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Top 10 Best Sports Movie Speeches

VO: Rebecca Brayton
In a game of inches, every word counts. Hollywood is a sucker for an epic speech, and perhaps there is no film genre more guilty of this than sports movies. Whether it’s a coach in a locker room at half time, a captain on the field on the field with only seconds left in the game, or a leader who’s trying to bring his team back to life, a rousing speech is the tool they use to do it – and we love every minute of it. In this video, continues our series of epic movie speeches by counting down our picks for the top 10 sports movies speeches.

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Top 10 Sports Movie Speeches

In a game of inches, every word counts. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 sports movie speeches.

#10: “The Damned United” (2009)

When a new coach replaces a beloved one, he’s got a tough job ahead of him: not only is he expected to win games, he’s got to win over the team to do it. To gain respect, Brian Clough lays down the law, telling his players he’s not impressed with their accomplishments because they’re ill-gotten gains. Not what we’d call a motivation speech, but it gets the job done.

#9: “Gridiron Gang” (2006)

To ensure that the juvenile delinquents he works with don’t get into more trouble, The Rock starts a football team to keep them off the streets and to teach them some self-worth. And in true inspirational sports movie fashion, he gives a speech before their first big game, telling them that with a lot of hard work and commitment they can succeed. Clichéd? A little. But it works.

#8: “Friday Night Lights” (2004)

Like most Texas towns, Odessa is obsessed with their high school football team. And like most sports movies, this one rises above its athletic content to cover larger themes and issues than simply winning the big game. This halftime speech by Coach Gary Gaines near the end of an up-and-down season lets his players in on his philosophy – everyone should strive for perfection not as athletes, but as people.

#7: “The Wrestler” (2008)

An over-the-hill wrestler with a bum ticker and nothing left to lose; Randy “The Ram” Robinson is in the ring for what might be his final time. He takes the opportunity to address his fans, who’ve stayed with him through thick and thin. Made all the more poignant by the fact that the brawl he’s about to fight could kill him, this speech is both a thank-you and a goodbye.

#6: “Miracle” (2004)

By now we all know the Americans were not supposed to win the men’s hockey gold at the 1980 Olympics – but win they did, and along the way the squad was privy to several epic speeches. However, real-life Coach Herb Brooks’ most inspirational pep-talk made us all believe in miracles: even against the big-bad Soviets in the midst of the Cold War, they can and will win this game.

#5: “Hoosiers” (1986)

Any underdog story is bound to have an inspirational locker room moment, and this is “Hoosiers’”. Overcoming odds and obstacles on their way to the state championship, this rag-tag team is prompted by their controversial coach to focus on the here-and-now. He also makes a point few coaches will admit: sometimes it’s not all about winning. The ensuing slow-clap makes this a classic sports movie moment.

#4: “Invictus” (2009)

A country ravaged by racism slowly rebuilds itself, with some unexpected help from a rugby team. Though you’d expect this movie’s best speech to come from Morgan Freeman’s Nelson Mandela, we’re giving kudos to Matt Damon’s Francois Pienaar: in a huddle with only minutes left in the big World Cup game, he speaks just a few powerful, passionate words – but what he doesn’t say may be even more important.

#3: “We Are Marshall” (2006)

After the Marshall Thundering Herd loses 37 players, their head coach and other crewmembers in a plane crash, the team’s on the verge of crumbling. But Jack Lengyel steps in to pick up the pieces – with help from one poignant speech at the burial place of their departed friends. With a message about laying everything on the line and leaving a legacy, Coach Lengyel brings his horde to cheers.

#2: “Remember the Titans” (2000)

In a school where racism divides, and football unites, Herman Boone has an important role – and all it takes is a great speech to get the job done. With the Battle of Gettysburg as his backdrop, Coach Boone inspires his troops by evoking the spirits of fallen soldiers and explaining the dangers of hate. It’s a short-but-sweet speech that drives the point home like few others.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Moneyball” (2011)
- “Coach Carter” (2005)
- “D2: The Mighty Ducks” (1994)
- “The Sandlot” (1993)
- “A League of Their Own” (1992)

#1: “Any Given Sunday” (1999)

It’s universally recognized as one of – if not the – greatest sports movie speech, and who better to deliver it than Al Pacino? To rally his struggling Miami Sharks, Coach Tony D’Amato emphasizes the importance of teamwork and how far athletes will go for glory. But like any great speech, it’s relatable for all viewers as it transcends its subject matter. It also makes you wanna score a touchdown yourself.

Do you agree with our list? Which sports movie speeches get you ready for the big game? For more sporty top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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