10 Great Sports Films for People Who Don't Watch Sports

By Jason Bailey

Movies where the ecstasy of victory and the agony of defeat aren't confined to the playing field

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When you have to keep an obsessive eye on film, music, books, visual art, television, the Internet, and all other manner of popular culture, something eventually has to give, and for us—well, for this author, anyway—it's sports. An almost-complete disinterest in professional and collegiate sporting events can make one feel a bit of an outcast (and it certainly makes for a confusing Facebook feed; apparently some guy who's really into Jesus won something important on Sunday?), but after faking it through high school and college, I can't pretend to care anymore. Maybe it makes me a pencil-necked geek, but the idea of spending three hours watching a football going to and fro— particularly when there are still Hitchcock movies I haven't seen—is simply unacceptable.

However, many of the same film fans who are patently disinterested in a Sunday afternoon of TV sports will gladly spend that same time planted in front of a sports-themed movie—basically the same thing, albeit with better camera angles and a scripted ending. And that's fine with this viewer; as I told a friend after its release, "I'd watch football every week if it looked like Any Given Sunday." But cinephiles more sport-phobic than I (and they're out there!) might prefer films that keep the game play squarely off-screen. In honor of Tuesday's DVD release of Moneyball, one of the best of the bunch, we offer ten genuinely good sports movies that are notable for their minimal sports action. Check them out after the jump, and add your own in the comments.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/01/10-great-sports-films-for-people-who-dont-watch-sports/251232/