Endless Opportunities

"Borg/McEnroe" and 5 other sports-beef movies Hollywood needs to greenlight

April 23, 2018

If you ventured out to the movies this weekend, you might have caught word of the major new release in theaters, but not A Quiet Place, the one where John Krasinski fights invincible aliens and then has a baby for some reason. And not Rampage, where the Rock beats up some computers. Aaaaand not I Feel Pretty, which is an Amy Schumer movie? And not Super Troopers 2, which came out on 4/20, waka waka, because you know what’s great is sequels that come out 35 years later. No, we are talking about Borg/McEnroe, a movie-length retelling of the fierce 1980 Bjorn Borg/John McEnroe tennis rivalry that … warrants an entire movie for some reason? Right after another tennis rivalry movie? This is a cinema category now, Tennis Beefs Your Parents Cared Out? Whatever, Borg/McEnroe is actually supposed to be pretty good, despite starring Shia LaBeouf. Also, it'll be the last movie to arrive without the Avengers or Han Solo in it for the next six months

Anyway, we figured that if they can make a Borg/McEnroe movie, about a specific rivalry from a brief span of time 40 years ago, they can make a movie about any rivalries, no matter how old, badly coiffed or one-sided. We’d like to suggest a few:

RELATED: The 21 best sports movie characters

Ventura/Ryan: A taut thriller about the tense psychological interplay that led to White Sox punching dummy Robin Ventura sprinting to the pitcher’s mound to challenge Nolan Ryan, a hanging side of Texas meat who was 18 inches taller and 30 years older his senior and ended up beating the snot out of him. Starring Michael Cera as Ventura, and an eight-foot-tall piece of granite as Ryan. Yes, you know the ending, but whatever, people still go see “Hamilton.”

Colorado Rockies/San Diego Padres, From Like Two Weeks Ago: When talking about Great Sports Battles, you can’t leave out the one from (checks papers) the middle of April, in which two grown teams full of stupidly overpaid alpha males get kick-punchy about a kids’ game. Thanks to iPhones they can shoot movies fast now, it’ll be fine. Featuring a subplot about Yadier Molina bravely attempting to whale a small cadre of 52-year-old coaches. And all the people who keep throwing at the Chicago Cubs. God, who are these people still calling baseball slow and boring? Seventy-five percent of MLB is totally triggered out there.

Knight/Some Kid Walking Through Assembly Hall: You’ve heard about the chair. You’ve seen the “30 For 30.” You’ve listened to your Trump-loving 89-year-old uncle from Martinsville grumble about kids and work ethics and minorities. But you don’t know the back story of Knight’s legendary clash with … that kid … with the sunglasses … Gary something? Whatever … who was walking through Assembly Hall and said “’sup Knight” and then Knight gripped him by the humerus and cursed at him and got fired and became a deflating elderly hot-air balloon who’s still viewed somewhat favorably despite producing literally zero championships in 30-plus years. Actually, now you do know the story. Sorry. Spoiler alert.

Harbaugh/Schwartz: The gripping story of two accomplished coaches who, in the prime of their careers, guided their respected programs full of promising young men through a college football game, and then found that all anyone literally wanted to talk about was whether they’d shake hands at midfield for .025 seconds afterwards, because everyone talks about achievement this and performance that when we really just want to watch famous people have catfights with each other.

Rocker/New York City: A ferocious docudrama about a dipshit alpha-male Braves reliever talking quasi-racist smack about a whole city, and then having to go to that city, and then having the whole city throw batteries at him, and then sitting there realizing you’ve been put into a situation where you’re rooting for batteries. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE WHO THINK BASEBALL IS BORING? Starring Channing Tatum as Rocker, and Danny DeVito as the brave Duracell 9-Volt who finally finds his purpose in the world.

MORE FROM THE LOOP