theScore is counting down the 100 best fictional characters in sports movie history.
10. Apollo Creed
“Rocky” (1975), “Rocky II” (1979), “Rocky III” (1982), and “Rocky IV” (1985)
Arguably the most charismatic sports figure to ever grace the silver screen, Creed (Carl Weathers) is the perfect opposite to Rocky Balboa’s underdog character. The flamboyant, arrogant boxer, who was loosely based on a combination of fighters including Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, embraces his larger-than-life status while drawing heat and remaining likable at the same time.
9. Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson
“The Wrestler” (2008)
Darren Aronofsky’s dark dive into the independent circuits of professional wrestling was a masterpiece that reached Oscar-worthy success thanks to Mickey Rourke’s incredible portrayal of fading grappler Robinson. “The Ram” represents everything that is wrong with fame and fortune when his continued journey toward reliving his glory years ends up costing him more important things in life. Rourke, who actually wrestled in the film, received a Best Actor nomination for his work.
8. Reggie ‘Reg’ Dunlop
“Slap Shot” (1977)
Already in his 50s when “Slap Shot” was released, Paul Newman’s Reg has a bit of a Gordie Howe feel to him as a passionate on-ice leader who’s seen and done it all but continues to ply his trade because hockey is truly his first love. As always, that trademark Newman cool is present both during the games and at the local bar.
Fair warning, however: Some of Reg’s banter hasn’t aged well.
7. Crash Davis
“Bull Durham” (1988)
Warning: Video contains coarse language
Davis (Kevin Costner) is a veteran catcher who is recruited to teach young hurler “Nuke” LaLoosh how to be a professional while also attempting to break a minor-league home-run record that most people don’t know or care about. Davis may be rough around the edges in “Bull Durham,” but his adoration for baseball and ability to deliver memorable speeches make him one of the most legendary sports characters in film history.
6. Happy Gilmore
“Happy Gilmore” (1996)
It’s the perfect fish-out-of-water story: An impulsive wannabe hockey player takes on the golf world after discovering an uncanny ability to drive the ball hundreds of yards thanks to his graceless slap shot technique. As Happy, Adam Sandler is at his man-child best, yelling, punching, and cursing as he runs roughshod over the stodgy denizens of the pro tour.
5. Jesus Shuttlesworth
“He Got Game” (1998)
Casting a non-actor – then-Milwaukee Bucks star Ray Allen – to play a lead role in a drama carried plenty of risk, but Spike Lee’s…