July 12 – Three Strikes

Anything Can Happen

Oddly enough, summer is the time when I like to get into sports movies. Perhaps that makes sense, given it’s the off-season for most of the leagues out there. There were so many films I wanted to include on this list, that I’ve decided to split them over two articles, with one being family-friendly movies and the other to do with adult-themed releases. This week, we’ll check out the family options, while next week we’ll get a little raunchier and surpass the PG rating:

#5: Cool Runnings

How could you not get behind this ragtag group of Jamaicans as they try to compete in a sport they really have no business participating in and go on to earn the respect and admiration of their fellow athletes. While the film depicts the team being scoffed at in the beginning, in actuality, they were welcomed by their adversaries and were even lent a sled that helped them qualify. Creative liberties are okay, though. The casting of Doug E. Doug was a particularly brilliant choice, as the comedian-actor was popular at the time and broke up all the sports seriousness. Anything with John Candy is also worth a view.

Watched Cool Runnings

#4: Bad News Bears

This was your prototypical group of misfits coming together in the name of sports premise, before the genre ever existed. Some of the kids that make up the Bad News Bears are reason enough to never have children and the film should be used as a planned parenting advert. Walter Matthau as Morris Buttermaker was a great casting choice. He’s perfect for roles as a grouchy slob, who would rather drink a beer and catch a nap in a comfy recliner than do anything else in the world. That’s probably why he’s one of my favourite actors of all-time! Surprisingly, I’ve never seen either of the sequels to this classic and not the remake either.

#3: A League of Their Own

The story of women’s baseball and how it helped fill the sporting void left by men being shipped off to battle during World War II is so much better than it sounds on paper. Just kidding all you feminist sippers out there. Seriously, this is a fantastic movie, following a pair of sisters as the league tries to gain credibility during one of the roughest times in human history. With Tom Hanks playing the team’s oft-drunk manager and having to handle the issues of a girls’ team for the first time in his coaching career (there’s no crying in baseball… unless a modern male pitcher has a hangnail!), I can even forgive the casting of Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell.

league of their own

#2: The Sandlot

This is such a great movie, pushing folks to look back fondly on their days of neighbourhood sports. Every kid who ever played street hockey, or met at the nearest baseball diamond for a game of ball can relate to this film, which goes back in time to follow the adventures of the new kid in town as he gains friends and experiences the joys of childhood freedom. Roger Ebert compared the movie to a summertime version of A Christmas Story, which is high praise, as far as the Sip Advisor is concerned. The film has become a cult favourite and that’s exactly what it should be.

#1: Mighty Ducks

While the third installment might as well have been direct-to-video, the first two movies are childhood classics. As a young hockey player, it was inspiring to see a group of bad players be transformed into a skilled team… the downside was the mounting number of times we tried to execute the Flying-V play to little success. As if Emilio Estevez wasn’t a legend already, this series made his aura grow exponentially and no player out there didn’t want to have Gordon Bombay behind their bench. Disney even turned the success of the movie into its own NHL franchise, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (now just the Ducks), although they sold the team in 2005.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Three Strikes

Three Strikes Shot

  • 0.5 oz Cinnamon Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Jagermeister
  • 0.5 oz Yukon Jack Perma Frost
  • Garnish with Big League Chew

I have to say that for some reason, I love baseball movies. I’m a steadfast non-supporter of the actual sport, but I love me a good baseball flick. Stay tuned next week for our look at the best adult sports movies and even more ball and bat goodness!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I’ve wanted to garnish a drink with Big League Chew for some time now and this was the perfect opportunity to finally do so, melding baseball and childhood all in one. Did I mention that the Big League Chew flavour was Ground Ball Grape! The actual name for this recipe is “Three Strikes, You’re Out,” but I chose to cut the title in half. The shot is quite strong with competing flavours of cinnamon, peppermint and other spices. It’s not bad, but it’s one that will sit in your gut for some time.

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April 16 – Alabama Slammer

Locked Up

I’ve never been to jail… but I’m willing to bet that it would be fun. If TV and movies have taught me anything (they haven’t), it’s that I’d be able to keep quite active by joining football, basketball, and baseball teams to compete against the guards. When you factor in running from scary inmates – a form of dodge ball – and all the weight lifting I could do, I’m pretty sure that I would be in the best shape of my life! There’s also the lifelong (til death penalty do us part) friendships I would make. So based on my vast television watching experience and the one time I had a run in with “the fuzz”, which almost resulted in a speeding ticket, here are my tips for surviving the slammer:

Jail Please

1) Getting acquainted with your bunk mate

You’re new to the place and really have no right to claim top bunk. If the dude you’re stuck with has already claimed that spot, guess what… you’re bottoms, boieeeee! Better get comfortable, brotha, you might be there a while.

2) Picking a gang

While you could try to fly solo in the clink, it’s probably best that you align yourself with similar-minded people. If the Mighty Ducks movies have taught us anything, it’s prudent of you to go into a flying-V formation, while shouting “quack, quack, quack”. Not only will that show other gangs that you are a united front, but also that your clique has some serious mental instability and is not to be messed with.

3) Making a shiv/shank

No matter how protected you might be thanks to the crew that has adopted you, having a readymade weapon in case of any brouhaha would be quite beneficial. My suggestion is to try and fashion some sort of makeshift gun. Your fellow prisoners will never know what hit them!

Shank

4) Earning a reputation

You don’t have to be the tough guy in your cell block, but if you bring something unique to the table, you might be able to slip under the radar for your extended stay. Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) was known as the guy who could procure things… Clint Eastwood (Escape from Alcatraz) had only one passion: to escape from prison… Burt Reynolds (The Longest Yard) liked playing football… and Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking) had a thing for lethal injections.

5) Getting drunk

You will miss things you once knew and loved in the outside world. But just because you’re locked up doesn’t mean you can’t have some of those things, even if it is at a lower-graded experience. I have a wonderful recipe for toilet wine. If you’d like the details, please send your credit information to me. See, this is how I got into trouble in the first place.

6) Finding God

I heard that this often happens in jails, which could be good if, like me, you haven’t managed (or gotten around to) finding him, her, or it “on the outside”. And who knows, you may even manage to turn your whole spiritual discovery into a profit, just like George Bluth did with his infomercial promoting his video series “Caged Wisdom”.

Caged Wisdom
If all else fails, the consumption of toilet wine often leads to self-discovery of prayer to the porcelain god as you return your elixir to where it once came from…

Now let’s enjoy something much better than toilet wine!

Drink #106: Alabama Slammer

Alabama Slammer Cocktail

  • 0.5 oz Vodka
  • 0.5 oz Southern Comfort
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Top with Orange Juice
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with an Orange Slice and a Maraschino Cherry

Really, if I was sent to prison, I’d probably just do a ton of napping. I’d probably be known as the ‘cat guy’… that is until someone tried to chase my tail and got scratched for doing so!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
It had been a couple years since my last Alabama Slammer and I was quickly reminded of how enjoyable this drink is. I’ve seen other versions of this recipe, but this is the one I was able to pull off with the ingredients I had. Sloe Gin would have been a nice touch, but it just can’t be found in Canada.