Why the Stanley Cup is the Greatest Trophy in Sports

Stanley-CupThe Stanley Cup Finals begin tonight, and although my dearly loved New York Rangers will not be part of the contest this time, the Cup itself is still majestic and magnificent — and simply the best trophy in all of sports.

The 1993-'94 Rangers' names on the Cup

The 1993-’94 Rangers’ names on the Cup

It is a thing of beauty (unlike that… object that gets foisted on the winner of the World Cup) and simplicity (unlike the Commissioner’s Trophy in Major League Baseball), and everybody who wins it gets his name engraved on it forever. It’s not just a hunk of metal that gets passed around each year (unlike the NFL’s Lombardi Trophy). It’s a prize that is imbued with the spirit of the victors; every player becomes part of the Cup, literally and figuratively.

It’s the hardest prize to win, but unquestionably worth it.

Click on the link to see a brilliant cartoon infographic from The Nib that distills the Stanley Cup’s riveting history into pictures.

You can watch the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning begin the best-of-seven series tonight.

Gunn Fires Back at Superhero Haters

gunnraccoonIf you watched Sunday night’s 87th Academy Awards broadcast, you could not have missed – amid all the back-patting and self-love – a clear contempt for superhero movies, from host Neil Patrick Harris — y’know, the guy from the Harold & Kumar movies — to Jack Black‘s routine, there was a clear vibe that superhero movies are not art and not welcome.
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The Battle Over Oscar (Sorta) Rages On!

Yeah, yeah, yeah — so Ellen DeGeneres’ “selfie” with Meryl Streep and about 100 other A-listers during last night’s Oscars telecast was retweeted so many times it “broke” Twitter. And, yeah, it’s a cute picture, as you can see.

But my favorite photo set came from the extraordinarily talented 2013 Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and newly-minted Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o (for 12 Years a Slave), who staged a fake fight over the golden boy backstage (J-Law was nominated in the same category, for American Hustle.)

Bonus: That’s Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto in the background, talking to Best Actor winner Matthew McConaughey.

DOCTOR WHO Triumphs at National TV Awards

For those of us in America who might have missed the big news, DOCTOR WHO and Matt Smith walked away with a couple of major awards at Britain’s National Television Awards on Wednesday night.

Smith claimed the Best Drama Performance award over Maggie Smith (DOWNTON ABBEY), Martin Clunes (DOC MARTIN) and Miranda Hart (CALL THE MIDWIFE). Yes, apparently the categories were co-ed. Executive producer Steven Moffat and co-star Jenna Coleman (Clara) accepted on Smith’s behalf, because he was at a West End theater, where he is starring in the play American Psycho — but the former Doctor did record a video acceptance message from backstage:

The show itself, DOCTOR WHO, won the Best Drama gong over BROADCHURCH, DOWNTON ABBEY and CALL THE MIDWIFE. The last time the show won was back in 2010. Coleman also accepted this award, saying:

“Fifty years and still going strong. Well done WHO!  I think this award absolutely belongs to the team, the cast and crew who are grafting away in Cardiff as we speak. The genius and mastermind that is Moff, and of course Matt Smith. Thanks to everyone who voted.”

Oscars’ Biggest Snubs — 2014 Edition

snubs1Sometimes, it’s an honor just to be nominated for an Academy Award — and sometimes being passed over is a snub!

These are the most egregious errors on the part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, in order of outrageousness and indefensibility, from brain-meltingly inexplicable to bemusedly obtuse — according to me, at least.

Best Picture:
  American Hustle
 • Captain Phillips
 • Dallas Buyers Club
 • Gravity
 • Her
 • Nebraska
 • Philomena
 • 12 Years a Slave
 • The Wolf of Wall Street

Snubbed: Inside Llewyn Davis. On the surface, this story of a struggling folk musician in 1961 New York is just a small and quirky film, but the Oscar-winning Coen Brothers (Fargo, No Country for Old Men) have crafted yet another idiosyncratic movie about a particularly peculiar fellow moving through a world he barely comprehends — Llewyn Davis is a purist who refuses to compromise even one iota to claim the fame he desperately desires but which dangles just beyond his reach.
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Nominations for the 86th Annual Academy Awards

jlawhustleHere is a complete list of the nominations for the 2014 Oscars, which will be handed out on March 2 in Los Angeles.

Best Picture:
  American Hustle
 • Captain Phillips
 • Dallas Buyers Club
 • Gravity
 • Her
 • Nebraska
 • Philomena
 • 12 Years a Slave
 • The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Director:
 David O. Russell, American Hustle
 • Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
 • Alexander Payne, Nebraska
 • Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
 • Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Christian Bale, American Hustle
 • Bruce Dern, Nebraska
 • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
 • Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
 • Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Amy Adams, American Hustle
 • Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
 • Sandra Bullock, Gravity
 • Judi Dench, Philomena
 • Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
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Look! Up on the Screen! It’s a Crappy Movie!

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????All too often, we hear people say, in regards to awards, “It’s an honor just to be nominated.” Well, that’s not the case with The 34th Annual Razzie Awards, from the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation, designed as the anti-Oscars to point out the worst work of the year in Hollywood. It is definitely not an honor to be nominated. And actually winning? Well…

Here is a complete list of losers hacks nominees for 2013. You can find out who blew the biggest chunks when the losers winners are announced online March 1, the day before the Oscars.


After Earth

Grown-Ups 2

The Lone Ranger

A Madea Christmas

Movie 43
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Clone War: Tatiana vs. the Emmys

tatianaThe grotesque prejudice against so-called “genre” shows and performers reached its absolute nadir this morning when the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences declined to nominate Tatiana Maslany of BBC America’s Orphan Black for an Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama category. This snub is among the biggest (and most indefensible) in Emmy history, and renders the competition in that category meaningless.

This unfathomable hatred has meant that truly deserving shows and performances never received the recognition they were due — Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sarah Michelle Gellar (a Daytime Emmy winner), for example, were never acknowledged by the Academy despite the fact that BTVS is a genuine cultural touchstone of quality. More recently there was Battlestar Galactica and Fringe. And now, with just its first season under its belt, Orphan Black appears poised to be the latest victim of the genre ghetto.
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65th Primetime Emmy Nominations Announced

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

The nominations for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards contained the usual allotment of familiar names and past winners, as well the odd outrageous oversight — Tatiana Maslany ignored for playing multiple starring roles on Orphan Black, anyone? But that’s all par for the course for the Emmys.

The big “controversy” this year will probably be over the nods for House of Cards and Arrested Development, two series that are not even on broadcast or cable networks — they are only available from Netflix. Should they have been nominated for TV awards?

However the nominees were selected by the members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences — and it would appear most voters just copy/pasted last year’s ballot, as usual — here they are:


Breaking Bad, AMC

Downton Abbey, PBS

Game of Thrones, HBO

Homeland, Showtime

House of Cards, Netflix

Mad Men, AMC
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DOCTOR WHO Earns a Prestigious Peabody


The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication presented a Peabody to DOCTOR WHO this week, recognizing its ageless contribution to television — which seems particularly appropriate this year, as the show celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The citation read:

“Seemingly immortal, 50-years-old and still running, this engaging, imaginative sci-fi/fantasy series is awarded an Institutional Peabody for evolving with technology and the times like nothing else in the known television universe.”

The George Foster Peabody Awards recognize distinguished achievement in the broadcast arts and it is the most highbrow, distinguished and prestigious award in American media. It was accepted Monday night (May 20) on behalf of the program by executive producer and lead writer Steven Moffat as well as stars Matt Smith (the Doctor) and Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara).