It has been more than a week since broadcasters last aired a live sports event for us to relish. And life seems to have stopped for us, barring the tiny videos of toilet-paper challenges and the occasional media reports about the resuming dates that give us some glimmer of hope. For us sports lovers, it is more than just a pass time. It is wonderment and imagination, hope and anticipation, happiness and sorrow all clubbed into one that perfectly nullifies all our day to day tension. But the rise in coronavirus concerns across the world has left sports organisations with no choice but to suspend all the tournaments while leaving future events in doubt. And amid the lockdowns and self-isolation process, we bring to you a list of best sports movies all time which can temporarily drive boredom.
Fire in Babylon: The 2010 British documentary film is about that fiery West Indies pace bowling lineup with which the present Indian pacers under Virat Kohli is compared with. The movie takes us back to the 70s and the 80s through stock footage and interviews of the pacers of that record-breaking West Indies cricket team including Colin Croft, Deryck Murray, Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Michael Holding, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, and Andy Roberts as writer and director Stevan Riley shows the gradual ascension of Windies cricket to entertaining "Calypso Cricketers" to world dominators.
Lagaan: Yes, of course, you have watched this epic 2001 film written and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, probably several times. But it wouldn't hurt to revisit that small village named Champaner and listen to Bhuvan bravely accepting Captain Russell's 'tin guna lagaan' challenge and eventually the village people outlasting the Englishmen in their own game.
The Damned United: Missing some English football action, eh lad? Well, this is the perfect movie for you. Before the age of Manchester United and the present City vs Liverpool rivalry, there was an era when Leeds United, Derby County, and Nottingham Forest ruled the charts, albeit ages back. The 2009 British sports drama film is based on Brian Clough's rise as a manager through Derby County and an ill-fated tenure as manager of Leeds. "Brian Clough remains the greatest manager the England team never had."
Bend it like Beckham: The 2002 Gurinder Chadha-directed movie is about an 18-year-old Indian girl who dreams about being a footballer and even joins a local women's team, but her traditional parents want her to find a nice boy and settle down. The movie is a complete package - a family entertainer, bit of romcom and of course, lots of football.
Rocky series: With a series as big as this - Rocky (1976), Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), Rocky Balboa (2006), Creed (2015), Creed II (2018) - it just becomes the perfect choice for a binge-watch.
Raging Bull: Forty years on, Raging Bull still stands a benchmark for all sports biopics. Robert de Niro's perfectly portrays Jake LaMotta as Martin Scorsese shows how the Italian boxer's self-destructive nature helps him rise up the ranks, but life outside the ring crumbles.
Jerry Maguire: It is a story of sports agent who is reduced from 72 clients and a job at the sports management company he helped found, to just one client following his notion of an honest revelation about how management companies truly work and how it ought to. Well, it does have all the perfect elements - an ambitious yet flawed lead, a competitor in Bob Sugar, to whom he loses No.1 draft pick Frank Cush and a love interest in Dorothy Boyd.
Remember the Titans: The 2000 American biographical sports film is about an African-American coach Herman Boone who tries to put together a racially integrated unit in his first season in high-school football.
Moneyball: This movie is for all the sports nerds out there. The film is based on Michael Lewis's 2003 nonfiction book where Oakland A's manager Billy Beane and his assistant Peter Brand, troubled with a lean budget, puts together a team of underrated players based on a mathematical approach. The film had bagged six Academy Awards nominations.
The Match - Federer vs. Nadal, 2008 Wimbledon Final: Almost 12 years back the two titans of world tennis had met at the SW19 to create what Björn Borg later described as ‘the best tennis match I’ve ever seen in my life’. Wimbledon has witnessed some of the greatest battles on its lush green turf - Goran Ivanisevic vs Pat Rafter, the inseparable Borg and John McEnroe in the 1980 battle, Margaret Court against Bille Jean King. And then there is Nadal vs Federer in 2008 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7. If you are truly missing tennis action, you won't regret watching this documentary.
Senna: The 2010 British documentary film is about the life and death of Brazilian motor-racing champion Ayrton Senna, the winner of the F1 World championship thrice before his untimely death at the age of 34.