20 Athletes Who Need a Movie Made About Their Lives
20 Athletes Who Need Their Own Biopic
Many sports movies have been made over the years. Some of them are amazing because they are hilarious, like “Caddyshack” (one of the funniest movies ever). Others are great because they are based on a true story and were really well done, like “Rush” (about Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda), which was outstanding. Others are fantastic because they are about an underdog and I’m not talking about “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” even though that movie is hysterical. I’m talking about a movie like Miracle. Then there are others that are biopics about extremely influential athletes, like “42.”
I love all types of sports movies. I love everything from “Happy Gilmore” to “Field of Dreams” to “Remember the Titans” to “Varsity Blues” and a whole host of other movies that I’m not listing because if I keep going this will end up just being a list of my favorite sports movies.
What athletes need to have a movie made about them? Who needs their own biopic? There are many athletes who deserve to have their life celebrated on the big screen, for various reasons. Some athletes have overcome obstacles and are an inspiration. Others may have accomplished a feat that is so incredible, it would make for great drama at the cinema. Others may have found themselves in the middle of an enormous scandal, while others are just plain crazy.
So who do I think needs their own biopic? Here’s a list of 20 athletes who I think are deserving. I have not included any athletes for whom a great biopic was already done, like Jackie Robinson.
20. Barry Bonds
Even though we all assume Bonds used PEDs, it would be difficult to make a great movie without a definitive answer on that issue. Nevertheless, a movie about Bonds could be highly entertaining.
19. Michelle Wie
A movie focusing on Wie turning professional before her 16th birthday in 2005 and all of the fanfare and publicity that went with it could be really good, if done correctly.
18. Michael Sam
I know the story on Sam is far from over, but Sam will most likely be the first openly gay player in the NFL once the 2014 draft takes place. A movie cataloging his decision to announce he is gay prior to the NFL draft and any obstacles he faces as a result (I’m hoping none) could make for a compelling movie.
16. Tom Brady
I’m a huge New England Patriots and Tom Brady fan and a homer. But stay with me on this. Brady didn’t exactly set the world on fire at Michigan and was drafted by the Patriots with the 199th pick. Brady then sat behind Drew Bledsoe, who got hurt in a game against the New York Jets, and Brady has been the franchise QB ever since. Brady led the Patriots to the franchise’s first Super Bowl win, beating the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. With the right director and the right actor playing Brady, this could be a great movie.
15. Joe Paterno
Everyone knows Paterno because he was the head coach at Penn State, but Paterno did play QB and cornerback at Brown so he qualifies to make this list. A movie about Paterno’s coaching life and the adulation he received from Penn State and the football community, and his role in the Jerry Sandusky scandal is one that should be made.
14. Dennis Rodman
Rodman is nuts, and a movie about his life would be insane, and I think I’d have to go see it.
13. Brian Banks
Banks was a high school football star who had been offered a full scholarship to play at USC. But in 2002, at the age of 17, he was wrongfully convicted of rape and spent five years in prison. After he was released in 2007, Banks was placed on probation for five years and had to register as a sex offender. In May 2012, Banks’ accuser contacted him via Facebook and recanted her story. Banks was then exonerated, and the Atlanta Falcons drafted him less than one year later. Banks was then released prior to the 2013 season, but his is an incredible story.
12. Jessica Long
Jessica is a Russian-born United States Paralympic swimmer from Baltimore, MD. NBC had a great feature on Jessica during the Olympics. Jessica was born in Russia but was adopted by an American couple. Jessica finally got the chance to travel to Russia and meet her Russian family.
11. Kurt Warner
This would be a great underdog story. Warner did not receive any interest from the Division 1 colleges to play football. He stuck it out at Northern Iowa and finally made it to the NFL after going undrafted and failing to make the Green Bay Packers squad. Warner had an unusual route to the NFL though, starting in the arena league and playing in the NFL’s European league first. Warner was a 28 year-old back-up QB that no one knew in 1999 and then he shot to stardom. In just his second full season in the NFL Warner lead the St. Louise Rams to a Super Bowl victory.
10. Michael Phelps
I’d sign up to see a movie about Phelps’ struggle with ADD and his quest for eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympics.
9. Earvin "Magic" Johnson
One of the best basketball players of all time whose career was cut short after he was diagnosed with HIV. Every sports fan would go a see movie about Magic. I’d go and I’m a Boston Celtics fan.
8. Steve Gleason
In 2006 while playing for the New Orleans Saints, Gleason blocked a punt in the first game played in the Super Dome after Hurricane Katrina. It was just an unbelievable scene. In 2011 Gleason revealed he was battling ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
7. Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding
If a movie about ballet dancers like “Black Swan” can be a hit, why not make one about figure skating rivals? Throw in the obvious scene where Kerrigan is attacked by Jeff Gillooly and this could be a compelling movie.
6. Michael Jordan
Jordan is the best basketball player of all time. It wasn’t always that way though. Jordan began skipping classes to get better at basketball, eventually working hard both on and off the court. Jordan won his first NBA Title with the Chicago Bulls in 1991 and then secured the three peat by winning in 1992 and 1993. Jordan then retired before the 1993-94 season to pursue baseball, which did not go great. Jordan returned to the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three more NBA Titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998. After retiring again in 1999, Jordan returned to the NBA and played for the Washington Wizards in 2001 and 2003.
5. Tiger Woods
Woods was possibly the most famous athlete on the planet when he crashed his SUV and a string of affairs came to light, ending his marriage to Elin Nordegren. Tiger is now linked to US skier Lindsey Vonn.
4. Mike Tyson
Try and tell me you wouldn’t see a movie about Tyson. You know you would. I would too.
3. Oscar Pistorius
After being an inspiration as a sprinter even though both of his legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11, the South African found himself in trouble. Pistorius is on trial for allegedly killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
2. Lance Armstrong
After I put Armstrong here, I saw that there is a movie in the works with Bradley Cooper to star in it, although it is unclear whether Cooper will play Lance or Lance’s longtime friend and ex-teammate, Tyler Hamilton. Lance rose higher and fell harder than almost any other athlete in history. I actually believed and defended him until he admitted his PED use. I think I’ll have to see this movie.
1. O.J. Simpson
C'mon, who would pass up seeing a movie about O.J.? Simpson was one of the best running backs in NFL history and his murder trial was one for the ages. After somehow being acquitted, O.J. got himself into trouble with the law again and is currently in jail.