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Top 10 Fictional Pro Athletes in Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Clayton Martino. When real life disappointed us, these athletes were there to prove that dreams can come true. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Fictional Movie Pro Athletes. For this list, we’re looking at entirely fictional athletes. And by pro, we’re referring to anything that excludes academic-related sports, so basically, if they eventually get paid to play, they’re eligible. WARNING: Spoiler Alert. Special thanks to our users kdogg3311, James Gibson, mymicks21, Jake Linder, @Barrows_Max, Steve Vuong and arimazzie for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Clayton Martino.

Top 10 Fictional Pro Athletes in Movies

When real life disappointed us, these athletes were there to prove that dreams can come true. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Fictional Movie Pro Athletes.

For this list, we’re looking at entirely fictional athletes. And by pro, we’re referring to anything that excludes academic-related sports, so basically, if they eventually get paid to play, they’re eligible. No representations of real athletes or fictional sports allowed, as they deserve their own list. Sorry, Viktor Krum! And, since the entire careers of these athletes are being considered, there may be a few spoilers ahead so SPOILER ALERT.

#10: Robin Ramzinski / Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson
“The Wrestler” (2008)

Kicking off our list is ‘80s wrestling has-been Randy “The Ram” Robinson. Real name Robin Ramzinski, he hopes to be able to recapture his former glory, and takes on matches that strain his already-deteriorating health. Realizing he probably cannot wrestle any longer, Randy retires and tries to turn his life around, attempting to reconcile with his estranged daughter and bond with a potential new love interest. However, his past keeps coming back to haunt him and despite his heart condition, Randy goes back into the ring to face his biggest rival and his passion for the sport.

#9: Reggie ‘Reg’ Dunlop
“Slap Shot” (1977)

And now we have Reg Dunlop, the player-coach of the Charlestown Chiefs hockey team. While not an especially skilled player or even a good coach for that matter, Dunlop, portrayed by the iconic Paul Newman, does whatever it takes to prevent his team from folding. This includes playing the maniacal Hanson brothers to help increase attendance. While his attempt to play “old-time hockey” in the championship game fails, Dunlop ultimately leads his team to victory and accepts a position as head coach of the Minnesota Nighthawks.

#8: Ricky Vaughn
“Major League” (1989)

Wild Thing, you make our heart sing! This flame-throwing pitcher, played by Charlie Sheen, could throw the ball 100 miles an hour but nowhere near the plate, earning him the “Wild Thing” nickname. Luckily for the Cleveland Indians, all he needed was a pair of glasses. Now able to see clearly, Vaughn becomes the Indians’ best pitcher, and plays a huge role in securing a victory in a one-game playoff versus the New York Yankees by striking out slugger Clu Haywood with the bases loaded.

#7: Roy Hobbs
“The Natural” (1984)

He may have only played one year in the Big Leagues, but that season was enough to convince us that Roy Hobbs would have been one of the greatest players in baseball history – that is, if he hadn’t been shot by a crazy lady as a late teen. Equipped with his trusty bat, “Wonderboy”, Hobbs could literally hit the cover off the ball. He could also create his own fireworks after he hit a homerun. Name us a professional baseball player that could do that!

#6: Ricky Bobby
“Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (2006)

It’s hard to make it as a professional athlete without a lot of confidence…or is that arrogance? When it comes to Ricky Bobby, it’s usually the latter. Played by the delightful Will Ferrell, the man with two first names is one of NASCAR’s best drivers and he only knows how to do one thing: win. He even shows he is capable of overcoming adversity. While the film may satirize many elements of the auto-racing industry, we believe that a man who can drive with an advertisement covering his windshield would do just fine on the real racetrack.

#5: Rod Tidwell
“Jerry Maguire” (1996)

A guy who claims he is better than Cris Carter, Andre Reed, and Jerry Rice? While Rod Tidwell may have the same arrogant nature as Ricky Bobby, his play on the field backs it up. He may also embody the modern day athlete, and perhaps everything wrong with sports, but his ability to connect on a personal level with his agent, Jerry Maguire, and his determination in overcoming an injury during a game against the Dallas Cowboys helped earn him an $11.2 million dollar contract. Show me the money, indeed!

#4: Margaret ‘Maggie’ Fitzgerald
“Million Dollar Baby” (2004)

If Rod Tidwell represents some of the problems in sports, Maggie Fitzgerald represents everything that is great about them. Played by the unyielding Hilary Swank, Fitzgerald’s drive, passion, and determination are things that every athlete needs to have in order to succeed. She worked harder than anybody and wanted it more too, which was often the difference in her fights. If not for the tragic accident during her million-dollar match in Las Vegas, she would surely have continued to dominate the boxing ring.

#3: ‘Crash’ Davis
“Bull Durham” (1988)

Kevin Costner has starred in several sports flicks, but it’s his role as Crash Davis that is perhaps most famous. Davis spent 21 days in the majors and 12 years in the minor leagues, which tears him up inside every day. It’s his desire and love of the game, however, that allow him to hang on to the dream of playing in the majors, and which causes him to pass his knowledge on to Nuke LaLoosh, a future baseball star. For good measure, he becomes the all-time leader in minor league homeruns by the end of the film.

#2: Happy Gilmore
“Happy Gilmore” (1996)

Who needs a short game when you can hit the ball 400 yards? The ex-hockey goon takes up golf to make some money when he discovers that his grandmother owes $275,000 to the IRS. Happy’s overaggressive but good-natured personality is Adam Sandler at his very best. By the end of the film, Happy proves he can go toe-to-toe with the best and win, as he claims victory at the Tour Championship. Perhaps more importantly, he created a style that all people – real and fictional – wanted to emulate. Who hasn’t tried running up to the ball and swinging as hard as you can?

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honourable mentions:
- Santiago Muñez
“Goal!” (2005)
- Anne Marie Chadwick
“Blue Crush” (2002)
- Dean Youngblood
“Youngblood” (1986)
- ‘Steamin’ Willie Beaman
“Any Given Sunday” (1999)
- Forrest Gump
“Forrest Gump” (1994)

#1: Rocky Balboa
“Rocky” franchise (1976-)

Was there any real doubt who the greatest fictional athlete was? Sylvester Stallone’s iconic character embodies the ultimate rags-to-riches story (and back to rags, if you include the later sequels). Rocky not only represented the underdog, but all of America, and proved that as long as you are determined and want it more than anyone, you can succeed. He is such an important character to the city of Philadelphia that a statue has been built in his honor. His nemesis/trainer/friend Apollo Creed deserves to be mentioned, but it is the Italian Stallion that takes the top spot today.

Do you agree with our list? Who’s your favorite fictional pro athlete? For more thrilling top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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