Ten Things: Fictional Athletes
Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn - Major League, 1989
Wild Thing captured the hearts of Cleveland with his bad boy attitude and erratic pitching arm. Had Vaughn entered this year’s World Series in the 10th inning, Cleveland would be celebrating their first title since 1948.
Happy Gilmore - Happy Gilmore, 1996
This hockey-enforcer-turned-golfer captivated audiences with his ability to launch golf balls over 400 yards with ease. Like all of us, Gilmore cared nothing for putting and just wanted to drive the ball as far as possible. Most importantly, he fought game show host Bob Barker.
Luther “Shark” Lavay - Any Given Sunday, 1999
NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor was the perfect athlete to play starting linebacker for the Miami Sharks. Taylor’s real-life drug abuse and antics are on full display in the film as Lavay begs for more painkillers and saws a teammate’s car in half.
Ricky Bobby - Talladega Nights, 2006
Bobby is the personification of NASCAR. The lovable redneck gave us sayings like “Shake and bake” and the legendary, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” He also reasserted America’s superiority over France, beating the evil Jean Girard at the Talladega 500.
Rocky Balboa - Rocky Franchise, 1976-present
The only fictional athlete with an actual statue, the “Italian Stallion” managed to transcend film and become a hero to the City of Philadelphia. As an American, Rocky ended the Cold War in the fourth film. With a nasty left-hook, he knocked out Communism and nearly killed Ivan Drago.
Viktor Krum - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005
As the seeker for the Bulgarian National Quidditch Team, Krum successfully balances evil wizarding school and sports. His tough demeanour and constant dour expressions only endear the audience to one of the world’s brightest young stars.
Jesminder “Jess” Bhamra - Bend it Like Beckham, 2002
Sports is everything; weddings, family, and love are all ancillary parts of life. Jess captured the hearts of audiences around the world by putting her soccer dreams above all else. She mastered the David “Beckham bend,” perfectly curving free kicks around defenders and into the net, leading her team to the league championship.
Reggie Dunlop - Slap Shot, 1977
The aging player-coach of the Charlestown Chiefs leads the most enthralling goon squad in movie history. In order to save the franchise, Dunlop resorts to blackmail, violence, and falsified news about the team. His dishonesty didn’t prevent the team from folding, but did lead them to victory in the Federal League Championship.
Jackie Moon - Semi-Pro, 2008
The lyrical genius behind the hit song “Love Me Sexy,” the owner/coach/power forward of the Flint Tropics basketball team does everything he can to ensure the future of his team in the NBA. Stopping at nothing, he trades a washing machine for star Ed Monix and invents the “Alley Oop.”
Greg Goldberg - The Mighty Ducks Franchise, 1992-96
The Ducks’ goalie may not be the best member of the team, but he is the most eccentric. His overweight frame and sassy remarks are the only reason to slog through the cheesy sequels. If Disney ever decides to revisit the franchise, they should cut out every scene that doesn’t include the husky goaltender.