Sunday, March 7, 2010

March Madness, Lakers and Oscars

I'm gonna just keep it random this week. My mind is still a mush from the exciting HS championships this week and getting ready for the state regional tournament starting Tuesday.

Selection Sunday is next week and my Top 4 No. 1 seeds are pretty set in stone. Syracuse (my favorite to win it), Kansas and Kentucky are no brainers. And I'm glad my Duke squad is in line for that 4th seed even though I think they benefitted from a weak conference. I still think about cringing as Georgetown smashed them.

Syracuse, Kansas and Kentucky are the dominant teams this year but I think outside of them, anybody else is suspect for an upset or poised for a surprising run. I just know it sucks being a West Coast guy and basketball is way down over here from AZ to Washington.

Just know that on Facebook, I'll be gearing up for another yearly study in bracketology. And Gonzaga still sucks.

3 straight losses for the Lakers. We're reeling a bit and frankly I think the road is wearing us down. Two close games with Miami and Orlando, along with Charlotte playing tough as usual. If anything, I think it's all the more reason why the team needs home court advantage in June.

Orlando almost blew that game after a late double digit lead so I don't think they can hang with a team for 7 games but Vince Carter has perhaps been the best off-season pickup for any team. He's added another weapon to this team and found a new life for his career. But I still think Cleveland is the team to beat in the East.

But the Lakers for some reason just arent the same confident bunch I saw when Kobe went out. Our offense is stagnant and I don't know if I can blame Kobe for being a gunner or guys just not stepping up.

And with Dallas on a roll, I think it's only a concern that the West is going to be a lot tougher than it has been.

I was pretty happy with the Oscars as far as the awards go. All 4 acting awards went as I expected and The Hurt Locker deserved Best Picture/Director. Congrats to history made with Kathryn Bigelow winning for Best Director and Geoffrey Fletcher for adapted screenplay for "Precious" (first female and African-American in respective categories)

It was nice of Mo'Nique to wear her outfit as a tribute to Hattie McDaniel, the first Black person to win an Oscar. She dedicated her win to McDaniel in a beautifully moving speech. And like I said on Twitter, I hope she stays the same and doesn't let her ego get in the the way of her career like it did for Jaime Foxx.

And of course, the usual army of critics came in from the Black community, wondering why Mo'Nique had to win for a negative Black role. Our history with the Academy Awards is spotty and yes, Black actors have won awards and nominations for shady characters roles (Halle Berry for being raped by Billy Bob Thornton, Denzel for being a crooked cop, Terrence Howard for being a pimp..list goes on)

BUT, the problem with that our folks overlook the actors who win for positive characters (Denzel for Glory*, Lou Gossett Jr for Officer and a Gentleman, Jamie Foxx for Ray, Morgan Freeman for Million Dollar Baby, Sidney Poitier and Whoopi Goldberg). Besides, anti-heroes or troubled characters have ALWAYS made for better acting jobs than perfect, dignified characters - much more layered in my opinion.

*by the way, people forget Denzel has two of them. Glory is one of my favorite movies ever and it's a shame people overlook the fine cast and the fact Denzel won at the peak of the Black film Renaissance making noise (late 80's of Spike Lee, Keenan Ivory Wayans and Robert Townsend).

So I guess I'll make plans to see Up In The Air, Hurt Locker, Precious and a few of those documentaries. Any thoughts?

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