FOR the basketball aficionado, the biggest news in “hoopsville” these past couple of days is how the fifth seed Miami Heat beat the Milwaukee Bucks four games to one in their NBA playoffs matchup. The Bucks are the best team in the NBA this season with a 56-17 win-loss record. However, the Heat are looking like the stars of the show, leaving teams in the dust with a Cinderella run of their own, and primed to take it all the way to the Finals.

Of course, there’s still a lot of basketball left to be played. The Heat will have to beat either the Boston Celtics or the Toronto Raptors (the defending champions), and then topple their Western nemesis—which will probably be a team from Los Angeles—before being crowned champs.

That said, living an inspired life is about celebrating little victories. Sure, not all inspiring sports films end up with the protagonist winning it all the way (we’re looking at you, “Coach Carter”), but here are some “underdog” sports films you might want to check out when you feel down and need some picking up, sports-style.

Cinderella Man

“Cinderella Man,” starring Russell Crowe is based on the true story of Depression-era boxer James J. Braddock. It’s a classic underdog story of a nobody rising to champion status.


“Invincible” is a film about Vince Papale, a bartender who, against all odds, tried out for American football team Philadelphia Eagles in the ’70s.


One of the best American college football stories, “Rudy” is based on the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who sacrificed everything just to play for the University of Notre Dame.

The Fighter

Mark Wahlberg stars as boxing champion Micky Ward in “The Fighter.” The biopic hits hard as it deals with issues like drug addiction and poverty.

Raging Bull

“Raging Bull” is a biopic of champion boxer Jake La Motta. The film, starring Robert De Niro, is one of the best boxing movies of all time.