Monday, 24 March 2008

Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa.

heather You know how when people are faced with a difficult choice they say, "Oh, I could never decide between those things. It would be like choosing between my children!" That is the most ridiculous defense ever. Anyone can choose between children. I do it all the time. I like kids who have good manners, an interest in books, and exceptional athleticism. See how easy that is? A better line of reasoning would go thusly: Someone asks you to choose between two really awesome things, like, say, double fudge brownie ice cream and key lime pie. And instead of saying that bollocks about kids, you say, "Oh, I could never decide between those things. It would be like choosing between my favorite movie scenes." Because that? That is difficult. It is also the assignment on The Collective this week, and as I love movies more than breathing, I had a crazy hard time choosing my favorite scenes, even when I narrowed it down to sports movies. But I did it anyway: no degree of difficulty will keep me from pleasing you people. This is The Five Best Ever Spots Scenes As Told on Three Hours of Sleep.

Field of Dreams Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.

Of all the iconic moments in Field of Dreams, my all-time favorite is when James Earl Jones's character, Terence Mann, tells Kevin Costner's character, Ray Kinsella, why he shouldn't sell his farm. Ray's brother-in-law tells it straight: Ray is a terrible farmer; he plowed up his corn to make a baseball field; and tomorrow the bank will foreclose if he doesn't sign the papers. James Earl Jones gets up off the bleachers and monologues a love letter to the game of baseball that sends shivers to my brain every time I hear it. When Kevin Costner refuses to sell his farm, it's like he saves baseball and his family and a little bit of all our souls. (Watch it here.)

Hoosiers — I'll make it.

No one believed Coach Dale would amount to anything at Hickory High School. No one believed Jimmy Chitwood would play basketball again. No one believed they'd team up to take Hickory to the Indiana High School State Basketball Championship, but when--in the final huddle of the final seconds of the championship game--Jimmy delivers the most humbly bad ass line in the history of sports' movies, we all believe. "I'll make it," Jimmy Chitwood says. He's every coaches' dream. (Watch it here.)

The Natural — Pick me out a winner, Bobby.

When Roy Hobbs finally gets it straightened out: when he stops philandering, when he turns down the bribe, when he does the thing he was born to do, when he plays in professional baseball's most important game, his homemade bat, Wonderboy, gets shattered. Hobbs is bleeding, but so unbroken. "Pick me out a winner, Bobby," he says to the bat boy, who has the sweetest case of hero worship ever. And then he hits the best homerun in movie history, circles the bases in the dark. (Watch it here.)

Rudy — I'm here to play football for the Irish.

If you do not cry when Rudy Ruettiger takes the field in the final moments of the corniest, most spectacular football movie ever, I don't think I want to know you. ( Watch it here.)

A League of Their Own — Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up.

Here are my areas of expertise: World War II, Women's Sports, Movies, British Literature, Harry Potter, Burritos. A League of Their Own hits half my areas of awesome (wow, that sounds dirty at 3:00 a.m.), and as such, must be included on this list. I'm not sure I can pick a favorite scene, because it's not a typical sports on account of everyone wins, just for being part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Tom Hanks wins and Geena Davis wins and her little sister Kit wins and Rosie O'Donnel and Madonna. And also me and you. It's a win-win-win. (Watch the WHOLE THING on YouTube starting right here.)

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