The Red Carpet Gridiron


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Tom Brady is a badass. Yup, I'm a Pats fan, the only two reasons being that one, Tom Brady's badassery destroys flying machines, and two, the fact that the Pats have men deck themselves out in excellent Revolutionary War costumes at their home games. But, mostly, Tom Brady.

So you can imagine my disappointment and lackluster spirit over this weekend's game. It will be an almost-but-not-quite epic show down between Ben "the Viking-bearded" Roethlisberger, and Aaron "the greatest quarterback Cal has ever had and football demigod" Rodgers.

I know, I know. The last thing you want to hear is a girl spouting her views on offensive strategy and insert-two-hyphenated-names-here defense when ESPN and co. have over-analyzed every last player, family member and Nike shoe sponsor for the past few weeks.

Rather than bore you with my predictions of which barely-clothed celebrity will sit in a bathtub and be featured in a phone commercial this year, I will start off a new round of forecasting. Just as one season draws to an end, here comes - well, really, continues - the endless, trivial and tedious analysis of the brain-children of sycophantic Los Angeles producers.

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards, ladies and gentlemen, hosted by Anne Hathaway and James Franco, the most awkward pairing in recent memory, is upon us. Well, there's still two more weeks. Which, in critics speak, means "upon us." Pass the popcorn.

The Starting Kick-off: The Academy likes to begin with the Supporting Actor/Actress category. Not too flashy, not too obscure. Christian Bale - a Daniel Day-Lewis on steroids - is finally getting the nomination he deserves. Unlike Michael Vick though, his transformation will undoubtedly lead him to movie gold.

In the female race of the same category, I'm really pulling for a Helena Bonham Carter upset. Bellatrix Lestrange is such good fun, as is the Duchess of York/Elizabeth I/mother of Her Majesty. But alas, Melissa Leo's portrayal of a loud-mouthed, female version of Billy Lowman vis-a-vis "Death of a Salesman" in "The Fighter" will score her another one of those shining naked statuettes.

The First Down: I'm hoping tomorrow's game opens with a long, soaring 50-yard pass by Aaron Rodgers deep into enemy territory. It will be beautiful. It will be exhilarating. It will be soul-crushing for the Steelers' defense and result in miserable breakdowns on the sidelines. And it most probably won't happen.

But I can assure you, that exhilarating, beautiful opening drive for The Social Network will occur. Aaron Sorkin - yes, I'm still an obsessed fan - will easily take one home for Best Original Screenplay. At long last, the god of smart television writing gets one for the big screen.

The Third Down: I know, I ignored the two-yard gain on second down. Hopefully Rashard Mendenhall will be pulling a lot of those, and only those. The third down is nail-biting, exciting and essential. I'm giving this one to Best Original Score, a hotly contested race between Alexander Desplat for the subtle score of "The King's Speech," Hans Zimmer for the jarring brilliance of "Inception," and the wonderfully written, ingeniously crafted music of "The Social Network." Here we go with extending that drive toward the end zone, as Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor nab the Oscar for creating an essential component in the telling of Facebook's founding.

The field goal: Field goals are for wussies. Field goals are for teams like Auburn that chicken out from going into overtime in the BCS title game. Field goals are for Rex Ryan and his Just End The Season (JETS) team.

The Academy isn't willing to give a nod to Christopher Nolan. Even though David Fincher will take home the Best Director award, at least show some respect to Mr. Nolan, the man who single-handedly executed the summer's biggest blockbuster, not to mention a mind-fuck film of mass appeal.

The Interception: Benny R is gonna throw an interception tomorrow. I'm not hoping for it, I know it. His large and lumbering ways will come to an end. The biggest no-brainer of the night, besides "Toy Story 3" winning for Best Animated Feature, is Colin Firth finally feeling love from the States as he stoops down in all his Mr. Darcy-like grace and class, and takes the Best Actor award once and for all.

I'm also feeling a fumble coming. Not as certain as the interception, but just as likely. Natalie Portman for Best Actress is almost, but not quite, a given.

The Touchdown: And so we end here. Best Picture of 2011. The competition is really just between "The Social Network" and "The King's Speech." The academy likes to flip from their evil counterpart, the HFPA. Last year "Avatar" won at the Globes, and "The Hurt Locker" got sweet vengeance against the wild-haired James Cameron.

A similar situation arises this year - the story of the marvel that changed social interaction won the Globes, but the tale of class, character, and overcoming obstac - alright I'll stop with the cheesiness.

"The King's Speech" takes it all. And they deserve it.

May the old win over the new, and the meat over the steel.

Go Brits, and go Packers!


Enter Lynn's Oscars betting pool at [email protected]

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