It appears I struck some kind of nerve last year. Merely MENTIONING my favorite sports movies had people delightfully telling me exactly what kind of idiot I was. HOW KIND OF YOU. So let's settle this. It's time for the SPORTS MOVIE ACADEMY AWARDS.
Category: Best Children's Sports Movie
Nominees: The Sandlot, Little Giants, The Mighty Ducks, Angels In The Outfield, Happy Gilmore
And The Award Goes To... THE MIGHTY DUCKS
I have this thing in life where I really, really wish I had stats on like... everything I've ever done. Lifetime shooting and winning percentage in beer pong. Mario Kart 64 and Mario Party results. Total number of beers I've drunk. I just wish I knew ALL of it. And if I had that power, I'd love to see how many times I've watched these movies. Maybe it's just me, but Mighty Ducks has held up as an adult the best out of this group. In The Sandlot you have a 75 pound dog framed to look like it's King Kong. Little Giants is just so improbable that it makes Leicester City winning the Premiere League feel like a 'so what?' moment. And while Angels In The Outfield is a quintessential children's movie, it simply can't compete with the perfection that is The Mighty Ducks. QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK, MR. DUCKWORTH
PS - Yes I just said 'QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK, MR. DUCKWORTH' out loud as I wrote that. Living by yourself is fun!
Category: Best Fake Sport Movie
Nominees: Searching for Bobby Fischer, Rounders, Cool Runnings, The Karate Kid
And The Award Goes To... ROUNDERS
Chess? Poker? Bobsled? Karate? NONE of these are real sports, but we here at the Sports Motion Picture Association of Brandon's Apartment DO NOT SEGREGATE. Pretend sports have a seat at our table just like all the real sports up and down these categories do. And when it comes to fake sports movies, you cannot beat Rounders. WHOA RALPH MACCHIO, easy slugger. I know: The Karate Kid is an all-time classic. I agree! I love that movie! But if I had to listen to one character on repeat for the next 20 years, I'm going Teddy KGB over Mr. Miyagi anyday:
Life goal: get rich enough to have multiple stacks of high society and then send snaps to people showing them I have multiple stacks of high society. I hope people are still snapping a million years from now!
Category: Most Inspirational Sports Movie
Nominees: Remember The Titans, Miracle, The Blind Side, Hoosiers, Mystery Alaska
And The Award Goes To... MIRACLE
I've certainly watched Titans more, probably even Mystery, Alaska as well. But from an inspirational point of view, nothing beats a bunch of scrappy Americans toppling the EVIL RUSSIAN FEDERATION for Olympic glory. The movie managed to jusssst stay on the good side of the cheesy line, and it even gets the bonus inspiration bonus of being a tribute to Herb Brooks after he passed away during production. Looking for a little character inspiration? Jim Craig overcoming the loss of his mother can bring a grown man to tears. Want even MORE icing on the cake? Badgers were integral in that team's success.
Great movie. Better story. U-S-A!
Category: Best Kevin Costner Sports Movie
Nominees: Tin Cup, For Love Of The Game, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham
And The Award Goes To... TIN CUP
Field of Dreams is probably the better movie. I am well aware. But when you're trying to choose the best Kevin Coster movie, you need the most Kevin Costnery movie that Kevin Costner has ever done. Tin Cup fits that mold by being the most well-balanced spo-rom-com known to MAN or WOMAN. It's got the trashy stripper ex that ends up falling for his loyal comprade of a caddie (played by Cheech!). You get Costner's love interest (Rene Russo, an actress born for a role as Kevin Costner's love interest in sporty romcom) being oblivious to how awful her rich, successful, alpha asshole of a boyfriend is. SERIOUSLY WHO HATES DOGS?
And that's just the rom aspect. Once you get to the sports, you're privileged to witness Cup shooting par on the back 9 with a seven iron. You see him playing 18 and BEATING an actual golfer with a Louisville Slugger, hoe, and some kind of rake for pool cue putting purposes. Plus, he has the perfect cliche inner demon: getting on in 2 on long par 5s. Roy's inner crappola will always get in the way of his success, but he hates everything about the guys that do end up winning because they'll never take the shot. They play their life for par, an ol' Tin Cup knows you only get one shot at this wonderful thing we call life. He's hunting for eagles every damn day, and while he may not find it on the course at the U.S. Open, he certainly snags one in the RV after the 12 the world will never forget. And fucking Cup takes a mulligan on her!
Category: Best Sports Scene From A Decidedly Non-Sports Movie
Nominees: Starship Troopers - FUTURE FOOTBALL, Top Gun - Sexy Volleyball, 3 Ninjas - 2 on 2 Hoops, Heavyweights - Apache Relay
And The Award Goes To...
I REALLY wanted to give it to FUTURE FOOTBALL in Starship Troopers. I did. Flipsix threehole on ONE is the kind of playcalling that I DEMAND from Mike McCarthy every Sunday. NO MORE TOSS SWEEPS WITH LACY, WAKE UP.
But it's litrally impossible to beat a basketball scene with middle school kids that features...
CASUAL backwards, over-the-head one handers...
RUTHLESS undercutting/tabletopping on layups...
...and one of those middle schoolers free throw line airwalk dunking. THROW IT UP, KOBE:
Category: Best Sports Move I've Never Seen
Nominees: Bull Durham, Slap Shot, The Natural, Hoop Dreams
And The Award Goes To... YOU DECIDE
Seriously. I know it doesn't actually seem like something outside of my realm of normalcy to declare a winner amongst 4 movies I've never seen, but that's actually pretty foolish! So I turn to YOU: which of these movies am I the BIGGEST idiot for not seeing? How can you fix me? HELP ME HELP ME.
Category: Best Best Of The Rest Sports Movie
Nominees: Caddyshack, Space Jam, Rocky IV, Any Given Sunday, Major League
And The Award Goes To... MAJOR LEAGUE
Major League also woulda won the 'Best Use Of A Vagisil Reference In A Sports Movie' category, and that kinda guarantees it was gonna win ANY award it was up for. But at the end of the day, you combine a rock solid cast with a steady dose of humor, a great villain, and an objectively satisfying plot and you end up with a fantastic overall sports movie. It's not easy topping the other ones I mentioned up above, and I couldn't find the right reasons to bump any of them above Major League.
Category: Overall Winner
Nominees: The Mighty Ducks, Rounders, Miracle, Tin Cup, 3 Ninjas, Major League
And The Award Goes To... TIN CUP
Am I out of my mind? INDUBITABLY. But I basically made my decision based on how likely I would be to stop and watch the rest of the movie if I were guide hopping and saw it was on TV. With Tin Cup, there's basically a zero percent chance I skip past it. It doesn't have any slow points. There aren't any scenes where Brooks dies, or Big Tom Callahan dies, Hans dies... basically there are no scenes where anyone I like dies. So positive! Rene Russo's a babe, Cheech is the perfect companion, Simms is basically Shooter McGavin before Shooter knew how to be Shooter, and I really just wanna go to Waffle House with the posse from Salome.
I don't care what you say. Bring on the hate. I'm on #TeamTinCup 4ever and there's no way you'll convince me a better sports movie exists. FACTS ONLY.
Who does Wisconsin play this week?
CHICAGO BADGERS: Glorious day for Muskyfest. Weather as on point, the contestants were all-out, and the Badgers did their part. Tough to follow up that act, but we can certainly try.
WEATHER: PARTLY CLOUDY, MID-70s, FOOTBALL WEATHER 4 EVER AND EVAR
BIG TEN FEAR RANKINGS
1) Ohio State, 2-0 (0-0). So nerdy, but so good:
2) Wisconsin, 2-0 (0-0). Wait. You mean the defense is as nasty as ever, the running game and offensive line are returning to form, AND we have multiple receiving options that are making plays? Are we... are we for real?!
3) Michigan, 2-0 (0-0). Would Wisconsin beat Michigan on a neutral field? No. Would we even beat them in Camp Randall? Probably not. But Paul Chryst doesn't eat his own boogers and lie about it, unlike a certain Wolverine coach:
PS - Listen, nose picking is one of the most widespread things in the world that people are so ashamed to admit. It's kind weird. You, reading this right now, at the very least OCCASIONALLY go treasure hunting up there. Even if you don't, you probably do. Maybe you only do it at night, when everyone's asleep, in the bathroom, over the toilet. Maybe you're a savage THUMB PICKER. But none of that is a crime!
However, we must draw the line at eating boogers. That is fucking weird and I don't care who you are. Even if boogers weren't gross by nature, there's simply no way they taste good. I don't NEED to sample the goods to tell you boogers taste gross. And everyone knows we only tolerate gross stuff like vegetables because they're healthy and good for us. Not a lot of nutritional value in boogers. Nope. Jim Harbaugh is sick in the head and needs help.
PPS - Sometimes I daydream about being a big famous celebrity or professional athlete, but then I remember you have like a thousand cameras on you all the time and you slip for one second and the internet has a million GIFs and videos of you picking your nose. Freedom isn't free.
4) Michigan State, 2-0 (0-0). I had a burrito the other night from the Mexican joint by my place and it was THIRTEEN dollars. American dollars! No burrito should ever by $13. Do you know why it was so expensive? Because it was the SUPER burrito, which meant it came with all sorts of fancy extras like lettuce, tomato, sour cream, guac, cheese... you know, NORMAL BURRITO FILLINGS.
Is this just how authentic Mexican food comes? Meat, onions, cilantro included... everything else nickel and dimed add-ons? NO ME GUSTA EL MEXICO.
5) Iowa, 2-0 (0-0). I have waffled on Apple eliminating the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 so many times I can't even keep track of where I stand right now. Timeline:
- Initial reaction: THIS IS THE DUMBEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD
- First counter that I really liked: "I bet you cried when they ditched the floppy disc. Cry a little when they removed the CD/DVD drive? How'd that end up?" VERY GOOD POINTS, FANBOYS
- Back to hate: I have to carry an adapter with me everywhere I go just to listen to music, this is completely asinine. I don't need a .2 millimeter thinner phone!
- ...but at least it comes with a free adapter. HOW GENEROUS
- ...but that means I can't charge my phone and listen to music at the same time!
And on and on we go. Last I checked, to charge your phone and listen to music at the same time (or play music through an AUX cord), you'll need a lightning splitter and then a lightning to headphone jack dongle. DONGLE CITY.
This is obnoxious and yet a small part of me just trusts Apple enough at this point to know what they're doing. I will say I'm glad I have a 6S so I can sit this one out and see how it goes. Usually I'm frothing at the mouth to get the latest hotpiece from Apple, but this is one I'm muy contento chilling in wait and see mode.
PS - I finally took a look at the adapter Apple is giving people (and selling for those that need a new one):
Here's a guarantee: give it a few months and your adapter turns into this all-too familiar scene:
Curse your ironclad grip over my technology crutch.
6) Minnesota, 2-0 (0-0). Bo-ring.
7) Nebraska, 2-0 (0-0). Gonna find out a lot about these guys this week. Seems like a decent year to get a chance at Oregon. Go on, send a message. Let everyone know the B1G is as scary as ever.
8) Maryland, 2-0 (0-0). Don't look now, but they might be 6-0 before hosting MSU. Didn't see that coming...
9) Illinois, 1-1 (0-0). Good on them getting a big crowd to come out. It'll take time and I'm not really convinced Lovie will solve all, but if you can get people excited for even ONE Illinois football game in a season then you're on the right path.
10) Indiana, 2-0 (0-0). I forgot to update this blurb for IU last week and TWO people noticed! Impressive! Almost as impressive as a non-conference slate of FIU, Ball State, and Wake Forest.
11) Purdue, 1-1 (0-0). LOL purdue forever and ever and ever
12) Penn State, 1-1 (0-0). I can't believe that game got close. I watched the first quarter or so and Pitt was doing whatever the hell they wanted to Penn State's defense. How long does Franklin get before we accept that either a) he's not a golden god of a coach, or b) winning at Penn State actually is this difficult in the post-Paterno covered up years of rape era.
13) Rutgers, 1-1 (0-0). They were down 14-rip to Howard and my juices started pumping. BE THE WORST YOU CAN BE, RUTGERS! But then they realized they were playing an FCS team (FCS is the 1-AA now, right?) and promptly rolled. Can't lose 'em all.
14) Northwestern, 0-2 (0-0). Chicago's Big Ten Team! The jokes: THEY WRITE THEMSELVES
RANDOM MUSIC WE'RE DIGGING HARD THIS WEEK
HEAVY on the listen right now. Deep in my head. Dig City.
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Impending Fall Weather Arrival vs. Battling Last Remnants Of Summer. Fun time of the year: we get little bouts of refreshing fall 60s intertwined with the last gasps of 75+ summer heat. Everyone's happy somewhere in that range. Right now is essentially 'as long as it doesn't fucking rain I'm happy' time, and that is something we can all enjoy. Live it up before it's full-time fall, because you know what comes after that...
THIS WEEK'S GAME IN HAIKU
Wait we're really good?
This is such a great surprise
Setting up for pain
An actual political party in Canada. That's who these people are. And here are some of their ACTUAL campaign promises:
- Rather than awarding money as prizes in the lottery, the winners would be appointed to the Canadian Senate
- Repealing the law of gravity
- Eliminating unemployment by abolishing Statistics Canada, thereby eliminating the bureaucrats that measure unemployment
- Adopting the British system of driving on the left; this was to be gradually phased in over five years with large trucks and tractors first, then buses, eventually including small cars, and bicycles and wheelchairs last
- Declaring war on Belgium because a Belgian cartoon character, Tintin, killed a rhinoceros in one of the cartoons
- Offering to call off the proposed Belgium-Canada war if Belgium delivered a case of mussels and a case of Belgian beer to Rhinoceros "Hindquarters" in Montreal (the Belgian Embassy in Ottawa did, in fact, do this)
- Banning guns and butter, since both kill
Auctioneers are strange and enchanting and mysterious. This helps understand the way they do the things they do.
That first kid learned a valuable lesson: do not voluntarily run at the biggest kid you can find and expect to win that battle.
Gauge my excitement for this game: not one, and I mean not ONE single mention of Georgia State. You could read this entire thing and up until that previous sentence, you would have absolutely no idea who we were playing Saturday. That's fine previewing! THE PICK:
WISCONSIN 55, I guess it's Georgia State 3