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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced the Best Picture Nominations for 2010. The ten films chosen are appropriate titles for the personality and temperament of many of today's athletes, so lets take a look at the nominees.
True Grit: No-one plays the game with more passion than Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Despite his size, Pedroia plays the game with True Grit everyday. And like the film's star, the diminutive Pedroia looks like a 14 year old - and both are fearless.
Black Swan: Shaquille O'Neal. Chasing after loose balls, Shaq is taking swan dives into the front row with increasing regularity. And like Natalie Portman, his role is in jeopardy, as another O'Neal - Jermaine - waits in the wings. When Shaq rebounds he is the White Swan. But when he tumbles all over the floor and makes unnecessary fouls, he is the Black Swan.
The Fighter: Milton Bradley, who was arrested last week for threatening a woman, has a long history of antagonistic behavior, once challenging fans to fight him at Dodger Stadium. It wouldn't surprise me to find Bradley holed up in a crack house like the character played by Christian Bale.
The King's Speech: Lebron James, known as King James, held a notorious press conference this summer. The sports world had anxiously awaited the King's speech for months. When announcing he would sign with the Miami Heat, King James declared "I'm taking my talents to South Beach", which has become one of sports' more memorable soliloquies.
127 Hours: This is the amount of time it will take before the Pittsburgh Pirates are totally out of contention. They have a high mountain to climb before they improve, and most fans would give their left arm for a superstar to cut them loose. As a small market team with little salary flexibility, the team lies between a rock and a hard place.
Inception: Bonus Baby Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals' top draft pick, waits excitedly - along with all baseball fans - for his Inception to Major League Baseball. But Washington management says they will start Harper in the lowly 'single A' minor league team - stealing his dreams.
Social Network: The NBA. From LeBron's tweets to VH1's 'NBA wives', there is a world of jealousy, greed and failed friendships in the Social Network of the NBA. There was a time when a player's status could be found in the sports pages. Now we read it on the Facebook wall.
The Kids Are All Right: Like the protagonists in the movie, the Warriors hail from the Golden State. And they also need a donor to save their NBA lifeline. They are the youngest team in the league, but with rising star Monta Ellis, the kids are all right.
Toy Story 3: Childish Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban always had a fondness for toys, installing dvd players and other gadgets in the players' locker room stalls. This year the Mavs are giving away bobblehead toys at ELEVEN different games. And their team is held down by an aging Kidd. The Mavericks Toy Story is ready to break at any moment, just like Woody.
Winters Bone: Quarterback Brett Favre made news this winter when a New York Jets cheerleader accused him of sending her a photo of his, um, "second and nine". Many fans responded to Favre with a cold, chilly reception. So when Favre watches the upcoming Super Bowl, he will regret his Winters Bone.
And now the envelope, please. The final votes have been cast, and the winner is... LeBron James, who overcame the issues with his speech, and won over his minions.