DK Rally

We here at DraftKings are doing our part to help Rally our communities with our #DKRally initiative, donating $1 to the United Way for every rally cap put on social media with the hashtag #DKRally up to $1 million. In that vein, DK Playbook is examining some of the all-time greatest rallies. I have drawn the assignment to look at some of the greatest rallies in silver screen history. So grab a bucket of popcorn and relive these Hollywood heroics.

Find out more here: DK Rally Landing Page

Major League

To me, this is an underrated 1980s classic. For those who do not remember, in this 1989 film by David S. Ward, the Cleveland Indians are inherited by a former Las Vegas showgirl after her husband dies and she immediately sets her sights on taking her talents to South Beach by building the worst team in history, including a famous line where her GM notes, “This guy’s dead.” Without missing a beat, she coldly says, “Well take him off the list then.”

Finding players who are actually alive, although just barely in the eyes of baseball, the Indians assemble a team only their mothers could be proud of. An ace pitcher (Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn) who last pitched in the California penal league; a broken-down, has-been catcher (Jake Taylor) with bad knees; A voodoo-practicing slugger, Pedro Cerrano, who whiffed at the curve and in dealing with devout veteran junkballer Eddie Harris; A young outfielder (Willie Mays Hayes) who sneaks his way onto the field and then the team; And finally high-priced “superstar” Roger Dorn known more for his cavalier attitude on defense and about this team. All led by Lou Brown, a manager who seriously considered whether he wanted to leave his career in tire sales.

The team, predictably, started off slow. But, once unlocking Vaughn’s potential with a pair of trademark glasses and finding common ground to prove their cold owner wrong about them, the Tribe rally to force a one-game playoff with the Yankees for the AL East title (this was before divisional realignment). And despite some off-the-field shenanigans and distractions — looking at you, Mrs. Dorn — the Indians rally after falling behind early in the playoff game and earn a win thanks to heroic walk-off bunt (yes, bunt!!) that sees Taylor hobble to first and juuuuust beat out the throw, allowing Hayes to score the winning run. Fans rushed the field as the city of Cleveland rejoiced and the Evil Empire was defeated again.

Rocky IV

Who could ever forget the tragic death of Apollo Creed at the hands of Ivan Drago in what was supposed to be an exhibition in Las Vegas?

Driven by a sense of guilt, revenge or both, Apollo’s best friend, Rocky Balboa decides to agree to fight the big Russian … in Moscow … on Christmas Day. Needless to say, he was a major underdog.

Rocky is brutally beaten in the first round, but stands his ground and fights back, leading Drago to comment that he is like a piece of iron. After this point, the fighters go back and forth, with Rocky finally overcoming the odds — and winning over the hostile, pro-Drago crowd — by KOing Drago in the end. This moment would seemingly be repeated decades later when young Adonis Creed, now trained by Rocky, himself travels to Russia and overcomes the odds and his own mental hurdles to defend his world title against Drago’s son.

Happy Gilmore

What would you say if I told you an ex-hockey goon would find his greatest success in a sport long known for its refined behavior?

In 1996, after another rejection from the sport he loves, Happy takes to links to help his beloved grandmother repay decades of back taxes and save her home. Under the watchful eye, and wooden hand, of old gold pro Chubbs Peterson, Happy quickly gains a devoted following on Tour thanks to his prodigious driving power and begins to show improvement in his short game — at least once he’s duked it out with Bob Barker.

Unfortunately, one thing stands in the way — pompous star Shooter McGavin. Believing Happy to be an embarrassment to the sport, McGavin tries every trick in the book to get rid of him. When his plan to get him kicked off tour fails, McGavin turns full heel — he buys Happy’s grandmother’s home and offers to give it to Happy if he quits golf. However, the tour publicist — and Happy’s love interest — talks him out of quitting. Happy does have another idea, however: if Happy wins the upcoming Tour Championship, he gets the house. If Shooter wins, Happy quits for good. Happy is dealt a tough hand with the untimely death of Peterson thanks to a run-in with an alligator head and an untimely slump, but an unexpected visit from grandma helps put Happy back on track and the wildest trick shot ever seen helps Happy win the gold jacket and the house. Oh, and Shooter gets his when he tries to run off with the gold jacket.

The Mighty Ducks

What happens when a pompous, entitled attorney busted for a DUI is forced to coach a ragtag bunch of youth hockey players with everything going against them? A miracle in Minnesota.

Gordon Bombay had lost the love of hockey and a sense of youthful fun since his own days playing youth hockey for the Hawks, largely thanks to a missed penalty shot years earlier. Slowly, the kids from District 5 change Bombay and the team grows and improves — especially when they discover the Hawks’ star player Adam Banks is rightfully a Duck.

In the final showdown, Bombay’s Ducks face off against his old team and his driven former coach. Despite the Hawks being ordered to take out former teammate Banks, the Ducks rally to tie the score in the third period and captain Charlie Conway gets an opportunity to win the game on a penalty shot. Utilizing Bombay’s old signature triple-deke, Conway finds the back of the net and lifts the rag-tag Ducks — and a reinvigorated Bombay — to the mountaintop.

Avengers: Endgame

OK, so this isn’t a sports movie. And if you somehow still haven’t seen it yet, SPOILERS AHEAD. But this might the greatest comeback of all-time.

After the events of Infinity War, the galaxy’s mightiest heroes are reeling — Thanos has snapped away half of life across the galaxy, including some of our favorite heroes. But, thanks to Ant Man’s love of “Back To The Future” (and really who could blame him?) and Tony Stark getting dusty (get it?) about young Peter Parker, our heroes get a chance to bring everyone back.

Of course, as Tony notes, when you mess with time it tends to mess back, Captain America, bro Thor (honestly, the greatest thing to happen to that character) and Iron Man are brought face-to-face with Thanos again. After a brutal battle — including Cap proving himself worthy in an electrifying moment picking up Mjolnir and briefly taking it to Thanos — it looks as though all is about to be lost again. But then, BAH GAWD THAT’S OUR FALLEN HEROES’ MUSIC! And portals open bringing all our snapped heroes back to even the odds. More fighting ensues and at the end Tony makes the ultimate selfless choice and saves all at the expense of his own life.

As Spider-Man declares, they did it. Despite looking at hopeless odds, the Avengers rallied to save humanity. And now, we are being called to do the same. So let’s put on our rally caps, from an acceptable socially distanced approved space from each other, and come together to fight COVID-19. Like Cap said, whatever it takes.

All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS contests.