Hilarity ensues as we approach top 10
Photo illustration by Nick Roy / theScore

theScore is counting down the 100 best fictional characters in sports movie history, with a new post every weekday until July 3.

100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51
50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

20. Jake Taylor

"Major League" (1989) and "Major League II" (1994)

Former All-Star catcher Taylor (Tom Berenger) - who began the first "Major League" film in the Mexican League because of his wonky knees - is the heart and soul of the Cleveland Indians. He is a leader to the rookies, stands up to defiant veterans, and is responsible for one of the most epic gotcha moments in sports movie history. He's so knowledgeable and well-liked that he winds up as a big-league manager later in the series.

19. Gordon Bombay

"The Mighty Ducks" (1992), "D2: The Mighty Ducks" (1994), and "D3: The Mighty Ducks" (1996)

The 1990s were a low point for the fictional United States criminal justice system. Consider the case of Bombay (Emilio Estevez), whose punishment for drunk driving is ... coaching youth hockey. It doesn't take long for the hardened, win-at-all-costs lawyer to adopt a softer, more sensitive tact, and his tutelage helps push the Mighty Ducks to a championship (and a pair of middling sequels).

18. Ivan Drago

"Rocky IV" (1985) and "Creed II" (2018)

If there's one thing Drago (Dolph Lundgren) proved in Rocky IV, it's that actions speak louder than words. The freakishly strong Russian antagonist to Rocky Balboa sends shivers down your spine with famous one-liners such as, "If he dies, he dies," and, "I must break you," which account for most of what the hulking heavyweight says throughout his first appearance in the franchise.

17. Forrest Gump

"Forrest Gump" (1994)

Gump (Tom Hanks), who overcomes countless challenges to help reshape history, is one of the greatest multi-sport stars to ever grace a screen. First, he uses his blazing speed to become a star kick-returner at Alabama. Then, while recovering from a gunshot wound in the military, he learns how to play table tennis and eventually becomes one of the greatest players on the planet. He caps off his athletic dominance in the film by running across the United States for three straight years, inspiring others to follow his lead.

16. Becky 'Icebox' O'Shea

"Little Giants" (1994)

In her film debut, Shawna Waldron plays O'Shea, a scary-good youth football player who's cut from the team by her uncle even though she's the best player on the field, simply because she's a girl. "Icebox" and her dad wind up getting even as they help lead a team of other rejects to success, all while attempting to break the barriers of inclusivity in organized sports.

15. Ricky 'Wild Thing' Vaughn

"Major League" (1989) and "Major League II" (1994)

Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) plays a convict turned pitcher who overcomes issues with his eyes to control his wild arm. Vaughn's 100-mph heater, cool demeanor, and memorable haircut make him a standout among standouts on the fictitious Indians.

14. The Hanson Brothers

"Slap Shot" (1977)

Warning: Video contains coarse language

The Hansons - Jack (David Hanson), Steve (Steve Carlson), and Jeff (Jeff Carlson) - represent hockey's id. The trio's unrestrained impulse to check, trip, slash, and spear adds a dose of chaos to "Slap Shot." Though there isn't a whole lot of depth to the characters, their collective personality really comes through on the ice.

13. Sydney Deane

"White Men Can't Jump" (1992)

Warning: Video contains coarse language

Deane (Wesley Snipes) is the brasher, more conventionally cool counterpart to on-court rival and teammate Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson). The lone strike against the hilarious performance is that Snipes was apparently terrible at basketball, whereas Harrelson can actually hoop.

12. Jeffrey 'The Dude' Lebowski

"The Big Lebowski" (1998)

Warning: Video contains coarse language

You might be asking yourself whether "The Big Lebowski" really qualifies as a sports movie. First of all, that's just, like, your opinion, man. Also, there are a heckuva lot of bowling scenes, including "The Dude's" (Jeff Bridges) famous hallucinogenic-induced dance number.

Ironically, though much of the film is set at a bowling alley, "The Dude" is never actually seen bowling.

11. Ricky Bobby

"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" (2006)

Of all the sports-centered comedies Will Ferrell has starred in, "Talladega Nights" remains the cream of the crop. As titular NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby, Ferrell unfurls a steady stream of instantly quotable one-liners while nailing the physical comedy with his doughy, man-child body.

At No. 11 on our list, Bobby would undoubtedly be disappointed in his placement. After all, "if you're not first, you're last."

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