I am the generation that knows Adonis Creed better than Rocky Balboa. We watch Friday Night Lights and 30-for-30 because Jerry Maguire is beyond us. The Blind Side always seems to be on TV no matter what channel you turn to and the collection of sports movies on Netflix is endless.
It doesn't matter what generation you're a part of. There is always an iconic sports film that defines sacrifice and teamwork. There is just something timeless about sports movies. No matter who you are or where you're from, you can find something to relate to. Whether it's the struggle to achieve success or the underdog mentality, sports movies teach us a lot of lessons.
Miracle was my favorite movie growing up. A movie that seems to be like any other sports film: dramatic cinematography, lots of characters, very inspirational and yet, the film commented on more than just sports.
This was about politics, about ambition, about pride, and about family. This particular sports moment was more than a regular hockey game. It was about proving what it means to be an American: to fight and claw when the odds are stacked against you. It was about bringing a group of people together and having them unite under an ideal, a goal, and a flag.
I learn something new every time I watch it because that's the thing about sports films: what I learn from the film reflects where I am in my life. It teaches me to learn from failure, to work hard, and to never give up. All cliche ideas but useful to be reminded of now and again.
I watched Creed for the first time last week and found myself thinking of Miracle. These movies were made at least 15 years apart, tell stories of different sports, and take place in completely different times in society. But the themes remain the same. Making a name for yourself and leaving a legacy is central to both films.
Relentless hard work and training in pursuit of a goal, understanding the importance of family and having guiding mentors are themes present in both films as well. And at the end of the movie, you feel present in their happiness and in their satisfaction because you had the opportunity to live their story with them.
Some may argue that sports films are too cliche, too overly dramatic, and repetitive. It may not be interesting to everyone but there are great qualities to be absorbed and important lessons to be learned. I like the repetition of seeing these important values exemplified. I like watching films that make me want to get up and change the world.
This is why I watch sports films. Because at the end of the day, we need to be reminded of the little things, of the values that define who we are and who we can become.