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Top Ten Sports DVDs of 2003
By James Powell

Sports DVDs are an under-appreciated and easily overlooked commodity. In 2003, however, a number of sports-related discs made a strong enough impact to warrant more attention. Not only are there imporant and exciting historical moments to be found on our favorite media format, but a couple of great movies also made their way to DVD (as did some intense fitness routines). Sure, sports are best enjoyed live, but with the increase in the number of great sports DVDs, we can now relive our favorite moments of the past.

Here are the top 10 sports DVDs of the year:

1) NFL Films Super Bowl Collection I-X
The men who played the game in the '60s and '70s were truly gladiators. They were warriors who fought it out on the football field, blow for blow, and helped pave the way for the game we see today. There's Deacon Jones, Ray Nitschke, Fran Tarkenton, Joe Namath, and Gayle Sayers. Then there's Johnny Unitas, Charlie Taylor, Dick Butkus, Bob Hayes, and Franko Harris. The list goes on and on. And they're all captured in one collection.

This 5-disc set features some of the greates moments of the first ten Super Bowls and the seasons that preceded them. The game clips are staggaring, and speak volumes about the talent of these men during the early years of the NFL. If you're a fan of the old school game (if you're a fan of the game you really should be), this set is definitely for you. (Review by James W. Powell)

2) Seabiscuit
Seabiscuit isn't just a horse movie. It certainly features plenty of great racing action, but it's actually an inspirational true story with an emotional backbone. As if the spectacular film weren't enough to place this one on the top ten list, the DVD (either the regular edition or the deluxe) boasts nearly perfect audio and video presentations along with some great extra features. Seabiscuit is a solid film that can be enjoyed more than once, and I can't recommend it enough. (Reviewby James W. Powell)

3) Muhammad Ali: The Greatest Ever
Muhammed Ali: The Greatest may be the finest documentary on the legendary boxer. Minus glowing interviews and any historical perspective, it simply jumps right into the moment and whisks the viewer along. Ali has always been a dynamic, brilliant showman and Klein's film does a great job of mixing his persona with the voices of his fans. Made in a gritty cinema verite style, this seminal documentary looks at the world's most famous athlete both from an intensely intimate perspective and from a broader world view. If you haven't seen this documentary, do yourself a favor and check it out. (Review by Gil Jawetz)

4) 2003 Tour of Flanders
Although the Tour de France offers a little more accessibility due to its popularity, the 2003 Tour of Flanders DVD features even more action and thrilling sports moments. The 2-disc DVD coverage runs about three hours and 10 minutes, allowing viewers to see all of the exciting action as it happens; it's exactly the right amount of coverage for this marvelous race. Filled with excitement from start to finish, with clear and insightful commentary provided along every step of the way (not to mention a nice transfer), the 2003 Tour of Flanders is highly recommended. (Review by Holly E. Ordway)

5) History of the Green Bay Packers/History of the Cowboys
These NFL history DVDs are perfect for Packers or Cowboys fans, and for any fan of vintage football. The footage of the old school players and coaches alone makes these discs worth your attention. Each 2-disc set includes interviews with the teams' greats, both past and present, and features stunning clips of the teams' greatest eras. These discs are perfect for starting football discussions amongst the various generations in your family. (Packers review and Cowboys review by James W. Powell)

6) Warren Miller's Cold Fusion
Warren Miller has been making people excited to hit the slopes for over 50 years. His films have become world renown for his use of cool music, breathtaking locations, cringe-inducing wrecks, and of course, some of the sickest snow tricks ever caught on film. Cold Fusion, his 2001 feature, offers all of this and more. It's the most fun, most exciting film he's done in the last decade. (Reviewby James W. Powell)

7) Ultimate Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky is the best hockey player to ever take the ice. With 61 NHL records, that's a hard statement to debate. Now, with the 2-disc set that boasts a personal and historical look at the man's brightest moments, fans of The Great One, as well as those too young to have witnessed his abilities, can see just what made him so special. (Review by James W. Powell)

8) Rudy (Deluxe Edition)
In Rudy, we see a small man attempt the impossible and go for his dreams of playing football for the Fighting Irish. It's definitely an emotional ride that centers more around the kid's determination than it does around the sport, but that's not to say it doesn't offer some nice glimpses into the world of college football. With a deluxe edition that boasts great audio, video, and bonus features, Rudy deserves a spot on anyone's DVD shelf. (Review by Don Houston)

9) History of Soccer:The Beautiful Game
The History of Soccer: The Beautiful Game is certainly outstanding in terms of the material it pulls together: rare footage from the earliest days of the sport, clips from countless important championship and World Cup events, and interviews with many major players from around the world. When the special features are taken into account, The History of Soccer becomes even more comprehensive. For die-hard soccer fans, this DVD is a hit. (Review by Holly E. Ordway)

10) Legend of Lambeau Field
Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, is the greatest stadium in professional football. It's been said that a football fan hasn't lived until he's seen a game at Lambeau Field. Legend of Lambeau Field doesn't take the place of such an experience, but it certainly fills the void until that day comes. (Review by James W. Powell)

Fitness Subset

Spinervals Fitness 2.0: Sweating Buckets
Doesn’t matter which one of these fitness programs you get into, you’re going to sweat. But try Sweating Buckets. (Review by Holly E. Ordway)

Yoga for Urban Living
The yoga routines on this disc are perfect for beginners and veterans alike. (Review by James W. Powell)

DVD Talk's Top Ten Lists for 2003
DVD Talk's Top Twenty DVDs of 2003
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