Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Hear me out...The most prestigious sports film awards


February 3, 2018

Awards season for the motions pictures is in full swing and last week the Oscar nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced. Disappointingly, there wasn’t a ton of backlash to the nominations. Usually, you have a bunch of people up in arms over movies they’ve never watched, this year everyone seemed pretty chill.

There was the push to have “Wonder Woman” as an Oscar snub, which was a stretch. Awesome superhero movie? No doubt. One of the most entertaining movies of 2017? 100 percent. Made Marvel look foolish for never greenlighting a Black Widow movie? Yes. Did it deserve a Best Picture nod? Nah.

“Wonder Woman,” to use a few sports analogies, is an All-Star player but not an All-Pro player. The movie played within its role, a fun blockbuster that took you into an exciting world.

Speaking of awards, it’s time I hand out some awards for sports movies and sports-related areas in Hollywood. Each category, the nominees and the winners were all compiled through the scientific means through Google and YouTube deep dives. And, most importantly, my opinion.

Here are the categories and their winners.

The Tom Cruise award for best running form

The nominees: Tom Cruise

And the winner is … Tom Cruise.

Notes: He may only be 5 foot 5 inches but Cruise has perfect form.

The Kevin Costner award for best athletic actor

The nominees: Tom Cruise, Terry Crews, Sofia Boutella, Kevin Costner, Dwayne Johnson, Carl Weathers

And the winner is … Sofia Boutella.

Notes: In an upset Sofia Boutella beats out the likes of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Costner! Boutella does not get proper due for her athleticism. All the moves she pulls in “Kingsman” and “Star Trek: Beyond” are shot as is without editing tricks. She’s legit.

The delusional athlete award for the actor who believes they’re an elite athlete

The nominees: Sylvester Stallone, Justin Timberlake, Steven Seagal, Vin Diesel

And the winner is … Justin Timberlake.

Notes: This was a tightly contested award. Each nominee had legitimate grounds for winning this category. Stallone runs like he’s dragging an imaginary 55-gallon barrel and I worry he believes he’s an elite boxer because the script said he won some fights … All you need to do for Seagal is YouTube his name and there will be countless running compilations, stories (check out the Kevin Hart story) and his “incredible” karate moves. If you’re having a bad day I recommend you check it out, you’ll cheer up in a hurry … Vin Diesel actually believes he’s a better athlete than Dwayne Johnson, who played on a stacked University of Miami team that won a National Championship … Timberlake steals the award because during the Super Bowl media day he announced his kid will not play football, which reminded me of the athletic prowess he showed in the movie “In Time.” Timberlake looks as if he’s running for the first time in his life. He is all shoulders with arms flapping about. We’ll be OK if your kid doesn’t play football, Timberlake.

The after I’m done watching this movie I am going to do so much award for best locker room/motivational speech in a sports movie

The nominees: Denzel Washington in “Remember the Titans,” Kurt Russell in the “Miracle,” Billy Bob Thornton in “Friday Night Lights,” Matt Damon in “Invictus”

And the winner is … Matt Damon in “Invictus”

Notes: Another tough category with notable omissions, but Damon’s speech as Francois Pienaar with the South African rugby team on the cusp of winning the World Cup in their home country is incredibly moving. It’s impossible to not get fired up.

The “Avatar” award for overrated sports movie

The nominees: “Hoosiers,” “Any Given Sunday,” “Caddyshack,” “Bull Durham”

And the winner is … “Any Given Sunday”

Notes: Some surprising movies on this list, and, yes, I truly believe each nominee is overrated. Hoosiers and Bull Durham are solid movies but shouldn’t be as revered as they are. Honestly, this category came down to which movie was the worst between “Any Given Sunday” and “Caddyshack.” Comedy is hard, so I gave “Caddyshack” a pass, giving the award to “Any Given Sunday.” Everyone knows football is a violent game but the level of violence in this movie was absurd. It doesn’t come as a surprise that director Oliver Stone created yet another over-the-top film but even grading on the “Stone Curve” it’s wacky. An eyeball on the field come one. They only thing that saved this movie from being mocked relentlessly were the performances by Pacino, Fox and Diaz.

The warts and all award for the movie that is flawed and/or clichéd but still enjoyable

The nominees: “The Natural,” “For the Love of the Game,” “Blue Chips,” “Semi-Pro,” “The Sixth Man”

And the winner is … “Blue Chips”

Notes: I know I bashed “Any Given Sunday” for being over-the-top but “Blue Chips” is over-the-top in a good way. Nick Nolte is terrific in this movie, I imagine his character is a lot like Coach K and how he sold out to grab every McDonald’s All-American, just without the redemption at the end. The basketball scenes are great too, I’m sure it helps having a young Shaq and Penny Hardway.

The underrated but secretly the best sports movie award

The nominees: “Warrior,” “Moneyball,” “Creed,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Rush,” “Major League,” “Brian’s Song,” “White Men Can’t Jump”

And the winner is … “Friday Night Lights”

Notes: I know this category should have been much closer but I can’t lie, “Friday Night Lights” is one of my favorite movies of all-time. It’s on my “Have to watch it anytime I come across it on TV” and “Have to watch it at least once a year” lists. From the score, the football scenes, a Billy Bob Thornton performance that doesn’t make your skin crawl, it’s a perfect storm of amazing. The movie has never gotten its due as a great football movie and just an excellent movie.


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