Ray Liotta, who played Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams, died Thursday at 67. In honor of Liotta, we looked the all-time best sports movies during Friday’s PFT Live.
We did it in the form of a draft, with Peter King and yours truly going back and forth through three rounds.
There have been many great sports movies over the years. (There have been a few that haven’t been so great, too.) And we all have a great memory associated with seeing one of them, don’t we?
Although I went with Rocky II over the original Rocky as my pick in the best-ever sports movie category (the moment Adrian came out of the coma and told Rocky to “WIN!” is my favorite movie moment ever), one of the greatest memories of my childhood comes from seeing Rocky with my dad. I knew nothing about it; my dad came home from his bar one night (he was a bookie) and wanted to go see it. But it was a school night. Things like that never happened on a school night.
My mother surprisingly didn’t object. So off we went. And it was awesome. Everything about it. And then, to cap things off, we crossed the street from the Coronet Theater in my hometown of Wheeling, West Virginia to a new pizza place. I can’t remember the name of it. I don’t think it stayed open for very long. But I still remember the how that pizza looked, how it smelled, how it tasted. Even now, 46 years later.
Maybe the original Rocky should have been my first choice, after all. Some of my best memories of growing up include going to the movies with my dad. And the best of those memories happened the night we saw Rocky Balboa fight Apollo Creed in a fight far more as compelling than any real fight I’d ever watch.