Unusual Sports Movies

There are only two days a year when no major sports games are held: the day before baseball’s Major League All-Star Game, and the day after.  On every other day of the year, a major sporting event occurs somewhere in the country. Indeed, there are only 26 days a year when the PGA is not on tour, 51 days without tennis, and 95 days without a NASCAR event. Many sport seasons overlap – baseball ends long after football starts, basketball begins during football, and hockey runs long after baseball starts.

I’m not a huge sports fan. Sure, I grew up watching Wide World of Sports, but our family sport was Indy car racing, and if you practice that, police get annoyed. I earned an inter-dorm basketball championship shirt in college, but that was because we won three games by default, and yes, I watch two full weeks of the Olympics each time.

But for some unknown reason, I do like movies about sports. And there are a plethora of really good ones. Every sport has a loyal following, and some sports are more of a specialty than others (there aren’t many mainstream martial arts films beyond The Karate Kid,  and when I thought of skiing movies and thought of The Other Side of the Mountain (yeah, I’m old) and Eddie the Eagle real skiers have movies no one in the average  theater knows of), but no matter what the sport, there’s at least one film about it (Cool Runnings not withstanding).

Best of the Best

Ten films are on almost every Best Sports Movie list available. They’re grade-A movies that can make even the non-sportsman cheer for the underdog:
Hoop DreamsField of Dreams   / Moneyball  /  Bull Durham  /  Rocky   Rudy  /  Caddyshack   / 
Raging Bull  /  Tin Cup  /   Million Dollar Baby

Wider World of Sports

Yes, you say, but three of those are boxing movies. I’m a competitive swimmer. Then check out The Swimmer, with Burt Lancaster. If you want a top-rated movie for a sport without a weekday TV contract, try:

Golf: Caddyshack (no matter what list you look at, golfers insist this is THE best golf movie, but check out Tin Cup or The Legend of Bagger Vance for something more serious).
Tennis: Borg vs. McEnroe Battle of the Sexes
RunningJericho Mile, Chariots of Fire   

Skiing: Deep and Light
Martial Arts: Drunken Master II (Jackie Chan)
Auto racing: Days of Thunder,  Rush

Soccer: Pele: Birth of a Legend, Bend it Like Beckham
Billiards: The Hustler
Ice Skating: The Cutting Edge,  Ice Castles I, Tonya

Hockey:  Miracle, Slap Shot, Mystery Alaska
Surfing: Soul Surfer, Blue Crush

Horseracing: Seabiscuit
Weightlifting: Pumping Iron (the absolute classic!)
Rodeo: The Electric Horseman 8 Seconds  

Killer Roller Skating: Rollerball Whip It
Dodgeball: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story  
Apocalyptic ManhuntingThe Running Man,  The Hunger Games

Always Broom for One More

And Quidditch? Yes, that crazy game from Harry Potter is a real modern-day Muggle sport. Quidditch was first played on the campus of Middlebury College in 2005, with actual world championships (but no flying on the brooms), and there is still a push to make Quidditch an Olympic sport. Or you can follow Connecticut Quidditch teams at Yale, UConn, or Quinnipiac to watch live action on the pitch.  (Yes, I’m serious. My daughter’s team ranked 22nd in the world).

Don’t pay those exorbitant stadium prices or suffer through repetitive commercials! Grab your beer or bottled water, your popcorn or your Ball Park Frank, and cheer for your favorite sport with one of these awesome sports films!

Romance Authors Love Veterans

veteran

One of the wonderful things about Romance authors is that they write about relevant, current, everyday topics.  Lately, many contemporary Romance authors are writing about our wounded warriors.   Romance authors have picked up on the heroic sacrifices our Veterans have made and have written authentic, smart, sensitive, emotional, heartwarming, and uplifting stories that touch all of our hearts.   Two new releases are highlighted below.

USA Today best selling author RaeAnne Thayne continues her series, Hope’s Crossing, with book number six, Christmas In Snowflake Canyon.  

Dylan Caine is a wounded war vet, losing an eye and part of his arm in Afghanistan.  He lands back in Hope’s Crossing, but heads up to an isolated cabin in Snowflake Canyon to get away from his large, loving, and smothering family.  He finally agrees to meet his brother at the local bar in town.

Genevieve Beaumont is the daughter of Hope’s Crossing’s mayor – a spoiled, rich, pompous brat who has spent the last several years in Paris – overspending and overindulging.  When she discovers her fiance has been cheating on her, she breaks their engagement.  Her parents pull her back to Hope’s Crossing, cutting her off from her trust fund until she can get her act together.  She’s banished to live in her late grandmother’s run down house,  and feeling sorry for herself, she heads off to the local bar.

When Genevieve ends up in a bar room brawl, Dylan reluctantly comes to her rescue.  Both are arrested and are assigned community service at the local Wounded Warriors facility.

What follows is a painful, emotional, uplifting journey that brings these two unlikely characters together.  Through emotional and physical trials, both characters transform from people you don’t quite like, to people you want to invite into your home.  The two main characters are supported by a wonderfully written cast of supporting characters.  Ms. Thayne does a beautiful job describing all the characters, the exquisite scenery and expertly shows us the courageous struggle of our wounded soldiers.  A wonderfully written journey of loss and hurt replaced with healing and love.

The Way Home by Cindy Gerard – Killed in Action – the most dreaded words imaginable for a soldier’s wife. Jess Albert has been living with them for four years, since the death of her husband in Afghanistan. Finding blessed numbness in routine, she doesn’t dare to look ahead, any more than she can bear to look back. Then Tyler Brown, a former special-ops warrior, shows up at her small general store in Minnesota North Woods, jarring her back to life. Jess knows better than to fall in love with another man who places duty to his country before love of his wife- but there’s no denying the longing and the hope for a future that Ty makes her feel.

A world away, a man ravaged by years of captivity and torture, a man with no memories, finally escapes- clinging to life and sanity in a hostile land. In his darkest hour, he awakes in a lantern-lit cave to find a woman at his side. Dark-haired and dark-eyes, her touch is caring, despite the resentment he hears in her voice and sees on her face. Rabia is bound by honor to save the lost American soldier in her keeping, this broken warrior from a war that has brought so much devastation to her land. But is it honor igniting her compassion for her enemy, or is it something more?

A beautifully written story of love, honor,  and loyalty and the sacrifices of our soldiers and their families.

Check out some other Romance authors who have written military themed books:  Suzanne Brockmann, Robyn Carr,  Laura Griffin,  Elle Kennedy, Penny McCall, Lindsay McKenna, JoAnn Ross, Roxanne St. Clair, Julie Ann Walker.