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The Athletes

Calvin Cambridge

The movie was standard Disney fare (even though it wasn’t Disney, but was actually produced with NBA Entertainment, which explains the amount of NBA stars in the film) and was predictable at every corner. If you haven’t seen it, basically an orphan finds a pair of shoes that once were worn my Michael Jordan, so naturally by wearing them he can play “Like Mike”. Frankly, we are imaging scenes in which Bow Wow (who played the orphan) berates Kwame Brown or becomes one of the worst executives in the NBA, but that may be part of a still yet to…
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Captain Chaos Victor Prinzi

Jamie Blake (Dean Martin playing off his alcoholic and womanizing image) said it best when he warned his partner Fenderbaum (Sammy Davis Jr.) to watch out for the “Blimp”. Once the rotund Victor Prinzi (played by Dom DeLuise) felt the need to defend himself or his friends, the sound of “Dun Dun Dunnnn” would fill the air and suddenly Captain Chaos would emerge with his cape and mask to save the day. It wasn’t a traditional looking superhero (although much of mannerisms were ripped from a comic book), but it didn’t matter. Considering this was an All Star cast (in…
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Captain John Colby

For the record, we love Michael Caine, and we are sure we are not alone on this. As Captain John Colby in “Victory”, we got to see an actor we love in a sports related film. Colby was a former star in West Ham, who as a Prisoner of War was given the task to organize a team to play against the Germans, which he did so in return for better conditions for the prisoners. Although Caine was not a trained player, he looked like he belonged (or maybe we are biased, because we think he can do wrong…..even when…
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Captain Robert Hatch

We could hear Germans watching this movie and groaning. Not because of the depiction of them as the bad guys, but by the fact that an American Goalie was could be a force in a game against them. Sure, the United States have embraced soccer to the point where they are fringe World Cup contenders, but in 1981 the Americans had zero interest in the sport, beyond the first wave of badly coiffed soccer moms, so when you mix World War II (which Americans knew) with soccer (which Americans didn’t), you had a movie with sparse interest in North America;…
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Carmen Ronzonni

While his brother’s penis was becoming the gateway for Hollywood starlets, Jimmy Baio was given maybe one line a week on “Soap” and dazzled us with “air” impressions of Luis Tiant in the first Bad News Bears’ sequel. Actually, he was there to replace Tatum O’Neal who declined to appear in the film, and give a New York attitude to appeal to…those who loved impressions of Luis Tiant. Actually, he couldn’t pitch until Coach Leak basically taught him to simply just throw the ball. Damn, Kelly’s dad made everything look so easy.
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Carter Rutherford

We aren’t going to speak about the role in great detail (or really any detail at all), but just an observation. If you are John Krasinski and you are at the height of your run in “The Office” and an offer to star in a film with George Clooney and Renee Zellweger you had to figure that your movie career was made. It didn’t happen, as “Leatherheads” was seen by only a few people and what looked like a certain film never got launched. In hindsight, it may have been the best return prank Dwight Schrute ever pulled.
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Cecil "Stud" Cantrell

Long before he was Gil Grissom, William Petersen was Cecil “Stud” Cantrell, the Player/Coach of the 1950’s Gulf Coast squad, the Tampico Stogies. Before we let the coolness of his character’s name and team name sink in, the HBO movie in question (Long Gone) has been correctly described as a hybrid between Slap Shot and Bull Durham. With that equation, and with Cantrell leading (and stealing) the show with hard drinking and hard partying ways, the film has become a bit of a cult classic, especially since it can’t be found easily. Had this gained a bigger audience, we think…
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Chaney

Even though Charles Bronson was already in his early 50’s, this was when he finally became a movie star; though perhaps not a well respected one. This wasn’t a guy you expected to sit in the Actor’s Studio chair, nor did you really want him to. You wanted Bronson to beat the snot out of people, and in Hard Times, he plays Chaney, a bare fisted fighter in the Depression Era who beat people up. There you go, that’s the plot and isn’t that enough?
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Charles Jefferson

In a perfect world, we would nominate the scene where Phoebe Cates came out of the pool. I mean, athletics happen in swimming pools all the time right?   Maybe, we will figure out a Hall of Fame for that. Fast Times at Ridgemont High is not a sports movie, but we do recall a very motivated Linebacker named Charles Jefferson (did he ever get those Earth, Wind & Fire tickets) whose car was “allegedly” totaled by Ridgemont’s rival, Lincoln.   This began the greatest on field annihilation by a defensive Football Player in a motion picture, and we can still hear…
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Charlie Tweeder

We did not really have a problem with the performance of Scott Caan as Charlie Tweeder, the main Wide Receiver for West Caanan, but we were not exactly sure what it was supposed to be. Was he the ladies’ man, the comedian, or the future prison inmate? It was a little disjointed, but our biggest issue is not buying Scott Caan as an athlete, but wasn’t he a little short to be a Wide Receiver in a solid Texas High School Football program? This was the same guy who stood eye to eye to the diminutive “E” in Entourage.  
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Chazz Michael Michaels

Chazz Michael Michaels may have been a male figure skater, but the sex addict sure loved his women. Will Farrell (Michaels) made many laugh out loud with his performance of a down on his luck figure skater forced to find a male partner (his old rival) to return to the Olympics in pairs figure skating. Considering the premise, the film could have easily fallen flat on its face, but Ferrell was brilliant in his role, and it is almost inconceivable to imagine anyone else executing the “Iron Lotus”.
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Cheeseburger Eddie

Terry Crews has to be one of the most likable people in Hollywood, regardless of his role. How can we say this? Because he played “Cheeseburger Eddie”, a large convict who could make McDonald’s food appear (we really don’t want to know how) out of nowhere; and we liked him for it! He delivered corny lines and did the robot dance, and again, we liked it. Now, we know we aren’t the only ones!
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Chris Cutter

Granted, this Canadian film was ONLY successful in Canada, but considering it was a film about Curling in Canada, that was completely to be expected. Still, this was a cute film about redemption, small towns, and a cute little sport that has a devoted audience. Paul Gross (a Canadian icon is own right) starred as the skip of his small town squad, and though again this film only has relevance in Canada, it was perfect for what it was. Now, does a curling film hold merit for the Hall? We are not sure either.
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Chuck Cunningham

Yeah, we know. However sometimes we just want to be nice, and throw a bone to a character whose demise developed his own syndrome (the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome), whereby a character suddenly disappears and is not just written off the show, but is treated like he never existed. With that in mind, our ballot gives you Opie’s big brother, Chuck. What do we really know of Chuck Cunningham? Based on his limited appearances, all we know is that he was always doing something basketball related and got a scholarship to Wisconsin-Milwaukee (or was it Marquette?). Sure, Richie Cunningham was actually…
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Clarence Withers

The on the court talent with the Flint Tropics, Clarence Withers (AKA: Coffee Black/Downtown "Funky Stuff" Malone/Sugar Dunkerton/ "Jumping" Johnny Johnson) brought his 70’s afro and basketball skills to the America Basketball Association. Withers’ dream was to make it to the NBA, which would happen initially by a trade near the end of the season, but his return to the Tropics in the team’s final game ever, and the use of the innovative “Alley Oop” made him the star of the court.   That said despite the third billing, the co-member of Outkast did not feel like a star in this…
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Clubber Lang

Rocky III may have been the movie where the Italian Stallion sold his soul to the box office, but it was also the flick that gave us one of the greatest fads of the 1980’s, Mr. T. He was far from a great actor, but he looked perfect as James “Clubber” Lang; the hardened fighter from Chicago who learned to box in prison. Actually, he was portrayed as someone who Rocky couldn’t beat at all. They never claimed in the original Rocky movie that Balboa was undefeated going into the initial match with Apollo Creed. In fact, Rocky’s record wasn’t…
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Cole Trickle

For a ten year period after Top Gun, Tom Cruise could appear in anything and it would have been a megahit. It didn’t matter, whether it was good or not, in these pre Scientology couch jumping days he could gave shot a film where he just made pancakes and it would have went number one on its opening weekend. Needless to say, he made a lot of crap that had a big audience; whether it made sense or not. This is the case with his role as Cole Trickle, NASCAR driver. Without going into detail on the plot, Trickle was…
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Connie Shokner

You probably did not know the name of Robert Tessier in the 1970’s, but the stuntman, turned occasional actor made a living playing the tough guy in countless films, occasionally alongside his real life friend, Burt Reynolds. In the Reynolds’ 1974 Football film, “The Longest Yard”, Tessier was Connie Shokner, who was martial arts expert and serial killer; and one of the first convicts recruited by Burt Reynolds for the Prison Football team against the guards. He was never really the focal point of the film, but he may have been the scariest. That alone may make him worth a…
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Corporal Luis Fernandez

Victory (or ‘Escape to Victory’ as it was known in Europe) boasted a cornucopia of famous soccer stars who were cast as the Allied Prisoners of War. A small sample of these players included: Bobby Moore, the Captain of the 1966 England World Cup winning team, and considered to be one of the best defenders of all time. John Wark, the Scottish star who led Ipswich Town to the UEFA Cup that year. Osvaldo Ardiles, an Argentine star who was then a skilled midfielder for the Tottenham Hotspur. Kazimierez Denya, who was then starring for Manchester City and is one…
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Cru Jones

Odds are that if you are a fan of BMX racing you may have enjoyed Rad, which is far as we know is the only decent sized budgeted film of this genre. If you have no interest in the sport, than sitting through this horribly acted tire fire of a film was akin to a perpetual migraine. The film’s hero, Cru Jones, chooses to compete in…..oh we don’t have to do a film synopsis here do we? We’ll say this though; is there anyone less supportive to fictitious athletes then Talia Shire, who played the disapproving mom here? It can’t…
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Curtis Jackson

Arguably the coolest of the cool players on Carver High, we admit we were still shocked when reviewing all of the episodes of the White Shadow (even though we remember it happening) when we watched the death of Curtis Jackson. We suppose in a show based on the inner city of Los Angeles, that one of the players was not going to make it out alive, but we will always remember the party animal of Carver High.
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Daniel LaRusso

First off, let’s get something out of the way. For our purposes; the Karate Kid Remake starring Will Smith’s snotty kid never happened. With that out of the way, one of the great underdogs in sports cinema history has to be Daniel LaRusso. In the first film, LaRusso got the crap beaten out of him constantly by a group of karate fighting California teens with a merciless trainer. With the most unlikely help (the iconic Mr. Miyagi), LaRusso managed to learn the art of self defence…while learning how to paint a house. He had the chance to face his bullies…
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