From nearly 70,000 reader votes on more than 50 sports comedies …
#25 – The Longest Yard (original)
The 1974 original is the oldest movie on the list, proving the enduring entertainment value in seeing those in authority getting the crap kicked out of them.
#24 – Varsity Blues
It’s the story of a small-town Texas high school that places huge importance on football. Sounds more like a documentary. Oh, wait. James Van Der Beek is a star quarterback? There are your laughs.
#23 – Major League II
The sequel to “Major League” couldn’t quite live up to the original. Blame Omar Epps’ Willie Mays Hayes.
#22 – A League of Their Own
Geena Davis was the star, Rosie O’Donnell provided comic relief and Madonna was a sex symbol. Wow, 1992 was a really long time ago.
#21 – D2: The Mighty Ducks
Emilio Estevez doesn’t have much of a movie career nowadays, but at least he can claim that his sports movie sequel holds up better than his brother Charlie Sheen’s does. Also, he probably doesn’t have a potpourri of porn star-provided venereal diseases. Good job, Emilio.
#20 – The Longest Yard (remake)
Yes, the “The Longest Yard” remake polled higher than the original. That sound you hear is your grandfather rolling over in his grave. The other sound you hear is a Hollywood executive green-lighting a “Slap Shot” sequel starring Stephen Baldwin and Gary Busey. What? That already happened? Nine years ago? Kill me.
#19 – The Replacements
It’s the story of unwanted, marginally talented football players playing pro football. Basically, it’s what could have happened if the 2011 NFL lockout had dragged on. Or what every Raiders season looks like.
#18 – Little Giants
It’s the story of unwanted, marginally talented football players playing in a pee-wee league. In a lot of ways it’s similar to “The Replacements,” except that untrained children are far better actors than Keanu Reeves ever will be.
#17 – The Bad News Bears (original)
In 1976, a movie about a drunk coach leading a team full of crude, disrespectful kids really caused a stir. Now you can see that at pretty much any community park in America.
#16 – Kingpin
Sixteen years after it was released, “Kingpin” is still among the funniest sports movies. Of course, the fact that West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen looks exactly like Bill Murray’s Ernie McCracken has helped it remain relevant.
#15 – Bull Durham
Any Kevin Costner movie placing in the top 15 of any movie list that’s not “World’s Suckiest Movies” means that “Bull Durham” must have had an amazing script and cast (outside of Kevin Costner).
#14 – Blades of Glory
And so the run of Will Ferrell sports movies begins. It’s amazing a comedy about figure skating hadn’t been done before 2007. It’s like shooting flamboyant, sequined fish in a barrel.
#13 – Semi-Pro
One year after “Blades of Glory,” Will Ferrell released “Semi-Pro,” the story of an actor who had happened on an untapped genre of easy comedies: movies about niche sports and/or leagues that have embarrassing clothing.
#12 – The Mighty Ducks
Goalie: “Be careful man, it almost hit me that time!”
Teammate: “You’re the goalie. It’s supposed to hit you.”
Famous line from “The Mighty Ducks,” or Philadelphia Flyers players mic’d up during the playoffs?
Trick question. It’s both.
#11 – Cool Runnings
Despite its popularity, “Cool Runnings” made only $68 million at the box office. That’s domestically, though. It probably did really well in Jamaica.
#10 – Space Jam
Animated kids movie or comedy? Dumb question. In one scene the Monstars steal the basketball skills of Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues and Shawn Bradley. Shawn Bradley! Basketball skills! It’s definitely a comedy.
#9 – Slap Shot
The mid-’70s gave us “Slap Shot”, “The Longest Yard”, and “The Bad News Bears”. It was a golden age for sports comedies — and absolutely nothing else. Nothing at all.
#8 – BASEketball
Actual line from Bob Costas in this movie: “You’re excited?! FEEL THESE NIPPLES!”
A) You may go vomit now.
B) That line kind of hurts his sermons on athletes not behaving with dignity.
C) You may continue vomiting if you’d like. Completely understandable.
#7 – The Sandlot
It’s the story of neighborhood friends and a mean dog that lives beyond the fence of their sandlot field. Every time a ball is hit over the fence, the dog would get it. (Note: In the steroids-fueled 1990s, frequent home runs were common in baseball, so this movie related well to the audiences of that time.)
#6 – The Waterboy
A water boy named Bobby Boucher is found to have a remarkable tackling ability and becomes a star linebacker. Just saying, it wouldn’t hurt for teams like the Eagles and Lions to at least give their waterboys a tryout.
#5 – Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
It was the first of Will Ferrell’s three consecutive sports movies (let’s just ignore “Kicking & Screaming”) and the best. Really, the movie’s only flaw is that it portrayed NASCAR drivers as much smarter than they really are.
#4 – Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
“Dodgeball” reminded the nation of what was once great about American education: that several times a week we could hit people weaker than us in the face as hard as possible with a rubber kickball.
#3 – Happy Gilmore
It’s probably Adam Sandler’s most quotable movie. “The price is wrong, BITCH.” “You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?” And [some weird, mumbling Adam Sandler noise which, granted, is in all of his movies].
#2 – Major League
“Major League” vs. “Caddyshack” for funniest sports movie of all-time. It’s a debate that’s been held at many a sports bar. There’s no way to pick a clear winner. If someone asks you which movie you think is better, it might be better to just stall. Say something like: “Let me get back to you, will ya, Charlie? I got a guy on the other line asking about some white walls.”
#1 – Caddyshack
Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight. You can’t beat the cast. And the writing was outstanding. Best of all, the sequel was so god-awful that it made everyone cherish the first movie even more.