10 Things: Sports misrepresented on-screen

Stranger Things – Basketball

Indiana is renowned for its Hoosier basketball; however, the battle of Steve “the Hair” Harrington and Billy Hargrove wildly misses this mark. Rather than a 1980s callback to the likes of Larry Bird, this poorly executed game inexplicably features multiple beyond-the-three-point-line postups and a ridiculous through-the-legs layup that undercuts Billy as an antagonist for the rest of the season to come. 

The Room – Football

A spectacular disaster from start to finish, The Room features one of cinema’s worst sports scenes. While there are several moments of aimless football throwing, none is more bizarre than that when a tuxedo-clad group of friends take to an alleyway for an epic contest of underhand throws, near-fumbles, and iconic tripping—all to the sound of a faint tuba and one character saying “pshew” after his throws. 

She’s The Man – Soccer

After removing her wig mid-game to reveal that she is, in fact, not her twin brother whom she had been impersonating, Viola Johnson plays the rest of the match with her hair down. Long-haired soccer players were left questioning why she did not simply take a moment to put it up, knowing how annoying it is to play with hair flying everywhere. 

The Amazing Spiderman – Basketball 

The Amazing Spiderman’s basketball showdown was meant to be a “Revenge of the Nerds”-style redemption scene for Peter Parker, but it wound up being a poorly executed ball-bounce off of Flash’s face. Peter follows it up with a travel violation into an unconvincing backboard-shattering dunk, further undermined by Andrew Garfield’s impressively unathletic  140-pound build.

Blades of Glory – Figure skating

Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy’s final performance, set to Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, has several elements that make real skaters cringe, as well as blatant violations of International Skating Union (ISU) rules. Male pairs are not allowed under ISU competition regulations, and the ISU did not allow competition music with lyrics until 2014. The film was released in 2007. 

Twilight – Baseball 

As far as we know, there is no rule stating that baseball players must be alive, although it’s safe to say that the Cullens’s baseball game isn’t exactly kosher. Normally, outfielders don’t have to dash through the forest to catch a line drive, players wear baseball gloves, and pitchers do not have precognitive powers.

Air Bud – Baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and volleyball

The Air Bud franchise stars a golden retriever who can miraculously play basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and volleyball. While the first movie makes sure to state that there is no rule prohibiting dogs from playing, a last-minute substitution of a player, dog or human, who wasn’t on the roster would never fly. Buddy can drool, but he certainly can’t dribble.

Rookie of the Year – Baseball

Rookie of the Year’s premise, that a 12-year-old can pitch for the Chicago Cubs, is only believable if the pitches are comparable to those of actual professional baseball players. However, no audience could ever be expected to believe the film’s finale, however, in which a professional baseball player strikes out on a tween’s underhanded lob.

Catwoman – Basketball

This scene answers the question, “What if a writer’s room filled with sexually frustrated and physically inactive filmmakers directed a basketball scene?” The ‘90s-themed girlfriend-versus-boyfriend game is riddled with strangely flirtatious eye contact, awkward butt-shaking, defence that wouldn’t stop a cucumber, and a complete disregard for the rulebook, which makes for possibly the single worst basketball scene in the history of film.

Jimmy Kimmel Live – Basketball

The self-dubbed “Blobfish Charity Classic” featured Senator Ted Cruz and Jimmy Kimmel in a sweaty battle to 11 points that would have been more skillfully played by two actual blobfish. In nearly two hours of play, the closest thing to a highlight in this horrifically captivating affair was when the referee reduced the winning score from 20 to 11 for fear of a stroke or a heart-attack.

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