A sport film is basically a movie genre which makes use of sport as the main theme of the movie. It’s a fictional production in which a sport, player, event, or fan of sport are heavily involved, and that rely on sport to an extent for their overall plot resolution or motivation. For example, if the movie star is an athlete, then the plot may be centered around an athlete. However, if the star happens to be a fan of that particular sport and that star’s life was turned upside down due to some unfortunate circumstance, the movie can then be told about that situation and the effects it had on the star. Some examples of these type of movies are the box office hit Rocky, The Mask, etc.
Sports writers who cover sports and particularly the professional leagues are often tasked to write a story based on what exactly happened and how it affected the players, their reputations, teams, coaching staff, etc. The sports writers must keep in mind that they have to be very objective and realistic while covering a sport. If it is critical of a sport and yet they still love the game and its players, they have to find a way to make it appealing to the readers while still conveying their criticism. The objective of any sports story should be to act as a watchdog, reporting what is taking place, without judging, criticizing or glorifying the sport in any way.
This doesn’t mean that all sports stories are strictly one sided. There are many sports which have two distinct ways of competitions: a competitive activity and a non-competitive activity. A competitive activity is one where there is pressure to win and the winner gets all the glory. For example, football has a competitive element, as there is always a battle between the best quarterback in the NFL and someone who plays behind him on the depth chart. In this situation, the story is not entirely about the quarterback, but more about how the quarterback plays the game and the impact his presence makes on the team.
Non-competitive activities include activities like fitness testing, counseling, physical therapy, etc. These types of stories, which are sometimes also referred to as in-gym stories, don’t have that competitive element to them and are usually more informative in nature. There is no real competition, but there is also no real way to tell if a fitness test or counseling session is going to improve or hurt a player’s chances of making an injury recovery. Both of these types of stories are about health and wellness, which are important elements of any sports coverage. Of course, Michael Brown’s case was about health and wellness, so he won’t likely ever face any consequences from this type of story (unless ESPN decides to change the definition of sport sometime during the next five years).
One could make a case for an athlete being a better person because of their sport accomplishments, but it is really a matter of opinion. Some would say that the reason why Michael Brown’s family was not charged with any crime is because they exercised their right to freedom of speech by talking about the incident. I would beg to differ. I believe that the reason why some people are prosecuted for crimes related to their sports skill, physical skill, and exertion is based upon their ability to be convicted of those acts in the first place. If someone commits a crime based on their sport performance, then there is definitely a problem with the law, not only with the conduct of the arresting officers, but also the reasoning of those charging decisions.
The definition of sport can change over time. Since the advent of high school football, the sport that most Americans identify with has drastically changed. Whereas before the game was about skill and physical ability, today it is about competition, teamwork, spirit, and even how much money a player can make. It has become far more important than it was to win a game or match. As long as the rules of the sport allow competition, then a game of sport can be just as much about the competition as it is about winning.