Top 10 Sports Movie Underdogs
Trivia Top 10 Sports Movie Underdogs



Top 10 Sports Movie Underdogs

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Sean Harris.

They enthrall and inspire us beyond the cinema screen! In this video, counts down our picks for the top 10 sports movie underdogs. For this list, we're looking at the underdog figures, or teams, of our favorite sports movies. An underdog is someone who's placed in a seemingly impossible position, but emerges from it with a victory or, at the very least, some sort of positive result. And, just in case, there may be a few spoilers ahead so SPOILER ALERT.

Special thanks to our users MultiPearl007, lostfromview, raparr77, aldqbigsquare, Tristan Brown and Andrew A. Dennison for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Script written by Sean Harris.

Top 10 Sports Movie Underdogs

They enthrall and inspire us beyond the cinema screen! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 sports movie underdogs.

For this list, we’re looking at the underdog figures, or teams, of our favorite sports movies. An underdog is someone who’s placed in a seemingly impossible position, but emerges from it with a victory or, at the very least, some sort of positive result.

#10: Billy Beane & the Oakland Athletics
“Moneyball” (2011)

Brad Pitt steps into the fray as the real-life Oakland A’s General Manager, Billy Beane. After a disappointing postseason, Beane sees the next year as a time for a shake-up, a time for revolution. By hiring a Yale economics grad as his assistant, he opts for a new method of squad selection based entirely on in-game statistics. The people are dubious… They want results! And the rest of the league dismisses the unorthodox approach without a second thought. Hopefully, a top-ten finish on our list will silence the doubters!

#9: The Mighty Ducks
“The Mighty Ducks” (1992)

Childhood memories can inspire, or embitter. It’s the latter for Emilio Estevez, as hard-liner lawyer Gordon Bombay. As a kid, he missed a vital penalty shot and cost his hockey team and ultra-competitive coach the championship – and while he may’ve moved on from his blown chance, he never got over it. When he finds himself in charge of a local youth team years later, it’s a chance for retribution – these kids haven’t been afforded the proper equipment and aren’t naturally gifted; but there’s a dream for them to follow…

#8: Michael Oher
“The Blind Side” (2009)

Depicting the rise to fame of real-life NFL player Michael Oher, “The Blindside” is a semi-biographical film, and a sensational underdog story. After a hugely unsettled childhood plagued by a drug-addicted mother and failed foster care, Big Mike is helped and housed by Sandra Bullock’s Leigh Anne Tuohy. A role for which Bullock received an Academy Award, it’s through her guidance and love that Oher is inspired to improve his school work-ethic, to improve his grades, and to improve his chances in life!

#7: USA Men’s Olympic Hockey Team
“Miracle” (2004)

Once more we head into the world of real life, as 7th place is taken by the American hockey side of the 1980 Winter Olympics. A group of great individual players, it’s the job of Kurt Russell as coach Herb Brooks to make them into a great team. For this movie, the potential is always there; it’s just a lesson in how to realize it! With a tournament draw that includes Sweden, Czechoslovakia and the mighty Soviet Union, if they win the gold, they will have really earned it!

#6: The Average Joes
“DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story” (2004)

We now leap from biography, to bedlam. Dodgeball is chaotic enough as it is, but throw Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller into the mix and it’s all-out pandemonium! Vaughn’s the owner of the ‘Average Joes’, a small and unsuccessful local gym; Stiller’s the owner of Globo-Gym, an all-conquering, finely tuned sports machine. When the two meet on the dodgeball court, it’s a fierce competition between a rag-tag team of misfits and a powerful group of athletes. There’s only ever going to be one winner between these two… right…?

#5: The Prison Inmates
“The Longest Yard” (1974)

For Burt Reynolds as former pro-QB Paul “Wrecking” Crewe and his pack of prisoners, this is more than just a football game. Persuaded by the prison guards to formulate a team of cons, Reynolds compiles the dodgiest, dirtiest, most dangerous squad the game has ever seen! They go by the name ‘Mean Machine’, they play with no mercy, and they’re the inspiration behind the 2001 British soccer film of the same name. Their legacy has lasted, but how will they fare on the prison pitch against a team of cheating guards?

#4: The Jamaican Bobsled Team
“Cool Runnings” (1993)

For the second time, we head for the snow, and the Winter Olympics. It’s a happy hunting ground for underdogs, and we’re at the bobsled track for this all-smiles comedy! Loosely paralleling the events of the 1988 Calgary Olympics, a surprise Jamaican team is entered into the competition; but they find they have to battle more than just the course. They’re first-timers on the track, and they’re outsiders on the sidelines. This movie is as much a quest for acceptance, as it is a quest for victory!

#3: Daniel LaRusso
“The Karate Kid” (1984)

Picture the scene: You’ve just moved to a new high school. You’ve fallen for a very attractive cheerleader. But her jealous ex-boyfriend knows ‘a bit’ of karate, and he’s trying to kill you! Daniel LaRusso doesn’t start from an easy position at all, but with the guidance of Mr. Miyagi, a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck, he hopes that one day he will dominate the dojo (and get his dream girl!)!

#2: Daniel Ruettiger
“Rudy” (1993)

There are impossible dreamers, and then there’s Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger. The Notre Dame football field is a hallowed place for this young man, and it’s one that he’s determined to not only set foot upon, but also to play upon. He meets obstacles aplenty, and setback after setback. There are times when hopes are raised, before they’re inevitably dashed. Yes, this is a story about football, but it’s also a story about growing up. Rudy is a coming-of-age classic, and our runner-up!

Before we take a swing at our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Seabiscuit “Seabiscuit” (2003)
- Dean Youngblood “Youngblood” (1986)
- Jess Bhamra “Bend It Like Beckham” (2002)
- Jim Morris “The Rookie” (2002)
- Brendan Conlon & Tommy Riordan “Warrior” (2011)

#1: Rocky Balboa
“Rocky” (1976)

It’s round one, seconds out – Rocky Balboa is our undisputed underdog! The surprise selection for a world championship fight, the critics write him off, the fans write him off, even he doesn’t believe he can win… He just wants to ‘go the distance’! Under the watchful gaze of Mickey Goldmill, though, there are no lengths to which Rocky won’t go for greatness! He’s our champ before he’s even stepped into the ring against the undefeated Apollo Creed – we root for the underdog, and for Rocky most of all!

Do you agree with our list? Which inspirational athlete did we miss? For more fan-favorite Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to
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