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home : columns : joel alvstad July 26, 2017

3/1/2017 2:26:00 PM
The mistake to end all mistakes at Oscars and memorable sports blunders

Joel Alvstad
Sports Editor

I'm not much of a movie buff. But every year, like clockwork, I try to get a little bit clued in when Oscar time rolls around.
I long joked that the only movies I ever saw had cartoon characters in them. As my kids have gotten older, I've gotten to watch a few more non-animated movies. But the truth is, I don't really go to the movies much.
In a typical year, I can claim to have seen upwards of half of the best picture nominees and almost all of the animated feature nominees.
This year? None, across the board.
So I tried my best to learn more about some of the nominated films and the performers up for awards.
Based on most everything I had read, it seemed that the Best Picture award was going to come down to either "La La Land" or "Moonlight." That's not to say that the other nominees weren't worthy, but most experts predicted a two-horse race.
And with the 14 nominations for "La La Land," coupled with the multitude of Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild honors, it seemed like a shoo-in.
And, at first, it was. It was announced as the Best Picture winner. That is, before a mistake was discovered.
Presenter Warren Beatty was given the wrong envelope. Apparently, the accounting firm brings two sets to the awards and somehow, Beatty was handed the extra "Actress in a Leading Role" envelope instead of the "Best Picture" envelope.
That gave the Oscars one of its most memorable, if not stunning and confusing, moments.
I listened to a bit of ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike show Monday morning, and the subject of memorable sports blunders came up. The list was pretty extensive. Bill Buckner's error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series tops most conventional lists. One I saw had two Minnesota moments in the top 20: Gary Anderson's field goal miss in the 1998 NFC championship game and Jim Marshall's wrong-way fumble return. I'd say that Blair Walsh's miss in the playoffs a year ago should be up there as well.
But it's hard to fathom a sports blunder quite what the Oscars saw Sunday. And you'd be hard pressed to find a sports blunder handled with as much dignity and grace as the producers of "La La Land" handled Sunday's stunning reversal.
Quick reading
One of this year's Oscar best picture nominees that intrigued me was the movie "Lion."
The movie is based on the memoir "A Long Way Home" by Saroo Brierley. Brierley's tale is a harrowing trip down memory lane, as he recalls a childhood of poverty in India, how he was separated from his family and adopted by an Australian couple. Brierley then talks about the "needle in a haystack" search to find his birth family.
It is a fascinating read and I've heard from some people who saw the heart-wrenching movie. The book was a surprisingly-quick read for me and I highly recommend it.
Only in Minnesota
If you recall, last week I wrote about getting in a round of golf at Windom Country Club on the day before President's Day.
Less than a week later, Windom was digging out from between four and eight inches of snowfall. Areas to the east got over a foot of snow in some places.
It could have been worse. When the first storm projections were coming out, Windom was in the bullseye for between 16 and 24 inches of snow - less than a week after it was almost 70 degrees.
Now, the weather is starting to warm and much of what fell last week is already gone. With 50s in the forecast for the weekend, whatever is still on the ground today likely will be long gone by Sunday.

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