Bad boys for life
From the streets. Unapologetic. Overtly sexual. These are but three of the characteristics of a bad boy athlete destined to shake up the establishment - well, in sports comedies at least.
In real life sport however, all it takes to be labeled a bad boy is a loud outfit, haircut or tattoo. And few athletes know that better than 29-year-old Olympic curler Chris Plys. The Duluth, MT product is a successful, hard-working athlete like any other. But with his black hair, pierced ears and sleeve tats earned the media title “bad boy” many moons ago.
Despite the fact the modest athlete is anything but. “For me, it’s a laugh,” Plys says with a chuckle. “Curling to the outside looking in seems to be like a lot of country clubbers, so as soon as one person comes in who has some tattoos they immediately get labeled a ‘bad boy’. It’s pretty funny. It’s ridiculous sometimes. All my friends give me shit because every time anything about curling comes up, I’m always referenced as a ‘bad boy’ or something like that. And they give me shit. And I’m like ‘ah, f**k you, guys.’” [Laughs].
So with a good laugh in mind, we teamed up with Chris as he prepares for his Olympic qualification run to bring you sports comedy’s seven baddest bad boys. You’re welcome.
Will Ferrell on ice with an ego only matched in size by his hair makes for one of sports comedy’s most quotable movies. Hell, Jay and Kanye sampled the “provocative” line on Watch The Throne hit N****s in Paris, confirming Chaz’s place in contemporary vernacular.
Adam Sandler at his best. Courtesy of Sandler’s insensitive, careless, fly-off-the-handle, Bob Barker-beating creation, Happy Gilmore has more laughs than almost every Sandler movie since combined. It’s raw, honest, and Happy is a loveable dick who shakes up the world of golf with his Hanson Brothers hockey attitude. Still holds up 20 years later.
Another Ferrell creation, there’s no doubt Ricky Bobby and his shake-n-bake compadre Cal are bad-asses of the Nascar circuit in their own right. And while it’s a tight race, excuse the pun, it’s Sasha Baron Cohen’s Jean Gerard who’s the real bad boy here. Ricky Bobby is the dim-witted, soft-hearted loveable loser to the Frenchman’s taunting, arm-breaking ways.
If ever there was an actor destined to play a sleazy, cheesy, womanizing bad boy it’s Bill Murray. And he does it oh so well as 10-pin bowling’s comb-over king Ernie McCracken. A Farrelly Brothers film featuring Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid and Chris Elliott to boot, Kingpin’s arguably the most underrated comedy of the 1990s that is just dry and irreverent enough to stand the test of time - if not for Murray’s turn as 10-pin bad boy McCracken alone. Murray’s never been more popular and if you haven’t seen this performance, we highly suggest seeking it out. Don’t let the Rotten Tomatoes rating fool you.
A pioneer of the sports comedy genre, Paul Newman’s 1977 minor league ice hockey offering was the inspiration for countless sports comedies to come. And the glasses-wearing Hanson Brothers trio can count themselves among the category’s original bad boys. They skated, but mostly scrapped, turning even the national anthem into an all-in brawl. You can’t get sent off when the game hasn’t started, right?
F**k’n Chuck Norris. Ben Stiller’s turn as sadistic Global Gym owner White Goodman- head of the Purple Cobras - in this underdog tale is nothing short of sensational. Irreverent, irrational and self-sabotaging, Goodman’s a bad boy/douche on every level.
The most recent offering in the genre comes in the form of a HBO mockumentary, with Andy Samberg playing bad boy Aaron Williams - the white street kid Serena Williams’ family adopted and turned into a tennis pro. Part Andre Agassi, part every Samberg character ever, Williams gives demin its debut on the green grass of Wimbledon and take cues from every character on this list to nail the bad boy stereotype.