England's World Cup blunder: Which obvious sports mistakes would make great movie scenes?
Most Americans don’t care about soccer, but every American cares about defeating the English. So far, we’ve got an unimpeachable track record on the latter: the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Miracle on the Grass of 1950, and maybe their rock ‘n roll is better than ours, but our hip-hop is much better than theirs. Our national winning streak was tested on Saturday, when the USA faced England in the opening round of the World Cup. Things looked grim for our boys…until English goalkeeper Robert Green let in an easy goal. Watch the blunder here: if you freeze-frame, you can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half.
The final score was 1-1, which counts as a practical win for the U.S. thanks to the bizarre arithmetic of soccer tournaments. This got me thinking: Most sports movies take a dramatic, triumph-of-the-human-spirit approach to important events. They honor tremendous feats of athletic nobility, like America defeating communism in Miracle or America defeating Iceland in D2: The Mighty Ducks. But some of the most memorable moments in sports history are the mistakes. So I ask you, PopWatchers: Which great blunders in sports history would you like to see turned into movies?
There are some obvious answers here, especially if you expand the definition of “blunder” to include Mike Tyson biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear. (Mike Tyson would probably be happy to play himself.) But I’d go with an event that was actually a whole series of apocalyptic mistakes: Jean Van de Velde’s disastrous performance on the 18th hole of the 1999 British Open. The golfer was so far in the lead that he could have literally played the last hole with a pool cue, but instead he re-enacted Happy Gilmore. I see Mathieu Amalric playing Van de Velde, with Will Ferrell as his caddy.
Your turn, PopWatchers! What miserable sports moments deserve their own tragicomic movie treatment? And no, Tiger Woods doesn’t count: keep it on the field, people!