Just as March Madness has now reached the beginning of April, our original field of 64 announced on March 7 is now down to its top 8 entries. So here is the dreaded “Elite 8,” where teams like the U of A have tasted but then fell one step short of the big dance. The match-up summaries and results for the “Elite 8” are as follows:
Raging Bull (#1)
Two iconic boxing films and great movies. When two powerhouses meet, the difference comes down to the little things. Here, Rocky was more wide reaching in the spectrum of emotions portrayed. Raging Bull was more focused on the grit and venom of Jake LaMotta. With Rocky, you worried, laughed, cried and cheered. Raging Bull didn’t bring out any of those emotions. Rocky stood toe to toe with Apollo Creed and he has now done it again against LaMotta.
Remember The Titans (#1)
Bull Durham (#2)
This comes down to pure personal taste. Both films deserve to win it all and any of you who disagree with my choice would be taking a position as valid as mine in my own selection. I just found “Remember The Titans” to be a beautiful rendition of a time that I lived through when growing up and can’t help but send it through to the Final Four. I do so with apologies to the “Bull Durham” loyalists.
These are both stories akin to the biblical “David versus Goliath” story and they each tell the story in an endearing fashion. Both are based upon true stories. One focuses on the coach and the other the player. No one leaves Hoosiers chanting the name of Coach Norman Dale but everyone knows what you are expressing when you chant “Rudy, Rudy.” In the upset, “Rudy” sacks “Hoosiers.”
Million Dollar Baby (#12)
Karate Kid (#3)
Through each round, I have tried to shed light on the dark horse that is “Million Dollar Baby.” While it is subject to differing opinions, I think it is one of the most underrated sports movies of all time. That said, “Karate Kid” is the “Karate Kid,” a film that was part of the memory of growing up for more than one generation. The ride of “Million Dollar Baby” finally comes to an end.
Next up: The Final Four
Semi-Final #1: Rudy (#2 Mid-West) vs. Remember The Titans (#1 South)
Semi-Final #2: Rocky (#2 East) vs. Karate Kid (#3 West)