Sports movies, for the most part, all follow the same formula: underdog band of misfits faces overwhelming odds and/or an imposing enemy, ultimately achieving glory, or coming just short but learning a valuable lesson along the way. It's a tried-and-true system and it works for a reason — so well, in fact, that many of the teams depicted in various films have stuck with us just as much if not more than real sports teams.
With that in mind, there's no way you won't get a twinge of nostalgia from at least one of these 12 all-time great fictional sports teams:
1. Little Giants — "Little Giants"
Tiny misfits fighting against all odds to prove their worth? Done.
2. Tune Squad — "Space Jam"
Beloved cartoon characters playing ball with Michael Jordan? Classic.
3. Mighty Ducks — "The Mighty Ducks"
DUCKS FLY TOGETHER.
4. T.C. Williams Titans — "Remember the Titans"
The inspiring tale of white and black players putting their differences aside to become brothers on the football field. Can't beat it.
5. Richmond Oilers — "Coach Carter"
Samuel L. Jackson stars in the story of a basketball coach who returns to his old school to whip the team into shape. Get pumped up.
6. Flint Tropics — "Semi-Pro"
Fake team, fake players, fake story. But real laughs.
7. Average Joe's — "Dodgeball"
It's in the title: a true underdog story.
8. Miami Sharks — "Any Given Sunday"
The filmmakers didn't get approval to use NFL teams or logos, so they went with Miami Sharks, which is more fierce than the real Miami Dolphins anyway.
9. Charlestown Chiefs — "Slap Shot"
Need to drum up interest in your hockey team? Play violent.
10. The Sandlot Kids — "The Sandlot"
Who doesn't love a good coming-of-age story about a bunch of kids playing baseball all summer?
11. Rockford Peaches — "A League Of Their Own"
12. Dillon High Panthers — "Friday Night Lights"
There probably isn't a more clichéd and predictable depiction of small-town football on screen, but goddamn is it ever beautiful.
Cover image: SUARTS via Flickr