Celluloid Zeroes

With Oscar season upon us, we present SI's picks for the most outstanding sports-villain performances
January 27, 2014

5. JUDGE ELIHU SMAILS Caddyshack (1980)

Judge Smails was a beautiful collection of contradictions. He was a rich (but unbelievably cheap) judge (but had no problem cheating), who was addicted to golf (but had no patience). He created a character archetype that other sports movies have tried to replicate but never quite nailed. This is probably because Ted Knight was born to play this role, convincingly portraying a man who had absolutely no redeeming qualities.

4. ERNIE (BIG ERN) MCCRACKEN Kingpin (1996)

The rare villain who was more likable than the protagonist, serial scene-stealer Bill Murray was at his top form playing the insufferable—but oddly alluring—bowler. His final showdown with Woody Harrelson ranks as one of the funniest and most memorable sports scenes of all time. If I neglected to include McCracken, this list would pretty much be Munson'd.

3. SHOOTER MCGAVIN Happy Gilmore (1996)

As played by Christopher McDonald, McGavin is the perfect target for Happy Gilmore to make fun of. Many of the most memorable lines in the movie are set up by a dumb comment by McGavin, which would inevitably, be the subject of an excellent retort.

2. CANCER Brian's Song (1971)

There are two types of people in this world: Those who cried during Brian's Song and sociopaths. And it's because of those tears that cancer is this high on the list.

1. IVAN DRAGO Rocky IV (1985)

He killed Apollo Creed. THE MAN KILLED APOLLO CREED! (I apologize if that was a spoiler, but if you haven't seen Rocky IV yet, you should really get your life's priorities in line.) History books might tell you that the cold war ended when the Soviet Union collapsed, but this is just a common myth. The cold war ended when Rocky Balboa defeated Ivan Drago and then delivered a completely incoherent speech that prompted an end to all nuclear aggression between the Soviet Union and the U.S.

For more movie villains, go to SI.com/extramustard


Liverpool FC announced an agreement to make Dunkin' Donuts its official baked-goods provider last week—which was National Obesity Awareness Week in the UK.