Hollywood all-stars launched the annual (and often infamous) film awards season Jan. 16 with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe Awards. The Golden Globes commences a season fraught with red-carpet fashion, tearful acceptance speeches, obvious winners and surprising upsets.
The same is true with the sports world. The start of a new year propels many sports leagues to wrap up their seasons with championships galore, while other sports are just now beginning to get back to work.
Take the Football Bowl Subdivision for example: From mid-December until Jan. 10, there were dozens of "award shows," aka bowl games, for college athletes to showcase their skills. The culmination of the bowl series pitted Auburn University of the Southeastern conference against the University of Oregon of the Pacific-10 conference. In case you happened to be living under a rock last week -- or in the case of many women on campus, you were consumed by the almighty rush week -- you had the chance to witness the supposed creme de la creme of college football.
All controversies aside (I'm talking to you, Cam Newton and NCAA investigation committee), and whether the bowl system or playoffs is preferred, the BCS National Championship Game was an impressive show of last-minute heroics worthy of an Academy Award nod.
The NFL is loaded with plenty of dramatic moments that are so extreme they seem scripted. Any tweets from Ochocinco and T.O. are fair game. But this past weekend -- with the playoffs underway -- proved that sequels sometimes trump their predecessor. Case in point? The New York Jets versus the New England Patriots. A Hollywood screenwriter must have drafted the trash talk. Yes, Tom Brady certainly has leading man potential (have you seen the man?), but even he couldn't save the game from a flop of an ending.
Basketball season, while still in its early stages with only a few conference games completed, is also laudable by Hollywood standards. College and NBA games alike have had surprising twists to the plots and star-studded performances. The Miami Heat, which started its season coolly, has now risen to the stardom of its potential. Perennial powerhouses in the NCAA, such as Duke University and Syracuse University, suffered theatrical upsets as their perfect seasons were tarnished.
Yet the basketball awards show season is still in its infancy. In a few short weeks, college teams will wrap up their seasons with the frantic frenzy of March Madness, the ultimate showcase of emotions and career-defining moments. Butler University was the classic Cinderella team last season. Who will be the new title-bearer?
The University of Connecticut women's basketball team, setting the record for most consecutive wins at 90, also saw its historic record crumble in front of its eyes. Stanford University pulled off the biggest upset in women's basketball this season, and like a well-stocked "Best Actress" category, I am sure there will be a lot more top teams able to take down one of the most storied programs in history.
Though baseball's swan song (not to be confused with the creepy ballerina film, "Black Swan") is not until October, the sport has had its fair share of Oscar party-like celebrations, especially for those Philly Phanatics. Bringing Cliff Lee home after his stellar stint with the Texas Rangers helped bolster feelings of brotherly love in the city with that same moniker. When spring training rolls in, droves of fans will brave the rainy days and chilly nights to cheer on their team as it hits the green-and-dirt carpet (I mean, field).
I may have only talked about the "Big 3" sports, but those three sports could be the equivalent of respected directors Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese. Every sport has A-list celebrities, surprising twists and dramatic endings, just like a film deserving of the "Best Picture" Academy Award. Though there are some newcomers in every realm of Hollywood, the newcomers in sports tend to make the biggest impact. Hollywood inadvertently launches not only its awards season, but also the awards season for athletics. Stay tuned for the fashions and the awards throughout the sporting world.
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