The Blog Squad

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ernie McCracken and Bob Barker on the Same List?

I hope you’re having a great week.

I recently saw that TV Land and Entertainment Weekly compiled a list of the 50 greatest TV icons. The show airs tonight at 8. If you can’t wait and want to know who is the top choice, click here.

I will say only one sports-related person made the list. Howard Cosell, the voice for Monday Night Football and championship boxing events, placed No. 28 between John Ritter and Regis Philbin.

The list got me thinking about the greatest movie sports icons of all time. So in honor of fictional characters Homer Simpson, Lassie and Kermit the Frog, who all made the leap into film, here goes. And remember, this is not scientific nor is it as well researched as TV Land’s list. It’s just having some fun with two of my favorite things.

15. Ernie McCracken (Kingpin, 1996). Bill Murray at his best with the comb-over and the fist pump after each strike.

14. Morris Buttermaker (The Bad News Bears, 1976). Drunk and vulgar, the man was my hero. Can you remember the team’s sponsor?

13. Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump, 1994). How many times have you said, “Run Forrest, run?” Also, he is perhaps the only football hero turned ping-pong stud in the history of mankind. His run across the country featured a great Doobie Brothers song.

12. Jimmy Dugan (A League of Their Own, 1992). Back-to-back Tom Hanks? Why not? He did win two Oscars in a row. Apparently the crying line is still one of his favorites.

11. Bob Barker (Happy Gilmore, 1996). Who knew Barker had hands of stone? Body blow, right hook, eight jabs and a right cross put Happy into the water.

10. Wilbur “Shooter” Flatch (Hoosiers, 1986). “I know everything there is to know about the greatest game ever invented.” And “We’re gonna run the picket fence at ‘em!”

9. Herman Boone (Remember the Titans, 2000). Nobody plays a cop or coach like Denzel Washington. I’ve actually met the real Herman Boone. What an honor.

8. Annie Kinsella (Field of Dreams, 1989). Any woman who stands by her man’s weird visions and voice hauntings in the face of bankruptcy is the greatest wife ever. She believed in him.

7. Adrian Pennino (Rocky, 1976). The royal couple of sports films. I don’t think I cried more during a movie than I did the final scene of Rocky. Well, maybe when Barbara Hershey was dying Beaches.

6. Jake Taylor (Major League, 1989). We get to hear conversations between catcher and batter. Good stuff, especially, “How’s your wife and my kids?”

5. Roy McAvoy (Tin Cup, 1996). Never lay up. Always take dead aim and go for the green. “When was the last time you took a risk?”

4. Billy Hoyle (White Men Can’t Jump, 1992). He proved on the playground, it’s hard work making something this pretty look like a chump. I have the same problem.

3. Jerry McGuire (Jerry McGuire, 1996). A great year for sports movies. “Have you ever gotten the feeling that you aren’t completely embarrassed yet, but you glimpse tomorrow’s embarrassment?” said the man who shoplifted the pootie.

2. Crash Davis (Bull Durham, 1988). This is a guy I’m sure we all wish we could be. Plus, he can hit for power. “Quit trying to strike everyone out — strikeouts are boring, besides that, they’re fascist.”

1. Roy Hobbs (The Natural, 1984). A film I can watch over and over because there’s something glorious about a home run that wins the game. Roy Hobbs is an example of someone everyone admires. We all have known such a person who awes us with talent and humility. And somehow, no matter what happens in life, they overcome and we root for them because we like them.

OUT AT HOME: Nothing like a ferocious stomach virus to remind you that your mundane life is actually pretty good. Can’t wait to return to it.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: This is a sport, right? They have uniforms, helmets and goggles.


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