Sports Movies: “Breaking Away” (1979)

Breaking Away 1979

No discussion of the best sports movies of all time is complete without including “Breaking Away,” the 1979 film that follows a young man who becomes obsessed with the sport of cycling. Dave Stohler (Dennis Christopher) lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and small college town that’s home to the Indiana University. He’s recently graduated from high school and spend most of his time either on his bike or hanging out with his three childhood friends, often swimming at the stone quarries. Mike (Dennis Quaid) is the angry ex-quarterback who hates being surrounded by the privileged college kids. Jackie Earle Haley plays Moocher the affable short guy while Cyril (Daniel Stern) is the lovable loser of the group.

The college kids call them “cutters” though they never actually worked in the mills that cut the limestone used to build the University. Their dads did that. Which brings us to the best character in this film, Dave’s father (Paul Dooley). Dave is driving his old man crazy. He hasn’t found a job, but even more annoyingly he’s become obsessed with Italian culture. His favorite cycling team is from Italy, so he’s started speaking Italian, playing opera music and calling his dad “papa.” Paul Dooley’s performance as Ray Stohler is easily one of the funniest dad (or “papa”) characters in film history, and this relationship helps drive story in the film. Barbara Barrie is also excellent as Dave’s mom Evelyn, providing a touch of tenderness and sanity to the family.

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Sport bar in Basel

sports bar beers

Watching sports competitions in pubs is an entire culture of time-spending. It might be even more fascinating than watching games live because at stadiums you can’t taste so many dishes and drinks. This hobby provides great experiences. Tourists and locals enjoy visiting pubs for watching sports. In Basel, this activity is popular thanks to Auld Dubliner pub located in Basel’s downtown, Switzerland!

Reason to watch sports in Auld Dubliner

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R.I.P. Bill Russell

Bill Russell

One of the all-time NBA great, Bill Russell, has passed away at the age of 88. He was an amazing player and also a great man and civil rights leader.

Russell won 11 championships in 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics. Sure, the NBA was much different back then, but this is still a stunning achievement.

Anyone making a list of the greatest NBA players of all time has to consider Russell as among the best. He was a powerhouse on defense, and an unselfish player on offense. He did the dirty work and all the little things that helped his team win. If you want an idea of how great of an athlete he was, check out this highlight video.

R.I.P.

Arizona Cardinals fumble the Kyler Murray contract extension

Kyler Murray contract press conference

What a mess.

We knew that the Deshaun Watson contract with the Browns would reset the quarterback market. In the new NFL, with all the rules protecting quarterbacks, it’s now a quarterback league. Some may argue it has been for a long time, but the trend has accelerated dramatically with the new rules. Barring some serious luck, you need an elite quarterback to win.

Combine that with the growing salary cap and you’re going to see more and more monster contracts for NFL quarterbacks. This provides massive leverage to players, and we’re going to start seeing more NBA-style holdouts and trade demands. Quarterbacks are the stars.

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Deshaun Watson contract with Browns resets the quarterback market

Deshaun Watson after Browns trade

The Deshaun Watson trade has rocked the NFL in many ways. After a grand jury in Texas decided against indicting Watson, the Browns won a bidding war to acquire the talented quarterback, and secured the deal with a fully-guaranteed contract for $230 million.

There was already plenty of controversy around any trade for Watson with 22 pending civil lawsuits, but the guaranteed money made the move even more controversial. NFL teams avoid large guarantees, and this contract blew away the guarantees given to other top quarterbacks. The fact that Watson, with all his legal troubles, was the recipient of this contract made it even worse for many. People will have different reactions to the Browns trading for someone saddled with these allegations, but the monetary award made it worse for many fans who felt that the Browns and the NFL were rewarding bad behavior.

But other NFL owners have also been complaining. They know that the Browns have turned the market upside down and that they will ultimately need to consider similar deals if they’re fortunate to land a top-tier quarterback. Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was vocal in his displeasure, not that the Browns or their fans give a damn what the owner of the Ravens thinks about this. The Ravens will have to pay Lamar Jackson, and Browns fans will be happy to see that franchise also saddled with a monster, guaranteed contract, as most Browns fans see Jackson as a more limited quarterback than Watson.

And that leads us to the real issue here. The game in the NFL has been changing as the rules make it easier and easier for elite quarterbacks to dominate the game. Sure, defenses can still make a difference, but a team’s chances of winning a Super Bowl are very low without one of the 8 – 10 elite quarterbacks in the game.

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