Sports movies with lasting power

“The Artist” was the big winner last night at the Academy Awards, taking home the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.

As for my predictions in the major categories, I was correct on 2 of the 6 picks (supporting actor and actress). A .333 lifetime average would get me into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but it’s not so hot when you’re trying to read the minds of Academy winners.

That’s what you get for picking with your heart instead of your head.

“Moneyball” got shut out last night, but I’ll leave you today with my favorite 10 sports films of all time. And when I say “favorite,” I mean they are all films that I can watch over and over. High praise in my book. Continue reading

The height of ridiculousness

When the top story out of the meat market known as the NFL Combine is a quarterback’s measured height, well, that’s a red flag for me. Not on the player, but on the system.

Never mind that the top three rated quarterbacks in the draft won’t throw tomorrow. And forget about the fact that the top running back and the top receiver won’t run. We’re talking weights and measurements here.

A little perspective: The combine takes place in Indianapolis, where Peyton Manning has put together a Hall of Fame career since emerging as the top pick  in the 1998 NFL draft. But many people seem to forget that Manning was not the clear-cut No. 1 choice of NFL experts at that time. Some preferred Ryan Leaf, who was a bit bigger and had the stronger arm, so they said. Continue reading

Lin finds it’s a long way to top

Eight turnovers. Eight points on an awful 1-for-11 performance from the field against the high-flying Miami Heat, the greatest show in the NBA right now.

It’s no time to panic, though. It’s time for Jeremy Lin to go back to school. Every other team in the league will study how the Heat took the air out of New York’s sensational young point guard last night in Miami. Lin, his teammates and the coaching staff had better come up with some answers soon or this Garden party is essentially over.

But I’d be surprised if J-Lin didn’t learn from this beating, a 102-88 defeat, and evolve into a better NBA player because of it. Continue reading

Hope is in the air at Mets camp

A father and son go into a movie theater. The father is wearing a Mets sweat shirt. At the concession stand, a clerk tells the one serving them, “Don’t take that man’s money, he’s a Mets fan. He’s already suffered enough.”

What’s a Mets fan to do? Besides grab the popcorn and skulk away, I mean.

Just grin and bear it, the man tells his son. Just grin and bear it.

These are tough times for Mets fans, with hard days and nights ahead. But today is not one of those days. Today is a good day; one of the best, actually. Continue reading

Yanks get house in order

When the Yankees open spring training for pitchers and catchers today, a couple of familiar faces will be missing from the complex in Tampa, Fla.

No Jorge Posada, who announced his retirement last month. No A.J. Burnett, who has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a pair of minor-leaguers in what amounts to a salary dump.

The Mets will open their camp a day later and about $50 million in payroll lighter than when they started last season. But more about the team from Flushing  tomorrow. Continue reading

Knicks, Rangers flashbacks

Remember when the Knicks and Rangers were both relevant, playing on the same night, and you had to flip channels between the two?

Last night was one of those nights, and I can’t remember the last time that has happened.

Phase II of Lin-Sanity – when Amar’e Stoudemire returned to the lineup – got off to a raucous start with Jeremy Lin’s last-second three-pointer that beat the Raptors in Toronto. Lin finished with 27 points.

Meanwhile, on the ice in Boston, Henrik Lundqvist made 42 saves to stone the Bruins as the Rangers beat their main competition in the Eastern Conference, 3-0. Continue reading

Knick fans go Lin-Sane

Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony are on notice. Knicks fans will be watching very closely when the team’s two superstars return to the lineup. Very closely.

Last night, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers walked into Madison Square Garden and found  they had walked into a time warp. It was the Garden like they hadn’t seen it in about a dozen years.

You can credit Jeremy Lin, the unlikeliest of New York sports stars, and his growing legion of fans for this Lin-Derella story. Continue reading

Knicks are getting the point

Look at the Knicks!

Playing without their two superstars, the grieving Amar’e Stoudemire and the injured Carmelo Anthony, New York won last night in the nation’s capital, its third straight victory with Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin at point guard.

Yes, that college basketball powerhouse, Harvard!

No, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to play point guard in the NBA, but intelligence doesn’t hurt. Most of all, it takes someone who is aware that basketball is a team sport and the point guard’s job is to distribute the ball so that everyone is involved in the offense. Continue reading

How do you follow that?

Now that the Giants’ championship parade and celebration at the Meadowlands is over.

Now that the seven fans who reported their vehicles as stolen afterward have all found their vehicles – right where they left them in the stadium parking lot.

Now that the blitzed Giants fan in an Eli Manning jersey has led police through a wild chase on Long Island and been apprehended for it. (Her SUV was easy to follow since it was spray-painted with “Lets Go Giants.”)

Yes, now that football season is finally over, what’s next? Continue reading