Aug. 18, 2003
Aug. 18, 2003

Table of Contents
Aug. 18, 2003

Sports Illustrated Exclusive


Perhaps the one thing that's inarguable about sports fans is that
they love to argue. Our 50 Greatest Sports Movies of All Time
(SI, Aug. 4) has so far drawn more than 800 letters (the most for
any story this year), and not many of them complimented the
magazine on its judgment. The movies we included weren't a
problem for most; only a handful of correspondents, for example,
objected to our No. 1 choice, Bull Durham, with one dismissing it
as a "chick flick." No, what inflamed peoples' passions were the
favorites we omitted.

This is an article from the Aug. 18, 2003 issue Original Layout

Start with Major League, a 1989 comedy starring Tom Berenger and
Charlie Sheen. Many wondered why the SI staff--which compiled the
list by arguing for months about what should be on, off, high and
low--failed to appreciate the story of an ex-exotic dancer who
becomes the owner of the Indians. Said Liam Doorley of Lake
Forest, Ill., "Why was this hilarious movie 'just a bit
outside'?" Looking back, to be honest, Liam, we're not sure. Bob
Uecker was boffo as the play-by-play man. It's certainly worth

Rudy, the 1993 story of a Fighting Irish football walk-on,
starring Sean Astin, also got support. "I can't stand Notre Dame,
but that was a great movie," wrote Cindy Bogash of Westhampton,
N.Y. After reviewing the videotape, we're going to let our
original call stand: It's just too corny. The biggest reader
groundswell, though, was for The Natural, the 1984 hit starring
Robert Redford. Senior writer Franz Lidz, who worked on the
package, faults the film for its "childish reliance on the
supernatural." But more than 75 readers wrote to chastise us for
leaving it out. "Excluding it," wrote David Byers of Lamoine,
Maine, "is like having a list of the 50 greatest baseball players
without Babe Ruth." David Crabtree, a University of Texas media
relations assistant, felt even more strongly. "How can you leave
it off the list?" he wrote. "Cancel my subscription."

COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOFEST (REDFORD) Redford: A Natural choice