Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Annual Oscars Primer For Sports Fans

The big news in Hollywood today was this morning’s announcement of the nominations for the 80th annual Academy Awards. Leading up to the big night on February 24, most of the attention will be placed on the high-profile categories of Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress. Amazingly, just like last year, every film nominated in those six categories contains a sports-related theme. Here’s a primer:

American Gangster: In a survey of boxing fans, the most common occupation is revealed.

The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford: As a precursor to modern-day bowl games, a showdown is given a long, clumsy title.

Atonement: Lawrence Tynes describes his overtime experience at Lambeau Field.

Away From Her: In reference to Jessica Simpson, Cowboys fans tell Tony Romo where to go.

Charlie Wilson’s War: Staying with the Cowboys, Dallas quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson (born Charles Wade Wilson) describes a discussion about teamwork with Terrell Owens.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: In an effort to slow down Michael Phelps at the Olympics, he is forced to swim the 200-meter butterfly with a cowbell around his neck.

Eastern Promises: After changing conferences, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen find a nice alternative to Western Disappointments.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age: In a stunning last-minute reversal, the 2008 Summer Olympics are moved from Beijing to Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Gone Baby Gone: The LSU basketball program struggles after the departure of Glen Davis.

I’m Not There: Larry Brown responds to the question, “What do you like most about the New York Knicks?”

In the Valley of Elah: That’s the Biblical site where David took down Goliath. Or as it was known last September, Ann Arbor.

Into the Wild: Minnesota hockey fans talk about their team.

Juno: Hawaii football boosters express heartbreak at the departure of Coach Jones: “June!!! No!!!”

La Vie En Rose: I’m not sure what this one is about, but it has a French title, so it makes Roger Federer jealous.

Michael Clayton: It’s a day in the life of Tampa Bay wide receiver Michael Clayton, who looks remarkably like George Clooney.

No Country For Old Men: Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds find out what Major League Baseball will be in 2008.

The Savages: A Philly athlete describes the home fans.

Sweeney Todd: The Colorado Rockies acquire Mike Sweeney, who platoons at first base with Todd Helton.

There Will Be Blood: Gerald Henderson offers a pre-game assessment of a UNC-Duke showdown.