Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Favorite Sports Movies

(In no particular order)
The Mighty Ducks

Although several movie studios have made classic sports movies, nothing tugs at my sports nut heart then the Disney classics of my childhood. One of the first in the line is 1992's 'The Mighty Ducks'. What other movie can you name that then became the namesake of a professional team (NHL's Mighty Ducks of Anaheim)?

The Mighty Ducks is the story of Gordon Bombay, a hot shot Minneapolis lawyer who is at the top of his game. After losing his first trial, Gordon goes on a high speed drive while drinking a bottle of vodka. Gordon is then pulled over and is forced into community service. During the opening credits we are shown that Gordon was a fantastic Pee Wee hockey player. He is going in for a penalty shot and hits the post and costs his team, the Hawks, the championship.
Gordon is then given a Pee Wee team to coach as his community service, the Unnamed District 5. It is shown that the team is basically a rag tag team of poor kids that are using hand-me-down hockey gear.

I an attempt to find something from his past, Gordon returns to the old hockey store where he grew up at and gets some life lessons from the old store owner, Hans. Hans, an old Swedish man, helps revoke Gordon's passion for hockey. We have learned that the season that Gordon missed the penalty shot was the year his father died which had caused Gordon to give up his hockey dreams.

Bombay then returns to the District 5 team with a new found spirit, gets the team proper equipment, and then renames the team to the Ducks.

The Ducks then go on a tear and start to become a championship team. They then make it to the final game to face the Hawks. The Hawks are Bombay's former team who are still coached by the same man, the ever popular dick coach Jack Reilly. Reilly is your A-typical youth league coach that is always looking for the 'W' at all costs. Being a youth sports organizer I despise these type of ego driven coaches who are teaching kids this unclassy style of play. This personally makes him the perfect antagonist for this movie.

The championship game is a perfect ending for any sports movie. The Hawks take a huge early lead and appear to cruise to victory. I would be perfectly content with this ending. The Ducks, a rag tag group, comes out of no where to the finals and lose. This situation happens all the time. And being a movie for kids aged 8-13 can teach them that you can learn just as much from losing as you can from winning. Of course, this IS a Disney movie, so the happy fluffy ending is what we will be left with.

The Ducks then probably use more trick plays than the Harlem Globetrotters and the And 1 basketball tour combined to win. The creme de la creme of these is the 'Flying V' which pays homage to their name sake. It then takes a penalty shot for the team to wrap up their championship. Charlie, who was the one that drew the penalty, is the one to take the shot. I guess the rest they say is history.

I personally enjoy D2:The Mighty Ducks more then its prequel. I chose the orginal due to its success creating my first NHL team.

Due to the connection of the movie, I fell in love with the Ducks. They had quite a few successful teams through my childhood, but of course broke my heart when they changed owners and basically elminated themselves from anything to do with the movie.
UGH, this logo still makes me cringe.

The Mighty Ducks shows that anyone can overcome adversity and that you can persevere from the past, even returning to something you never thought you could return to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Post a Comment