Life-Hack For Displaced Sports Fans; Revisit Classic Games In Full

chicago cubs 2016 world series bill murray cleveland indians
Safe to say pandemics aren't the "ushe" and that every day is its own new experience as we individually and collectively deal with the current unknowns of this Coronavirus  
 

Self-quarantining, working from home, makeshift workouts and home-schooling our kids—all while figuring out what to do with downtime that was once filled by friends, extended family and a social life. 

Adding to this new bizarro-world reality; the fact we're all forced to take this on without the welcomed distraction of sports.

In a matter of days, the country went from getting ready to fill out NCAA Tournament brackets—to a much different version of March Madness than anyone could've expected. 

The Masters has since been postponed—while the PGA Tour has flat-out cancelled a slew of upcoming events, with no concrete timeline regarding a return. 

Major League Baseball, the NBA, pro hockey, soccer and tennis—all on time-out—while colleges have shut down, leaving their athletic programs in a holding pattern until ... who even knows. 

Netflix-And-Sit-Still-Without-Overthinking-Everything has become America’s newest pastime; most of us quickly realizing the one-time fantasy of a life with hours on end and nothing to do—planted on the couch and mowing down a season's worth of television in an afternoon; isn't as fulfilling as we'd hoped.

All those documented studies regarding depression and loneliness both being linked to binge-watching—it's all starting to make sense. 

Sports is a different beast, though—the unknown outcome and theatre-like aspect of live competition; it's the fabric of our being.

Kids forever dreaming of end-of-game scenarios where they hope to someday be heroic; two outs, bottom-of-the-ninth fantasies—hitting the towering shot, or throwing that third strike. Others imagining hoisting up a game-winning 3-pointer, down two as time expires—or throwing (or catching) that winning touchdown.

Sports-themed movies have literally been created with this premise in mind—the underdog team, or beaten-down protagonist overcoming unthinkable odds and prevailing in the end. 

When searching for an answer in regards to our currently sports-less lives, an attempt at a life-hack for those who are immensely missing the game and have already blown through their entire streaming queues in under a week. 

Dig up old sports footage and watch events in their entirety through this current and temporary lens—as there will soon again be an era where we lack the time and focus for a deep-dive of this nature. 

Most of us are prone to using YouTube for a condensed highlight clip and endorphin rush that comes from reliving a classic moment. For the sake of an on-brand example, take the Murray brothers—or any North Sider looking for a quick fix and pick-me-up with a 2016 World Series highlight.

chicago cubs cleveland indians game seven world series bill murray kris bryant anthony rizzo
A safe bet many have stumbled on a four-minute montage and those waning moments of that famed Game 7 showdown on November 2nd—the Cubs brining a 6-6 tie in the top of the 10th—Ben Zobrist doubling to left, driving in pinch runner Albert Almora Jr. to take the lead—followed by Miguel Montero plating the intentionally-walked Anthony Rizzo to push the lead to two. 

Any highlight package would also include Cleveland's Rajai Davis making things interesting with a two-out single to center in the bottom of the frame, driving in Brandon Guyer and sending Michael Martinez to the plate, representing the winning run. 

The tight moment brought Indians' fans to their feet, as Chicago's Mike Montgomery replaced Carl Edwards on the mound, though it was short-lived as Martinez, facing an 0-1 count, grounded out to third—Kris Bryant fielding a tough nubber and hurling it over to Rizzo at first—officially delivering the Cubs their third World Series title, 108 years in the making. 

All that to say, for those who have watched those series-clinching highlights over and again, when was the last time they watched Game 7 in its entirety and truly relived the roller coaster of emotions that game delivered—5-1, to 5-3, to 6-3 and an unthinkable, 6-6 tie and almost blowing it after a disastrous bottom of the eighth? 

Same to be said for Game 5 and Game 6, as well—Chicago battling back from that 3-1 series deficit, eking out a 3-2 to stay alive in the former, followed by a 9-3, momentum-snatching rout in the latter.

Since that magical season, that more family Cubs heartbreak has returned—Chicago routed in the 2017 NCLS by Los Angeles (4-1) and losing a Wild Card play-in game in 2018. (Per Bill, "Let them find their own links for those two".) 

Last season? A 9-0 shutout at the hands of St. Louis, where a win would've kept the hated Cardinals from winning the Central Division—which also proved to be the final game for Joe Maddon, three short years after delivering the ultimate gift—all that World Series magic faded in the rear-view. 

Truth be told, sports is mostly heartbreak—with some occasional magical moments—and even when those championship runs take place, fans are too stressed and maniacal to soak it all in as it's underway.
 
Knowing all this to be true and having lived it out year after painful year—why not use this down time to go back and revisit some classic games, series and sports moments in their full, original long form? Outside of a full-blown pandemic and an abundance of free time—one which has current sports on hiatus—when else would one have the time or need to do so? 

kobe bryant los ángeles lakers toronto raptors 81 point games
Weeks before the COVID-19 outbreak hitting pandemic levels in this country, the sports universe was shaken to its core at the tragic, untimely loss of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and seven others on a foggy Sunday morning late January in Calabasas, California.
 
People have read the tributes, watched some highlights or interviews and tuned in for the public memorial at the Staples Center on 2/24—but when was the last time the average sports fan dug up Bryant’s 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors in January 2006, taking in the entire contest?

Same to be said for a 65-point outing at home against the Portland Trail Blazers in March 2007. 

Same to be said for all those incredible performances in the 2000, 2001 and 2002 NBA Finals as the Lakers pulled off the three-peat—Bryant and running mate Shaquille O’Neal in peak, youthful, dominant form. 

How many parents have younger kids who know of Bryant, but never saw him play in his prime—or even that historic final performance in 2016?

Here’s your chance to go down the YouTube rabbit hole to watch entire games, or series—the beauty of this search and experience; never knowing how far it will go or where it can lead you? (Again, only ideal with too much time on one's hands—which is the current case.) 

michael jordan flu game utah jazz 1997 NBA finals chicago bulls
What about kids who have grown up in the LeBron James era, consider him the G.O.A.T. and believe he’s better than Michael Jordan—but never saw His Airness in action, No. 23 having retired back in 2003. 

Not a bad time to back to check out Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, where MJ took the court with the flu—or food poisoning, or a hangover. Conspiracy theories have come out in the 23 years since, but regardless, there was no way the icon was sitting out a moment like this. 

Weak and out of sorts from the get-go, the Jazz built a 16-point first quarter lead—before Jordan started to find his form; scoring 17 in the second quarter, alone.

At every stoppage of play, Jordan looked spent—slumped over, hands on his knees. When on the bench, fully laid back with ice packs on his head, while pounding electrolytes. 

In the end, a 90-88 Chicago victory—Jordan with an incredible 38 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block—as well as a late 3-pointer that gave the Bulls a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, en route to winning the series in six.

A year later, Jordan had a dominant Game 6 in the 1998 NBA Finals—15-of-35 from the field and 12-for-15 from the free throw line—in a 44-minute, 45-point performance, giving Chicago and No. 23 their sixth and final championship of the nineties.  

tiger woods the masters augusta national 1997 golf

Golf enthusiasts disheartened that The Masters has been postponed?

Take a trip down memory lane—reliving Tiger Woods’ first green jacket in 1997, his last in 2019 and all those in-between—2001, 2002 and 2005.

What about The Golden Bear—Jack Nicklaus as the first player to win the event two years running (1965, 1966) as well as the oldest to ever win everyone's favorite Southern-fueled tourney; capturing his 18th and final major at Augusta National in 1986 at 46 years old

Boxing enthusiasts clamoring for the long gone golden era of heavyweights—revisit legends like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier or Mike Tyson in their prime. Same could be said for men’s tennis; another sport that’s faded as of late—but boasted some tremendous rivalries and showdowns over the years

john elway denver broncos Cleveland browns the drive nfl playoffs
Some might even want to go back and show their kids a time before Tom Brady was the go-to clutch quarterback and New England dominating the NFL—or a different type of NCAA powerhouse, before Alabama had a modern-day stranglehold on all things college football.

Sports is a quirky thing as games or matches lose understandably lose some luster once the clock hits 0:00 and they’re officially history. Not knowing the outcome is part of what makes the experience so welcomed and part of our culture.

That said, like seeing a movie or reading a good book—the details can get fuzzy over time—welcoming a new viewing experience.

Where we as a people won’t hesitate to rewatch a classic film, or to reread a classic novel—in the era of self-quarantining, those feeling the pain of no new sports have a wealth of content at their fingertips, by way of modern technology. 

Unearth some of the classics, be it some great runs by your favorite teams—or something as simple as scratching that March Madness itch, by way of some classic Final Fours or championship games of yesteryear


Top 13 Bill Murray Movies To Watch When Quarantined — Part II

bill murray bill murray movies

bill murray groundhog day coronavirus covid-19 quarantine

For those of you who missed the first part of our "Top 13 Murraytastic movies to watch while holed up and trying to avoid catching COVID-19check it out here before diving into the final seven. 

Too lazy to click? A quick recap.

Bill Murray believes that the more relaxed we all are, the better we will be at everything—from dealing with loved ones to enemies, as well as our job and ourselves. 

Sage advice from The Murricane while our world goes in to panic-mode over all things Coronavirus-related—complaining on social media regarding precautionary measures taken (re: sporting events cancelled), hoarding toilet paper and turning to the black market for hand sanitizer. 

With forced relaxation and unexpected close quarters our new reality for the next few days, weeks or even months—some Netflix-and-Bill suggestions seemed like a good way to help our like-minded compadres pass the time. 

Already listed in our Top 13—"Scrooged" (Honorable Mention), "Zombieland" (#13), "St. Vincent" (#12), "Meatballs" (#11), "Kingpin" (#10), "Stripes" (#9) and "Rushmore" (#8). 

The best of the rest: 

bill murray quick change geena davis randy quaid

#7 — “Quick Change” — A box office bomb that became a severely underrated cult-classic. A bank heist went right, but everything that followed went wrong—leaving Bill’s character (Grimm) and crew to negotiate their way through New York City, en route to JFK to flee the country.

Every turn proves to be the wrong one, but the man, the myth, the Murray uses humor and wit to escape every disaster in epic fashion.

Bonus points for great cameos by Stanley Tucci, SNL alum Phil Hartman and a then-unknown Tony Shalhoub—while Geena Davis and Randy Quaid are perfect misfits for Grimm’s gang. 

Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime or YouTube—as well as for free with a Vudu subscription. 


steve zissou the life aquatic bill murray wes anderson david bowie

#6 — “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou”
— A reminder that things could always be worse as self-quarantining can’t hold a candle to one’s best friend being eaten by a luminescently-spotted jaguar shark, sparking an at-all-costs quest for revenge.

Toss in some unrequited love, the discovery of a long-lost son and a soundtrack of classic Bowie songs sung in Portuguese, played on a classical guitar—and you have the misfit crew of The Belafonte

Wes Anderson is again in peak form with his set design, color palette and cinematography—with a rare box office flop that has earned a solid cult following.

A great watch for all who plan on going on an overnight drunk while quarantined—and remember to never point a guy at an unpaid intern. 

 Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime, GooglePlay, Vudu or YouTube.


bill murray bob harris lost in translation scarlett johansson sofia copolla
#5 — “Lost In Translation” — As close as you’re going to get to a rom-com-drama in the Murray universe, this Sofia Coppola-directed film became another cult-classic.

Bill was nominated for an Academy Award for this fan-favorite lose (losing to Jamie Foxx and his portrayal of Ray Charles in “Ray”)—while his chemistry with then-newcomer Scarlett Johansson was undeniable. 

Bob Harris as an aging actor in mid-life crisis-mode, crossing paths with Charlotte—a young college graduate and newlywed, unsure of her marriage to a celebrity photographer.

The two strangers in a strange land—Tokyo—bonding over whiskey, karaoke and Japanese nightlife and shared insomnia.

Not to mention, that final scene where Bob says farewell to Charlotte and (obviously) whispers in her ear, “17 years from now when the Coronavirus hits—be a good human and only buy enough toilet paper for you and your family.” 

Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime, GooglePlay, Vudu or YouTube—or for free with a Hulu subscription.


bill murray what about bob baby steps richard dreyfuss bob wiley leo marvin

#4 — “What About Bob?”
— Set on holiday Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire—this comedy classic gives everyone something to look forward to, as spring is completely getting hijacked from all of us, hopefully leading to a greater appreciation for summer.

Like a human COVID-19, Bob Wiley infiltrates and destroys the life of the egotistical Dr. Leo Marvin—while hijacking a Good Morning America appearance and winning over America, as well as the entire Marvin family. 

An indelible story where our protagonist is the only one who sees the forest for the trees, while everyone else who’s last their mind thinks he’s the nut-job. 

Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime, GooglePlay, Vudu or YouTube—or for free with a Hulu subscription.

ghostbusters bill murray peter venkman dan aykroyd harold ramis ernie hudson

#3. — “Ghostbusters”
— A supernatural comedy where paranormal activity swept across New York City in pandemic fashion—everyday citizens possessed and infected by a demigod that four anti-heroes bravely fought off. 

Toss in an overzealous—and apparently neutered—Environmental Protection Agency inspector, an oversized, puffy marshmallow man and a catchy theme song that immediately transports us back to the easy-breezy 1980’s; this comedy classic remains a crowd pleaser—Dr. Peter Venkman as Bill in peak form. 

Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime, GooglePlay, Vudu or YouTube—or for free with a Hulu subscription.


bill murray caddyshack carl spackler the masters cinderella boy augusta rodney dangerfield brian doyle-murray

#2 — “Caddyshack”
— Many would expect a golf apparel brand to go with a Murray brothers-fueled classic as our number one, but like that pesky, never-quit varmint—we zig when you expect us to zag. 

Written by Brian Doyle-Murray—who also played caddymaster Lou Loomis—while Bill was scene-stealing as Carl Spackler, the Bushwood oddballs came together for arguably one of the most-beloved comedies of all time. 

Al Czervik, Ty Webb, Danny Noonan, Tony D’Annunzio, Lacey Underall—even the curmudgeonly foil Judge Elihu Smails—few more quotable and laugh-inducing moments than Caddyshack gives us. Anyone whose every played golf knows this film like any rock-n-roller can act out a scene from Spinal Tap. 

Unfortunately, with The Masters officially postponed—Spackler’s mums-whacking and Cinderella Boy speech is about as close as you’re going to get to Augusta glory and green jackets for a while. Welp. 

Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime, GooglePlay, Vudu or YouTube—or for free with a fuboTV subscription.


groundhog day bill murray phil connor punxatawney phil andie macdowell

#1 — "Groundhog Day”
— A no-brainer top choice was the entire nation will spend the next few days, weeks—or even months—living like they’re on house arrest and avoiding the outside world.

Almost two decades after this fantasy comedy debuted, we’re all truly about to feel Phil Connor’s pain of living the same day over and over and over again, trapped in a time loop no one else was aware of. 

May none of us let the pending monotony of our current quarantined lives cause us to drive off a cliff—instead, making the most of an less-than-optimum situation; taking up new hobbies and finding ways to self-improve. 

For Phil, it was mastering the piano, learning how to ice sculpt and teaching himself to speak French—so find your itch and scratch it. 

Until then, a raise sweet vermouth on the rocks—with a twist—and a much-needed toast to world peace, as it feels necessary over the coming weeks. 

Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime, GooglePlay, Vudu or YouTube—or for free with a Netflix subscription.


Top 13 Bill Murray Movies To Watch When Quarantined — Part I

bill murray bill murray movies

bill murray movies caddyshack life aquatic kingpin coronavirus covid19
"The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything. The better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.” 

The phrase is a Bill Murray go-to mantra and in a time when the world is collectively going bonkers, it might be time for a refresher course—a little Murray: 101 to help everyone with a much-needed reset as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) became a full-blown pandemic this week. 

A wise (not so) old meme recently question if we’ve tried unplugging 2020, waiting 10 seconds and plugging it back in.

Clever, but as we know—there are no do-overs in this life. We're living with a new reality, so leaning on a little common sense, patience, compassion and understanding is our only hope. 

With all major sporting cancelled postponed for the immediate future—as well as logic dictating that we all do our best to avoid the outside world, all playing a small part in slowing the spread of the virus down—William Murray is taking the make-lemonade-out-of-lemons approach as best we can. 

Forced relaxation and unexpected close quarters will either make or break a household—while pop culture has proven that a little bit of Murray magic can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered. 

Below, in honor of this eerie Friday the 13th—the first part in a two-part Top 13 list Murray-fueled classics with a COVID-19 logic behind the choices and order—setting up a low-key weekend of Netflix-and-Bill:

bill murray movies top 10 list scrooged christmas

Honorable Mention: “Scrooged”
— We realize most of you aren’t ready to revisit a festive Christmas mood, and probably watched the Richard Donner-produced holiday classic a few months back—but during a time when we’ve devolved to stockpiling Charmin and SmartWater, maybe a little bit of perspective through seeing the self-absorbed Frank Cross brought to his knees is a good thing. 

From suggesting stapling mini-antlers onto a mouse's head, to doing a 180º and clamoring for that Christmas feeling to be a year-round thing—Scrooged serves as a reminder that we can go from our worst to our best, if we’re willing to face our demons, get scared straight and want to flip the script. 

Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime and YouTube—as well as for free with a Hulu subscription. 


bill murray movie list top 10 zombieland woody harrelson

#13 — “Zombieland”
— This one almost didn’t make the list, as it hit too close to home with that whole end-of-times theme, made even worse by—spoiler alert—a world without Bill Murray.

Despite only showing up in a cameo, The Murricane went into vintage scene stealing-mode when playing himself during a zombie apocalypse. Using some Hollywood make-up trickery, Bill dressed like a zombie in effort to go undetected while playing some golf in the Pacific Palisades. 

Bonus points for an accidental death scene during a time-killing viewing of Ghostbusters—there’s still enough Murray magic on display in this zombie-comedy for it to make the list. 

Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime and Vudu—as well as with as for free with a fuboTV subscription. 


bill murray melissa McCarthy st vincent movie top 10 list

#12 — “St. Vincent”
 — Bill in a dramatic role, with a healthy dose of redemption for Vincent MacKenna in the final act—this comedy-drama has that little bit of feel-good we could all use right now.

Also, in a better-him-than-me type situation—watching the doldrum life of a retired, grumpy, war vet who smokes and gambles his days away; “St. Vincent” has a way of making our personal problems seem a bit smaller and more manageable.

Saints are flawed, just as all human beings are flawed—but those defects don’t have to define us. 

It’s also impossible to not enjoy watching Vincent’s cold, grinch-like heart eventually melting by way of a persistent, good-natured kid that refuses to give up on him. 

Available for purchase on iTunes and AmazonPrime—as well as for free with as with a Vudu or Tubi subscription. 


bill murray movie meatballs comedy classic camp mohawk north star

#11 —  “Meatballs”
— Tripper Harrison is the motivational camp counselor we could all use right about now.

Not only did Tripp take an outcast camper—the mild-mannered Rudy—under his wing, he also delivered an inspiration-yet-authentic speech to the misfits and oddballs of North Star, knowing what they were walking into against the entitled and elitist kids from Camp Mohawk.

“Even if God in heaven above comes down and points His hand at our side of the field … even if every man, woman and child held hands together and prayed for us to win … it just wouldn’t matter, because all the really good looking girls would still go out with a guy from Mohawk cause they’ve got all the money. It just doesn’t matter if we win or lose.” 

While a pandemic is nothing to turn one’s nose up at, in regards to all the other small stuff we’re sweating in this process—it just doesn’t matter … it just doesn’t matter … it just doesn’t matter. 

Available for purchase on iTunes and AmazonPrime—as well as for free on YouTube, or with a Vudu or Tubi subscription. 


bill murray kingpin movie Farrelly brothers big ern mccracken

#10 — “Kingpin”
— "Sometimes a bowler just has to face the music … and that bowler is you, Roy”—those fateful words of “Big Ern” McCracken, derived to wunderkind Roy Munson before hanging him out to dry after a scam gone awry.

While few were truly rooting for Bill in this villainous role, he was still an entertaining antihero in this Farrely Brothers classic, full of one-liners. 

While the thought of sticking any digits in a filthy bowling ball is a bit much—with hand sanitizer and wipes at such a premium—a fitting final act with everyone getting what they deserve. 

Keep those Tanqueray and TABs coming as we’ve got a long, self-imposed quarantine ahead. 

Available with Netflix subscription and for free on Tubi and Crackle—as well as for purchase on Amazon Prime or YouTube. 

 
bill murray stripes pvt john winger harold ramis comedy

#9 — “Stripes”
— If we could all have a laid-back attitude and approach like the iconic John Winger— the quick-witted cab driver who lost his job, apartment, car and girlfriend over the span of an average Louisville afternoon.

With no time or desire to sulk, Winger joined the army—and did what any average friend would do; convinced his best buddy to join him in a bad decision, that in Hollywood fashion, ended triumphantly. 

May we all channel our inner-John Winger and live these coming weeks (or months) like a hundred-dollar shine on a three-dollar pair of boots. 

Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime or YouTube—as well as for free with a fuboTV subscription. 


bill murray rushmore herman blume wes anderson

#8 — “Rushmore”
— Herman Blume the handful of misfits at Rushmore Academy to take dead aim on the rich kids and to take them down.

Unfortunately we are all set to deal with some entitled individuals during this trying time; but remember, those with a financial advantage who can buy anything—they still can’t buy back bone. 

Toss in the never-say-die Max Fischer, an unorthodox love triangle and a final act performance that was safety goggles-worthy—this is Wes Anderson in peak form, with Bill playing the perfect mid-life crisis-having, happiness-seeking, in-repair schlub. 

Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime or YouTube—as well as for free on-demand with a Cinemax subscription. 


Check back this weekend for our final seven Murray-fueled time killers during this preventative down period. 

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