Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hollywood Loves an Underdog (2/22/06)

"Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" Sports announcer Al Michaels' call on February 22, 1980, put the capper on the U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey team's upset of the Soviet team. But hardly a season goes by when some underdog doesn't defy the odds, stunning fans with an unexpected victory. Don't think that Hollywood doesn't notice, either. Such David-and-Goliath sagas are tailor-made for the movies, where heartwarming stories can turn into cold, hard cash. The American hockey victory alone was turned into two films. Such unlikely human and animal champions as James J. Braddock and Seabiscuit gave hope to Americans beaten down by the Great Depression -- to the delight of studio heads. And audiences cheered Milan High School's small-town championship in "Hoosiers." Whose story will be next? Joe Namath's? Kirk Gibson's? Or is the next Rulon Gardner still in hiding, just waiting for a chance?

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