We all had crushes on girls growing up. We still have them, but it”s weirder and worse now—more awkward, if that”s even possible.
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Early crushes were different. The feeling could be sweet as a snow cone, or sting like a skinned knee, but we’d eat snails before we gave up our infatuation with a certain special someone.
And as it happens, some of our young hearts fell for girls who existed only on the silver screen. The following are some of the sweethearts, seductresses and lovely ladies who changed our little worlds the moment they appeared on the screen in the sports movies of our youth.
We were young and dumb when we first fell for them, and after all these years I think it’s high time to check in on our sports movie crushes.
Then: Julie ‘The Cat’ Gaffney
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She always anticipated the glove-side shot, and we loved her to death for it.
Julie “The Cat” Gaffney was played by actress Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine in D2: The Mighty Ducks. Colombe pulled off the character well, managing to be mindbogglingly athletic without ever letting anyone forget she was a girl playing with the big boys.
Now: Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine
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Colombe did a few more gigs after the Mighty Ducks franchise ended, but her biggest passion now is cooking.
The 35-year-old has plied her culinary trade for the Food Network, competing in the television show The Next Food Network Star and hosting a series of webisodes for FoodNetwork.com.
Then: Lacy Underall
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Judge Smails’ smoking niece provoked a lot of young men into a new world of emotions when her character walked onto the screen in Caddyshack in 1980.
Lacy Underall was all class in the streets and something else entirely when her uncle wasn’t looking, and actress Cindy Morgan captured the character sublimely. She also played off Chevy Chase’s Ty Webb with amazing results.
Here’s a brief quote from the movie, as an example.
Now: Cindy Morgan
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After Caddyshack, Morgan played roles in television and on the big screen, including parts in the television series CHiPs and the originalTRON.
She is also currently scheduled for a 2014 TRON sequel that has yet to be named. She is now 58 and finishing a book on “how a nice Catholic girl became Lacy Underall in Caddyshack.”
We’re listening, Cindy.
Then: Vicki Vallencourt
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Bobby Boucher disobeyed Mama’s orders to stay away from her, but nothing kept the waterboy-turned-star linebacker from his Louisiana lady, Vicki Vallencourt.
Now: Fairuza Balk
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Vallencourt was played by actress Fairuza Balk, who has kept busy since her 1998 role in Waterboy, playing bit parts in a host of movies and television series over the last 15 years.
Balk is now 39, married and—according to her Wikipedia page—an active follower of paganism. So that”s different.
Then: Becky ‘IceBox’ O’Shea
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The Refrigerator Perry of pee-wee football was a girl, and she happened to be about as crush-worthy as her hits were cringe-worthy.
Now: Shawna Waldron
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Shawna Waldron, who played Becky “IceBox” O”Shea in Little Giants, has changed a lot.
Waldron is 31 and still acting. She even stripped down for her role as “Azalea” in Poison Ivy: The Secret Society. Like I said, things have changed.
Then: Miss Anna Montgomery
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Anna Montgomery was the new teacher in town, and every character in The Big Green lost his marbles when the British bachelorette walked by.
Now: Olivia D’Abo
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Miss Montgomery was played by Olivia d’Abo, who”s best known for her role as Karen Arnold in the The Wonder Years.
D’Abo is still working in film and most recently shot an episode for the USA Network television series Psych. The 44-year-old is also still looking like a substitute teacher we all wouldn’t mind dropping in to teach us a thing or two.
Then: Connie Moreau
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Connie Moreau was a skilled skater on the ice, but unfortunately for smitten young Mighty Ducks fans, she was already spoken for. Connie was Guy Germaine’s girlfriend in the movie, if you don’t remember, and she was almost full head taller than he was.
She could take care of herself, and she was the darling of the group. If someone hit Connie, he would get lassoed and dragged across the ice.
Now: Marguerite Moreau
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Connie’s character shared the same last name as the actress who played her, Marguerite Moreau.
Prior to playing Connie, Moreau was already a somewhat established young talent with role credits on The Wonder Years and Brooklyn Bridge.
Moreau starred in all three of the Mighty Ducks films, landed a memorable part as “Katie” in the 2001 movie Wet Hot American Summer and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Vassar College.
While she hasn’t been rolling in leading character parts, Moreau’s acting career hasn’t seemed to suffer from a lack of work. The 36-year-old has played roles on AMC’s Mad Men and Showtime’s Shameless.
Then: Lola Bunny
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If you didn’t crush on Lola Bunny, I can’t trust you as a human being.
Every guy loved Lola Bunny in Space Jam, and while it might sound kind of weird for a young kid to fall in love with an animated rabbit, it’s a lot less creepy than 20-something-year-old women lusting after a child singer.
Now: Lola Bunny
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Lola has not fared so well in recent years. After her appearance on the hardwood with M.J. and Bugs, the female rabbit was redesigned—and I submit, as a matter of national importance, we lobby Congress into forcing Warner Bros. to change her back.
Think of the children.
Then: Virginia Venit
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Virginia Venit was the beautifully uptight PGA Tour public relationships officer, who becomes a love interest for Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore.
Venit fit in perfectly with the country club ambiance on the links, and we can assume from her nature she’s a well to-do woman who appreciated the finer things in life, such as combed greens and club sauce.
She managed to make v-neck sweaters look good, and the beer garden fantasies Happy pictured her in will never be erased from any of our minds.
Now: Julie Bowen
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In case you didn’t know, actress Julie Bowen did indeed play Virginia Venit in Happy Gilmore.
Bowen has been wildly successful since her role opposite Adam Sandler, starring in the hit series Modern Family, as well as having other notable parts in Boston Legal and Weeds.
The 42-year-old is a graduate of Brown University, and she has three sons with her husband, Scott Phillips, who is a real estate agent. She also wears a pacemaker, which she’s used since her early 20s to help treat a cardiovascular condition.
Then: Jenna Reed
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The director of the “Dream Come True Foundation” and its “survival impaired” children, Jenna Reed was sexiest of saints in Baseketball.
She was beautiful, could do no wrong and drove Trey Parker’s character, Joe Cooper, crazy with her looks and sweetness. The woman playing her, however, wasn’t quite as angelic.
Now: Yasmine Bleeth
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Reed was played by former Baywatch actress Yasmine Bleeth, who featured in a bevy of roles in the 90s before a cocaine addiction derailed her acting career. She was arrested for wrecking her car while high in 2001.
So it”s been rough sledding for the 44-year-old former movie star, but she appears to be making a comeback to film in 2014 as a “Baroness” in the movie Beautiful Evil. So…be on the lookout for that.
Then: Wendy Peffercorn
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She was always oiling and oiling…
Marley Shelton’s character “Wendy Peffercorn” was every young man’s dream girl, and the blonde lifeguard in Sandlot stole a generation of adolescent male hearts from her perch on high at the lifeguard stand.
Now: Marley Shelton
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Shelton has continued her acting career after Sandlot, landing roles in Never Been Kissed, Bubbleboy and Sin City to name a few.
Her and her husband, Hollywood producer Beau Flynn, have two children together. She has also continued to be hot, and for that we salute her. Stay golden, Wendy.
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