Anyone who knows me can quickly realize that movies and TV define me. To a fault, I am sure. It is no coincidence that my username on message boards happens to be the main character of a mediocre 90s baseball comedy featuring a still fairly senile Gary Busey.
Recently The Godfather of this site contacted me about contributing in some capacity because he thinks the website needs me. Hell, he needs me. He’s a mess without me. He misses me so damn much. He misses being with me, he misses being near me. He misses my laugh. He misses my scent; he misses my musk. When this all gets sorted out, he thinks me and him should get an apartment together. So here I am, writing an article about my love of movies. For my first article I decided to tackle a topic that people here could certainly debate; Who are the greatest fictional athletes in TV and film history? I will pick the best from each sport, concluding with the very best athlete of all time.
Jimmy Chitwood, Hoosiers— Not much you can say about him. He is only seen missing like 2 or 3 shots in the entire film. He is expressionless, emotionless, fearless. Imagine a combination of Chase Utley with the Queen of the V’s and Chief from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. That’s Jimmy Chitwood. Note: Chitwood may be based on a real person named Bobby Plump, but there were enough fictionalized elements to him to put him on this list. Besides, this is my list, not yours.
Honorable mention: John Hancock, Hancock— His basketball shooting skills while in prison were simply amazing. But if he were ever allowed in the NBA he would destroy the league more so than it already is. Now that I think of it, it is a damn shame he cannot do this in real life.
I would be remiss if I did not mention The Wolf from Teen Wolf, but he was a selfish, me-first egomaniac riding on the coattails of the phenomenal coach Bobby Finstock.
Rocky Balboa, Rocky movies— He took a long time to realize his potential. But when he did, he beat Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago, Tommy Gunn and let’s not forget the underrated Spider Rico. He was also able to go the distance with the heavyweight champ with the dumbest name ever (Mason “The Line” Dixon? Really, Sly? You’re going with that name? Really?) when he was in his 60’s. No small feat. His biggest wins occurred after he was found to have a major visual impairment in his right eye: a permanent condition that seemed to magically reverse itself over time. Most impressive is his outlasting of Ivan Drago, a roided up Russian who outweighs and outreaches him by a vast margin. He never should have won this match, nor should have the Russian fans embraced him like they did. But hey, he’s Rocky.
The only thing I can knock him for is his wife. He won in spite of her. The shrew never supported anything he ever did. She probably blamed him for her dying of cancer, only we never saw it on film. Women.
Honorable mention: That crazy French chick who cheapshots Hilary Swank, which leads to her becoming a quadriplegic in Million Dollar Baby. No particular reason why the crazy French chick belongs second. I just fully enjoyed the part she played in the downward spiral of Mo Cuishle’s life. Man, I hated that movie. I will admit the scene where Clint Eastwood tries to cry was pretty damn hilarious. It was like watching a dude with IBS after he was force-fed a wheel of cheese.
Oh yeah, spoiler alert.
Al Bundy, Married…with Children— Anyone who could score 4 touchdowns in high school football, especially to lead Polk High to the City Championship in 1966, earns his placement at the top.
Theodore Donald Kerabatsos, The Big Lebowski— An understated machine. Perhaps the best unknown bowling prodigy out there. All he did was throw strike after strike despite no recognition from his friends Walter or The Dude who were busy cursing at each other. The only time he did not get a strike is when there were no distractions behind him. Some would debate whether this miss ultimately led to his untimely death.
Honorable mentions here go to Balki Bartokamous from Perfect Strangers, finishing just ahead of Al Bundy and Jacques, Marge’s bowling instructor from The Simpsons. Somehow they all place above Big Ern McCracken in my opinion. Donnie’s nemesis The Jesus is disqualified because of his being a pederast. Eight-year-olds, Dude.
Patches O’ Houlihan, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story— Very little competition in this sport as well. It was down to him and Pip from South Park. What puts him over the top is (1) he’s not British, and (2) he drinks his own urine because it’s sterile and he likes the taste.
The Rock, WWE— Since Wrestling is fictitious already I’m going to have to go with the very real The Rock here. When he left to do (bad) movies all my desires to watch pro wrestling were gone. Never has there been such a great performer in the ring who just made everyone else look like Jabronies. Never has there been such a performer so cut he made everyone else look like 10 pounds of monkey crap stuffed in a 5 pound bag. His greatest ability was being able to make the crowds his own. IT DOESN’T MATTER if The Rock is a babyface or a heel. He was, and will always be, The People’s Champion.
Bonus points because one of my roommates in college was a teammate of his on their high school football team. According to him, The Rock was already a heel back then, as The Rock used to spray The People’s Urine onto unsuspecting scrubs while in the shower. Sadly, this is undoubtedly the greatest moments in these people’s lives.
Track and Field
Dash, The Incredibles— We hardly get to see him in action, but it is clear that he is the fastest person on Earth. His fatal flaw is his parents’ insistence on hiding his identity. As a result his potential in sports will never be fully realized, I fear. He may never even win an elementary school track meet. Poor kid.
It’s a toss-up between Happy Gilmore, Ty Webb from Caddyshack and Roy McAvoy from Tin Cup. All three have their advantages and disadvantages. Happy is a great driver, but has a terrible short game. Roy McAvoy has great ability, but would rather try a shot with little chance of success rather than taking the smart play of laying up. Plus both Roy and Happy are prone to meltdowns on the course. Ty Webb is a gifted golfer, but very possibly the Anti-Christ. Since these three are vying for the top movie golfer it pretty much sums up how few good golf movies there have really been. When Caddyshack 2 and that HBO movie Dead Solid Perfect featuring Randy Quaid are included in several Top 10 Greatest Golf Films lists, you know the field is thin.
Jack, MVP: Most Valuable Primate— Never saw the movie, but due to the utter lack of hockey films featuring dominant fictional hockey players it was pretty much down to Jack here and SubZero from The Running Man. But if Arnold Schwarzenegger can kill you while playing hockey, then clearly you are not any better than a chimp on ice. I just could not pick someone from Slap Shot or The Mighty Ducks since both were more or less about loveable losers.
Martha, Ladybugs— Never has there been such a dominant force in girl’s youth soccer quite like her. She was like a man among girls.
Sad trivia: Jonathan Brandis, who played Matthew/Martha in this film, ended up committing suicide back in 2003 shortly after his scenes were cut from the movie Hart’s War. But if you ask me I think the real reason he did it was because he finally figured out that Darwin the Dolphin from his show SeaQuest DSV could not actually talk. Drew Barrymore went through the same downward spiral when she found out about E.T.
Rick Gassko, Bachelor Party— One of Hanks’s finest forgotten performances. He simply decimated his in-laws in the doubles match. I counted at least 3 or 4 home runs.
Honorable mention goes to Stephanie in Nobody’s Perfect. Just like Martha dominated in soccer, so did Stephanie in tennis. I am still amazed that the MPAA snubbed Chad Lowe for Best Actress back in 1989 for this epic film. His role as Stephen/Stephanie was both funny and heartbreaking. It was much better than his ex-wife’s role in Million Dollar Baby, where she only won the Oscar because she dies at the end. (Spoiler Alert #2)
Hightower, Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach— He took on all comers on the beach and singlehandedly beat entire teams. Followed closely by Zack Barnes from craptastic Side Out.
Pee Wee Herman in his Big Adventure— He won the Tour de France with his special bike in a dream at the start of the movie. Although you could bring up the argument that his bike was the reason for victory more than PW’s skills.
George Costanza, Seinfeld— How quickly we forget his dominance during the infamous Summer of George back in ‘94.
Roy Von Baker, The Fifth Element— If Ruby Rhod says he’s the King of Laserball, then you can take that to the bank, mister!
All of these television and film athletes have been excellent specimens, but only two stand out above the rest. Their credentials speak for themselves.
Steve Nebraska, The Scout— Like Albert Brooks says, he found Kong. The guy can do anything, if he puts his mind to it. This is evidenced by him having the greatest baseball performance in history.
27 Ks on 81 pitches.
2 HRs hit.
In his major league debut
Which just happens to be Game 1 of the World Series no less.
But alas, this was only one game. He clearly has major mental issues which might surface at any point. His future was uncertain at best.
He could have been the greatest athlete ever…
He could have been found 3 days later in the fetal position dressed like The Little Mermaid after murdering Albert Brooks and committing repeated acts of necrophilia…
We just don’t know.
Plus there is no way I am giving Brendan Fraser the title of greatest athlete in film.
That title goes to…
Mr. Miyagi, Karate Kid films— I know what you all are thinking. Mr. Miyagi? The old wax-on, wax-off guy? Yes. Miyagi. Let me explain.
No, there is no time; let me sum up.
Miyagi took on opponents of all experience levels in the four films (yes, even the fourth film featuring Hilary Swank before Clint euthanized her (Spoiler alert #3)) and beat all comers. He clobbered Cobra Kai singlehandedly. He embarrassed John Kreese without throwing a punch; he only honked his frickin nose. He sacked Sato’s nephew and his henchmen. He snapped a tree stump Sato had been trying to split for some 50 years with one blow, and would have vanquished that flabby Sato in under a minute without making a single facial expression; it’s science. He ran through Mike Barnes, Kreese and Terry Silver in rapid succession. And the most amazing things about all of this is 1) the dude’s on Medicare 2) he’s most likely a closet alcoholic 3) he’s five-foot-nothing, a hundred-and-nothing, and most amazingly of all, 4) NO ONE EVER CONNECTED A PUNCH OR KICK ON HIM!!
Think about it. He blocked or dodged everything thrown at him. Not even the likes of Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne and Neo have ever shown this level of superiority. Jeez, Even Chuck Norris has taken some punches. Not Miyagi. He is flawless.
The only exception is when Sato’s nephew tapped him in the back with a garden hoe. This happened because Miyagi was trying to get that bitch Daniel-san out of harm’s way. You can hardly blame Miyagi for that. Daniel-san tends to drag everyone down to his level, which is probably how he was able to beat Johnny, Dutch, and Lamar from Revenge of the Nerds in the All-Valley Tournament, along with Sato’s nephew and Mike Barnes. Daniel may have been the ultimate overachiever.
Not Miyagi. There is nothing about his achievements that were tainted. If anything his achievements are more spectacular because the first time we see Miyagi he is already in his early 60s. He is well past his prime, obviously. He most certainly has slowed down and gotten weaker over the decades. So a scary question to ask is, how good was he when he was in his prime? Can you imagine? If they put Miyagi Prime in the Octagon with Chuck Liddell, the entire Gracie family and Anderson Silva, how long do you give the MMA guys before they are laying on the ground wondering what the hell just happened? Wouldn’t be long, that is for sure. Miyagi would destroy them physically and emotionally.
Miyagi also gets bonus points because he convinced Daniel-san to do yard work and manual labor in the name of karate training. To top it all off Daniel-san actually believes it is real training! Sorry, LaRusso, this was all about Miyagi pimping his house on the cheap.
The only thing that could possibly knock Miyagi down a few pegs is he may or may not be a pederast. There was something Neverland Ranchy about whenever Daniel-San stayed over at Casa de Miyagi. We all felt it. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt though here.
So there you have it. Miyagi is the winner in a landslide. I hope you liked my choices here. If not, too bad; it’s my list.
Stay tuned as my next feature will be about the greatest unanswered questions in sports movie history.
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