I’m sure you are all aware that we are peripherally involved in some of the marketing for this new movie coming to the US called Believe. While we’ve had scrums and meetings thinking about some of the things that we can do to help promo the movie, when I would drive back home, I would think to myself, where are all of the soccer movies? That is where this post is coming from.
I remember the early to mid 90s in a funny way. As you know, and as I have shared on these pages many times before, I come from a basketball background. I think the reason that I got so in to the game of soccer is that I see a lot of similarities between the basketball culture and the soccer culture, with the two of them being very closely related in more ways than one.
The swag of the players, the vibe of the athletes while they are playing, the larger than life appeal of their games. How the games are so wide open. The world-wide acceptance of both games. Blah. Blah. Blah. The two sports are a lot a like.
On the field they are for sure but off the field they are pretty close as well. Folks are similarly attracted to soccer the way they are attracted to basketball, but soccer has an added feel to it, because if you are a supporter, soccer is ingrained in who and what you are as a person.
One of the things that I remember a lot about in the 90s when I was shorty, that really solidified my love for basketball, were all of the mad dope movies that came out. I remember movies like “Above the Rim,” or “Blue Chips” or “Sunset Park” or “The Basketball Diaries” which by the way, when you saw that movie, you knew that Leonardo DiCaprio was going to be a massive star, waaaaay before Titanic.
Great movies like “White Men Can’t Jump” and a random movie like “Space Jam” the movie that basically solidified Mike Jordan as the worldwide icon that he became. Here was the biggest athlete in the planet starring in an animated flick. The movie made like a gagillion dollars too. Movies like “Heaven is a Playground.”
…but there were also mad corny joints like “Eddie,” or “My Giant” or “Celtic Pride” and “The Air Up there.” And for what its worth, these movies weren’t that bad, but they could have been a lot better.
So, that got me to thinking, do these kinds of movies exist in soccer? I think they do, right? Some of them do for sure.
I know that I’ve done a few posts of the “Best soccer movies streaming on Netflix / Amazon right now.” So, the movies are out there. If you google a little bit, you’ll find a couple of lists out there.
But where is the iconic movie? Where is the movie that you will be quoting and re-watching over and over again? What are those top three soccer flicks that you immediately start to rattle off when people start talking about soccer movies? Is it just VICTORY and everything else? *
As I started thinking about this, the 90’s were effing raining basketball movies. Why was that? Why haven’t we seen the same thing with soccer? What was going on in the mid 90s that the studios were green-lighting anything that had to do with the basketball? Maybe it, basketball, was the hot thing at the time. Maybe the first couple of flicks were really good and they were trying to catch the wave. Maybe (ahem) they were all great scripts but the execution on a few of the movies weren’t up to par.
Shouldn’t the same thing happen (or have happened) in soccer? There have been successful movies such as Bend It Like Beckham. But he was a worldwide icon and just on the cusp of becoming “Becks.” Maybe that success was deemed not able to be duplicated. There was the Goal! series. There were a couple of other flicks like That Damn United, which we all loved and United. Interesting theme there.
Both about Manchester United.
One thing that I do know is that there were a lot of basketball movies they kept coming out and people kept going to see them. So, they kept making more. And they got progressively better. That’s how it works. You make something that you people will enjoy and then you put it out there. It finds an audience and then you build on that audience. But, at the beginning of all this, you need good movies. Support is important, but a good flick is important too. Believe is a good flick.
* Docs don’t really count. I’m talking super scripted story movies.