Extra Mustard

50 Facts You Never Knew You Wanted To Know About Your Favorite Sports Movies

In honor of Sunday's Academy Awards, Extra Mustard is celebrating our favorite sports movies with our favorite pastime: useless trivia. What follows are 50 facts that are certain to blow your friends' minds. Please use responsibly.

1. Rocky III was nominated for Outstanding Foreign Language Film at the Japanese Academy Awards.

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2. (But it lost out to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.)


3. Harold Ramis initially wanted Pink Floyd to score Caddyshack.

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4. Charlie Sheen turned down the role of Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid.


5. In The Replacements, Keanu Reeves played a former quarterback from Ohio State. In Point Break, Reeves' character was also a former quarterback from Ohio State.


6. Rodney Dangerfield outlived his Ladybugs co-star Jonathan Brandis by 11 months.

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7. Roberto Duran was in Rocky II.

8. NFL running back Darnell Autry auditioned for a part in 1999's Any Given Sunday, but was told that he didn't look enough like a football player. (The role went to Lawrence Taylor.)


9. In Raging Bull, Hershey's chocolate was used for blood to show up better on black-and-white film.


10. The highest grossing baseball film of all time? A League Of Their Own with $107 million in domestic receipts.


11. Tori Spelling auditioned for the role of Avery Bishop in Jerry McGuire but withdrew due to her commitment with Beverly Hills, 90210.


12. Bend It Like Beckham was the first Western film to air in North Korea.


13. In Pulp Fiction, the marquee outside the venue for Butch's fight advertises two bouts: "Coolidge vs. Wilson" and "Vossler vs. Martinez." The first is a reference to Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Woodrow Wilson; the second is a nod to Russell Vossler and Jerry Martinez, two friends of writer/director Quentin Tarantino's from when he worked in a video store.

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14. Sylvester Stallone was considered for the role of Butch.


15. Although Above The Rim was nominated for zero Oscars, it won Motion Picture Soundtrack of the Year at the 1995 Source Hip-Hop Music Awards.

16. Jimmy Chitwood has only four lines of dialogue in Hoosiers: three in the scene where Coach Dale wins the vote to keep his job, then one more during the climactic game.


17. Oscar Robertson was a sophomore on the Crispus Attucks High School team that lost in the 1954 Indiana state semifinals to Milan High, on which Hoosiers is loosely based.


18. According to Joe Esposito, "You're the Best" (from this unforgettable montage in The Karate Kid) was originally written for Rocky III, which explains the lyric "History repeats itself," which otherwise makes no sense. The song had been rejected in favor of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger."

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19. Moira Kelly's wealthy father in 1992's The Cutting Edge? John Locke from Lost.


20. The producers of Chariots of Fire intentionally added profanity to the film to avoid a G rating because they thought people would associate a G rating with a movie for children.


21. Upon the 1995 release of the Jean-Claude Van Damme actioner Sudden Death -- about a terrorist attack during Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals -- Jaromir Jagr was reportedly unhappy that a Penguins player wearing his No. 68 jersey was on the ice for three of the opposing team's goals, making "him" a minus-3.


22. Though billed as "based on a true story," Bloodsport was most likely total fiction and the real-life Frank Dux has been characterized as a pathological liar.


23. The Cardinals-Cowboys game at the end of Jerry Maguire was filmed during an actual Monday Night Football game played on Dec. 25, 1995. While the Cardinals won in the movie, the Cowboys won in real life on their way to the Super Bowl XXX title.


24. Cher was considered for the role of Adrian in Rocky. Four years later, she was initially cast as the female lead in The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh but backed out at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts.


25. When Ving Rhames won the Golden Globe for Don King: Only In America, he gave it to Jack Lemmon. Still one of the great and most overlooked moments in awards-show history.

26. The Waterboy is the highest grossing sports comedy of all time. Another Adam Sandler vehicle, The Longest Yard, is the second highest grossing sports comedy of all time.

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27. Jodie Foster was cast as Amanda in The Bad News Bears but dropped out in order to play Iris in Taxi Driver.


28. During pre-production of 1983's All The Right Moves, the director wanted Lea Thompson and Tom Cruise to go undercover to remember what high school was like. They went to separate schools, and while Cruise was spotted after just one day because someone recognized him from Taps, Thompson went four days, was asked out by many guys and got caught smoking.

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29. Cal Ripken, Jr. was Wesley Snipes' personal batting instructor during filming of The Fan.

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30. Caddyshack II is one of four major PG-rated films to include the "F word" in the era of the PG-13 rating. The others are 1987's Spaceballs and 1988's Big and Beetlejuice.


31. One of the umpires in The Naked Gun ("You can't throw an umpire out of the game!") is longtime major league umpire "Cowboy" Joe West.

32. Bill Murray was deemed too old to play Gordon Bombay, later played by Emilio Estevez in three Mighty Ducks films.


33. Michel Qissi, the actor who played the (terrifying) villain Tong Po in Kickboxer, was a technical advisor/choreographer when he overheard the production crew say they were looking for a tall oriental-looking guy with a background in Muay Thai.


34. Of the five sports movies to be nominated for the Razzie for Worst Picture -- Rocky IV (1985), Caddyshack II (1988), The Karate Kid, Part III (1989), Rocky V (1990), Driven (2001) -- three starred Sylvester Stallone.


35. The game footage from the opening credit and final game sequences in The Last Boyscout was taken from the 1990 Holiday Bowl between Texas A&M and BYU.


36. John Wetton, lead singer of the rock group Asia, sang "Winner Takes It All" for 1987's Over The Top, but after performing the song, it was felt that his voice wasn't "mean" enough, so the song was offered to Sammy Hagar, whose version ended up being the one on the soundtrack.

37. John Goodman joked during production of 1995's The Babe about the irony of having to lose weight to play Babe Ruth.


38. A line from The Color of Money inspired the name for the popular video game Doom.


39. The Blind Side, which surpassed Rocky IV as the highest grossing sports movie in history, marked the first time any film marketed with a sole actress's name above the title grossed more than $200 million.


40. In The Wrestler, Randy "The Ram" Robinson's van is a Dodge Ram.


41. Grady Little, who was credited as a "baseball trainer" in the credits of 1988's Bull Durham, was the real-life manager of the Durham Bulls at the time.


42. Michael J. Fox's house in Teen Wolf is the same house as Michael J. Fox's mother's 1955 house in Back To The Future.


43. Ms. Blankenship on Mad Men was the mom in The Karate Kid.


44. For the scene in He Got Game where Jesus and Jake play for the letter of intent, the original script called for Jesus to win 15-0. During filming, however, Spike Lee encouraged the actors to play for real. The scene in the film reflects the actual game between Ray Allen and Denzel Washington.

45. In real life, the Notre Dame players never staged a protest of Rudy's behalf and coach Dan Devine in fact insisted that Rudy play in the final game.


46. Fans wearing burgundy and gold (and a Boston College banner, briefly) can be spotted in the crowd when Rudy runs down the field during the last-minute kickoff against Georgia Tech: that's because the scene was filmed during an extended halftime of the Boston College-Notre Dame game on Nov. 7, 1992.


47. While lifting the sleigh for the Rocky IV training montage, Sylvester Stallone tore a muscle in his heart. Filming was interrupted for two months so doctors could reduce the chances of him having a heart attack.


48. Work on The Karate Kid, Part II started ten days after the release of The Karate Kid.


49. Nick Nolte shadowed Indiana coach Bobby Knight during the Hoosiers' 1992 season to prepare for his role in Blue Chips.


50. The Dude, despite appearing in every scene of The Big Lebowski, is never once seen bowling.


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