Tuesday, January 23, 2007

An Oscars Primer for Sports Fans

This morning in Beverly Hills, the nominations for the 79th annual Academy Awards were announced. Particular attention will be placed on the high-profile categories of Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress. Remarkably, every film nominated in those six categories contains a sports-related theme. A primer on each of these nominees is included as follows.

Babel: A biopic of former journeyman NFL quarterback Babe Laufenberg, i.e. “Babe L.”

Blood Diamond: George Steinbrenner stuns fans by announcing that the new Yankee Stadium will be named after former heavyweight boxer Mitch “Blood” Green.

The Departed: Terrell Owens (“The Player”) makes reference to Bill Parcells.

The Devil Wears Prada: New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur replaces his old skates with a fashionable pair of shoes.

Dreamgirls: Formerly known as the Sooners, the Oklahoma women’s basketball team gets a new nickname due to the presence of Hakeem’s daughter Abi Olajuwon.

Half Nelson: Always unconventional, Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson announces that he will only coach the second half of games.

The Last King Of Scotland: Mired in last place, the desperate Los Angeles Kings sign Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons.

Letters From Iwo Jima: In the sequel to Hoosiers, Jimmy Chitwood transfers to Iwo Jima High and letters for the basketball team.

Little Children: Plagued by injuries, the Los Angeles Dodgers call up three 12-year-olds to play for manager Grady Little.

Little Miss Sunshine: A recap of the past three football seasons for the Mississippi Rebels, in which Ole Miss has had little sunshine.

Notes On A Scandal: The diary of Barry Bonds is found and made public.

The Pursuit Of Happyness: College football programs feverishly recruit blue-chip quarterback Happy Ness.

The Queen: Continuing to mine the in-state talent pool, Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano signs New Jersey native Queen Latifah.

United 93: Manchester announces its victory total after playing David Beckham’s Los Angeles Galaxy 93 times.

Venus: Peter O’Toole gives an uncanny performance as Venus Williams. He’ll play Serena in the sequel.

Volver: Needing a new assistant, Tennessee legend Pat Summitt hires Norm Peterson’s wife Vera, who becomes known as “Vol Vera.”

On February 25, we’ll find out who the Oscar award winners will be. They’ll have much in common with the sports world’s Robertson and de la Hoya, who are award-winning Oscars.