AJ Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker runs every Friday. Let him know what you think of him.
Everybody loves an underdog story, and apparently, Hollywood loves a South Philly underdog story more than once. And I've always been a mess when it comes to movies like Invincible: I break out in hives everytime I watch Hoosiers. The Rookie made me want to hug somebody. And Rudy ... well, shit — full nervous breakdown.
Even as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I'll admit to never having heard of Vince Papale until the movie was being made. So, this'll be two-times the fun for me. And for others too — next week the movie should prove to be a box office draw for the lucrative sappy dad demo and racially insensitive loudmouthed housewives everywhere.
And I can always go for more of these films. So, in this week's Cultural Oddsmaker, I'm making a list of long shot feel-good sports movies that'll soon be coming to a theater near you. I figure autistic three-bomber Jason McElwain is most likely being shot right now with that kid from Jerry Maguire set to star, so he's exempt from this list, as 1/5 favorite.
For now I'm putting on my Brian Piccolo jersey, having my buddy Radio make me a sandwich and straining the eyelids to pretend I'm not crying.
Weep with me, after this jump.
High Five: The Jim Abbott Story: 5/1
Nothing's more inspiring than people with disabilities: My Left Foot. Murderball. The Ringer. And what could be more heartwarming than a one-armed pitcher? Who throws a no-hitter, no less! And through the magic of CGI, they won't even need to actually go out and find a guy misssing his right hand. Well, if they found a left-handed one armed guy who could pitch, they could do that whole reverse-the-screen trick. They did that for Anthony Michael Hall as Whitey Ford in 61, I think.
No Legs Up: The Willie McQueen Story: 8/1
Follow the gimpy path of eight grade football player Willie McQueen, a 3' 1 inch nub who was a terror of a nose tackle on his local football team. Also another great CGI candidate. And would also be a marketing department's dream. Think of all the possibilities — maybe a bobblehead doll. Or a chew toy for pets.
My Name is Jim...ShitFuckChineseWhore!: The Jim Eisenreich Story: 9/1
Jim Eisenreich twitched his way through 10+ major league seasons and proved himself a clutch pinch hitter despite suffering from Tourette's. But what was it like growing up for Jim? Did he get teased? He had to. This could be a real life Forrest Gump-type movie.I wonder if Eisenreich played ping-pong?
There's a Dead Guy With a Mustache on the Roof: The Bo Diaz Story: 12/1
Sure, not many people remember Bo outside of his mediocre catching career, his nappy fro and his Fasano-esque mustache of yore. But did you know Bo Diaz is one of the most highly regarded Venezuelan baseball players in history? But, sadly, his life was cut short when he was crushed installing a satellite dish. (Just another reason why the NFL should be ashamed of itself.) Couldn't you just imagine Paul Thomas Anderson directing this movie? Or at least reshooting Magnolia to add Bo's death in the intro?