Old School Sports Flicks

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By Scott Mackar

Just because old school sports flicks weren't afforded the multimillion-dollar budgets of today's feature films doesn't mean they have nothing to offer. In many cases, what they lack in special effects, color and definition is more than made up for in great acting, scripts and storylines. Here are a few classics that were produced more than 25 years ago that you might want to add to your Netflix queue.

Raging Bull [1980]

There is nothing funny about Raging Bull. In fact, the movie is freaking depressing. But the story of Jake LaMotta [Robert DeNiro], the fierce-fighting, yet self-destructive, middleweight boxing champ, is a flick every athlete needs to see.

The Longest Yard [1974]

Convict Paul Crewe [Burt Reynolds] makes my First Team All- Convict squad as he gathers his inmate cronies to take on the warden's meathead guards in the Penitentiary Bowl.

Bang the Drum Slowly [1973]

Lock the door, get a box of tissues and prepare for an emotional roller coaster. The tears flow when Bruce Pearson [Robert DeNiro] contracts a fatal disease, and his teammates rally behind their batterymate to keep him in the Bigs.

Breaking Away [1979]

To prove to their city they aren't losers, four townie friends known as Cutters unite to win the local college's Little 500 Bicycle Race. There really is a winner inside all of us.

Chariots of Fire [1981]

This true story—about two 1924 Olympic sprinters who run for faith, excellence and love of the sport—will motivate any athlete. Though not mentioned in the movie, Eric Liddell won bronze in the 200 meters, and Harold M. Abrahams took silver in the 4x100 relay team.

Slap Shot [1977]

Sick passes and stick skills haven't produced enough Ws to keep Charleston Chiefs fans coming back. To get more butts in the seats and win more games, the team of has-beens and drunken buffoons approaches the ice with a no-holds-barred fighting strategy.

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