Caddyshack And The Decline Of Western Civilization: The Top 5 Sports Comedies Of All Time
Disclaimer: I was born in 1981, a year after Caddyshack was released. I was not privy to the mind control that took place and created this magical hold on whomever watched it.
A catalyst is defined as a a person or thing that precipitates an event. Sports is a catalyst. For the avid sports fan it is precursor of a wide range of emotions. It precipitates elation for an unassuming fan as Stephen Curry hits a 30 footer at the buzzer to win the game as another fan witnessing the same series of events is filled with agony as Curry shot goes in and he realizes his team has lost. I’m sure that is what would actually happen but that was a scenario I was using to drive home a point. For a factual indicator let’s go back to Super Bowl XLIX. Malcolm Butler has just intercepted Russell Wilson and it is clear the New England Patriots will win. Personally, as I watched, I couldn’t believe it. I thought with a back like Marshawn in the backfield this close to the goal line the game was over. I had picked the Patriots to win and I was about to watch the Seahawks triumphantly run the ball in for the score. But somehow, some way, they decided to throw the ball and it ended up being an interception. The range of emotion within me that was produced in the span of seconds form gloom to glory was off the meter. The similar range of emotion all over the world produced off that singular event had been created by sport.
If we can agree on the emotion that sport can create and its ability to make us happy or sad, I’d like to simply focus on one circumstance sports can engineer. The ability to make us laugh. Enter the sports comedy film. With a little bit of research, I was able to find that Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman was the first great sports comedy. It was made in 1925 and has since created a family tree of timeless sports comedies. Competition is in the DNA of sports so it wouldn’t be right to not rank the 5 best sports comedies of all time.
Disclaimer II: I did not make this list to appeal to sentiment. Caddyshack is not on the list. I watched it yesterday. It wasn’t that funny. Not even worth creating an honorable mention. I’d consider The Legend Of Bagger Vance ahead of it. Shot out all the 80’s babies!!!!
5. A League Of Their Own—Tom Hanks, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell teamed up to tell the story of the women of the All American League that came from city near and far. While shedding light on a significant moment for women in sports we also learned one of the most important principles of sport we will ever learn, “there is no crying in baseball.”
4. Dodgeball: An Underdog Story— Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn give the sport of dodgeball the Zoolander treatment. We are introduced to the world of competitive dodgeball but we can’t dodge the laughs. Hopefully we can dodge a wrench.
3. Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby—Will Ferrell has a couple that would not make a list (Kicking And Screaming and Semi Pro), but Ricky Bobby is classic as the unassuming pit crew member that takes the racing world by storm while dealing with some serious daddy issues.
2. Major League—Before this movie depicting a made up Cleveland Indians iteration that is the heat of a pennant race with team full of misfits. This movie also is where I learned that Bob Uecker was more than just the dad from Mr Belvidere.
1. White Men Can’t Jump—Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes are cinema magic in this film about hustling basketball pickup games in Venice Beach. This sports comedy is also educational as it examines the many foods that start with the letter “Q.”
By Marcus Carter
Chicago Sports Analyst
Heroes Media Group Sports