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Feb 03 2009

10 Actors I Can Appreciate for their Athletic Coordination

Published by at 3:20 am under Movies,Sports

Athletic Actors

Last night I was watching Teen Wolf and with all due respect, it really pissed me off watching the basketball scenes… at least without the stunt guy who played the wolf.  No offense to Michael J. Fox or his teammates but come on.  When you have scenes where they flip out and cheer because they make a foul shot in the league championship, it’s kind of sad.

The only actor in that movie who knew how to shoot a basketball was the guy with red hair on the Beavers.  I mean even Mick, the bad guy, had zero clue how to shoot a layup.  I don’t know about you guys but I just can’t stand that stuff.   Nothing is more annoying than sports scenes with guys who clearly can’t play sports.

That’s why I always appreciate an actor who has coordination.  I mean is it so hard to cast a person who actually looks like they know how to play a sport?  I guess it is.

In any event, here are 10 actors who are athletically coordinated

Charlie Sheen

Athletic Actors

Sheen was actually a pitcher in high school so it’s nice to watch him in movies.  In the movies Major League, Cadence, and Lucas you can see that Sheen was clearly an athlete as he’s got good form on his jump shot, solid command of his pitches, and he knows how to run routes as a wide receiver.

Robert Redford

Athletic Actors

Redford had a sweeter swing than most major leaguers in the movie The Natural.  Also at the very end when he’s playing catch with his son, Redford clearly knows how to throw as well.

Kevin Costner

Athletic Actors

Costner also has a great baseball swing as demonstrated in Bull Durham.  He also knows how to throw as evidenced in For Love of the Game.  Hell he doesn’t even have a bad golf swing as shown in Tin Cup.  P.S. Don Johnson had a terrible golf swing in that movie.

Dennis Quaid

Athletic Actors

Quaid is a solid football type guy.  In Everybody’s All American he did more running than anything, but he definitely looked the part as an aging quarterback in Any Given Sunday.  Also, he definitely looked like he knew how to pitch in The Rookie.

Woody Harrelson

Athletic Actors

Don’t get me wrong, Harrelson had an ugly looking jump shot in White Men Can’t Jump.  However, he’s got great dribbling skills and certainly has a ton of coordination when playing hoops.  Wesley Snipes wasn’t nearly as good.  Although I have to say Snipes was the man in Major League and he’s phenomenal with martial arts.

Dennis Haysbert

Athletic Actors

You all know him as president Palmer from 24 but Haysbert is the man that played Pedro Cerrano in Major League.  P.S. Haysbert was also in the movie Mr. Baseball as a…baseball player.  Haysbert’s got a great throwing style and his swing is certainly Major League worthy.

Duane Martin

Athletic Actors

Remember the movie Above the Rim?  Well Martin did play college hoops so maybe this is a little biased.  Still though, it’s a pleasure to watch a guy who knows how to play the game.  Martin was also in White Men Can’t Jump.

Derek Luke

Athletic Actors

In Friday Night Lights he was the famed running back Boobie Miles, and in Glory Road he played Bobby Joe Hill.  Luke has solid athletic skills and definitely has coordination on the court and field.

Sylvester Stallone or Carl Weathers

Athletic Actors

I was trying to think of boxing and Stallone definitely throws punches with a ton of coordination.  Weathers was actually a football player but he’s got a ridiculous amount of coordination as well.  I’d like to see if Weathers could play all sports.  I’ll bet he could.  You could also go with Wesley Snipes in the movie Streets of Gold for boxing prowess.

Maris Valainis

Athletic Actors

Jimmy Chitwood.  This guy’s got a prettier looking jumpshot than 99% of all players in basketball history.

*I’m sure I’ve left out some actors but these ten are pretty damned coordinated.

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25 responses so far

  • http://explosiveamnesia.blogspot.com Dave

    Like the list. Not bad…although I thought Dennis Quaid could have been better in the Rookie. I thought the kid who played him (as a kid, obviously) threw better than he did. Oddly enough, he had to learn how to throw left handed and still looked like he pitched better than Quaid.

    I would like you to do a 10 worst performances as a sports guy in movies. What was that movie that just came out with Ice Cube and had the girl at QB? Yeah, I could tell from the previews that she hadn’t played a down of football in her life. Or if they honestly expect me to believe that Kathy Ireland had any idea how to kick a football, I feel sorry for them.

    Another one that bothers me is when people try to play music in movies and they obviously have no idea what they are doing. That gets me as well.

  • http://twitter.com/Sheamus Sheamus

    It’s a good call on Hoosiers. What’s amazing about Maris Valainis, especially given how pure his jumper was, was of all the actors in the film who played in the Hoosiers team he was the only one who had no experience in high school basketball.

    On a side note, re how awful Michael J. Fox was as a baller in *Teen Wolf* (which, admittedly, is still a nostalgic fave), Valainis would later pair up with Fox in 1989′s Casualties of War.

  • Natty

    That might have been the most worthwhile comment I’ve read on this site in at least a week. Thank God. Nice work man.

  • http://www.othercrap.com Scoop

    Paul Newman was pretty impressive as an elderly hockey player in Slap Shot.

    Sidebar: many guys have swung the bat well, but it’s difficult to think of anyone but Sheen who actually looked like a real major league pitcher. A lot of good actors like David Straitharn have embarrassed themselves trying to take the mound.

    (Poor Ray Milland. To be fair he was supposed to look like a professor with a gimmick rather than a real pitcher, but still …)

  • Jim

    Don cheadle in Rebound is pretty talented. Good shot good dribble. Definitely better than woody & wesley in white men cant jump

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  • luke

    speaking of paul newman, dont know if u want to consider it asport but how about newman and jackie gleason in the hustler. they both were phenomenal pool players.

  • mike

    I absolutely hate the Eagles (and well, anything Philadelphia in general) but Marky Mark Wahlberg got the job done in “Invincible”.

    Don Cheadle looked like a natural on the court in “Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘the Goat’ Manigult”.

    I’m not sure if there is any way to know how much skating they actually did, but Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze both looked like hockey players in “Youngblood”.

    Omar Epps was a precursor for Reggie Bush in “The Program”, but the guy who played the juiced up Lattimer had ZERO coordination. None of that really matters though when Halle Berry is on the screen. I also love how Duane Davis goes from Stonehands in “Necessary Roughness” to playing Bo Kimble in “the Hank Gathers Story” to Alvin Mack, the most feared LB in the nation in “The Program”, not to mention Buster Douglas in a Tyson movie, and Joe Louis in a Rocky Marciano movie. Dude’s got range.

  • Steve

    Paul Newman deserves extra props for Slap Shot. Ask anyone who hasn’t played hockey how difficult it is to look good on skates. Plus he looked so cool in that leather coat.

    But the best skater in Slap Shot was Michael Ontkean, who played in college.

  • Bill

    Oddly enough the hardest thing to do it seems on the screen should be the easiest – portraying a runner (track and field version) esp a distance runner. 90% of the time the actor looks like the kid Rudy in “Meatballs” – while anyone who has watched world class runners knows how smooth they look.

    In that light, Robby Benson did a decent job portraying Bill Mills in the running scenes during “Running Brave” much better in fact then any of the actors portraying Prefontaine in either of the movies about him.

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  • http://www.othercrap.com/2009/01/bbc-news-americas-new-pictures-show-ny.htm Scoop

    I happened to think of Tom Jane. What he did was remarkable.

    It’s not surprising that Redford managed to look like a ballplayer because he WAS a pretty good ballplayer, but Jane had never played before he did 61* – and he not only managed to swing like a ballplayer, but he impersonated Mickey Freakin’ Switch-hittin’ 600-foot-homer-drivin’ Mantle!

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  • KG

    Another couple of old(er) actors — Tom Selleck played basketball at Southern Cal and Mark Harmon was the starting quarterback at UCLA many years ago.

  • Ben C

    In _Fear Strikes Out_ Anthony Perkins played a major league baseball pitcher. Watching him from windup to release there is no way you could possibly imagine the baseball rolling all the way to home plate.

    After his Disney movies Kurt Russell was a minor league ball player. Injuries forced him back to acting.

  • Craig

    In Younglbood, Rob Lowe and Swayze, looked ridiculous, neither had any clue how to skate. Off the ice they did an excellent job of acting like Junior Hockey players. Keanu Reeves as the goalie was the real deal, but he was a goalie as a kid in Toronto.

  • dave

    billy crystal?

    If memory serves me, he actually got some cuts in against real MLB pitchers, and almost got a hit in competition, in spring training, the day before his 60th birthday.

  • Bake

    As a long-time Durham Bulls fan, I’d say Tim Robbins looks a lot like many Class A pitchers. That may say more about some of the A-ball pitchers than it does about Robbins’ athleticism.

  • http://kurinboism.blogspot.com/ kuri

    Tom Selleck actually hit a ball over the fence in a Japanese stadium while filming scenes for “Mr. Baseball.”

  • Winger

    Did we all forget about Shoot?!?!? Vision quest man! Or how about any of those girls from Bring it on? It has been BROUGHT!

  • joe

    How about Robby Benson as a hot-shot basketball recruit to “Western University” (read UCLA) in “One on One”?

  • Jason

    Will Smith. Ali.

  • Portman

    not bad. but how about the guy who played JUNIOR BATTLE in coach carter? he looked like dwight howard in that movie.

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