Matt Schuckman column sig

A typical Fourth of July celebration affords everyone the opportunity to create some delectable barbeque, light up the night with fireworks and enjoy the company of family and friends.

When the party dwindles and it’s time to relax, is there anything better than putting your feet up and watching a movie?

Sunday night, that’s what my wife, Michelle, and I did.

We found a decade-old Russell Crowe thriller titled “State of Play,” about a journalist’s investigation into murder and corruption. Engaging, enthralling, riveting. It had everything you’d want, including a twist at the end.

What it lacked were memorable one-liners.

No Doc Holliday saying, “I’m your huckleberry.”

No Martin Brody saying, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

No Travis Bickle saying, “You talkin’ to me?”

No Col. Nathan R. Jessup saying, “You can’t handle the truth.”

No Adrian Cronauer saying, “Good morning, Vietnam!”

It triggered a thought which turned into a discussion which became a debate.

What is the best one-liner from a sports movie?

Critics will suggest the voice beckoning “If you build it, he will come,” from Field of Dreams as the greatest sports movie one-liner and one of the best one-liners regardless of genre. It’s difficult to argue against that, but the depth of high-quality writing across the sports genre gives you plenty of other choices.

My nostalgic favorite? “Go pick me out a winner, Bobby,” which is uttered by Roy Hobbs in “The Natural” after his Wonderboy bat shatters and the batboy has to get him a replacement.

The one I say over and over? “You’re killin’ me, Smalls,” which is the quintessential response from Hamilton Porter when Scottie Smalls doesn’t know what s’mores are in “The Sandlot.”

The one that makes me laugh every time? “Yo, bartender, Jobu needs a refill,” which Cleveland Indians pitcher Eddie Harris bellows as he comes out of the clubhouse in “Major League.”

The one I’d put on a poster? “Great moments are born from great opportunity,” which U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks tells his team before playing the Russians in “Miracle.”

The one I’ve used while coaching and teaching? “There’s no crying. There’s no crying in baseball,” which Rockford Peaches manager Jimmy Dugan says in “A League of Their Own.”

The one I’ve considered using in a story or column? “Charlie, here comes the deuce. And when you speak of me, speak well,” which Crash Davis says in “Bull Durham” as he tells the batter which pitch is coming.

The one a trash-talking coach getting beat triggers? “Run it up, Herman, leave no doubt,” assistant coach Bill Yoast talking to T.C. Williams Titans coach Herman Boone in “Remember the Titans.”

The one I wish I was cool enough to say? “Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever,” which quarterback Shane Falco utters in the huddle in “The Replacements.”

The one I want framed hanging over my desk? “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die,” which Babe Ruth says to Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez in “The Sandlot.”

There are countless others, such as “Yo, Adrian,” or “Show me the money,” or “You play ball like a girl.”

When you look at the grand picture of how many memorable one-liners come sports movies, you realize the kind of high-quality writing and developed dialogue that went into each and every picture.

And it makes you wonder, what will be repeating next?

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