IMDb Polls

Poll: Real Life Underdogs in Sports

An 'underdog' is a person or group with less power, money, etc., who is expected to lose in a contest or battle.

Who is your favorite real life underdog? Or, which underdog seems the most inspiring to you?

You may discuss the poll here

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Taron Egerton in Eddie the Eagle (2015)

    Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards

    Sport: Ski Jumping (1988 Winter Olympics)

    He was disadvantaged by his weight—at about 82 kg (181 lb), more than 9 kg (20 lb) heavier than the next heaviest competitor—and by his lack of financial support for training—he was totally self-funded. (Source: Wikipedia)

  2. Vote!

    Chris Hemsworth in Rush (2013)

    James Hunt

    Sport: Formula One (1976)

    By the time of Niki Lauda's fifth win of the year at the British GP, he had more than double the points of his closest challengers Jody Scheckter and James Hunt, and a second consecutive World Championship appeared a formality. (Source: Wikipedia).

  3. Vote!

    Matt Damon in Invictus (2009)

    South Africa Rugby Team

    Sport: Rugby (1995 Rugby World Cup)

    South Africa is hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup, that being the only reason the Springboks are even competing in the tournament as its years on the sideline of world rugby events has not made it world ranked.

  4. Vote!

    Miles Teller in Bleed for This (2016)

    Vinny Pazienza

    Sport: Boxing (1993)

    Vinny Pazienza who, after a near fatal car crash which left him not knowing if he'd ever walk again, made one of sport's most incredible comebacks.

  5. Vote!

    Seann William Scott in Goon (2011)

    Doug Smith

    Sport: Ice Hockey (1988)

    Labeled an outcast by his brainy family, a bouncer overcomes long odds to lead a team of under performing misfits.

  6. Vote!

    Chadwick Boseman in 42 (2013)

    Jackie Robinson

    Sport: Baseball (1946)

    Robinson and his family endure unrelenting racist hostility on and off the field, from player and fan alike.

  7. Vote!

    Mark Wahlberg in Invincible (2006)

    Vince Papale

    Sport: Football (1976)

    He works as a bartender and plays football with his friends. When the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dick Vermeil, announces that he will hold open tryouts for the team, Vince reluctantly decides to give a try.

  8. Vote!

    Tobey Maguire in Seabiscuit (2003)


    Sport: Horse Racing (1930s)

    Seabiscuit is small at fifteen and a half hands tall with a slight limp.

  9. Vote!

    Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti in Cinderella Man (2005)

    James Braddock

    Sport: Boxing (1930s)

    The impoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who had hit rock bottom.

  10. Vote!

    Sean Astin in Rudy (1993)

    Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger

    Sport: College Football (1974-1976)

    His grades were a little low, his athletic skills were poor, and he was only half the size of the other players.

  11. Vote!

    Kurt Russell in Miracle (2004)

    Herb Brooks / United States Ice Hockey Team

    Sport: Ice Hockey (1980 Winter Olympics)

    Herb Brooks, took a ragtag squad of college kids up against the legendary juggernaut from the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games.

  12. Vote!

    Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in The Fighter (2010)

    Micky 'Irish' Ward

    Sport: Boxing (1980s)

    Micky Ward is trying to live up to his older brother Dicky, who became famous for knocking out Sugar Ray Leonard. That isn't easy because Dicky, now a crack addict, remains Micky's boxing trainer despite his unreliability.

  13. Vote!

    Brad Pitt in Moneyball (2011)

    Billy Beane

    Sport: Baseball (2001-2002)

    Billy Beane is handicapped with the lowest salary constraint in baseball. If he ever wants to win the World Series, Billy must find a competitive advantage.

  14. Vote!

    Kevin Costner and Carlos Pratts in McFarland, USA (2015)

    James "Jim" White

    Sport: Cross-country running (1987)

    A struggling coach and teacher who has had to move around for different incidents in his career finally comes to one of the poorest cities in America: McFarland, California.

  15. Vote!

    Mitch Eakins, Josh Lucas, Austin Nichols, Kip Weeks, Damaine Radcliff, and James Olivard in Glory Road (2006)

    Don Haskins

    Sport: College Basketball (1966)

    Don Haskins is invited by the Texas Western Miners to be their coach. Despite the lack of budget, Haskins sees the chance to dispute the NCAA.

  16. Vote!

    Diane Lane in Secretariat (2010)

    Penny Chenery

    Sport: Horse Racing (1973)

    Housewife and mother Penny Chenery agrees to take over her ailing father's Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge.

  17. Vote!

    John Candy, Doug E. Doug, Leon, Rawle D. Lewis, and Malik Yoba in Cool Runnings (1993)

    Jamaican National Bobsleigh Team

    Sport: Bobsleigh (1988 Winter Olympics)

    In the freezing weather Derice, Sanka, Junior and Yul are only laughed at, since nobody can take a Jamaican bobsledding team led by a disgraced trainer seriously.

  18. Vote!

    Samuel L. Jackson, Rob Brown, Rick Gonzalez, Robert Ri'chard, Antwon Tanner, Channing Tatum, and Texas Battle in Coach Carter (2005)

    Ken Carter

    Sport: High School Basketball (1999)

    As much dismayed by the poor attitudes of his players as well as their dismal play performance, Carter sets about to change both.

  19. Vote!

    Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ed Harris in Radio (2003)

    James 'Radio' Robert Kennedy

    Sport: High School Football (1976)

    Coach Jones of the T.L. Hanna High School protects a handicapped young man from the abuse of some of his players.

  20. Vote!

    Gene Hackman, Steve Hollar, David Neidorf, and Wade Schenck in Hoosiers (1986)

    Marvin Wood (name in the movie: Norman Dale)

    Sport: High School Basketball (1954)

    A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team.

  21. Vote!

    Dennis Quaid in The Rookie (2002)

    Jim Morris

    Sport: Baseball (1999-2000)

    He once had aspirations to be a professional baseball player but an injury brought that to an end. The 39 year-old father somehow seems to have regained his pitching arm.

  22. Vote!

    Quinton Aaron in The Blind Side (2009)

    Michael Oher

    Sport: Football (2000s)

    A poor, oversized and under-educated teenager is recruited by a major college football program.

  23. Vote!

    Ice Cube and Keke Palmer in The Longshots (2008)

    Jasmine Plummer

    Sport: Pop Warner Football (2003)

    Becoming the first female to lead her team to the Pop Warner Super Bowl does not come without conflict.

  24. Vote!

    Terrence Howard in Pride (2007)

    Jim Ellis / PDR Swim Team

    Sport: Swimming (1971)

    The determined Jim Ellis starts a swim team for troubled teens at the Philadelphia Department of Recreation.

  25. Vote!

    Matthew McConaughey in We Are Marshall (2006)

    Jack Lengyel / Marshall University's Football Team

    Sport: College Football (1970-1971)

    A plane crash claims the lives of members of the Marshall University football team. The team's new coach and his surviving players try to keep the football program alive.

  26. Vote!


    Herman Boone / Titans

    Sport: High School Football (1970s)

    The white head coach of the Titans is replaced by an African American coach from North Carolina. Tensions arise when players of different races are forced together on the same football team.

  27. Vote!

    Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma in Million Dollar Arm (2014)

    Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel

    Sport: Baseball (2008)

    Bernstein (a sports agent) gets the bold idea of finding cricket players in India and training them to become pro baseball players in America. But they find mastering a new sport in a foreign land a daunting challenge.

  28. Vote!

    Billy Bob Thornton, Lucas Black, and Lee Thompson Young in Friday Night Lights (2004)

    The Permian High Panthers

    Sport: High School Football (1988)

    Superstar tailback Boobie Miles suffers a career-ending injury in the first game of the season. Hope is lost among citizens in Odessa, and for the team.

  29. Vote!

    AnnaSophia Robb in Soul Surfer (2011)

    Bethany Hamilton

    Sport: Surfing (2000s)

    Bethany Hamilton is a champion surfer. She is attacked by a shark and loses her arm. Now she has to re-learn how to do everything with only one arm - including how to surf.

  30. Vote!

    Shia LaBeouf and Josh Flitter in The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

    Francis Ouimet

    Sport: Golf (1913)

    A young American, Francis Ouimet, fights for a chance to participate in the U.S. Open against his idol Harry Vardon.

  31. Vote!

    Kurt Russell and Dakota Fanning in Dreamer (2005)

    Mariah's Storm (name in the movie: Sonador)

    Sport: Horce Racing (1993)

    Ben Crane believes that a severely injured racehorse deserves another chance to return to the racecourse.

  32. Vote!

    Jesse Spencer in Swimming Upstream (2003)

    Tony Fingleton

    Sport: Swimming (1960s)

    Tony has always been overshadowed in his father's eyes by his brothers. Nothing Tony did was ever good enough and he is systematically ignored or belittled.

  33. Vote!

    The Perfect Game (2009)

    The Monterrey Team

    Sport: Baseball (1957 Little League World Series)

    A rag-tag, shoeless, poor group of kids from Monterrey, Mexico shocked the world when they became the first team from outside the United States or Canada in the Little Leauge World Series tournament.

Recently Viewed