even though up until then, he wasn't going to pay. See below:

First off, I think the footage is off Jake Plummer to Rob Moore, and it's pretty clear that the receiver Moore/Tidwell/Gooding comes down on his back, not his head. It should be obvious that he just has the wind knocked out of him and nothing more. Then he gets up from this supposedly scary injury, and dances around for a full minute. And supposedly throughout the whole movie, he was like Jeff George, and getting the wind knocked out of him turned him into Chad Johnson x Steve Smith. And somehow this makes the crowd fall in love with him. AND somehow this makes the owner decide to pay him a truckload of money? I'm getting angry just typing this. Maybe this should have been higher on the list. Let's move on.

6. Tin Cup: I couldn't find video for this one, but I'm of course talking about how Tin Cup doinks his shot on the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open into the water five or six times before holing out, taking him from contending to win to second place or worse. I like this movie, and the scene is actually pretty entertaining, but that's only if you refuse to acknowledge the fact that continuing to attempt that shot, instead of taking a drop up closer, is something only a complete pig-headed, stubborn idiot would do. Way to blow your chance at winning the US Open, Jackass!

5. Varsity Blues: A whole lot about this movie is absurd (such as banishing the coach at halftime, the entire state of Texas, and how hot Ali Larter is) but the very ending almost ruins what is otherwise a pretty fun movie. If you're familiar with this movie, at the end, the team needs a touchdown to win with one play left, and they decide to run a hook-and-ladder/hook-and-lateral, and they have the pitch man be their 350 pound offensive lineman, Billy Bob. Now, not only is this dumb enough, but then to add "drama" they have him bobble the ball about six times before he finally pulls in the lateral, in which time nobody on the defense bothers to get over to him. Finally the defense gets to him, and he carries three defenders on his back into the endzone. Just stupid. Did I mention they're like 30 yards out? So no defensive players could catch the 400 pound lineman until he had ran 20 yards already? This makes me upset. I tried to find video of the play, but I couldn't, so instead here's Ali Larter in a whipped cream bikini from the movie:

4. Major League 2: Major League was an awesome movie. One of my favorites. I can pretty much look past everything from that, other than, of course, Cerrano's inability to hit a curve ball. Seriously, if he was that bad at hitting the curve, he never would have been in the majors to begin with. Everyone would just throw him a curveball every pitch, and he'd hit .000 with a 100% K/AB ratio. I can look past that though, because it's a great movie and they're pretty much just exaggerating to make a point.

Major League 2 however, petty much pisses me off on all levels. I haven't seen it more than a couple of times, because it sucked so bad. Basically, ML 1 did so well, that the executives wanted to make a second one, and couldn't figure out how to make a winning team into lovable losers, so they used stupid, horrible ideas to try to make it the first one all over again, and added in some useless, idiotic crap.

If I remember correctly, the young stars Rick Vaughn and Willie Mays Hayes, get cocky and conceited and, surprise surprise, Vaughn loses his control and Hayes tries to do too much at the plate, and they struggle and have to come together as a young team to try to rise above and win the pennant. Give me a break. It's the same god damn movie, just done poorly. Add in a catcher who couldn't throw the ball back to the pitcher, and you have the world's worst movie of all time ever. I know there was an issue with real-life catcher Mackey Sasser throwing it back to the pitcher at one point, but this movie takes it to such a ridiculous extreme it makes me want to kill the guy who played that role and his whole family.

3. Teen Wolf: The whole reason for this column. Obviously, a movie where a kid turns into a werewolf isn't to be taken too seriously, but there is one glaring problem with the end of this movie's basketball scene, and I've never been able to get over it. This was on the other day, and I watched the last half hour in order to get to this scene, just to make sure it was as bad as I remembered. It was. It is clear that nobody associated with this film in any way had ever played, watched, or heard of basketball.

Unfortunately, I can't find a clip of it anywhere, but Teen Wolf gets fouled with no time left and his team down one (well, Teen Wolf in his human form because we learn the valuable lesson in this movie that you don't have to be a werewolf be good at sports.) He has two free throws, so they clear the lane since the clock reads 0:00, except for the "bad guy" of the movie, who gets to STAND RIGHT UNDER THE HOOP. Like it's practice and he's the rebounder for TW's free throws. After he hits the first, the guy GRABS THE BALL AND THROWS IT BACK TO TW. Not a ref in sight. Seriously. An absolute travesty that nobody caught this in editing, writing, directing, or acting. Ruins an otherwise completely believable movie.

2. The Program: Sure, some college football programs are pretty corrupt, and it's likely almost all major programs are corrupt to some degree, but ESU in The Program is completely corrupt, and extremely unlucky. They have exactly five good players:

1. QB Joe Cain (Heisman Candidate) - Alcoholic, borderline suicidal, daddy issues, goes into treatment after getting in a fight in a bar, season down drain
2. LB Alvin Mack - top linebacker in country, breaks leg. Will never play football again
3. DL Steve Lattimer - on steroids. Rapist.
4. RB Darnell Jefferson - head case, academically challenged, gets in fights with fellow RB
5. OL Something Something - seems like a good guy

So out of five good players, four of them get messed up. On top of this, is the constant giving of cash to the players by alumni, the back up QB getting the coach's daughter to take his test for him because they're humping, and infraction upon infraction. If this movie's point was to show every single thing that could every possibly go wrong, well done. Otherwise it's a completely over the top ridiculous look at college football. Just to make sure you don't take it seriously, the final play where ECU wins is a combination of Steve Young's run versus the Vikings and Mike Vick's run vs. the Vikings, but with a fumble and a touchdown pass mixed in as well, instead of something that, you know, might actually happen - ever. But Kristy Swanson was pretty hot. Here's the final play. Just horrible.

1. Summer Catch: Absolutely, without question, the worst ending not only of any sports movie ever, but any movie ever period ever in the history of ever. If you haven't seen it, don't, but I'm going to give away the ending so if you have a big bad Freddie Prinze boner, look away. If you have a Jessica Biel boner, stick around.

Prinze is some dipshit pitcher, and gets to play in the Cape Cod league (a very big deal) as the local boy. He also ends up falling for Biel's character, some rich chick whose Daddy doesn't want her dating the local pool boy - a plot that's been used in more movies than Zombies have. Prinze is also full of talent but self destructive because his mommy left him when he was young - again, a huge cliche.

After struggling most of the summer, the ace pitcher gets booted off the team for setting the press box on fire (seriously) so Prinze gets his shot in the biggest game of the summer season, while Biel is heading off to somewhere for some scholarship or internship or something I can't remember, and they'll never see each other again.

Prinze finds his inner talent, and pitches a perfect game through 8, with major league scouts all over the place, basically his big break and everything he's been working for. At the beginning of the ninth, HE TAKES HIMSELF OUT OF THE GAME TO GO CHASE DOWN THE GIRL HE'S KNOWN FOR ALL OF TWO MONTHS. Seriously. Perfect game. Ninth inning. Two months.

This is what happens when you try to take sports and make a girl movie out of it. I seriously had to explain why the ending was so stupid to my wife, who thought it was sweet. Luckily, she had me there to explain it to her, and she now understands how stupid it was and still refers to it as the worst ending ever. But all those stupid girls with their crushes on Freddy Prinze probably think it was awesome. It wasn't. I tried to burn down the theater that was showing this movie after I left, but I don't know how to make fire with sticks and twigs so I kicked the side of the building instead. So angry. Here's Billy Simmons' review of Summer Catch, if you're looking for something a little more indepth. And here's a video of Jessica Biel from that movie, so we can all feel better instead of bitterly angry and ready to kill.

Thanks for reading all these 8 billion words. I feel slightly better now.


joe said...

You are without question the most cynical man alive. The Bear had held MCMA for nearly a decade but its clear that the torch has been passed.

I obviously have several problems with your list.

1) Major League - You didn't mention how some 65 year old man managed to become the #2 starter on a playoff contender.

2) You missed the whole point of Tin Cup if you thought the ending was absurd. The guy had squandered opportunities his whole life because of his massive ego. He would take no exception when it came to the US Open. I loved that he took a 13 on the final whole.

3) Varsity Blues - I'm disappointed that you gave no props to Tweeder. I would like to see what Tweeder was up to these days. That guy knew how to party. In high school, he stole a cop car(which he later commited statutory rape in), was addicted to percoset and vicodin, had a VD and was a star receiver being only 5'2". For the record, Amy Smart is way hotter then Ali Larter and actually gets naked like a real lady in Road Trip.

Movies that should be added to your list: Happy Gilmore, Waterboy, Longest Yard (Burt Reynolds), Lady Bugs, Simon Birch (foul ball scene), Necessary Roughness.

From the Barn said...

It might be so obvious that it isn't worth mentioning, but how about every fight scene in every Rocky movie. There'd be a lot of dead boxers if matches really went down like that.

klinger said...

Debatable whether NASCAR is a sport or not (I say no)...but any racing scene in Days of Thunder in which Tom Cruise is constantly shifting to a higher gear. So you've kicked her down about 12 times now to make the many more gears you got their ace?

klinger said...

Debatable whether NASCAR is a sport or not (I say no)...but any racing scene in Days of Thunder in which Tom Cruise is constantly shifting to a higher gear. So you've kicked her down about 12 times now to make the many more gears you got their ace?

WWWWWW said...

Good point on Major League, and to each his own on Tin Cup. I thought it was stupid. Tweeder was the man though, on this we can agree.

I don't know enough about Racing to really comment, but I'm not surprised Days of Thunder was absurd.

I also have only seen the first Rocky, and it was enough for me.

Lady Bugs?

Bear said...

Simon Birch, LOL!

P.S. Amy Smart is disgusting.

ek dawg said...

All of Teen Wolf's basketball scenes were ridiculous.
Michael J. Fox obviously never touched a basketball until the day they started shooting, and neither did the werewolf guy they hired to play the werewolf.

As for Rocky, the most unrealistic part is that any mildly successful boxer would have left that worrying, nagging whore Talia Shire (Adrian) first chance he got.

D. Deep said...

Joe just hates Simon Birch because Simon is a spitting image of his friend Mad Dog when Dog was 16 years old. The only difference is Mad Dog could never get that much wood on a pitch.

Another dumb movie was miracle. Like the USA could really beat that team from Russia. Nice Mighty Ducks rip off!

The Sidler said...

An Ek Dawg sighting? NICE.

If you're going to call out Michael J. Fox for never touching a basketball before filming, what about Tim Robbins in Bull Durham? That's an absurd throwing motion.

To steal a joke from an old math teacher, the Cubs winning was the most unrealistic part of Rookie of the Year.

Theory said...

I forgot about that Teen Wolf scene. I can't believe no one caught that.

I'll have to disagree with you on the Tin Cup thing. I thought that was a great scene. What was unbelievable though, was how horrible Kevin Costner's swing was. It's about as bad as Shooter McGavin's swing in Happy Gilmore. I mean, come on. Are we really suppose to believe these guys are professional golfers?

Also, I completely agree with you on the Jerry Maguire scene with Cuba Gooding. I was so pissed at that shitty scene when I first watched it. I mean, he somehow knocks himself out by landing on his back. And then when the doctors and coaches come out, they don't even help him. They just kind of poke and prod him like they've never seen someone get injured in football before. And THEN, he "comes to", gets up, and does a freaking dance! Two seconds ago he was lying unconscious and now he's 100% fine. So, what's the logical thing to do for someone who does an excessively long dance? Give him a shitload of money!
Man, that scene was dumb.