Sports movies that would be more fun to emulate in real life than ‘Field of Dreams’

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A Look at Life above Iowa.Photo by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images

MLB wants to emulate ‘Field of Dreams’ next season, and that’s fine. But if we’re being honest, big league adaptations of these movies would be even cooler.

I’ve never seen Field of Dreams. It’s probably fine? From what I gather it’s sickly sweet with a lot of I Love You Dad-type stuff engineered to exploit our too-human hearts.

The effect is apparently pretty strong, because Field of Dreams is still revered 30 year after it was released. So much so that Major League Baseball will try to bring the movie to life by making the Yankees and White Sox play in an Iowa cornfield next season.

Ignoring the fact MLB’s promotional image implies Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Tim Anderson, and Yoan Moncada are ghosts walking out of the cornfield, and therefore will have shuffled off this mortal coil by the time the game is played, this could be fun! Baseball is a goofy sport that is enhanced when played in goofy places. Why not!

But it does get us thinking: What famous sports movies would be even more fun to replicate for a one-off event? Here are some of our ideas. Go ahead and tell us yours via your nearest comment section and/or Twitter account. Being realistic awards you no bonus points.


Eddie (1996)

Pretty sure everyone reading this has had this fantasy. Take a vocal fan out of the stands, let them coach the Knicks, and if they win the fan gets to keep the job until the Knicks lose again. There’s no risk to a cratering team. In fact, the changeup might help break the loop of hope and letdown (and hope and letdown) that the Knicks have been stuck in for 20 years. — Louis Bien

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

I want this. I want this, like, yesterday. How have we gone 15 years without someone trying to take the world of professional dodgeball by storm with professional wrestling-esque characters, overwhelming production values and all the pageantry it entails?

The best part is that since this is a one-off event we can totally get Jason Bateman to do commentary and stick Chuck Norris courtside. I’m almost upset I’m sharing this information here, because I know some wealthy industrialist is going to steal this idea. — James Dator

Nacho Libre (2006)

First off, yes, wrestling is a real sport. The action might be slightly scripted but the moves are real. Imagine a random cook in a monastery becoming a luchador. It’s an underdog story for the ages. He even fights for a great cause: so the orphans in the church can eat better quality foods. It’s a heartwarming story filled with adventure and danger, mostly from the fear of having their bones broken from getting power-bombed. Picking a random person and making them a part-time luchador is an event worth watching. Especially if one of their first matches is an eight-person battle royale. Sign me up for the chaos. – Vijay Vemu

Teen Wolf (1985)

I just want to see people get eaten. — Christian D’Andrea

Air Bud (1997) or Treasure Buddies (2012)

The Air Bud archives, including its spinoff series Air Buddies and Santa Paws, is more voluminous than the Police Academy and Mission Impossible franchises put together. And you really couldn’t go wrong picking ANY of its 14 installments. SO MANY GOOD DOGS.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll narrow it down to two: OG basketball-playing Air Bud, which still holds up 22 years later, and which seems like the most logical choice if we’re talking about replicating it in real life. (Here’s one suggestion for the starring role.)

The other is Treasure Buddies, which I have never seen and technically isn’t a sports movie but gets the nod based on a Wikipedia description that belongs in a museum:

The Buddies find themselves on an Indiana Jones style adventure.

Yes, please. — Sarah Hardy

Over the Top (1987)

Don’t you want to win an arm wrestling championship? — Russ Oates

The Sandlot (1993)

The Sandlot — or more specifically Sandlot 2 (2005), where girls exist and play sports — is truly the only answer here. Since about age 7, all I wanted to experience was playing baseball at the sandlot, and that hasn’t changed as I’ve gotten older. Just make sure James Earl Jones is present. — Kennedi Landry

Brink! (1998)

Brink! is a Disney Channel original movie about extreme in-line skating and how capitalism exerts its influence on our passions. But the X-Games already exists, so we don’t need to bring skating to life, we just need … more milkshakes to the face.

Pup ‘N Suds forever. — Michael Katz

Like Mike (2002)

I need to see a 4’ tall child dunking on NBA Players. — Tyson Whiting

Ed (1996)

In this film, Matt LeBlanc (who is basically channeling Joey, because what else is he going to do, he is Matt LeBlanc) winds up as an errand boy for a professional minor league baseball team. One of his errands has him cross paths with the titular Ed, a chimpanzee who, it turns out, is really, really good at playing baseball for unsaid reasons. Hijinks ensue. This film has everything — a fart-off, some light animal torture, a magical coin (?), and yes, a meta Friends reference — all of it terrible. In fact, we called it the worst sports movie ever made.

But am I going to sit here and pretend it wouldn’t be awesome to play minor league ball with a farting monkey? No, reader. I am not.

— Ryan Simmons

Slap Shot (1977)

Nobody wears a helmet. Fighting, while not exactly legal, is certainly encouraged. As is putting on the foil. Winning captain has to strip down to his jock strap. Don Cherry would spontaneously combust, leaving a technicolor apparition muttering about “Old Time Hockey” for all eternity. — Paul Flannery

White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

Blacktop basketball, Jeopardy!, and undefeated Wesley Snipes drip. This movie has everything anyone could ever want in a movie, and also two-on-two basketball should be an Olympic sport. — Michael Pina

Brewster’s Millions (1985)

Quasi-sports movie with Richard Pryor portraying a pitcher for the Hackensack Bulls and John Candy serving as his catcher. I’d happily work to spend $30 million in 30 days and have no assets to show for it to inherit $300 million. — David Fucillo

Space Jam (1996)

There is no better time to do this than the present. With talks of wanting to raid Area 51 and kick it with aliens, we can surely assemble a group of five extraterrestrials, have them take the talents of guys like Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, or other NBA stars, and do a live-action remake of the original Space Jam. Only difference is that LeBron James replaces Michael Jordan. — Harry Lyles Jr.

Luck of the Irish (2001)

This Disney Channel classic has a description as follows: A teenager (Ryan Merriman) must battle for a gold charm to keep his family from being controlled by an evil leprechaun.”

Do I need to explain anything else? — Whitney Medworth

Blades of Glory (2007)

It’s really hard for me to comprehend why we haven’t seen an all-male figure skating pair since this movie came out more than 10 years ago, but hey, I’m not in the movie business. Not only was this a highly underrated Will Ferrell film in my humble opinion, the sports world deserves to see two men complete the Iron Lotus (successfully, I feel like I need to add) on live television, dammit.

— Morgan Moriarty

Major League (1989)

The hapless Cleveland Indians, a group of ragtag has beens and never wills, stormed back from last place, overcoming the mighty American League East as well as an owner who wanted to sabotage the team so she could move the franchise to Miami. The Indians tied the Yankees for the divisional lead, forcing a one-game playoff for the division. This was before the juggernaut Cleveland teams of the 1990s dominated the AL Central. At the time the idea of the Indians winning was preposterous, having not made the postseason since 1954.

The ending of the movie would be the most fun to replay, and is something I’ve been looking for in major league games for the last three decades. It’s a tie game with two outs in the ninth inning, with rookie speedster Willie Mays Hayes in scoring position, having already stolen second base. Veteran catcher Jake Taylor, the emotional backbone of this Indians team, is on his last legs literally, with bad knees after a long season. Taylor bunts down the third base line for a surprise single, barely beating the throw. Hayes, who was running on the pitch, keeps on going around third base, and beats the first baseman’s throw home for the division-winning run.

Pulling this off in the major leagues is tough, and would require the perfect circumstance. Someone daring and fearless has to be on second base, someone like Fernando Tatis Jr. would be perfect to pull it off. He just needs a slow-ish batter to pull off the bunt, and if said batter points to the outfield, “calling his shot” to throw off the scent like Jake Taylor did, even better.

-Eric Stephen

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