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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January 2 – Cool Collins

Cool Collins to Michael Jackson’s Virginity – 6 Degrees of Separation

Cool Collins (Close)

How can one person connect the Cool Collins cocktail to Michael Jackson’s virginity in six simple steps? Watch and learn!

Sometimes I wake up and think, “Today is a Cool Collins day.” After all, that’s my Grumpy Old Man cure, with its citrus charm (I use 7-Up or Sprite, instead of soda) and pleasant presentation (muddled cucumbers, yo!). I love the Grumpy Old Men movies, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, one of the best comedic duos of all-time. Matthau also played one of my favourite drunks (look out for an upcoming post on this amazing selection of characters) Morris Buttermaker in The Bad News Bears. In that movie, Buttermaker enlists the services of his ex-girlfriends daughter, Amanda Whurlitzer, to pitch for the hapless team. That youngster was played by Tatum O’Neal, who is the youngest person to ever win a competitive Oscar, for her role in the movie Paper Moon. And here’s where things get interesting (as if you’re not enthralled by this connect-the-dots puzzle already): she once dated the ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson, who has claimed that O’Neal was his first love.

So, there you have it: Cool Collins—Grumpy Old Men—Walter Matthau—Bad News Bears—Tatum O’Neal—Michael Jackson’s Virginity!

The game is even more fun when you’ve already had a couple of these cocktails! So here’s my adaptation of a Tom Collins:

Drink #2: Cool Collins (A Sip Advisor Original Recipe)

Cool Collins Drink Recipe

  • Muddle 4-5 thinly sliced cucumber wheels
  • 1.5 oz Hendrick’s or other gin
  • Top with lemon-lime soda
  • Garnish with cucumber wheel or lemon/lime wedge

This is an awesome drink in the summer, but can definitely be rocked in the winter months, as well. Let me know what you think and come back tomorrow for another great recipe. Enjoy!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I’m a huge Tom Collins fan and today I tried to change the recipe up a little. The muddled cucumbers along with the Hendricks Gin gives a great taste of cucumber throughout the drink, which while a mild flavour, has also been an enjoyable one for me. My choice of Lemon-Lime Soda over Club Soda is also an excellent decision.