Wednesday, February 4, 2009

White Men Can't Jump, Black Men Can't Dribble

I recently received a letter from loyal fan DBillz:

White Men Can't Jump was on yesterday, and I can't get over how bad the basketball skills are by everyone in that movie, especially Wesley Snipes. It got me thinking of other sports movies where the actually game playing is so far fetched and outrageous that it becomes laughable. My top three, in no particular order (only stipulation being it can't be a spoof movie: i.e. Not Another Teen Movie):

- John Tucker Must Die: The main character (John Tucker) gets caught wearing women's underpants and decides to make a running gag out of it by wearing them to basketball practice. He proceeds to do a flip in mid-air and dunk the basketball. Soon enough, the entire basketball team is wearing thongs and having themselves a jam session, complete with off the backboard passes and slam dunks. Unbelievable.

-Rocky IV: Great movie, single-handedly ended the Cold War. However c'mon...Drago is ridiculous and Rocky was like 46 years old. Modern day equivalent would be something like Kimbo Slice fighting Michael J. Fox.

- Varsity Blues: This whole movie is out of hand. I watched it again a while back and at least they show boobs. It's terrible. Can't even mention the final game at the end. I DON'T WANT...YOUR LIFE!

Please add your two cents.

Warm Regards,


You have a good eye for displays of poor (or impossible) athleticism in movies. I don't understand why they can't get actors that have actually played the sports that are shown in the movies before. In "White Men Can't Jump" Wesley Snipes either inflated the basketball WAY past the desired amount, or he has never played basketball before. In every other scene, he is practically dribbling the ball over his head. This supposed street ball legend in the movie has about the same amount of skill as a seventh grader on a breakaway, dribbling with his off hand. Also, are we really to believe that both Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes, both 5 foot 10, can dunk? They look extremely out of place that far off the ground. Woody was a natural in Kingpin and should stick to bowling, where his skills are "Sweeter than Yoo-Hoo". Snipes' basketball skills are about as good as his tax paying skills. Why not go get someone like a Jesus Shuttlesworth for a basketball movie? Someone who can act and play some serious round ball.

Next on the docket; John Tucker Must Die. The raging debate around my apartment is over which girl in the movie is the hottest. I have always maintained that it is the AV Club girl, while others say it is the vegetarian girl, Andy Clark says it is the main character, and still others argue that it is Ashanti. I still stick by my original statement. One of the things I have always wanted to see in the NBA Slam Dunk competition is a flip dunk. There is no way it will ever happen, henceforth there is no way a high school kid could ever do it. Shame on you John Tucker for making us think the impossible is possible.

Finally you will never get me to admit anything bad about the Rocky series or James Van Der Beek, so the only thing I will say that I thought was cheesy about Varsity Blues was that some of the players were way too small for their pads, and that the names on the backs of the jersey were ridiculous. The tight end: #88 last name Gonzalez, come on! What about the running back Wendell, who complains about Coach Kilmer being racist the whole movie, his last name is Brown! I'm pretty sure I saw a linebacker named Thomas in there somewhere too. What are they trying to accomplish with all these last names? And what is Billy Bob's last name? His jersey just says Billy Bob. Moxon to Charlie Tweeder is comparable to Kevin Kolb to Desean Jackson though: a thing of beauty.

Some other horrible displays of athleticism that I noticed in movies;

Major League: I think it was Schoup who had the worst pitching mechanics I have ever seen. I could be wrong there though, or it might have been ML2. Also, Jake Taylor has one of the worst swings I have ever seen.

Rookie of the Year: Chet Stedmond is as bad as the Cubs brass thinks he is. The big guy on the Mets is just as bad. Great cameo by skinny Barry Bonds though.

All NASCAR movies: I love Days of Thunder, but Cole Trickle and (Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights for that matter) just passes whoever he wants, whenever he wants. This is not possible.

Feel free to send in some of your own comments!


  1. I believe Harris was the pitcher in Major League. With every pitch he resembled a geriatric lunging for his arthritis pills. However, Jack Parker, the slugger in ML2 is pretty legit. He looks like a young Jack Clark, striking fear in all those he faced.

  2. John Kinsella, ray's dad in field of dreams, throws like a 12 year old girl. it ruins what should be the most sentimental moment of the movie. further evidence that field of dreams sucks.

  3. Other issues in sports movies to be addressed:

    -The play clock. Never ever syncs with the actual count down from 10 to 0.

    -Lead blockers in final plays of football games. There is no freaking way any one person
    (aside from maybe Mike "your in good hands with" Alstott) can run down a sideline, lower a shoulder into one person and keep running full speed let alone 4 or 5 as usually depicted. See: Sunshine from Remember the Titans and Bobby Boucher, Jr. from The Waterboy

    -Adam Sandler's overall athleticism. Sure he may be a decent athlete, but come on. He's a monster in bball AND football in the longest yard with the pinpoint accuracy to hit the Umpire in the nuts with a football on two consecutive plays. His animated self is absurdly good at bball in 8 crazy nights. Bobby Boucher is an unstoppable beast. Let's get real. There's like maybe a handful of jews who were ever good at bball and only one starter I can name EVER in the NFL: Jay Fiedler.

    Excellent post, UConnia.

  4. And NASCAR is not a sport, its a drinking event.

  5. Kevin Costner in tin cup. Even Glenn has a better swing than him.