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Weekend Recs: Sports Fiction

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Even to those who never played sports, there is something uniquely compelling and inspirational about sports fiction. Movies like Rocky, Remember the Titans, A League of their Own, and The Blind Side move us. They make us root for the underdog and feel the valor of the victory (or the crushing weight of their defeat).

As we quickly approach the end of the semester and (the dreaded) finals season, we could probably all use a little extra motivation to push us through. This weekend’s recs will feature some sports fiction recs to spark some positive thoughts and determination.

If you have 4 minutes and 5 seconds…and need the perfect song to get you into game mode, listen to the quintessential “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor.

Bonus: for some more motivation, watch “Sweet Victory” from SpongeBob Squarepants.

If you have 9 minutes and 15 seconds…and want to watch a breakdown of the movie magic (and athletic feat) of the triple axle scene in I, Tonya, watch this Vanity Fair video.

Bonus: if you’re looking for a sports movie packed with dark humor, true crime, and drama, watch I, Tonya, my personal favorite sports film. Although it’s technically nonfiction, as it follows real-life world class figure skater Tonya Harding, the film plays with its dramatized nature and (somewhat) one-sided narrative.

If you have 10 minutes and 44 seconds…and need an end-of-the-semester motivation boost, watch this video ranking some of the best sports movie speeches. One of the best (and most cliche) aspects of sports movies are its motivating speeches, and these are some of the most memorable.

Photo from Carol M. Highsmith on Wikimedia Commons

If you have 1 hour and 47 minutes…and love 80s movies, watch Field of Dreams, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. This late 80s film stars Kevin Costner as a humble farmer who turns his cornfield into a baseball field to allow the ghosts of famed baseball players to play the greatest American past time.

If you have 1 hour and 48 minutes…and think race car driving is a sport, watch Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. Starring Will Ferrel and Sascha Baron Cohen, this racing film adds just the right amount of comedy to the inspirational, underdog narrative sports films have perfected.

If you have 2 hours and 4 minutes…and want to add some romance to your queue, watch Love and Basketball. This 2000s classic follows Monica and Quincy from childhood to young adulthood, bonding through their love of basketball. If that’s not enough, Love and Basketball also features an amazing cast, including Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Kyla Pratt, Alfre Woodard, Dennis Haysbert, Regina Hall, and Gabrielle Union.

If you have 7 hours…and prefer books, read Trophy Son by Douglas Brunt, available through interlibrary loan. This novel dives into the crippling perfectionism and high expectations placed on athletes through tennis prodigy Anton’s journey to navigating the pressure from his overbearing father and finding himself.

Bonus: for more book recs, check out this list of some popular sports fiction novels.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


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Last Modified: April 28, 2023

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