Russell Crowe Beats More Than Photographers

June 3, 2009 – 12:01 am by Matthew Glenesk

Move over Vince Lombardi. Goodbye, Gipper. God? Nice try.

Nowadays, there’s only one guy coaches turn to in that time when motivation is needed and they don’t trust themselves to inspire. His name? Russell Crowe.

And English champions Manchester United are the Oscar winner’s latest victim. Ten minutes prior the Champions League final in Rome,¬†Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola sat his team down and showed his team a season tribute video mixed with clips from Crowe’s “Gladiator.”

Moments before the biggest game in his brief managerial career and Guardiola lets Maximus do all the talking? If you ask me, it’s a bit corny. And a bit 2000. But it worked. The Spanish giants won 2-0. Watch the video that got assistant coaches misty and players amped:

This isn’t the first time coaches have pulled from Crowe’s work to motivate their clubs. Who can forget Lloyd Carr’s use of “Cinderella Man,” which led to an actual friendship with the actor.

Perhaps Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy should turn to Crowe for a little extra pep prior to Thursday’s NBA Finals Game One.

Shaq called Van Gundy “the master of chaos.” If that’s the case, perhaps a few clips from “Virtuosity.” Nothing says chaos like a little Sid 6.7.

Maybe SVG can go the obvious geographical relevant route of ¬†“L.A. Confidential,” and use Bud White’s quest to protect surgically altered prostitutes as some sort of metaphor. A little good cop, bad cop might get them going.

I doubt the Magic head man will resort to “Master and Commander.” I don’t think British seamen get NBA players’ motivational juices going.

Or Stan can buck the Crowe trend and just go with a little “Superman.” We know that will at least make Dwight happy.

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