Sport – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
A sport film is an extremely popular film genre which makes use of sport as the main theme of the movie. It’s often a fictional creation where a sport, specific sport, fan of a particular sport, or participant of sport in general are heavily involved, and that rely strongly on sport to some extent for their plot rationale or resolution. Most of these films have a heavy media focus on their subject, and many times take great lengths to document and sometimes even create a sense of reality or lore behind their subject. There are a lot of successful sports movies out there, but what makes a movie “worthy” of the term?
The first criteria for making a “sports film” is the medium involved – it should be done predominantly in one form of media. Film has had a massive influence on the medium of TV, with many shows, such as Sportscenter, covering sporting events. TV has also helped to fuel the popularity of many sports’ magazines, which have been successful for many years, including Sports Illustrated, to name a few. Video games and internet marketing also play a large role in spreading the word about certain sports events, like baseball and football, which means that if a major sport happens to be in your area, you should make it a point to see it (and enjoy it!) If you live in the UK, there’s always the ever popular League Two match between Fleetwood Mac and Hapoel Beil high on the sports ticker.
Some of the most successful sports stories are those that follow the athletes, such as those who won the Olympic gold medal in London 2021. It was amazing to watch some of the sports celebrities reacting to their own win, like Usain Bolt with his “just another day” comment. Another example is when cyclists became famous in the UK through the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The foundation raised millions of dollars for cancer research, and raised countless pounds for Lance Armstrong’s medical needs. This made for an amazing story, especially in light of his own diagnosis of cancer, but also for how he inspired so many people.
Britain’s love affair with sports isn’t just limited to the big game, however. Gymnastics has enjoyed massive growth over recent years as Britain became known as a’soft sport’. As well as using gymnastic equipment, gymnasts often perform routines using their strong willpower and bodies to push themselves beyond their comfort level. This shows the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and getting into shape, even if it’s not for a sport’s sake.
Other sports have, of course, developed in response to Britain’s need for more physical activity, and its recognition of a healthy lifestyle. Cricket, for instance, started out as a sport for commoners, but it moved towards becoming a participant’s sport when it began hosting international games. Football, which is probably the most popular sport in the UK, has moved from being a primarily a defensive and forward-thinking game to one that involves attacking and disrupting ball carriers from the back. Even tennis, which is traditionally thought of as a male preserve, began as a form of competitive physical activity and changed into a spectator sport for many. Many other sports have moved on from being predominantly male activities, but sport has always been popular among the sexes.
Sport can help us break down barriers, such as gender and social divisions. By making fun of other athletes, especially those deemed weaker than ourselves, sport can push buttons that would otherwise be pushed by more traditional methods. Sport can inject enthusiasm into routine activities, as it often makes them more appealing than simply working out in the gym. Sport can encourage us to get away from our homes and take part in the physical exertion that helps keep us healthy and strong.