You can’t go wrong with Blue Chips, The Mighty Macs
In today’s edition of my column, I’ve decided to take a dip into the sports movie pool again.
This time, I’m sticking to the basketball end. These two movies are two my wife Pam and I have thoroughly enjoyed in recent days.
The Mighty Macs (2009): I loved this movie and on top of that it had me doing my research. This 2009 movie stars Carla Gugino in the role of Cathy Rush, who was the head coach of the Immaculata College Mighty Macs in the first half of the 70s. Rush works hard to build a program that ends up winning the Association for Intercollegiate Athletic for Women (AIAW) National Championship in1972 which marked the first women’s national championship. The movies gives you a glimpse into the time period and how hard it was for the school to get funding as well as the struggles that women went through. The movie was inspirational and had plenty of great moments. Gugino was perfect in the role of Rush. I recommend this movie for all sports fans and non-sports fans.
Food for thought: Along with winning the national championship in 1972, the Mighty Macs also won the AIAW national title in 1973 and 74. The Might Macs returned to the title game in 1975 and 76 but were tripped up by, you guessed it, the Delta State University Lady Statesmen coached by then head coach Margaret Wade.
Blue Chips (1994): I must admit. I hadn’t seen this movie before this weekend, and I’m ashamed of that. Blue Chips is about a successful college basketball coach that has fallen on some hard times. The movie starts with him giving his team a butt chewing as the team was in the midst of its first losing season in the coach’s tenure. The losing season has the coach’s job on the line, and he has to find the right players. With pressure from the boosters, he ends up breaking some recruiting rules to get the prospects needed for a successful team. The movie, I think, did a great job, at showing a coach struggling to do the right thing and giving us a look at the living situations of the players he recruits. The pressure to win and find the right players are issues that every coach in college ball faces. Even though this movie came out in 1994, those themes of the pressure to win and the cost of success apply just as well in 2020. Nick Nolte turned in a solid performance as the coach, and the speech he gave at the end was a good pay off when thinking about the speech he gave to the losing team at the beginning of the movie. When this movie came out, it wasn’t that successful and the majority of critics didn’t like it.
It seems like if a movie has a good moral lesson to it, critics sometimes tend to get critical of that part particularly in a sports movie. They think sports movies can get to sentimental. Good uplifting messages maybe somewhat cliché in sports movies but that’s what makes them work. Many positive lessons can be learned in sports and both of these movies teach some great lessons.
Andy Collier is the sports editor at The Bolivar Commercial. He can be reached at (662)-843-4241 or by e-mail at email@example.com.