The Philadelphia sports fan’s guide to the Oscars

Sunday is Hollywood’s biggest night, the Academy Awards, and did you know that many of the nominees and categories have a distinct Philly sports connection?

If you’re any kind of movie buff, Sunday night is what you live for, as Hollywood’s best and brightest are recognized for their achievements in film. And if you’re also a big Philadelphia sports fan, things will doubly interesting, with many nominated films and categories having direct Philly tie-ins. Let’s explore.

1917 A heart-pounding look at the last year that the Philadelphia Flyers actually won the Stanley Cup. The Orange and Black decimated opponents with an unparalleled mix of scoring prowess, physical play, and mustard gas. If the film can win top honors, it would be gratifying for the players from that team, all of whom are still employed by the Flyers.

Joker A glimpse into the descent of Philadelphia Phillies President Andy MacPhail. MacPhail, however, does not have a condition where he is unable to control his laughter, because that would actually require him to do something. The high point is MacPhail’s singing, especially his stirring duet of Send in the Clowns with GM Matt Klentak.

Best Adaptation of Source Material:  Gabe Kapler and the 2019 Phillies for basically repeating 2018. High expectations, good start, total meltdown. It really captured the spirit of the original. Charles Barkley raved, saying that the Phillies truly are “The Cleveland Browns of MLB.”

Jojo Rabbit If you know what this movie is about, then you know that I’m not going to riff on it.

Little Women Another one that I’m not going near. I have a family to support.

Best Actor:  This has to go to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for his stunning transformation from Super Bowl hero to broken-down problem child in less than two years. Jeffery, I mean “the anonymous source,” certainly has done his share of acting up during his career, and now he’ll finally be rewarded for it. Let’s just hope they spell his last name correctly on the trophy and don’t put it as “Jefferies,” like half of Philadelphia still calls him for some reason. Jeffrey, of course, can be seen in the film Parasite.

Best Supporting Actor:  For the second year in a row, Andrew Knapp takes the honor for acting like a major league player.

Marriage Story A look at the dissolution of the relationship between Philadelphia 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Things start off well enough, but irreconcilable differences appear after a few years when two strong-headed individuals refuse to compromise and budge one inch for the benefit of their team. The climax occurs in an epic argument when Simmons gets directly in Embiid’s face since he is only effective from short distance. Embiid, meanwhile, is totally thrown off by the spacing issue.

Best Sound:  Bryce Harper‘s phone, whenever he gets an alert from his bank that another cool mill has been deposited into his account.

Worst Sound:  Just like every year, when you tune in for the first Phillies game of the season and have that split-second when you forget Harry Kalas is gone and then hear Tom McCarthy and realize you have another year of that to listen to. Sorry to be so harsh on Tom, but hey, it could be worse.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood The tale of Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who realized that he was terrible at producing films and decided to buy an NFL team instead. There were some rough times, but it was all worth it after a victory in Super Bowl LII. Lurie’s career is now basically a wash after you deduct points for the made-for-TV movie where a garbageman (Tony Danza) ends up kicking for the Eagles. It’s just hard to live that down.

Best Visual Effects:  This will go to Phillies owner John Middleton for digging deep into his wallet and giving us a team that really looked good and primed for success in 2019. Because that’s all that mattered, right?

Next: Phillies: Dumb features of the 2020 schedule

Best of luck to all the everyone, but especially those with Philly flair. Even if they don’t win, remember, It’s an honor just to be nominated.

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