Top Nine Most Lovable Sports Movie Losers

Stop us if you've heard this plot for a sports movie: plucky/undermanned/untalented athlete/team gets a ton of hate from opponents/fans for not being up to par, only to rise above and overcome it all to defeat the "villain" in the end.

From The Karate Kid to Major League and beyond, you've surely seen that movie many times, but that's the way Hollywood goes - and we love those movies all the same. However, there are in fact a good chunk of sports movies where the "heroes" don't win in the end, and as Valentine's Day approaches, we wanted to give those who don't come out on top a little extra TLC.

  • MAGGIE FITZGERALD (Million Dollar Baby)
    Unfortunately, tragedy causes "Mo Cuishle" to succumb in the end when she is paralyzed in the ring due to a sucker punch, but you can't help falling in love with Hilary Swank and company; the Academy did to the tune of four Oscars, including Best Picture.
  • BILLY HOYLE (White Men Can't Jump)
    Sure, Woody Harrelson gets a "win" or two in this streetball flick, but in the end he gets hustled multiple times and ends up losing Rosie Perez to the seedy underworld of Jeopardy! tapings. Looks like Rosie was right - sometimes when you win, you actually lose.
  • THE TEXAS STATE ARMADILLOS (Necessary Roughness)
    The 'Dillos do win in the end, but they lose every game leading up to it and poor Scott Bakula gets sacked roughly 400 times in 10 games. But hey, how can you not love a college football team with a 34-year-old chain-smoking quarterback and Kathy Ireland in football pants as the kicker?
  • ROY MCAVOY (Tin Cup)
    Kevin Costner has been Robin Hood, Wyatt Earp, Elliot Ness and Crash Davis ... but in this golf flick, he's a stubborn aging pro who just won't lay up on the 18th and keeps winding up in the water. So why do we love him? Simple: his antics remind all of us of our own golf game!
  • PERMIAN HIGH SCHOOL (Friday Night Lights)
    America loved the story of the 1988 Permian HS football team so much that Friday Night Lights became a book and a movie (and later a TV series), and yet they still don't win the big game. It's called artistic license, people!
  • THE ROCKFORD PEACHES (A League of Their Own)
    The Peaches have everything they need to have not made this list ... except, you know, for the win at the end. Instead, Dottie Hinson drops the ball to give little sis Kit her moment, ensuring there wasn't a dry eye in the house despite Jimmy Dugan's earlier famous exclamation.
    Cool Runnings is the third straight movie on this list "based on a true story," so maybe that's the secret to success. But, we dare you to watch the final scene without getting even a little misty, especially if you know that it's one of the last films featuring the legendary John Candy.
  • ROCKY BALBOA (Rocky)
    Discounting the "10 in a row" montage at the top of Rocky III, Mr. Balboa's record in the fights chronicled throughout the series is actually 4-3-1 plus an unofficial street fight win over Tommy Gunn, and he loses in the climax of two of the six movies. That's okay, Rock, we still love ya anyway.
  • THE BEARS (The Bad News Bears)
    Much like the Peaches, the Bears go from ragtag squad of losers to participants in the championship game - until the spirit of Little League kicks in and Mr. Buttermaker puts in the bench, causing a loss and the last of Tanner Boyle's vicious diatribes. Aw, crud! comments