Sports Cliches

I’m working on more restructuring of Down-Up (which is playing at the Brighton Fringe throughout May), looking at the competitive side to the show in more depth. I suspect there is more potential for dram and humour in these moments that I’m yet to find.

I’ve enjoyed reading through the classic plot lines (below), reminded me of one of my favourite films, Cool Runnings (which seems to encompass most of these cliches all in one film!).

From Wikipedia:

Sports film clichés

  • A down and out coach is offered one last shot.[6]
  • The coach can’t get along with his star player.[6]
  • Someone doubts the protagonist’s abilities, and is made to believe in them.[6]
  • The players overcome race relations or gang violence, and are brought together by being a team.[6]
  • The opposing team is larger, better dressed, better equipped yet end up defeated by the protagonist’s team.[6]
  • A death or injury provides the main character with the extra incentive to win.[6]
  • The main character is considered too old to win, yet does.[6]
  • An emotional speech inspires the protagonists.[6]
  • Near the end of the movie it will seem that the protagonist’s team has no chance of winning, but they quickly bounce back with little time left.
  • The protagonist’s team makes a valiant comeback effort only to fall just short at the last second (Puck hits the post, shot rims out, etc.). This is immediately followed by a dramatic montage with tear soaked hugs of players and coaches who are genuinely better off for the experience.
  • After a supreme achievement on the sports field/court/diamond, the achiever will, for no apparent reason, extend his arm and use his forefinger to point, for an extended period of time, to a team-mate, coach or even someone in the crowd. In many cases, the person being pointed to will, inexplicably, return the gesture.

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