'If You Build It, They Will Come' and Other Unrealistic Sports Movie Plots

Dead baseball players resurrect, an ape becomes a third baseman, and a New York team is under threat of getting moved to St. Louis? Come on.

[optional image description]
Disney

Sports films often capture moments of triumph that are often so fleeting in reality and bring the game to life in ways we could never imagine.

Just as the impossible sometimes becomes real on the field, rink, or court, great sports movies often take liberties with reality. How entertaining would a biopic about Muhammad Ali be if it was nothing more than actors recreating history without any re-imagining?

That's what documentaries are for. Creativity doesn't have to betray the essence of the story. However, sometimes sports films ask us to suspend a belief just a little too much, for better or worse. This can be true to the spirit of the movie, but it can also be a major distraction.

This post also appears on Bleacher Report, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

Amber Lee is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Entertainment

Just In