By Cody Williams @TheSizzle20 on July 29, 2014
There are certainly many people that will say that the truth is a greater story than anything fictional will ever be. In the case of sports and often the belief of Hollywood, that’s certainly true. Which 20 sports stories deserve to make their way to Hollywood? (Note: these are all stories that haven’t had a major, modern, or successful feature film made about them.)
The dust has certainly settled on the Manti Te’o drama, but that doesn’t mean it’s without it’s ridiculous twists and turns. Though it has the drama to be made into a Hollywood movie, a “Lifetime” Movie would possibly be even more entertaining (for entirely different reasons, of course).
While the 2014 World Cup run for the USMNT has seemingly brought soccer to the forefront of America for the first time, the spark came from the 1999 U.S. Women’s Team in the Women’s World Cup. Complete with PK drama and iconic moments like the one with Brandi Chastain, the story is made for the movies.
You could really make this a trilogy of trilogies chronicling their decade and a half of battling in college and the pros and I’d watch it. Even if it was just one movie, though, Hollywood would be crazy to not portray two all-time basketball greats whose fates were so intertwined.
Even if there were just a movie about what Walter Payton was able to accomplish on the football field, I’d be there on opening night. Throw in the tragedy of his passing and the other great things he did and this would be must see. Also, if it’s not called “Sweetness,” someone will have dropped the ball.
One of the most polarizing basketball players of all time deserves to have his story seen. Not only is what he did on the hardwood worth telling, but the legend of Wilt off the court deserves the Hollywood treatment as well.
There are so many angles to take with the story of Rosie Ruiz cheating to win the 1980 Boston Marathon. From the point-of-view of Ruiz, the other runners, or someone else, this story is just too rich to pass up putting on the silver screen.
A story about arguably the greatest hitter to ever play baseball is good enough. When you also consider that he’s banned from baseball for gambling on the games he was a part of, Rose’s story deserves big-money, big-screen treatment.
A pretty strong argument can be made that John Wooden is the greatest basketball coach to ever live. With his amount of success at UCLA and all of the greats that crossed paths with him, his life is made for the movies.
Scandal always makes for something that people will want to see. When you have a true story of guys without disabilities competing in the Paralympics to win a medal, that’s about as scandalous as it gets.
Between what Jim Valvano has been able to do for cancer research after his battle with the disease and his historic Cinderella run at the 1983 NCAA Championship with NC State, Jimmy V is a Hollywood character for the ages.
Speaking of people made to be Hollywood characters, Ray Lewis may fit the bill better than most. His personality is larger than life, as is the adversity and triumphs that he’s had throughout that life.
Call it “The Great One,” show Wayne Gretzky being great, add a little dramatic flair, count your millions; seems like a simple enough process.
O.J. Simpson’s rise to being a football darling would be a good story. O.J. Simpson being tried for murder would be a good story. O.J. Simpson being free only to go to prison later in life would be a good story. If it’s all sitting there in one man’s life, it’s a movie waiting to happen.
There have been plenty documentary films made in regards to Tyson and for good reason. However, putting the man’s amazing life in a feature film is just too easy of a jump for it to have not happened yet.
A whole city was redeemed from an 86 year curse when the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series. If Hollywood could somehow include all that pain the franchise went through, it’d be gold. And no, “Fever Pitch” doesn’t count.
Barry Bonds broke every home run record there was to take down. He was also almost surely cheating to do so. The transformation of Bonds from hero to villain certainly has its place in the movies.
Sports story meets crime story, Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan’s saga at the 1994 Winter Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime happening. Hollywood would be crazy to not eventually capitalize on this.
We all know about the tremendous adversity and even more tremendous fall of Lance Armstrong. There are reportedly two movies in-production right now about the subject, but since they haven’t been released yet, it deserves to be on the list.
Arthur Ashe’s life is the stuff of legends. Not only did he break barriers by being an enormous successful African-American tennis player, but he also battled HIV/AIDS and did more than his fair share to try and raise awareness and funds for research for the deadly disease.
Honestly, how has Jesse Owens’ story not been made into a movie yet? An African-American athlete sticking it to Hitler in Berlin by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics is better than any drama Hollywood could fabricate. Someone make this happen with a quickness.
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