From Hoosiers to The Mighty Ducks, and from Rudy to Ladybugs, underdog sports movies have a special place in many of our hearts. That place was brought back to the forefront in "A League of Their Owen."
The tale of a bunch of misfits getting together to take on the bigger, stronger, more talented, and better-dressed team has been around for ages. Men of a Certain Age certainly put its own twist on that same old story, and it made for my favorite episode of the summer season.
The hilarity of this episode begins with the fact that although Big Owen Thoreau was an NBA star, little Owen Thoreau has a difficult time dribbling a basketball without falling on his face. While many of his Thoreau Chevrolet softball compadres are not much better, at least none of them fell flat on their face running to first base.
Although his athletic heroics didn't occur until the final moments, Owen proved that even though he is not all that good at softball, his attitude and will were enough to inspire his employees. Yes, the Big O fell down as he attempted to reach first base, but as he so dramatically came to his feet, the rest of the sales and servicemen from Thoreau began to put in more effort for their boss.
That effort was something that Owen had been deserving for quite a while. He is not his father, but the new boss man at the dealership has been working his butt off, and has yet to receive any credit.
The best part of it all, though, was when Owen earned all of that credit and more by winning the game with one swing of the bat... and a whole lot of awkward running. The man was right. He is a freight train. There was no one stopping him from getting to home plate on that day, and I commend the female catcher of Scarpulla Chevrolet for attempting to stand her ground.
The sports fan in me loved this entire story, but there was so much else going on in "A League of Their Owen," which is what made it such a great episode. Between Joe with his Dad, Michelle, and his new gambling business, and Terry trying to decide once again what route to take his life, there was something for everyone.
Joe being awkward will never gets old. Watching him cringe as Michelle met his kids was great, but not nearly as good as seeing him deal with his father walking in the house to a sleeping Michelle on the couch.
How he handled all of that while figuring out what to do about Manfro's bookie business is beyond me. On one hand, I hate to see Joe get back into gambling this way, but on the other, it should make for more and more interesting interactions between him and his customers. The fact that Michelle finds him sexy as a bookie isn't good for anybody. Well, except for Joe and that steering wheel!
What are we going to do with Terry? Is this it? Can he settle down with Erin? And is she serious this time? I am tired of him spinning us around in circles with whether he wants to settle down or live the life of a youngster. I am sick of him coming to the same realization over and over again that he is too old to be dating 25 year-olds.
Having said that: if it makes for scenes like Stella flipping him the bird and driving out onto the softball field to steal second base, I'm all for it. That was crazy! I felt like I was watching an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm because life seemed to be falling apart so drastically all around that softball field.
In the end, Terry walked off happily with Erin. Owen was happy with his wife. Joe's dad was smiling with his girlfriend. And Joe was quietly watching them all. A nice moment. Let's hope Joe can some day get that type of feeling again because although Michelle is fun I think his dad was right: she's not the one for him.
It certainly was one of my favorites. What did you all think of "A League of Their Owen?" And would you stand in front of the plate with Owen Thoreau coming your way?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.