If there’s one takeaway from that masterful 30 for 30 spoof on the climactic game played in Space Jam it’s this: fictional sports games can be just as riveting and memorable as real ones. (Especially with the aide of super-slow motion, sanguine sound-tracking and questionable game clock timing.)
Which got us thinking about some of the most epic battles ever played on film—and how they’d stack up against one another, had they actually happened in real life.
Your days of organized sports are most likely behind you. (Save for an office softball league walk-on or two.)
But that doesn’t mean you can’t relive the glory with a few hours of roundball, pigskin or doubles squash every so often. And with ballparks, courts and fields everywhere alive with the spirit of summer, there’s no better time than now to get out there and mix it up a little this weekend.
There is no better season for drinking during the day than the summer.
Fine, spring is pretty great, too. And yeah, spiked cider in fall definitely doesn’t suck. But winter... all right, winter too has its perks. So let’s rephrase: there’s no better season for drinking and getting tan than the summer.
Traditionally, Memorial Day is when it all starts. Sure, maybe it’s not officially summer, but with a cooler of beer, good friends, good music and an entire farm’s worth of barbecue, it sure as hell does feel like it. Though like all good things, winning this glorious three-day jaunt requires some solid forethought. Luckily for you, we’ve done it already.
The summer months will invariably bring a handful of heart-wrenching rainouts. On these days, you could convince yourself (and the bishop) that the heavy stuff isn’t coming down for quite a while, or you could bust out the table games. Like this $387,890 backgammon set from Geoffrey Parker, featuring an alligator/stingray playing field and diamond-encrusted, 18-karat-gold checkers. The numbers on the dice are also set with 1-carat diamonds, which opens the door for spontaneous wedding proposals (the ultimate doubling cube).
The game show era of the 1970s and 1980s. A strange time. Refined, black-tie shows like What’s My Line and Groucho Marx’s You Bet Your Life gave way to wide lapels, sexual innuendoes and long-stemmed microphones.
Helming these shows was an interchangeable fleet of charmingly fake-tanned, bleach-toothed, dyed-haired pseudo sex symbols, the majority of whom had begun their careers as small-market disc jockeys. They were likably sleazy. Used car salesmen with a heart of gold. And following Johnny Carson’s lead, they pushed/shredded the envelope when it came to loud sport coats.
That’s not to say they weren’t good guys—Richard Dawson often made on-air, tearful pleas to help save the lives of needy children. Bob Barker certainly helped control the pet population. And Peter Tomarken died trying to transport a cancer patient in his Beechcraft Bonanza prop plane.
Today, we salute them. Our seven favorite game show hosts of the ’70s and ’80s.
If you left Inglourious Basterds with a free-floating desire for Nazi blood…you’re not alone.
Stranded without a game version—something about “cinema,” we’re not sure—a group of free-floating basterphiles has taken a vigilante approach to the problem, creating a side-scrolling scalpfest for the iPhone that allows players to shoot and slash their way to 100 Nazi pelts. Sadly, they aren’t working their way towards a theatrical finale—really the setting and scalp fixation are the only things in common with the film—but it should still be good for keeping any holiday flights interesting…and bumping Tarantino a few notches up in your yearly top 10 list.
They don’t get much respect, but there’s a quiet, thoughtful dignity to bar games, especially the jumping solitaire offered by this Swedish nut bowl. It’s not a bad way to hold all those seasonally roasted chestnuts either, assuming it’s not wrapped up at the time.