The 2014 Winter Olympics are upon us, and as usual the Games are sure to deliver some emotional stories. The kind that may have us weeping into our couch pillows as we watch athletes overcome odds and break records and win medals. Maybe you’ve already choked up once by watching the recent Procter & Gamble ad dedicated to Olympians’ mothers. Maybe you got ready for the event by re-watching The Miracle, just as Dan Bylsma did last summer after being named coach of this year’s U.S. hockey team.
We don’t have to have such a relatable position to certain sports movies for them to leave us choked up or full-on bawling. The big one for many is Brian’s Song, a movie that will break down even the toughest of men. Released around the same time, it was like Love Story for guys, depicting the true story of a bromantic relationship between football players Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo, through the latter’s death from cancer.
The movies based on real people and events can tend to make us cry the most, whether it’s a dramatization of Lou Gehrig’s famous speech as portrayed by Gary Cooper in Pride of the Yankees or an engrossing documentary like Hoop Dreams. Fiction can get us, too, though. Who hasn’t welled up at least once during the Rocky franchise, most likely at the end of the first one, and who didn’t feel something in their eye ducts at the climactic moment of The Natural or Hoosiers or Rudy or at the end of Field of Dreams?
I’m not sure what the last macho sports movie to make me cry was — maybe I teared up a little during The Crash Reel, which is an appropriate one for the Winter Games — but growing up, the one that always got me was the 1979 version of The Champ. That Ricky Schroder was such a good little actor, he could always break my heart. He’d cry, and I’d cry. Every single time. Even just now while revisiting the ending on YouTube, it happened again.
Which macho sports movie has made you cry?
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