Films that Inspire a Career in Sport - Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone starring in Creed - image credit © 2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved”
The sports industry is very much a mix of high-end action and behind the scenes administration. From managing a team, dealing with the physicality of athletes, to being an actual sports person – there is a world of career opportunities on and off the field, court or track.
While some people are talented enough to play sport, others have made it their life's work to maintain the sports industry as a whole and earn quite a living doing so. Most of the inspiration are derived from moments on the field of play and some off the field...
Here are a few movies that we believe can inspire a career in the sports industry!
Jerry Maguire – "Show me the money", if that doesn't sum up the overall relationship between an athlete and management – then what does! Plus, throw in a love story, Cuba Gooding Jr. winning an Oscar and Cameron Crowe. Careers inspired: Sports Agent! Rating: 10 out of Ten.
Moneyball – a film illustrating picking a team based on stats and cash – which converted to success on the field. Careers inspired: Sports Manager. Rating: 8 out of Ten.
Draft Day – Kevin Costner stars in a film set during the NFL draft day pick. Interesting movie about the background behind picking top players and the strategy behind it. Careers inspired: General Manager of a sports franchise. Rating 6 out of Ten.
Any Given Sunday – Al Pacino screaming loudly on a football field (however he tends to shout a lot in most movies), whilst Jamie Foxx goes from the bench warmer to the shining star! A mix of on-the-field but mainly behind the scenes of the running of a football team shot in true Oliver Stone style! Careers inspired: Sports coach. Sports club Owner. Rating: 8 out of Ten.
Invictus – Nelson Mandela, Francois Pienaar played by Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon respectively...enough said. The movie shows the mix of politics and the impact of sport on the mood and sentiment a nation. Careers inspired: President of a country.... Rating: 10 out of Ten.
The sportsperson: inspiring careers as professional sports people:
Rocky – the first one, Stallone punching meat in a fridge instead of a punching bag – we are sure there is something to take from that.... Rating: 7 out of Ten.
Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone starring in Creed - image credit © 2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved”
Creed - A Rocky franchise reboot of sorts. Fast, slick and powerful, as Stallone goes pensive and Michael B. Jordan rises to the challenge. Rating: 10 out of Ten.
Other great boxing movies to take note of include: Raging Bull, Ali, Million Dollar Baby and Cinderella Man.
Invincible – based on the story of the other “Rocky” of Philadelphia Vince Papale, and his rise from an unknown to a starting Wide Receiver for the Eagles. It is an interesting mix of a coaches belief in a player and the underdog story, that melts the heart! Rating: 10 out of Ten.
Goal – another rise to fame story, but it is fun, inspiring and cool. Not for people who don't like Newcastle United Football Club... Rating: 10 out of Ten.
Rush – This was an epic racing battle, and Ron Howard provided a great telling of the story between Niki Lauda and James Hunt. Rating: 10 out of Ten.
42 - the Jackie Robinson story, is a game changer of race, sport and talent! Perhaps lessons can be applied today in some sporting codes that are missing the mark on change! Rating: 6 out of Ten.
Coming of age:
Remember the Titans – Denzel Washington takes a high school divided by race and brings them together to provide a winning formula. Rating: 10 out of Ten.
Varsity Blues – Jon Voight is mean but Dawson from Dawson’s Creek stands up to him, in order to secure his academic scholarship to Brown University! Rating: 7 out of Ten.
Bend it like Beckham – Popular, fun and pushing the boundaries of football, not just in terms of gender but being inspired by a champion to convince disapproving parents that a career in sport is worthwhile. Rating: 7 out of Ten.
Miracle – This is a goodie! Kurt Russel's, never quit attitude of Big Trouble in Little China is mixed with the attitude of an ice hockey coach, also there is a whole Cold War back drop story. But at the end of day the Mighty Ducks...err sorry, the USA wins! Rating: 10 out of Ten.
Rudy – Getting into college, playing football and never quitting on a dream...Rating: 9 out of Ten.
The TV show:
Ballers starring Dwayne Johnson seen here with co-star Rob Corddry (left) - image courtesy of Sky Deutschland GmbH - "Ballers" is airing in the USA on HBO and in UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria on Sky Atlantic HD.
Ballers – Heavy hitting football/financial series starring Dwayne the Rock Johnson. Initially we said not the best example but as the series progressed it became an interesting example. With a focus on the behind the scenes business and management of players in the NFL, its a well balanced series. With good sub plots about players during and after their careers, it puts forward the concept of a career after retiring as a professional athlete. Rating a solid 8 out of ten!
The second chance:
The Replacements – when all else fails, bring on the dynamic thinking of Gene Hackman and you have an inspiring tale of those who could play but never got the chance but finally did and made it count! Rating: 7 out of Ten.
Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist and Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story - one sport two very conflicting stories.
And speaking of which the cautionary tale - what not to become...
The Program - based on the David Walsh book titled Seven Deadly Sins about Lance Armstrong.
Worth a mention:
Cool Runnings – possibly sparked more interest in the Winter Olympics than any other movie! Rating: 7 out of Ten.
And one depicting impending retirement from a sports career:
Wimbledon – a love story centered around the Wimbledon Championship, with the hero providing a last throw at the dice to win a Grand Slam. Rating: 7 out of Ten.
What to look out for: not yet rated by the OriginalSteps.com team
Borg/McEnroe - a biographical epic that explores the legendary rivalry between John McEnroe and Björn Borg.
Borg/McEnroe Copyright: Julie Vrabelová Image courtesy of Nordisk Film
Pitch – a baseball series that breaks the stereotypes of a male-dominated league.
The Battered Bastards of Baseball - the story of the Portland Mavericks baseball team.
The Battered Bastards of Baseball - image source and copyright © Netflix
Battle of the Sexes – Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs...battle each other on the tennis court!
OriginalSteps.com movie and television ranking criteria
10 out of ten entertaining, informative and inspiring
9 out of ten informative and inspiring
8 out of ten entertaining and informative
7 out of ten entertaining and inspiring
6 out of ten informative
5 out of ten inspiring
4 out of ten entertaining
3 out of ten worth a reference
2 out of ten it could have been better
1 out of ten it sparked an interest
Inspiring - did the production provide motivation to pursue a career or education in this industry?
Informative – did the production provide industry insight?
Entertaining – did the production capture the audience with a dramatic or comedic theme?
Reference – there is some merit to watching this production as it provides some form of inspiration, information or entertainment towards the relevant industry.
Could have been better – had potential but lacked in-depth entertainment, information and inspirational value.
Sparked an interest – the production was related to the industry but had no entertainment, information and inspirational value.