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We wouldn't wait to look at the film

The Baltimore Sun

If you're like us - which you're probably not; you're probably smarter and better looking and make more money, but on the off chance you are like us - then there are only a few televised events that can bring gender harmony to your living room sofa.

Because American Idol makes us want to stick a sharp object in our temples, our list is short: the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards.

We consistently marvel at the way these productions bring together husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, lovers and friends, for hours of bloated, overhyped, fascinating television programming.

It doesn't matter if our spouses sometimes confuse Laurence Maroney with Laurence Fishburne. Or that during the red carpet show, we occasionally find ourselves pondering whether Queen Latifah, sexy as she is, could be a fullback in the right system. For a few hours, we're able to join together and celebrate our respective entertainment vices in style, whether it's over chicken wings, chili and beer or mini crab cakes, puffed pastries and champagne.

All of this explains why we're quietly devastated that the strike by the Writers Guild of America is threatening to cancel the Oscars. But we can only imagine what the outcry would be if the Super Bowl were canceled. So we're going to do our best to rectify the situation while we keep our fingers crossed that Hollywood brokers a last-minute deal. We're handing out Oscars for the 2007 NFL season.

Best Documentary Feature -- Bill Belichick, New England Patriots. This one has been covered to death, but for a variety of reasons, the Patriots' brazen recording of their opponent's defensive hand signals earlier in the season reminds us of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. Both were masterminded by a polarizing slob who likes wearing sweat shirts, and we still don't know how outraged we should be about both. Since Moore's not much of an actor, here's our choice to play Belichick if the Pats' perfect season ever makes it to the big screen: Philip Seymour Hoffman. He might have nailed his role as Truman Capote, but we're pretty sure playing a wife-stealing grumpy genius like Belichick might go down as his greatest triumph.

Best Actress -- Terrell Owens, Dallas Cowboys. Though he was mostly quiet during the season, T.O. came through when it counted, bawling on the podium when asked about Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson. When you think about it, T.O. is like Diane Keaton as Annie Hall, and we're Alvy Singer. He's sexy and fun, but flaky and crazy, and for some reason, we can't seem to move on. We can't let go. Maybe it's because, in the end, we're the neurotic mess. And as Alvy says at the end of the movie, we need the eggs. Only in this case, "eggs" are "touchdown catches" and "drama." Here's hoping Angela Bassett plays him in the movie: Jess and Tony's Excellent Cabo Adventure.

Best Special (Teams) Effects -- Devin Hester, Chicago Bears. The Bears in 2006 and the Bears in 2007 are like the first two installments of The Matrix. The first installment starts out with so much promise and exceeds everyone's expectations, fooling you into thinking that it will only get better from here. The next installment is a poorly executed, bloated farce that plays out like a two-hour car crash. Hester, however, reminds us of Keanu Reeves' character, Neo. He can't carry a team, much as Reeves can't carry a film, but, mercy, is he fun to watch! It's almost as if he bends time and space. It's a shame Rex Grossman makes us want to take the blue pill from Morpheus so we can wake up and pretend the 2007 season never happened.

Least Supporting Actress -- Jessica Simpson. Never mind the fiesta in Cabo. The real mistake was wearing that awful pink No. 9 Cowboys jersey to a game. It was the equivalent of Bjork wearing that dying swan dress a few years ago. The Cowboys don't wear pink. They wear blue, white and silver. If these colors do not suit you, sweetie, support another team. Plus, despite popular sentiment, you are not as hot as Carrie Underwood, who, as an added bonus, has Jesus on her side. If Hollywood does green-light Jessie's Choice, we nominate Reese Witherspoon to play Simpson, with the hope that she might be able to properly explore Jessica's emotional depth, or lack thereof.

Best Actor -- Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers. Remember when Al Pacino won an Oscar for Scent of a Woman, even though it was probably his most cartoonish role because all he did was play "Al Pacino" and shout his lines the entire film? That was Favre this season. Especially in the playoffs. It sure seemed to us like he was playing the role of "Brett Favre, fun-loving quarterback," throwing snowballs and underhand passes, except against the New York Giants, when it was so darn cold and he looked a lot like a 38-year-old dad with salt-and-pepper hair who wants to go inside but can't because his kids are begging him to play in the snow. When they make Favre's life into an ESPN original movie (and you know it's going to happen), they'd be wise to throw a bunch of money at Ben Affleck, who excels at overacting.

Lifetime Achievement Award -- Ray Lewis, Ravens. Watching Ray this season was like watching Denzel Washington in Spike Lee's He Got Game. Even though the overall product was a complete mess, you have to admire the effort. And the Ravens' quarterback play was probably as bad as Ray Allen's acting in that film. In all likelihood, 2008 will be Lewis' last season in Baltimore, unless he decides, for some inexplicable reason, he doesn't need a $16 million signing bonus. If you look at the 2000 season as Lewis' Training Day, when he, like Denzel, made it OK to root for the morally ambiguous antihero, then maybe next season can be his American Gangster.

Least Supporting Actor -- Michael Vick, Prisoner No. 33765-183. Remember when flaky Winona Rider was supposed to play Mary Corleone in The Godfather, Part III but dropped out right before filming started, forcing Francis Ford Coppola to cast his own daughter? We wish we could forget, but Joey Harrington's cringe-worthy performance at quarterback dredged up memories of Sofia Coppola this season. If Bobby Petrino were any kind of film buff, he would have pulled a Robert Duvall and sat this one out from the beginning, instead of phoning it in as he did until he went after the Arkansas job.

kevin.vanvalkenburg@baltsun.com

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