Presenting the Sports Movie Oscars

The Sports Movie Oscars
The Sports Movie Oscars /

The Academy Awards are the pinnacle achievement for anyone in the film industry. From Jack Nicholson to Meryl Streep to Marlon Brando, the best of the best are recognized annually at the Oscars. But while some sports movies have been recognized by the Academy throughout history, there's never been a Sports Oscars, featuring the best movies and performances in the genre going against each other to determine who the best truly is.

That changes today.

Here our our nominees and selections for the Sports Movie Oscars.

Best Picture


Hoop Dreams

Breaking Away

Field of Dreams

The Fighter

The Blindside



The Hustler

And the winner is ... Hoop Dreams

A real, raw classic that showed the often insurmountable odds people chase in pursuit of a better life. The 1994 classic dropped viewers into an intensely personal and compelling front-row seat. It's about two kids dreaming big, but also about the unexpected and rocky twists and turns about life. The pacing is sublime. There is no fat to trim. More than 25 years later, it still holds up, and is perhaps more poignant than when it debuted. - Kyle Koster

Best Actor

Robert DeNiro, Raging Bull

Gene Hackman, Hoosiers

Will Smith, Ali

Paul Newman, Slap Shot

Robert Redford, The Natural

Denzel Washington, He Got Game

Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams

And the winner is ... Robert DeNiro, Raging Bull

Perhaps no movie better defined the extremes actors put themselves through for a role better than DeNiro in Raging Bull. Yes, Will Smith also went through a physical transformation to play Ali. But he only did it once. DeNiro had to put on the weight during filming, all while playing the complicated fictional character (RE: no starting point like Ali) that is Jake LaMotta. You loved him, hated him, rooted for him and rooted against him. He was the worst of you and the best of you. Somehow in the end you just feel bad for him. His character arc was amazing. Denzel was my runner up in this category for his unforgettable role as Jesus Shuttlesworth's father in He Got Game. - Brian Giuffra

Best Actress

Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby

Susan Surandon, Bull Durham

Geena Davis, A League of Their Own

Amy Adams, The Fighter

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Sandra Bullock, The Blindside

And the winner is ... Susan Surandon, Bull Durham

Bull Durham isn't the greatest movie, but it is sort of the perfect movie. Surandon is spectacular, performing in two differing relationships, and electrifying the screen. She is enigmatic and full of agency, funny and sincere. - Koster

Best Supporting Actor

Ray Allen, He Got Game

Bill Murray, Caddyshack

Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Charlie Sheen, Major League

Christian Bale, The Fighter

Al Pachino, Any Given Sunday

Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby

And the winner is ... Bill Murray, Caddyshack

Christian Bale won the real Oscar for his role in The Fighter, but Bill Murray's portrayal of Carl Spackler is arguably the most memorable character in sports movie history. Even more amazing, most of the unforgettable scenes were improv. From his story about caddying for the Dalai Lama to his scene where he imagines winning the Masters, there is no shortage of quotable moments created on the spot by Murray. He embodied his character perfectly and never broke character. Gunga Galunga. - Giuffra

Supporting Actress

Rosie O'Donnell, A League of Their Own

Rosie Perez, White Men Can't Jump

Cathy Moriarty, Raging Bull

Renee Zellweger, Jerry Mcguire

Christine Taylor, DodgeBall

Amy Madigan, Field of Dreams

And the winner is ... Rosie Perez, White Men Can't Jump

For the Jeopardy! scene alone. The work she did raising awareness about the letter Q is some of the most important alphabet work outside of Sesame Street. - Koster

Best Song

Main Theme, Chariots of Fire

Eye of the Tiger, Rocky

Main Theme, The Natural

Tryouts, Rudy

Main Theme, He Got Game

Wild Thing, Major League

You're the Best Around, Karate Kid

And the winner is ... Main Theme, Chariots of Fire

Simple and soaring. Inspirational and powerful. So good that it spawned a million parodies because it struck such a chord deep in the human soul. - Koster

Best Director

Martin Scorsese, Raging Bull

Harold Ramis, Caddyshack

Spike Lee, He Got Game

Barry Levinson, The Natural

Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby

Gavin O'Connor, Miracle

George Roy Hill, Slap Shot

And the winner is ... Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood pulled you into this movie from the very beginning and never relented his grip until you were left in a puddle of your own tears at the end. It was an inspiring, heartbreaking rollercoaster of emotion. Eastwood's ability to frame it perfectly and make you understand each subject's story was inspiring. That's why he won the real Oscar for Best Director and Best Picture when this movie came out in 2005 and why Hilary Swank (Best Actress) and Morgan Freeman (Supporting Actor) won, too. - Giuffra

Best Documentary

Hoop Dreams

Pumping Iron


When We Were Kings

OJ: Made in America

The Fab Five

And the winner is ... OJ: Made in America

In the interest of spreading the wealth, we'll leave Hoop Dreams to revel in its Best Picture award. Ezra Edelman's 7-hour, 47-minute masterpiece kept the audience on the edge of their seats for every second. To take a well-known subject like this and provide so much new information was an astounding feat. - Koster

Best Performance By An Athlete

Ray Allen, He Got Game

Mike Tyson, The Hangover

O.J. Simpson, The Naked Gun

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Airplane!

Roger Clemens, Kingpin

Mike Ditka, Kicking and Screaming

Shaq, Blue Chips

And the winner is ... Ray Allen, He Got Game

Ray Allen was so good in this movie that Jesus Shuttlesworth, to this day, is a name you can say and people will know who you're talking about. While he was clearly an amazing player in his own right, his ability to embody the role of a son who grew up without a father and then was suddenly reunited with him on the verge of the biggest decision of his burgeoning basketball career was sublime. He showed you what it's like for high school prospects to deal with women and coaches and personal issues-- and he did it while he was a young player in the NBA with no prior acting experience. It was truly one of the great performances in any sports movie. That he was an athlete and was able to stand side-by-side with Denzel Washington and still stand out made it all the more impressive. - Giuffra