John: This time, we’re talking about sports movies. Russell, what’s your favorite sports movie of all time?
Russell: My favorite sports movie of all time is Ali with Will Smith. I really liked that movie. The first Ali came out in the '70s, and I watched it when I was kind of young. I didn’t really understand it, but in the later movie with Will Smith, I understood a lot about Ali and what he went through—and it was a lot to go through. I’m glad he made it through the things he went through. I’m not going to judge the man about going to war because I don’t want to fight anybody, even myself, and I’m glad he got his titles back. I know Joe Frazier was a hell of a fighter, and they battled three good times. Now, the first fight, I’ll give it to Frazier, but the next two, I think Ali did dominate, especially the last time. Ali is my favorite movie because I like boxing. Everybody had Foreman except me—I had Ali.
Donald: I would say mine is The Replacements. Your whole team has gone on strike. I mean, strikes and unions, that’s a reality. Sports unions are the hardest ones to get along with, and a lot of times you don’t pay these guys enough to begin with, or you haven’t won enough championships to get sponsors. I like it because it’s interesting. It’s reality, it’s something that happened for the Bears or anyone else who plays the game. You’re going to have reasons for people to go on strike, and everybody turning down their salaries if it’s not what they want.
John: As far as sports movies, I’ve heard a lot of the big leaguers saying Major League and all that, but the three off the top of my head that I remember actually seeing were Varsity Blues with James Van Der Beek, another one called Jerry Maguire—the super-agent, he was a Lee Steinberg kind of type—but my favorites are the Rocky movies! If you’re asking which one I like the best, let me just give you my favorite one: Number Two. Yes, the rematch of Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed. What did Number Two have that the original didn’t have? First off, Apollo was not ready for the first fight. He took Rocky lightly, and he thought his coach was just putting on a good show. Number two, the video was more high-tech in the second one. So, you have the combination of the start of kind of an HD quality and the fact that Apollo was this larger-than-life character. You didn’t hate him, you kind of liked him for who he was, but you didn’t really want him to win either. He had a personality kind of like a combination of Muhammad Ali and Julius Erving—classy and talkative. Rocky Balboa was more like Rocky Marciano, who was a hometown favorite. So, you had those two and the two matches, and the second one was so much better because they both took the fight to another level.
Russell: Another favorite of mine is Space Jam with Michael Jordan! I have to get that in there because I really enjoyed that movie, man! It might be my favorite one.
Donald: The thing about the Michael Jordan movie: how did they get the character to dance the way he was dancing with Mike? That was kind of interesting to me. It’s something that I would pick out of the movie that’s comical, that crazy dance scene with Bugs and Michael. That seemed kind of off the hook.