Some of the greatest sports movies of all time have been focused around fictional sports teams. These movies and teams have gained a cult following in the years following their premieres, which begs the question, what if these sports teams were real?
What teams would get the most support and what teams would be the most entertaining to watch?
We’ve come up with a list for which sports teams we think would answer both those questions and more.
The list is in no order or ranking, simply just a list.
Average Joe’s (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story)
The rag-tag group of no-names who made an improbable run defeating the Globo Gym Cobras in the ADAA Dodgeball Invitational quickly rose to stardom. This included endorsements and excessive TV exposure on ESPN8: The Ocho. From captain Peter LaFleur, to Steve the Pirate and Gordon and Kate, the team touched the hearts of all that watched them on the silver screen.
Creating the ADAA, with them and Globo Gym as the premier teams, would create a buzz in the sports world. Not only would you have an exciting product to advertise and market to the public, but you would bring more exposure to dodgeball as a viable national sport.
The crowds that would come out to see Average Joe’s would be giant, possibly big enough to fill NBA/NHL Arenas. When ESPN announced they would change ESPNU to ESPN8: The Ocho, on August 8th of this year, along with a lineup of obscure sports for the day, that alone showed how much of a cult following the movie still has, so the creation of the Average Joe’s team would garner a lot of support.
The Flint Tropics (Semi-Pro)
Jackie Moon’s ABA franchise from Flint, Michigan, the Tropics, made an improbable run to become an NBA franchise, securing the final spot. The ABA-NBA merger did happen in real life, but the Tropics weren’t included in the mix, partly due to the commissioner being eaten by a bear and mostly because they were fictional, until today.
The Tropics, headed by Moon, former NBA guard Ed Monix, European transfer Vakidis and Clarence Withers (AKA Coffee Black), were a feared team in a dangerous city with a crazy owner in Moon.
Their style of basketball has become a lost art in the NBA today, but the fans would most definitely come out to see them even in Flint. Who knows how good they would actually be since everyone knows what the alley-oop is, and just about every other move would break the ankles of every Tropics player. But hey, at least you might get corn dogs.
Tune Squad (Space Jam)
A list like this wouldn’t be complete without Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes, who miraculously defeated the Monstars, mostly because of the surprise appearance of Bill Murray and fake confidence instilled into the team by Jordan through his water bottle (“Michael’s Secret Stuff”) filled with nothing but water.
The game is one of the most iconic ones of recent memory, though it was played over 20 years ago. In terms of talent, Jordan and Lola Bunny are the two standouts, while the rest of the team could easily be beaten by Kwame Brown in a 1-on-1. Relatively speaking, there is a small sample size for the team as they only played one game known to memory and their tactics used during the game would certainly not be allowed anywhere. This bring about an important question; how good are they really?
Aside from their actual talent levels, the Tune Squad would draw massive crowds of both animated and real people. In terms of making money, they would be worth the risk. However, in terms of success, they would be a mixture of the Vancouver Grizzlies, Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Rays from 1998-2007.
Charlestown Chiefs (Slap Shot)
The Chiefs reached the pinnacle of their success in the late 1970s as they defeated the Syracuse Bulldogs in the Federal League, hockey’s other minor league. The team is known mostly for their extremely rough style of play, often starting fights and hitting opponents hard into the glass and on open ice.
Reggie Dunlop, the Hanson Brothers and Dave “Killer” Carson, are the stars of this minor league franchise who defied the odds to win the championship. In terms of hockey, they play a style that simply wouldn’t be allowed by today’s standards. Yet the crowds that they would generate as a result of this extremely physical play would trump that.
The ’70s were the era of the Broad Street Bullies and other famous physical teams, but for minor league hockey, this is a territory that really hasn’t been entered yet. With that being said, it doesn’t mean that it could never happen.
Talent-wise, the Chiefs are more than capable of winning, but entertainment-wise, they would be the best in the AHL, and possibly the NHL, if Gary Bettman adopted them as the 32nd team in the league.
Oh, what am I saying, of course he would. I mean, if he awarded a franchise to Las Vegas, the home of drifters, excessive gambling and drive-thru marriage centers, I can imagine he would make the Chiefs, a fictional team, the newest expansion team in the NHL. But that’s just me.