Best sports movies: ‘Hoosiers’ takes No. 1 spot in AP Top 25 list

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“Hoosiers” shot all the way to No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 of best sports movies, a one-of-a-kind poll from the news organization known for its rankings of college teams. Released in 1986 and starring Gene Hackman, “Hoosiers” led the tally in results released Friday, receiving 46 votes from a 70-person global panel of sports writers and editors who work for the AP.

“If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game,” coach Norman Dale, Hackman’s character, says in the top-ranked movie. “In my book, we’re gonna be winners.

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Loosely based on an Indiana high school basketball team in the 1950s, “Hoosiers” narrowly edged Academy Award Best Picture honoree “Rocky” — released in 1976, it was the first installment of Sylvester Stallone’s series about an unknown boxer from Philadelphia who gets a shot at the big time — and “Bull Durham” — starring Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon in 1988, it offered a fictionalized look at characters that populate minor league baseball. Those two movies tied for second place with 45 votes each. There was a significant gap between the top three and the rest of the AP Top 25. At No. 4 with 33 votes was “Caddyshack,” the sole golf tale to make the rankings. That was followed closely by “Slap Shot” with 32 votes, and “Field of Dreams” with 31. “Raging Bull,” “Major League,” “The Natural” and “A League of Their Own” rounded out the poll’s top 10.
THE TOP 25

The top vote-getters in The Associated Press poll of best sports movies from a panel of 70 writers and editors. Total votes are in parentheses.

1. “Hoosiers” (46)

2 (tie). “Bull Durham” (45)

2 (tie). “Rocky” (45)

4. “Caddyshack” (33)

5. “Slap Shot” (32)

6. “Field of Dreams” (31)

7. “Raging Bull” (25)

8 (tie). “Major League” (22)

8 (tie). “The Natural” (22)

10. “A League of Their Own” (20)

11. “Moneyball” (18)

12 (tie). “The Bad News Bears” (17)

12 (tie). “Miracle” (17)

14. “Hoop Dreams” (14)

15. “Eight Men Out” (13)

16. “Chariots of Fire” (12)

17. “White Men Can’t Jump” (11)

18 (tie). “Remember the Titans” (10)

18 (tie). “Rudy” (10)

18 (tie). “Seabiscuit” (10)

21 (tie). “Breaking Away” (9)

21 (tie). “The Pride of the Yankees” (9)

21 (tie). “When We Were Kings” (9)

24 (tie). “Brian’s Song” (8)

24 (tie). “Friday Night Lights” (8)

24 (tie). “The Sandlot” (8)

Others receiving at least 5 votes: “The Blind Side,” “Happy Gilmore,” “Bend It Like Beckham,” “Rush,” “Senna,” “The Longest Yard,” “The Wrestler,” “Victory.”

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