As the NCAA Tournament builds to a climax, one can only speculate about the
kinds of speeches offered by the likes of Texas' Rick Barnes and OU's
Jeff Capel before their respective matches against Duke and North
Carolina. One thing seems certain, it probably wouldn't have hurt to
have one of these dudes talking to the players instead.
5. Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) -- Coach Carter (2005)
Samuel L. Jackson could do nothing but Shakespeare and Jane Austen
adaptations for the rest of his life, and he'd still be remembered for
his weird-ass roles. That's why I keep expecting one of two things to
happen at the end of this speech: for an anaconda to fall on him from
the rafters, or a mako shark to lunge through the boards and bite him in
4. Don Haskins (Josh Lucas) -- Glory Road (2006)
The problem here is that Lucas has a kind of used-car salesman veneer in
all his roles, which unfortunately means that Haskins come across as an
opportunistic creep, using "the coloreds" to make a name for himself,
and makes Adolph Rupp (Jon Voight) seem positively progressive by
3. Normal Dale (Gene Hackman) -- Hoosiers (1986)
This one seems a bit defeatist: "I don't care what the scoreboard says
at the end of the game, you're still going to be winners?" Bob Knight
would beat you to death with a Gatorade cooler just for thinking that.
2. Michael Jordan (Michael Jordan) -- Space Jam (1996)
When Jordan's your team captain, "Let's go kick some alien butt" is all
the motivation you really need.
1. Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) -- Miracle (2004)
I'm not really a basketball fan. Sue me. But hey, hockey is pretty much
the same thing, right? Both have five guys (not counting the goalie, because who counts goalies?), both get their scoring from
putting a round, rubbery thing in a net, and both have lots of timeouts,
leading to plenty of opportunities for inspirational speechifying.