And the (Sports) Oscar goes to…

first_imgSo Sunday was the Oscars. I’m not much of a movie buff myself — I finished dead last in the Herald’s Oscar pool, correctly guessing only two of six winners — but it was on in the office so I watched it. It was actually quite educational for me, too. I learned from City Editor Courtney Johnson that it is absolutely unacceptable to wear a leopard print dress to an awards show, “Little Miss Sunshine” is not, in fact, a Beach Boys song, and I have absolutely nothing in common with the people who pick these movies except for the fact we are both breathing.Me, I could care less about the stinkin’ Oscars. The fact that neither “Ricky Bobby” nor “Beerfest” received so much as a nomination is proof the whole thing is a sham. How whoever wrote “Beerfest” didn’t win one for that scene where Landfill comes back to life is beyond me. When you think back years from now on the movies of 2006, what will you remember that year for — the patriotic epic which gave us the “They’re not that drunk” chant and a glorified, super-secret beer drinking contest dominated by the good ‘ole United States (no real surprise there, what don’t we dominate the rest of the world in?) or some movie by a foreign dude named Alejandro Gonzalez? Not to mention “Borat.” You’re telling me there were five other movies, let alone five other documentaries, better than “Borat?” I’m not buying it for one second. I never saw “Volver” or “The Queen,” and I don’t feel like I’ve really missed all that much. What’s that? I’m not cultured? So be it. Who cares about sound mixing or art direction anyway?So, without further ado, I present to you the 2007 Sports Oscars. No montages (basically because we couldn’t secure funding) and guaranteed no political statements. Winners need not thank the Academy or be present to win. Best Supporting ActorWinner: Cincinnati District AttorneyAlso Considered: Tim Tebow, Devin Hester, Yadier MolinaThere were plenty of instances during this past season where the Bengals could have swerved off course. With nine arrests on the season, the Cincy DA could have easily locked up a terrible season for the Bungles. Instead, he took one for the team and looked the other way, allowing the players to avoid missing any games per the law. The team repaid him by picking up fewer wins (eight) than arrests. That’s unselfishness. I mean, it’s not like the crimes were anything major, like drunken driving or carrying unregistered handguns in a nightclub. Oh, they were? Never mind, then. Is Mr. Tebow here? Best ScreenplayWinner: George MasonAlso Considered: Michigan-Ohio State (1 vs. 2 game), New Orleans Saints, Boise State The NCAA tournament is known for its Cinderella stories. So what made George Mason’s improbable tournament run the Best Screenplay of 2006? This Cinderella didn’t stop dancing in the Sweet-16, the tournament’s midnight. After making it past a first-round game against Michigan State without suspended guard Tony Skinn, the Patriots continued right on winning, defeating four of the previous seven national champions in Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and Connecticut on their way to the Final Four. In doing so, their tournament games became must-watch events and left people saying “screw you” to their brackets and rooting for Cinderella to keep bustin’ some moves. Best DirectorWinner: Jim LarranagaAlso Considered: Tony Dungy, Avery JohnsonCoaches, whether it’s fair or not, are evaluated by how their teams do in postseason play. Knowing this, one could understand if a coach excused some questionable behavior in the interest of helping his team’s chances of postseason success. Larranaga took the high road, though, personally suspending Skinn for one game after Skinn took a cheap shot below the belt to a Hofstra player in the CAA conference tournament. The Patriots overcame the suspension and made their magical run, and in doing so, Larranaga proved winning can be done the right way.Worst ActorWinner (or Loser, if you want): Rex GrossmanAlso Considered: noneAlright, I won’t even try to pretend this isn’t just a gratuitous anti-Bears shot. Let’s just move on…Lifetime AchievementWinner: Bobby KnightDick Vitale won’t stop blabbing about how Indiana should rename Assembly Hall in honor of Knight. Maybe this will appease him. In all seriousness though, Knight deserves this (as if this award means anything to anyone). He passed Dean Smith for the most wins all-time in college basketball and has been probably the most influential coach of the last 30 years — Knight’s motion offense served as a template for Bo Ryan’s swing — despite all the controversy that seems to follow him. Best DuoWinner: Rick Majerus and foodAlso Considered: Shaq and Dwyane Wade, Tim Hardaway and John AmaechiChemistry is important in any working relationship, and the best duos get along off the playing field as well. Controversy struck the early favorites — Hardaway and Amaechi — when Hardaway said he hated Amaechi like he hated broccoli or a chef at a restaurant. That swung momentum toward an outraged Majerus and distressed food. Really, it is only (tightly) fitting that Majerus and food win this award, as the hefty color commentator often makes longing references to food during his telecasts and the two are quite literally joined at the hip.Best ActorWinner: LaDainian TomlinsonAlso Considered: Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Dwyane Wade, Steve NashShaun Alexander set the bar for touchdowns in a single season two years ago. LDT saw the bar, looked at Alexander and said, “You call that a record?” Tomlinson broke the record in week 14 and spent the final three games of the season adding to it. When it came time for the league MVP to be announced, there was really no suspense. Tomlinson won with 88 percent of the vote. Besides that, Tomlinson also earned the 2006 Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his contributions to his community off the field.And finally…Best PictureWinner: UCLA vs. Gonzaga (Sweet 16)Also Considered: Heat vs. Mavericks (NBA Finals game 3), Connecticut vs. George Mason (Elite 8), Oklahoma vs. Boise State (Fiesta Bowl) and Cardinals vs. Mets (NLCS game 7)Sure it might not have been a championship game, but “The Morrison Game” was still an absolute classic. Behind the nation’s leading scorer, Adam Morrison, Gonzaga built a big lead in the first half and led by double digits for most of the game. UCLA mounted a comeback late and took the lead on a steal and layup inside of 10 seconds left. The lasting image of this game is of Morrison sprawled out at mid-court sobbing in defeat. Big bonus points to this game for Gus Johnson’s announcing.Ben is a sophomore majoring in political science. Feel like he made an egregious omission? Agree that “Borat” got screwed? E-mail him at bvoelkel@badgerherald.comlast_img read more

Sarri relief as Chelsea book Europa final clash with Arsenal

first_imgChelsea took the lead in the semi-final second leg thanks to Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s first half strike at Stamford Bridge.But Luka Jovic equalised soon after the interval as a tense clash finished 1-1 after extra time and 2-2 on aggregate.Cesar Azpilicueta’s penalty was saved by Kevin Trapp in the shoot-out, but Kepa kept out Martin Hinteregger’s effort and then turned away Goncalo Paciencia before Eden Hazard slotted home the decisive kick to spark wild celebrations.It was a sweet moment of redemption for Kepa after he was widely criticised for his astonishing mutiny in the League Cup final against Manchester City when he refused to be substituted before the Blues lost on penalties.A relieved Sarri conceded Chelsea found it hard to control the game and needed some good fortune to avoid a shock exit.“We played a very good first half. Then in the first part of the second half, we went in trouble. We were passive in the defensive phase, so we conceded the goal, 10 minutes of panic,” he said.“In extra-time we were really tired. After 60 matches to play 120 minutes it’s really very difficult.“There is no preparation for penalties because you can kick very well in the training ground but then the pressure is different.“We have to recover energy because we are really very tired.”Hazard also relished his crucial contribution in what could be his last kick at the Bridge amid rumours of a close-season move to Real Madrid.“I am only thinking to win something for this club,” said Hazard when asked if the final will be his last game for the club.“If it is my last game I will try to do everything. In my mind I don’t know yet.”Having already qualified for next season’s Champions League when they guaranteed a top-four finish in the Premier League last weekend, Chelsea can bring an uplifting end to Sarri’s troubled first season by winning the Europa League.Former Napoli boss Sarri this week claimed Chelsea “deserve” to win a trophy this season and the Italian is now one victory away from the first major prize of his managerial career.However, Sarri is not happy that Chelsea will play a friendly in the United States against New England Revolution next week.“Now we need to rest. Unfortunately we have to go play in the United States because I think in this moment we need to rest then we have 10 days to prepare the final,” Sarri said.– Frankfurt flummoxed –Inevitably, Hazard was the catalyst for Chelsea’s 28th minute opener as he twisted and turned to find just enough space for a perfectly-weighted pass to Loftus-Cheek.Hazard’s vision and execution completely flummoxed the Frankfurt defence, leaving Loftus-Cheek with plenty of time to guide a cool low finish into the far corner for his 10th goal of the season.But Chelsea couldn’t turn their first half superiority into further goals and a fatal loss of concentration allowed Frankfurt to equalise in the 49th minute.Jovic had scored Frankfurt’s goal in the first leg and the 21-year-old Serb showed why he is being linked to Real Madrid with another predatory finish.Chesting the ball down to Mijat Gacinovic, Jovic easily eluded the dozing Luiz as he ran onto the return pass and calmly steered in his 10th Europa League goal this season.Still lacking any rhythm in extra-time, Chelsea needed an agile goalline clearance from Luiz to stop Sebastien Haller’s shot before the Frankfurt forward was denied again by Davide Zappacosta’s header off the line.Azpilicueta thought he’d won it for Chelsea in the closing minutes when he bundled home after Trapp dropped Hazard’s cross, but the goal was controversially disallowed for the Spaniard’s challenge on the keeper, setting the stage for Kepa and Hazard to see the Blues through to Baku.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chelsea are through to the Europa League final thanks to Kepa Arrizabalaga’s penalty heroics. © AFP / Ben STANSALLLONDON, United Kingdom, May 10 – Maurizio Sarri admitted Chelsea rode their luck to reach the Europa League final as Kepa Arrizabalaga’s penalty heroics clinched a dramatic 4-3 shoot-out win against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.Sarri’s side will face London rivals Arsenal in an all-Premier League final in Baku on May 29 as for the first time all four finalists in the Champions and Europa League come from England.last_img read more