Wednesday, March 2, 2011

And the sports Oscar goes to...

The most anticipated awards show of the year took place this past weekend, as the Oscars were handed out to the best in cinema. Watching the show on Sunday night, it brought some questions into my head – who are the best actors in the sports world? After immense debate, irritating nomination campaigning and vote bribing, here are the winners:

Best Supporting Actor – Michael Vick.
At the beginning of the season, no one was surprised that the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb. What they were surprised about was that Philly didn’t trade Michael Vick. People couldn’t believe that the “Wildcat gimmick” was the primary backup to Kevin Kolb. Fast forward two weeks into the season, when Kolb went down with a concussion and Vick had to step in – there was no Wildcat offense in sight, just a steady, athletic quarterback who could do things on his feet that no other signal caller in the league can do.
He became the starter, and finished second to Tom Brady in Offensive Player of the Year voting. Not bad for a guy who started the season in a supporting role.
Runner up: Chris Bosh, for sitting back and letting LeBron James and Dwyane Wade star in Miami.

Best Supporting Actress – Deanna Favre.
Early in the season, Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was accused of sending suggestive text messages to a woman who worked for the New York Jets in 2008. Favre never denied the allegations. Yet, his wife stood by his side.
She finally spoke out about a month after the allegations took place, to Good Morning America.
"I'm a woman of faith," Deanna Favre told Good Morning America. "Faith has gotten me through many difficult struggles. It will get me through this one."
A classy answer from a classy lady. She didn’t run to the tabloids, she chose to handle the situation internally, between herself and her husband.
This award has nothing to do with my opinion of Brett Favre or his texting scandal. Deanna Favre is a breast cancer survivor, and she has helped her husband through problems with substance abuse and this most recent scandal. He is lucky to have her in his corner.

Best actor – Every soccer team. 
I am a soccer lover, but the one thing I hate about the professional game is the diving. It’s so fake, and obviously fake, and I don’t understand how the referees can possibly believe it. And it turns off Americans who are watching for the first time. Soccer’s integrity is at stake because diving has become part of the European and South American game.
There are those who actually defend diving, saying it is an extended practice open to both sides. But soccer does not flourish when diving occurs. On the contrary, when diving is tolerated, accepted and celebrated, soccer’s integrity as a sport comes into question.
There have been numerous cases where a dive has garnered a penalty kick, therefore altering the score of the game, and too often, changing the outcome. And this continues to be a regular occurrence. That is, until late 2009, when the leagues took a stand. In a UEFA Champion’s League game against Celtic, Arsenal’s Eduardo da Silva dived, winning a penalty kick. He scored on the kick, and his team ended up winning 3-1, and advanced to the tournament’s group stage. UEFA officials, however, retrospectively punished Eduardo with a two-game suspension for “deceiving the referee.”
Finally. The only way we can end diving is by punishing the “best actors” in the game.
            Best Actress – Kim Clijsters.
This one was tricky. It’s not an Olympic year, so women’s sports are really on the backburner. In 2010, Lindsay Vonn was named AP Female Athlete of the Year. But a year after the Olympics, she is no longer a household name. The Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova, the world’s most famous female athletes, are struggling with injuries and have fallen in the ranks.
Then, Clijsters won the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, to follow up her title at the U.S. Open in 2010.
Clijsters has been at the top of her game as of late, and it is actually her second go-around in the game. In 2007, at the age of 23 with two U.S. Open championships under her belt, the Belgian retired because of chronic injuries and to get married and start a family.
In 2009, Clijsters announced her comeback, and has risen to number one in the world (though currently number two), and has won the last two Grand Slams. All while juggling a husband and a three-year-old daughter.
Kim Clijsters might not be the face of Women’s Tennis, but she should be an inspiration to all women, who wonder how they can successfully juggle their personal and professional lives.
            So there you have it – the best at their roles in the sports world, in my opinion.

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