The holiday season is the perfect time of year for settling down in front of the TV with a great movie on. If you are a sports fan, then what about choosing one or two of these inspiring sports movies to light up your festive season?
Basically, any of the Rocky movies will give you the sort of warm glow that can only come from an inspiring underdog story. The first movies in the series was 1976’s Rocky, and it still stands the test of time after all these years.
However, if you want to enjoy Christmas with Sylvester Stallone’s brave boxer by your side then Rocky IV is probably the best choice. This is where Rocky travels to Russia to take on Ivan Drago and avenge the death of Apollo Creed. During filming, Dolph Lundgren hit Stallone so hard that he ended up in hospital for nine days.
It is easy to see why this was the most commercially successful Rocky movie, as the wonderfully over-the-top action will have you on your feet. The final fight takes place at Christmas time, giving it a nice festive feel that works well for the holidays.
This 2002 sports drama is based on a true story. Dennis Quaid plays Jim Morris, who became the oldest rookie in MLB history by making his debut at the age of 35. His father is against Jim making a career in baseball, despite his obvious talent.
They move to a town where the sport has fallen out of favor, with football taking over the number one sport, which means that he can’t play in high school. A chance to sign for the Milwaukee Brewers goes up in smoke when he hurts his shoulder, so he goes on to carve out a career as a science teacher.
His talent for the sport is eventually discovered and he leads the Big Lake Owls to some success before he goes on against all odds to end up pitching in the MLB. If you love Major League Baseball or feel-good movies, you should enjoy The Rookie.
Heaven Can Wait
This heart-warming family movie from 1978 tells us the story of Joe Pendleton, who is a quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL. Joe, played by Warren Beatty, is taken to the afterlife too soon by a guardian angel who is overly eager to protect him.
After the Powers That Be discover it wasn’t time for Joe to die, they return him to Earth in the body of an out-of-shape millionaire who has just been murdered. He then buys the Rams and attempts to get into shape to play in the Super Bowl.
Some former NFL players and sports broadcasters make appearances in this movie. Interestingly, it was going to be about a boxer at first, with Muhammad Ali meant to be the lead actor. This fun comedy was well-received when released and received a number of Academy Award nominations.
This 2005 sports drama from Ron Howard follows the true-life story of James J. Braddock. Russell Crowe plays the boxer, who has to retire from the sport after breaking his hand during a fight. He goes on to work as manual laborer before getting a chance to get back in the ring for a major fight.
He unexpectedly wins this comeback opportunity and finally gets a shot at the heavyweight championship. James defeats the intimidating defending champion to become the Heavyweight Champion of the world in 1935.
This real-life tale of the underdog coming good has proved to be hugely popular among film-lovers. It provides an inspiring way of passing a couple of hours cheering on a hero during the holidays.
One of the best sports movies is the 2005 Coach Carter biopic. It stars Samuel L. Jackson, depicting former Richmond High School basketball coach Ken Carter, who suspended his undefeated team due to poor academic results.
It’s a great family movie, which brings important lessons to children and teenagers, while also revolving around the world of basketball.
You can read the BetAmerica list of best NBA coaches of all time to find other inspiring figures who were responsible for the success of their team and their players.
Final Thoughts on Holiday Sports Movies
Here are five great sports movies to watch during the holidays with your family. Most of them are available on streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, so you should be able to access them easily.
Since we can’t enjoy massive gatherings this year, or watch professional sports in person, we might as well enjoy the coziness indoors and watch interesting flicks with our family or friends.