Not “La La Land.” Definitely not “La La Land.” For the love of all that is holy, don’t say “La La Land.” Oh my gosh, you said “La La Land.” That’s not the winner! Now what do we do? This is chaos!
The 89th Academy Awards ended with a bang Sunday (Monday morning for the poor East coasters). In the final award of the night — Best Picture, the most important — the Academy goofed, used the wrong envelope, an utterly confused Warren Beatty announced a winner that wasn’t actually the winner — “Moonlight” won, by the way — and things got nutty on stage.
I’m sure you saw it. It was crazy and amazing at the same time. The whole watching-a-car-wreck situation.
Congrats to the “Moonlight” crew, though. That was well deserved.
In theme with the Oscars, I created categories last week for the top sports movies. You fine readers took to the polls and cast your votes in an array of sports-themed categories. Here are the results:
Winner: Gary Bertier’s car wreck, “Remember the Titans”
Critics (me): Not my choice. Probably my third choice, actually. G-Baby was like 8 years old and was shot in a drive-by in “Hardball.” That’s devastating. How does that lose? Gale’s speech in “Brian’s Song” tugged at the heart strings. Bertier at least got to hang in the hospital and listen to his team win the championship on the radio. The accident was sad, but not as devastating.
Editor’s note: The real Bertier played the entire season before his car wreck, but the wreck did ruin his chances at college ball. He died in a different car accident 10 years later.
Winner: Coach Brooks, “Miracle”
Critics: Great choice. Brooks motivates a bunch of young boys to go out and beat freaking Russia in the Olympics. That wasn’t supposed to happen. The movie is called “Miracle” for a reason. Coach Dale’s speech in “Hoosiers” — the runner-up in this category — was low-key pretty weak aside from the slow clap at the end. D’Amato’s speech in “Any Given Sunday” is sorely underrated, and Paul Kelly’s “Peace” is the perfect soundtrack to Al Pacino’s misery.
Most unathletic athlete
Critics: Rudy won by a landslide in this one (61 percent of the votes), which I can understand. Rudy was a schmuck that had no right donning a gold helmet at Notre Dame. I can’t even imagine that little runt getting crushed by Ezekiel Elliott. But how does Air Bud not win? He’s a dog! How can a dog play basketball? He can’t dribble; he can’t pass. All he does is jump and tap the ball in the hoop with his nose like a SeaWorld captive. After, like, one time, why doesn’t a defender just swat his weak nose-bump into oblivion? Air Bud was a joke. Learn how to dribble, dog.
Winner: Quidditch, “Harry Potter”
Critics: Obvious. I mean, it’s the most far-fetched and only sport we could never play. You fly on brooms and kind of beat the crap out of each other. If you catch the golden snitch, you’re a god around campus. We need flying brooms.
Winner: Bud, “Air Bud”
Critics: Here we go again with this dog. Come on! His little dog sneakers are cool, but his basketball game is so overrated it’s like voting for Blake Griffin. Watch the gopher dance at the end of “Caddyshack” and tell me why he didn’t win this award.
Winner: Shooter McGavin, “Happy Gilmore”
Critics: An upset. Ivan Drago had no qualms with Apollo Creed dying in the ring. That’s merciless. McGavin was certainly vicious, though, paying a weirdo to run his opponent over with a Volkswagen. And the ninth-green-at-nine trick is classic.
Critics: Odd that Drago loses, yet, Rocky wins. But this was the tightest race of them all, edging Rudy by 8 percent and James Braddock from “Cinderella Man” by 12 percent. Rocky should have won by a landslide, but at least he won. Everybody has done a Rocky impression at least once in his or her life.
Best sports movie
Winner: The Sandlot
Critics: In the award of the night, I’m shocked this won. “The Sandlot” is my favorite movie — sports or not — of all time, but it was an underdog in this category. It’s also very underrated, and the care-free youth theme relates to so many people. It doesn’t try to be more than it is. “Hoosiers,” “Rocky” and “Field of Dreams” are all good and give you all the feels, but they can sometimes be too much. How many punches to the heart can you take from Ray and his ghost dad playing catch before you say, “Alright, I can’t watch this anymore.” You can always watch Benny pickle The Beast.
Part I of this column ran in the Feb. 22 edition of The Press.
Mike Pruden is the sports editor at The Sheridan Press.