Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oscar Notables & Their Sports Counterparts

Another edition of the Academy Awards is in the books. Like March Madness, you had fans entering pools and celebrating the winners. The Oscar participants also share some similarities to the athletic world. Here are some sports counterparts for all the acting nominees, as well as a few other notables from Sunday’s ceremony.


Forest Whitaker: Dikembe Mutombo.
Whitaker was quite convincing as an African big man.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Tom Brady. Both have dated Giselle B√ľndchen. Plus, in an early draft of Titanic, Leo’s drowning was reversed by the Tuck Rule.

Ryan Gosling: Bruce Pearl. Gosling played a drug-addicted teacher and basketball coach. Pearl is a basketball coach who acts like he’s on drugs.

Peter O’Toole: Joe Paterno. They came to prominence in the 1960s and are still as feisty as ever.

Will Smith: Roger Federer. Smith rules the box office over the 4th of July weekend, while Federer also collects high-profile titles in July.


Helen Mirren: Julio Franco.
Mirren looks great for her age and won for The Queen. Franco looks great for his age and wins in Queens.

Penelope Cruz: Pau Gasol. Like Gasol with the Memphis Grizzlies, Cruz is a native of Spain who was a longshot to win.

Judi Dench: Devin Hester. The Dame won an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love in just eight minutes on screen. Hester also makes an unforgettable impact in a brief time span.

Meryl Streep: Albert Pujols. You just take it for granted that they’ll be in awards contention every year.

Kate Winslet: Colin Montgomerie. They’re Brits who have been close many times, but haven’t yet won the big prize.


Jennifer Hudson: Eli Manning.
Hudson’s victory was due to her show-stopping singing of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” which is what Eli said about San Diego.

Adriana Barraza: Bill Bidwell. Like Barraza’s character, the Arizona Cardinals owner has had nothing but misery in the desert.

Cate Blanchett: Serena Williams. They’re fashionable, have great range, and have been cheered in Australia.

Abigail Breslin: Michelle Wie. Like Wie at PGA tournaments, Breslin’s character was a girl who entered a competition where many felt she didn’t belong.

Rinko Kikuchi: Daisuke Matsuzaka. They’re young Japan natives who have not been seen by most Americans.


Alan Arkin: Bobby Knight.
On his way to victory, Arkin acted as a foul-mouthed old man.

Jackie Earle Haley: George Foreman. They were in the limelight in the 70s, disappeared for a long time, and came back better than anyone could have expected.

Djimon Hounsou: Mike Krzyzewski. They’re filled with intensity, and most Americans can’t spell their names.

Eddie Murphy: Charles Barkley. They became famous in the 80s, and they’re interesting when they’re serious. But you always want them to be funny.

Mark Wahlberg: Dirk Nowitzki. Wahlberg portrayed a high-scoring Dirk in Boogie Nights.


Ellen DeGeneres: Alfonso Soriano.
Like the host of the Oscars, the new Chicago Cub will be a daytime star.

Al Gore: Vince Young. They lost out in the voting to a Bush, but respect for them has grown ever since.

Martin Scorsese: Dean Spanos. Like the Chargers president, Scorsese said goodbye to the Marty who couldn’t win the big one.