Silver Screen

The top 6 alternative songs from sports films

Forget Rocky and Chariots of Fire – these tunes are truly iconic.

WE ALL KNOW the generic choices when it comes to high-quality soundtracks from sports films. The Rocky franchise tends to steal most of the votes with Chariots of Fire usually following close behind.

But here is a selection of sounds from famous sports films that you haven’t thought  about enough lately.

Cool Runnings – We Have A Bobsled Team

The incomparable Cool Runnings is enjoyed by anyone with a pulse. The Disney production starring John Candy (Irv Blitzer) documents the engrossing tale of Jamaican sprinter Derice Bannock whose desperation to get to the Olympic Games finds a solution in the winter sport of Bobsleighing. After a request for financial support is turned down by the national Olympic council, the four-man team come up with their own inventive ways of generating the cash to get to Calgary for the ’88 Olympic Games.

Bas / YouTube

One of their novel ideas features brake man Sanka Coffie, who pens the song ‘Jamaica We Have A Bobsled Team.’ His street performance however, accumulates a meagre $1.16, some of which was donated by a bystander who wanted him to ‘shut the hell up.’

Any Given Sunday – My Name Is Willie

During the early 2000s, the famous ‘Peace By Inches’ speech exploded onto iPods everywhere and no self-respecting sportsperson would be seen without earphones plugged in listening to Al Pacino telling you all about the “six inches in front of your face.”

Any Given Sunday tells the story of how the Miami Sharks are forced to draft in third-string quarterback Willie Beamen and despite a few early stutters, his performances start to attract positive reviews. As his profile ascends, he gets notions along the way.

chobbgarg / YouTube

His self-absorption peaks upon the release of his rap song ‘My Name Is Willie’. To his credit, it’s a likeable tune.

Warrior – About Today

This under-appreciated film explores the theme of family strife through the prism of MMA in which estranged brothers Tommy and Brendan enter a tournament that carries a $5,000,000 prize for the winning fighter.

BestActionScene / YouTube

The pair fail to resolve their troubled past before meeting in the final as their father – Tommy’s coach – watches on. (SPOILER ALERT) Brendan effectively wins by breaking Tommy’s arm but the younger brother refuses to tap out. That’s when The National’s ‘About Today’ comes on and the siblings share a moment of reconciliation and leave the cage together.

Raging Bull – Theme Song (Cavalleria Rusticana: Intermezzo)

Perhaps unsuited to a berth in this list but an exquisite piece of music nonetheless. Raging Bull chronicles the rise and decline of world champion boxer Jake LaMotta, both personally and as a boxer. This beautiful score may even have eclipsed the legacy of the film itself.

elcld / YouTube

The Simpsons – We’re Talkin’ Softball

Another controversial inclusion on account of the genre it comes from. One thing that is not up for debate is the quality of this song which is inspired by Terry Cashman’s ‘Talkin’ Baseball’ which was released in 1981.

letsbepandas / YouTube

Space Jam – Get Ready For This

More commonly known by the title ‘Y’all Ready For This,’ this song from the childhood favourite Space Jam forms a major part of the movie’s widespread appeal. The first half of the basketball match between The Tune Squad and the Monstars leaves the former on the wrong end of a hammering, largely due to the fact that the Monstars have stolen the talent from key NBA players.

But after delivering a rousing speech at half-time, Michael Jordan – whose life depends on The Tune Squad winning the tie – inspires his team to fight back and eventually win the game. ‘Get Ready For This’ provides the musical backdrop for their incredible comeback.

Calandra Russell-Lee / YouTube

Talladega Nights – We Belong

‘Hi, my name’s Ricky Bobby, urging you never to travel to Tijuana.’

randi212 / YouTube

Among the pack of hilarious Will Ferrell films is Talladega Nights, a comedy which explores the wonderful world of NASCAR driving. Perennial race car champion Ricky Bobby’s dominance at the top is threatened by French driver Jean Girard, played by Sasha Baron Cohen aka Ali G. The pair face each other in the Talladega 500 where a crash wrecks both their vehicles. Desperate to win, they race each other on foot to the end line while Pat Benatar belts out her hit song ‘We Belong.’

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