Best Sports Speeches

I’ve always loved speeches and ones given by athletes, coaches, and other important sports figures are especially touching to me. Here are some (but certainly not all) of my favorites.

1. Lou Gehrig Farewell Speech

It’s a short and sweet type speech but the emotion is so evident. Lou Gehrig was such a great baseball player who had gained so much respect from the Yankees fans over the years. It’s such a famous speech that’s had such an impact and is still celebrated to this day. It’s incredibly quotable and thoughtful to say the least.

2. Jimmy V Speech

Yet another powerful speech from somebody that knew they may not have much time left on Earth. The speech is filled with pathos and was actually used by my English teacher when we were learning about pathos, ethos, and logos because Jimmy uses pathos in such a natural way that really is showcased in his extremely touching delivery. You’ve got to love the heart of this legendary coach, who never lost his vibrant personality even in his final days. This will always be my go to video when I need an extra dose of heart and motivation.

3. Kevin Durant MVP Speech

This was a much more recent speech but still a memorable one. Kevin Durant was the NBA MVP last season and this was his rather long yet touching acceptance speech. The most memorable parts were where he talks fondly of his mother, who is in the crowd beaming up at her son. It’s evident how grateful Durant is to his mom, who he notes did everything possible to make sure he and his brother had a roof over their heads and that they weren’t out in the streets. It’s always nice to see such a humble and gracious player.

4. Stuart Scott ESPY Speech

This popular beloved ESPN announcer lost his fight to cancer early in January. Last summer, he accepted an award at the ESPY’s in the name of Jimmy V, the guy I previously mentioned who gave a famous speech and also lost his battle to cancer. This is such an awesome speech because of the manner that Scott carries himself. He had such a natural grace about him and you can’t help but love that. He was also just a great storyteller and his shout out to Jimmy V made me bawl my eyes out.

5. Rickey Henderson Hall Of Fame Speech

Henderson is a player known for his rather cocky personality on the field. This speech is mostly memorable for how humble he was in it. My favorite part about it is the hilarious personal stories that he adds here. I think it’s hilarious that he had to be bribed in order for him to play baseball.

Poems About Sports

Poetry is such a beautiful and emotional thing. Poems about sports has always fascinated me endlessly. Each of these poems are about several different sports and paint such fabulous pictures, regardless of whether or not you like the sports, you can’t help but respect the poems. So without further ado, here are some of my favorites about sports.

1. A Boy Juggling A Soccer Ball

This poem has such gorgeous and descriptive imagery while describing this seemingly simplistic event. It’s just a boy juggling a soccer ball, nothing outrageously interesting, but the language used turns it into something much more respectable and fantastic.

2. Slam, Dunk, and Hook

I love this poem because it makes a game of pickup basketball about so much more than just that. It uses great descriptive language that captures the fun that can come from just playing a simple game of basketball with your best friends, while you go through events in your personal events at the same time. It makes me want to get my friends together and just play the game and make memories.

3. Fast Break

“A hook shot kisses the rim and hangs there, helplessly, but doesn’t drop,” I love this line because it really puts us in the shoes of somebody playing the game of basketball, in the present tense. We can feel all of the sights and sounds around the boy. Poetry is really a beautiful thing because it takes the most simple words and spins it into something more complicated and striking.
This is a very long poem and reads more like a story. But it holds up as a poem due to the structure. I love how the story flows in such a unique way that makes it all the more memorable. It’s filled with words, I typically enjoy poems that are much shorter than this one is. But something about this poem still makes it work and stick out in my mind as being one of the better sports poems.
Could I really talk about famous sports poem and leave this one off? It’s by far the most famous poem on the subject and it’s become a type of pop culture phenomenon. There’s an interesting cast of characters that fill the lines of this incredible poem. It also takes you through many different emotions. It’s odd how easily he’s able to get you emotionally invested and just caught up in the story. Basically, the question most fitting for me to ask is, who doesn’t love this one?

The Less Popular Sports

There are several sports that I really haven’t touched on yet this month. Unfortunately, there’s 30 days in April and there’s many many sports that I could talk about. However, I didn’t really want to talk about sports that I don’t know much about. So I just stuck to what I know the best which isn’t exactly a lot of different sports, just the main ones. I thought it’d be best to at least acknowledge these sports.

1. Hockey

I think hockey is a really awesome sport. It’s one that definitely doesn’t get enough credit. I mean, what other sport has so much physical action? Basketball, football, and baseball don’t have the type of physical contact and the fouls are hardly ever called. Like one hockey player once said, hockey gives you a free nose job. Hockey does have it’s pretty big stars but only a few of them, much less than the main sports I’ve already mentioned frequently this month. But here is my much too short talk about hockey. I’m sorry I couldn’t talk about it longer, I’d just sound uneducated on the sport (because I am) so I’ll stop here!

2. Soccer

One of the biggest sports in the world. It has a much bigger appreciation and following in other countries but I think it’s sort of catching on in the United States. The World Cup had such a high rating when it was on this summer. Pretty much everybody was suddenly a huge soccer fan but not so many people care during the actual season, but that’s typically how it goes. A lot of the most popular players aren’t actually American, but again, the World Cup gave some American soccer players attention like they’ve never seen before. Outside of the World Cup, there really isn’t much to say about the sport. I think the clubs and how they organize the teams can be a little more complicated than what I’d like for it to be. But it does deserve it’s special shout out since there are so many people who play the sport and also love watching it!

3. Swimming

I love swimming for fun but it was never something that I was good enough to do as a sport. I think it can be a really fun sport to watch, especially during the Olympics. There’s also several different popular athletes I can name off the top of my head: Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Mark Spitz, etc. Okay, let’s be honest, Michael Phelps is easily the most popular but Ryan Lochte is pretty up there too. Lochte is most famous for his attitude and vibrant outspoken personality. Phelps is most famous for his incredible swimming and his weed smoking. There are also many talented women swimmers who deserve some recognition as well. Both men and women swimming teams were absolutely dominant for the United States in the Olympics back in 2014. It was a really fun time to watch and I can’t wait for 2018 for the next one.

Best Babe Ruth Quotes

The Great Bambino said some incredible things during his life. These are some of the most memorable and striking quotes.

1. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”

2. “Every strike brings me closer to next home run.”

3. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”

4. “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”

5. “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

6. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”   

 

“I Hate Christian Laettner” Review

This 30 for 30 or ESPN film, whichever name you prefer, looks at one of the most hated college athletes in the history of the game. It explores many different reasons why the hate for Christian Laettner was so serious. After all, he was just a kid, what did he ever really do to deserve the hate? The film talks to many different people including Christian Laettner himself, his family, Coach K, Coach K’s wife, past teammates, the Fab Five, opponents of his, and many different authors, reporters, etc who wrote books and stories about their hate. Many different perspectives were offered during this film which is what I’ve always loved most about documentaries- especially sports documentaries.

The first reason that they look at is that Laettner was perceived as a rich kid because he attended Duke University and a prep school before that. In reality, Laettner came from a middle class family. His mom was a teacher and his dad was a journalist. He couldn’t afford prep school but they offered a type of work study where he would work these dirty type jobs extremely early in the morning in exchange for his tuition. He only went to Duke because Coach K offered him a full scholarship. This alone gave me personally some new respect for the guy. He didn’t have anything handed to him, he worked for everything he had which is something worthy of respect.

Another reason why people hate Laettner is that he’s a white kid. Some people thought he might be racist or view black people differently since the only black guys on his basketball team were called “Uncle Tom” and things of that sort. Laettner was actually extremely tolerant of other races, maybe even was more against white people than black. His teammates bragged on how impressed they were with his style and his knowledge of hip-hop.

The third reason explored was that he was a bully who preyed on the weak. I actually laughed out loud because they used Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift as the image for a bully. Yes, Laettner was an animal on the court and he was certainly a big trash talker. The way he carried himself and seemed to get away with so much stuff other players wouldn’t get away with was extremely disheartening and irritating. But he also seemed like a good teammate and actually a cool guy off the court. He just knew how to get under people’s skin.

After watching this documentary, I learned a lot about the background of this guy that got such a terrible reputation over the years. I think it’s sad how much people disliked him and how far some people took it. Like it’s actually ridiculous that his 12-year-old sister was called a whore just for being his sister. Like what did she ever do to deserve that? Sometimes the hatred people have isn’t rational and is fairly upsetting. Ultimately, people hated how good he was and I love that the documentary explored that. But I think it wasn’t just one sided, it also showed the reasons behind why people hate him by talking to the sources directly. Overall, it’s one of my favorite ESPN films.

Top Sports Documentaries

These are some of my favorite sports documentaries of all time. I’ve tried to include many different sports in this list but I’m sure I left some out so let me know if I forgot any of your favorites!

1. Undefeated

This documentary won an Oscar for Best Documentary and it’s not hard to see why. It follows an inner city high school in Memphis that’s run by a volunteer coach. The stories of these individual players is so touching and interesting. It just gives audiences a lot of insight into the struggles that these kids have to deal with. This is a documentary that’s pretty impossible not to cry over.

2. Baseball

One of the best documentaries about baseball and an extremely long one at that. It’s a very in depth look at the history of baseball. It makes sure to stick as close to the dates and important decades in the sport as possible. As a whole, it’s just a fun documentary that teaches you a lot about all of the players and dates that are significant for baseball.

3. The Endless Summer

A timeless documentary that changed the direction of surfing documentaries right around. It takes a unique first person point of view that had a way of making audiences feel that they were actually apart of the story. Bruce Brown’s approach to filming and narrating in this feature in general was something that we hadn’t yet seen. He also showed that the theory “less is more” can be a relevant one when used by the right filmmaker.

4. Hoop Dreams

This is a long one but it’s far from boring, the length is perfect for you to get involved in the lives of these two high school basketball players who have dreams of playing in the NBA. That plot sounds like a simple one, what basketball player doesn’t have that dream? But as you take a closer look, you realize the racial and economic challenges that these two African American boys have to deal with. It becomes a lot more about their lives outside of the sport and that’s what keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time.

5. 30 for 30: Fab Five

ESPN 30 for 30 films never disappoint. They always manage to tell such fascinating stories from various points of view. This one in particular revealed a lot about how these underprivileged boys were given the opportunity to play basketball at Michigan. At the time, they came off as being “cocky” and “punks” but this gives us more insight as four of the boys (Chris Webber didn’t want to be apart of it) were interviewed as well as other coaches and reporters around during this time. I gained a lot of respect for them after watching this and seeing how much they truly changed culture and what people thought about them.

6. 30 for 30: Into The Wind

30 for 30 isn’t typically known for being so emotional and heartbreaking. Most of the time, just the facts are being presented and it isn’t exactly tear jerking. However, this story about Terry Fox is bound to make even the hardest of hearts shed a few tears. Canadian Terry Fox was a big runner when his leg was amputated at the age of 19 because of cancer. In 1980, he ends up running across Canada on one leg. His relentless work ethic and pure love for running is so heartwarming and inspiring.

7. We Could Be King

An inspiring look at two Philadelphia rival schools being forced to combine their football programs due to budget cuts. The horrors that these kids go through is really emotional. One of the boys Dontae is a big guy who is extremely sensitive and it breaks your heart when the boy struggles with reading out loud. The coach himself is also an inspiration, he began helping these boys after his close friend was murdered. He wanted to help these boys get away from the realities of their lives and focus on the sport they all love.

8. The Battered Bastards Of Baseball

The Portland Mavericks were an independent team owned by Bing Russell, father of actor Kurt Russell who also did some acting himself. The movie is hilarious but also touching to see these underdogs rise to the top in such hilarious fashion. The people interviewed including Kurt Russell, a batboy, players, coaches, Kurt’s mom, and many more give us new dimensions to the story.

 

Muhammad Ali Quotes

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Arguably the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali was never shy. In fact, he was positive that he was the greatest long before anyone else paid any attention to his skills. We could all take some notes from Ali when we’re feeling a little low on our self-confidence. Here are some quotes to provide you with some motivation.

1. “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

2. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

3. “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.”

4. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

5. “I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”

6. “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them—a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

7. “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

8. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

9. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

10. “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”