Sports in real life can be, well, a little boring. Not to say sports aren’t fun — going to games is always a good time! But more often than not, there is just not enough drama. And that’s where fictional sports teams come in! In movies and TV, there are plenty of teams spanning across several different sports that we always want to root for. From behind-the-scenes drama to the pure exhilaration of the game, these teams are tons of fun to watch. Hell, some of these fake teams are also playing fake sports that we totally wish were real!
These faux teams may not be full of real athletes but they still have us cheering, crying, and jumping up and down whether they win or lose. Everything from football to cheerleading (yes, it’s a sport) is represented. Whether we’re reliving our high school football Friday night glory days or pretending we’re composed gymnasts (as if), these are the fake teams we’re rooting for!
Average Joe’s from Dodgeball
One of the rare famed dodgeball teams — real or fake — is Average Joe’s! Average Joe’s Gym is local, homey, and super down on its luck. In order to save the gym and save his house, Peter (Vince Vaughn) decides to grab some of his regular members and enroll in a dodgeball tournament to win a huge cash prize. Whether or not dodgeball tournaments actually carry $50,000 grand prizes is debatable but it sure is fun watching the rag-tag team learn the basics of the sport. From the fumbles to the truly outrageous last-minute outfits they have to wear, it never stops being hilarious watching this team try to master the sport. And it’s always sweet to watch the underdogs win out in the end!
Rockford Peaches from A League of Their Own
Woman can do anything men can do — including playing baseball. This movie recounts a fictionalized version of the creation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. When World War II threatens the existence of Major League Baseball, it’s decided that fans need an outlet, so why not create a woman’s league? Dottie (Geena Davis) leads the Rockford Peaches, a team of novice ladies trying to do something spectacular. Watching the ladies play against other all-female teams is as empowering as it gets for a sports movie. We love watching talented ladies do things people expect only men to do — and do them better!
The River Vixens from Riverdale
Every school, no matter what insane and mysterious drama is surrounding it, needs a good cheerleading squad. As Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) says, “some people say it’s retro, I say it’s eternal and iconic.” From their uniforms to their classic cheers, this team encapsulates the iconic aura of an All-American high school cheerleading team. The team is also the rallying point for all of our fave Riverdale gals. Plus, it’s where we get to see them totally strut their stuff!
West Canaan High School Coyotes from Varsity Blues
In West Canaan, Texas football isn’t just a game, it’s life. And losing is not an option. So the guys on the West Canaan High School Coyotes football team have a lot on their shoulders. Along with juggling puberty, academics, and football, they have the world’s most overbearing coach. One of the best moments for the team is them forcing out their toxic coach mid-game and appointing one of their own as their de facto leader, bringing them a victory in the end. Any team that’s this dedicated and this self-sufficient deserves a place in the fake football Hall of Fame.
Vickerman Gymnastics Academy Team from Stick It
The ladies of gymnastics aren’t all prissy, perfect little girls. Some of them are total badasses. Well, if this movie is to be believed. Part sports film and part comeback story, Stick It tells the story of Haley (Missy Peregrym). Haley is super rebellious, hangs with the boys, and gets arrested for silly law-breaking. So what does the judge make her do? Head back to the world of competitive gymnastics, a world she left years ago and not on good terms. Watching Haley work with her new team, most of whom hate her for her behavior the last time she was in competition, is a masterclass in ladies learning to support other ladies. In the final competition, as the women try to break the broken gymnastics system, they come together like never before. And it’s empowering AF!
The Rancho Carne Toros from Bring It On
Sure, their old regime may have stolen moves from more talented squads, but who doesn’t love a good redemption story? When Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) takes over as the captain of the Toros, she learns that the routines they’ve been doing have been stolen from another school – the East Compton Clovers. In order to win the national championship, the team has to figure out how TF to make a new routine from scratch, and how to do it fast. And although they come together to make a new routine, they come in second behind the Clovers – which, TBH, is only fair. It’s great to see a sports movie where the truly talented but less privileged underdog team comes through with the W.
The East Compton Clovers from Bring It On
They are for sure the better team in this movie! They overcome so many hardships to find success, and also finally learn how to stick up for themselves. Least of all is the issue of a bunch of privileged white cheerleaders stealing their hard-choreographed moves for years on end, making it impossible for them to come out on top against them. But when they do get their shot, they absolutely kill it. They knock the routine out of the park in every competition and get revenge for all their years held down. The ladies of East Compton High are talented and fierce, and while viewers should root for the Toros, it’s hard to deny the Clovers are the better team!
Baseball Ghost Team from Field of Dreams
“Build it, and they will come.” Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears a voice in his cornfield one night and it shows him a vision of a baseball diamond on the lot where he stands. So he gets to work creating a perfect baseball field right in his backyard. Not sure why he’s doing it, one night a uniformed ballplayer is spotted on the field and recognized as a deceased former athlete. Spooky. And then, more appear. And then, the entire Chicago White Sox team, who were disgraced in 1919, is playing in his field of dreams. It takes a bit of magic to see the players, but when you do, you see an incredible team come to life again. When it comes to sports movies, and sports teams in general, Field of Dreams is one of a kind.
Mean Machine prison team from The Longest Yard
Who says prisoners can’t have a little sports fun too? Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler) is a disgraced former football star sent to prison for a DUI and stealing a Bentley. Once in prison, the guards force him to help with their football team, convincing him to start up a team with the other inmates to play against them. Crewe pulls together the ultimate rag-tag group of guys to take on the guards. And while they’re supposed to lose against them, per Crewe’s instructions from the guards, he abandons the trickery and has the team give it their all in the final game. While these guys are technically criminals, the ability to see them in a new light and doing something constructive with their time incarcerated is kind of inspiring. It’s one part sports movie, one part prison story, but all-around hilarious at heart.
Miami Sharks from Any Given Sunday
The team may be fake, but the title comes from a novel by a very real football player. The book On Any Given Sunday by Pay Toomey contains a line that, on any given Sunday, a football team can win or lose. The Miami Sharks are flailing with their coach of 30 years when a new, young owner comes around thinking about how to take the team in a new direction. Through wins and losses, injuries and egos, the team is always ready to play on Sunday. The film shows the tension between players, coaches, and owners that exists in real sports teams. There is no sugar-coating this team and the realism is a huge benefit.
The Bears from Bad News Bears
There is no bigger misfit team in fictional sports than the Bears. Made up of the least talented kids you’ll ever find and even less enthusiasm, the team has no hopes of winning any games. Like, ever. Until a talented girl pitcher and a trouble-making hitter join their ranks. Soon, they’re actually winning games! While they don’t end up winning the end of season championship (spoiler alert), the fact that they learned to do more than just sulk around with their losses is enough for these kids, who finally enjoy playing the game.
The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling from Glow
Some may say wrestling is fake and, therefore, not ~really~ a sport, but I dare you to say that to the GLOW gals. Not only are they actually learning these movies and choreography, they’re putting their all into mastering them. The gorgeous ladies kick ass and look great doing it, cementing their place as one of the sassiest teams in fake sports history. They all have integral parts to play in the dynamic of the team and get to show their personality justly. Honestly, there is nothing more inspiring than seeing a bunch of women from different backgrounds come together to master a sport that many think is only for men.
The Ducks from The Mighty Ducks
Not gonna lie, we totally love an underdog team. When The Ducks hockey team is first introduced, they have no name, no equipment, nowhere to practice, and no hope of winning anything. Slowly, Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez), a former pee-wee hockey player himself, works with the team to give them credibility. Bombay reconnects with the hockey side of him that he set aside long ago and helps usher in a new generation of kids who love playing on the ice. There will never be a time where a team of would-be losers rising above won’t be the best thing ever.
Tune Squad from Space Jam
It’s a team full of our fave Looney Tunes characters and Michael Jordan. What’s not to love? The film imagines a world in which, after retiring from basketball, Jordan returns to the sport to help Bugs Bunny and his pals play an alien team. The “Monstars” threaten to capture the Looney Tunes and put them in an amusement park if they lose, so yeah, the stakes are pretty high. Jordan is joined by the best cartoon characters around and the amazing Bill Murray playing himself. It’s the ultimate team for talent and hijinks and we totally wish Jordan was still playing with the Tune Squad today.
Dillon High Panthers from Friday Night Lights
In the rural town of Dillon, Texas, the local high school football team is the biggest attraction. On Friday nights, everyone is under the field’s lights watching the team play. Before the show starts, the team is always winning, but when their quarterback is paralyzed, the second-string Matt Saracen (Zach Guilford) has to step up to the… 50-yard line. From there, the show follows the ups and downs of the team, the coach, and the lives of those even peripherally involved in this all-consuming sport. It gives a perfect glimpse at what life’s like in the towns where high school football controls everything around it!
The Gryffindor Quidditch Team from Harry Potter
Quidditch may be a fake sport, but we will forever wish it was real. You know, along with the entire Wizarding World. The Gryffindor team, led by Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) himself as Seeker, always manages to pull out the W for the House Cup. The sport itself is pretty violent and skill-dependant, full of flying bludgers and hard-to-find snitches. It’s not only magical to watch on-screen but just as amazing to read about in the Harry Potter books. And that’s when you know a sports team is awesome — when you actually like reading drawn-out accords of their games!
T.C. Williams Titans from Remember the Titans
This is the one fictional sports team that not only makes us cheer but cry like babies as well. The story of a high school full of players forced to integrate and accept each other is triumphant. Watching these men work together and learn that skin color is truly not indicative of someone’s character is as moving as watching them bust a move to soul beats when they win games. The team becomes brothers by the end of their time together and that togetherness brings them through life. From prejudice to peas in a pod, this team truly shows us what working together can accomplish.
Tree Hill Ravens from One Tree Hill
Is there any team with more drama in the fake sports world? We think not. The Tree Hill Ravens’ basketball court is a place for siblings to duke it out, boyfriends and girlfriends to make-up and break-up, and sports betting to hit the teen world. Most of the things that happen to the teens at Tree Hill High revolves around the Ravens basketball team. Our main characters are either players on the team or cheerleaders on the sidelines and it’s impossible to avoid the rampant basketball-fueled culture of the town. We’re not gonna lie we live for the drama, heartache, and craziness surrounding this sports team. It always keeps us coming back for more!