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#1. Rocky (1976)
This is the underdog film of the century. It's all about determination, against all odds. Sure, there's a love story in there, but you'll understand the power of Adrian's tough love come Rocky III.
1) Chance favors the prepared mind (kinda), 2) A split decision can be the ultimate win, 3) Beating the "meat" only makes you stronger, 4) It's never hurts to have God on your side, and 5) There's nothing wrong with being a "southpaw" (for those lefties out there).
#2. Caddy Shack (1980)
This one's a safe bet as one of the funniest films of all time. You don't even have to appreciate golf to recognize a hole in one.
1) It only takes a chocolate bar to clear a public pool, 2) Never leave the top down on your convertible if you plan on parking it outside a restaurant that serves alcohol to minors, 3) Animals are sometimes smarter than humans, 4) You don't have to be rich to get the girl, just invited to the party, 5) It's not what you know, it's who you know, and 6) when you have the right skill set, everybody wants you on their team.
#3. Slap Shot (1977)
Take a team of ne'er-do-wells, put their backs up against the wall, let them loose and watch them fight their way to the playoffs. That's the theme behind this classic cult film that brought us some of the funniest footage ever watched on a VCR.
1) Good sportsmanship won't always pay off, 2) It's okay for adults to still play with toys, and 3) There's no job security, so do what you have to do to survive.
#4. Rudy (1993)
Think of the little engine that could, but in a sports film, and you'll have this gem of a football flick that says your don't have to be big in stature to make your mark on the world.
1) Follow your dreams, 2) Work hard for what you want in life, 3) Let your passion drive you wherever it may, 4) No one can do it all by himself, and you should never be too proud to accept the help of a stranger, 5) Small minds are a problem, not small bodies, and 6) It's okay for a man to cry (that's for all the guys that try to hide that single tear every time they catch this on TV).
#5. The Natural (1984)
Here's a film that says you're never too old to become the person you were meant to be (or a father for that matter).
1) Never gloat (in a dark room, with a crazy women all dressed in black concealing a weapon), 2) Use a condom (so you don't leave town and saddle your high school sweetheart with having to raise your kid alone for 15 years), 3) Practice makes perfect, and 4) Swing for the fences, and don't let anybody talk you out of doing what you were meant to do.
#6. Jerry Maguire (1996)
Plot: Man has the whole world at his fingertips. Man has a slice of bad pizza, writes a mission statement that's before its time and watches the world slip through his fingertips, only to have the comeback of a lifetime (with a little help from his friends). You had me at "Show me the money!"
1) "We live in a cynical world of tough competitiors," 2) It takes no time at all to go from being a superstar to a nobody, 3) If you want to inspire people, play the game from the heart, 4) Don't say "F@#&" in front of a kid unless you're willing to take him to the zoo, 5) When you have no one else, it's okay to confide in your goldfish, and 6) Learning sign language pays off.
#7. Remember the Titans (2000)
Here's a fantastic film about segregation disguised as one of the best sports films ever made. If we're talking Life Lessons, this film, about a high school football team coming together as one cohesive unit, has some of the very best to offer.
1) You can't know your future unless you know your past, 2) Change is inevitable, 3) Open minds produce fantastic results, 4) How "to trust the soul of a man rather than the look of him," and 5) It doesn't matter if you like others, but you must respect them.
#8. Field of Dreams (1989)
Talk about Daddy issues... This fantasy film about America's pastime tell us that reconciling the past is the key to the future.
1) Going against the grain is worthwhile in the end, 2) "If you build it, he will come" (or God helps those who help themselves, I guess), 3) Never force your kids to do something they enjoy until they hate it, 4) "Go the distance," and you will find what you seek, 5) Follow your inner voice, and 6) All any little boy really wants is to have a "catch" with his Dad.
#9. Bull Durham (1988)
This love triangle between an up and coming pitcher, a small town school teacher and an aging catcher has a lot more to offer than just some classic cliches. It's a classic in every sense of the word, and its got life lessons at every turn (rounding the bases that is).
1) "Never Mess with a Streak," 2) Dating advice: "Lesson number one: don't think; it can only hurt the ball club," 3) "You (better) learn your cliches...," 4) The vagina is like the Bermuda Triangle, "a man could get lost in there and never be heard from again," 5) Never call an ump a "C@#&$*&^%#$," and 5) My personal favorite (as a reference to life in general): "This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains." Think about that for a while.""
#10. Major League (1989)
Take a team of ne'er-do-wells, put their backs up against the wall, let them loose and watch them fight their way to the playoffs...Wait a minute? Anyway, here's another sports classic that takes the bottom of the barrel and gives them their shot at glory.
1) When someone says you can't do something, prove 'em wrong, 2) Everyone gets a second chance, if they don't give up on their dreams, 3) There's never a bucket of sacrificial chicken around when you really need it, 4) "F@#k JoBoo" and do it yourself," and 5) Even the cool kids eventually have to wear glasses.
Happy Gilmore (1996) - Honorable Mention
What happens when you take the world's worst hockey player with the world's hardest slap shot and put a golf club in his hands? Here's your answer...
1) Take your greatest strength and turn it in to an asset, 2) Be good to your Grandma, and 3) When in doubt, go to your happy place.
Rocky II: Voted Best Training Montage of all Time (click)