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2012 Film Olympics: Everyone loves an underdog

Posted Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 7:01 PM Central
Last updated Monday, August 6, 2012 at 4:52 PM Central

by John Couture

I don't know what it is, but when I watch sports, I tend to gravitate to the underdog. The same sentiment crosses over to the Olympics.

There's just something about the prohibitive favorite getting their comeuppance that makes me smile. The medium of film is a perfect setting to show these stories of the underdogs getting theirs.

The drama. The suspense. The exhilaration.

Like many other categories during these games, this one was filled with many, many worthy competitors. When you think of all the films that didn't make the medal podium, you could have certainly honored 10 films or more.

All of that said, you have to draw the line somewhere and I'm tasked with creating that line. I know that you won't agree with me on these, and that's ok. There's nothing better than a healthy discussion.

Without further ado, here are the top underdogs in sports films.


There's something special when a great cast and a great story come together as was the case with Hoosiers. Hickory (based on real life Milan) high school is the little school that could in Indiana basketball.

Indiana used to have a single class for high school basketball, but sadly they went to a class system many years ago, so we won't see another Hoosiers ever again.


Is there a bigger underdog in sports than Rocky? Probably not, but the Italian Stallion comes up just short here earning a silver medal.

It's a great film of perseverance and sheer will, but at the end of the film, the underdog doesn't win. I guess that's sort of the point of the film, but it's hard to reward an underdog who loses with a gold medal.


Rudy is a film that will reduce me tears each time I watch it. The consummate underdog, Rudy knows his role and plays it well.

He never asks for anything for himself, always willing to sacrifice himself to make the team better. But, finally he's given one chance to dress and those moments are some of the best underdog moments in film.

The updated medal count shows that the standings are starting to tighten up just a bit and MGM has taken the lead with a dominating couple of days.

Make sure you come back tomorrow when we feel the need for speed.