Rocky 1976

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The best movies are more than just a form of entertainment. They also inspire a myriad of emotions not to mention the thought-provoking ideas you may pick from them. And sports films are no exception. The greatest sports movies over the years have captured the indomitable will and spirit of people in the face of challenges and adversities. From the baseball field to the boxing ring, here are some of the best sports movies ever made that should be on your must-see list.

A League of Their Own (1992)

This film’s story may be a work of fiction, but the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is for real. The movie is set during World War II at a time when Major League Baseball is on the brink of shutting down as more major league athletes leave to join the fight. One club owner came up with the idea to form a women’s league and managed to convince others to get on board. What followed is a funny and heartwarming story of women learning to play the game.

Chariots of Fire (1981)

This movie is based on the true story of two British track athletes who competed in the 1924 Summer Olympic Games in Paris. Harold Abrahams is Jewish who struggled with anti-Semitism while Eric “Flying Scotsman” Liddell is a devout Christian. Each has their own beliefs and motivations for training, but both overcame the pressures and challenges to win the gold in their respective races.

Hoop Dreams (1994)

Hoop Dreams tells the story of two inner-city boys from Chicago and their journeys to playing collegiate basketball while setting their sights to become professional players. It showcases the action and drama on and off-court while touching on poverty and racial inequality.

Hoosiers (1986)

There is something about underdog stories that make the audience root for the least-likely-to-win characters. Hoosiers is a film about the team-up of a coach that has a somewhat problematic past and a father troubled with alcoholism. Together they try to bring an underdog team all the way to the state finals.

Rocky (1976)

This list will not be complete without this Oscar-winning film about a small-time player who had the chance to fight against a world heavyweight boxing champion. What unfolds is a gripping drama of one man’s journey to what turned out to be his greatest fight.

Pelé

There are many sporting legends who continue to inspire athletes, coaches, and sports enthusiasts across generations. Here are some of the best books about the legendary life and times of the greatest sports heroes and their remarkable stories and timeless wisdoms.

Babe: The Legend Comes to Life, Robert Creamer
Highlights: Learn more about the greatest baseball player of all time from this book that features stories, stats, and more about the legendary athlete’s most important games.

Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero, David Maraniss
Highlights: A book about another baseball great who achieved more than 3,000 hits throughout career.

Eleven Rings, Phil Jackson
Highlights: Eleven Rings is the memoir of the iconic head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers who was undoubtedly one of the most successful basketball coaches of all time.

Michael Jordan: The Life, Roland Lazenby
Highlights: This biography follows the life of the legendary basketball player from college to his professional career.

Muhammad Ali, Thomas Hauser
Highlights: This book tells the incredible story of the Olympic gold medalist and world heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali.

Pelé: The Autobiography, Pelé
Highlights: This autobiography provides a glimpse into the life of one of the greatest football (soccer) players, if not the greatest, of all time. From the streets of Sao Paulo to three World Cup wins, Pelé takes readers into his incredible journeys.

Seabiscuit: An American Legend, Laura Hillenbrand
Highlights: This is a beautiful story of the Thoroughbred named Seabiscuit, his rise to fame, and his team of three men who were part of his journey.

They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived, Doug Harvey
Highlights: One of the few books that focus not on the players, coaches, or officials but to someone who is more often working behind the plate.

The Horse That God Built: The Untold Story of Secretariat, the World’s Greatest Racehorse, Lawrence Scanlan
Highlights: This book takes a look into lesser known stories of one of the greatest racehorses of all time

Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics, Jeremy Schaap
Highlights: This book depicts the incredible story of African-American Jesse Owens who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games against the looming spectre of Hitler’s Aryan supremacy.

When Pride Still Mattered: The Life of Vince Lombardi, David Maraniss
Highlights: This book takes a look into the life of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi who succeeded in leading the Green Bay Packers to five world championships.

Wooden: A Coach’s Life, Seth Davis
Highlights: John Wooden is a world-renowned college basketball coach that led his UCLA team to 88-game wins. In this book, Seth Davis provides insights into the man.