As we all know, there are film fans everywhere, even (especially?) in the world of sports. That works out well, since athletes are granted a public forum with which to showcase their movie fandom that maybe, say, systems analysts or accountants are not. (Sorry, systems analysts and accountants.)
But while athletes (or coaches) paying homage to their favorite films is nothing that's necessarily new, those instances have come in varying degrees of devotion. Here, we have nine memorable cases of sports mimicking movies, either in front of the camera or on the field.
1. Falcons Tight End Tony Gonzalez Pulls an 'Anchorman'
The NBC Sunday Night Football intros are a double-edged sword: they're great in that they get you pumped for the game to a unique degree, but also silly in that they allow the players to do basically whatever the hell they want (see also: Randy Moss claiming to have graduated from "Rand University"). During a game against the Eagles last season, Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez spectacularly took advantage of the format by doing his best Ron Burgundy. (Either that, or he had one hell of an undiagnosed concussion HEYYOOOOOO.)
2. Falcons Free Safety Thomas DeCoud Plays the 'Meow' Game on SportsCenter
Oh, those crazy Falcons! After a 3-0 beginning to the season, SportsCenter interviewed Atlanta free safety Thomas DeCoud about the Falcons' hot start, and DeCoud unleashed the "Super Troopers"-inspired "Meow" game on the unsuspecting anchor, who clearly had no idea what hit him. Or scratched him! Am I right? Let's move on.
3. Rory McIlroy Rocks the 'Happy Gilmore' Swing
Current world number-one golfer Rory McIlroy set up a camera and filmed himself taking a couple "Happy Gilmore"-esque swings at the ball during an otherwise-normal visit to the driving range. As you'll see from his first effort, it's not as easy as Adam Sandler (or the fine folks in post production) made it look. Perhaps we've underrated Sandler as an athlete this whole time? Bizarrely, the video is in super slow motion, and we're nooooottt suuuurrree whhyyyyy.* (*To be read in super slow-motion.)
4. The Edmonton Oilers Try Out the 'Flying V'
Just last month, the Edmonton Oilers, down 2-0 early in the first period to the Anaheim Ducks, reached in their Gordon Bombay Grab Bag of Tricks and whipped out the "Flying V," which had been known to have at least baffled the German junior national hockey team a few years back. Unfortunately for the Oilers, they did not encounter the same success, perhaps because their season isn't executive produced by Walt Disney.
5. Lyoto Machida Unleashes His Inner 'Daniel-San'
Brazilian mixed martial artist Lyoto Machida cares nothing for the film success of Randy Couture, and he showed it in a 2011 fight against the "Expendables" star when he unleashed a devastating Macchio-kick to the side of Couture's dome to score the knockout. Bonus points go to the editor of the below video, who opted to keep in Joe Esposito's "You're the Best Around." On that night, Machida was the best (at kicking people in the face) around.
6. Dolphins Defensive Lineman Jared Orick Does the Pee-wee Herman Dance After a Sack
The Miami Dolphins haven't had much reason to celebrate anything lately. But no defensive lineman is ever modest after executing a sack, and Jared Odrick proved no exception when he took down Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in a 2011 game and promptly went right into the Pee-wee Herman dance in celebration. What's noteworthy about the video is the lack of fellow Dolphins players congratulating him on the sack. We'd probably stay away, too.
7. The Chicago White Sox Dress in Their Finest 'Caddyshack' Attire
On a road trip to Baltimore in the midst of the dog days of the 2012 season, White Sox manager Robin Ventura assigned a "Caddyshack"-themed dress code to the team in order to loosen them up a bit for the stretch run. What's weird is the fact that the White Sox players seem to think the reporters believe they casually dress this way out of good taste, since the entire video is pretty much made up of them insecurely repeating that it's all a big joke and for fun. Thanks for clearing that one up, guys.
8. Michigan State Beats Notre Dame Using a 'Little Giants'-Style Fake Field Goal
Down 31-28 to Notre Dame in overtime in 2010, Michigan State called an incredibly ballsy fake field goal straight out of Rick Moranis' "Little Giants" playbook for the touchdown and the win. It was a rough one for the Irish, who would have to wait two more years before they would finally regain national relevance by unexpectedly reaching the national title game and having their star middle linebacker fornicate with a make-believe person.
9. The Carolina Panthers Annex Puerto Rico Against the Texans
At the end of the first half in a 2011 game against the Houston Texans, the Carolina Panthers ran the "Annexation of Puerto Rico," made famous yet again by 1994's "Little Giants." Though the play was definitely successful and undoubtedly cool, the writing at the beginning of the below video is a little overdramatic considering the relatively meaningless circumstances of the game (the Panthers had already been eliminated from playoff consideration at the time). Maybe this was the greatest day of the uploader's life? Certainly possible, and more than reasonable.