The Loop

Five things to talk about on the course: The Oscars, NBA trade deadline, and one pro athlete's unflattering photo

February 20, 2015

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. The Oscars: The biggest awards show of them all is here and it appears it's a two-movie race for best picture between "Boyhood" and "Birdman." I hate to be a downer, but I thought both were overrated. The concept behind using the same cast over a period of 12 years in "Boyhood" was cool, but the movie itself didn't blow me away. And "Birdman," despite tremendous performances by Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone, was just a little too out there for my taste. I guess I'm rooting for "The Imitation Game" or "American Sniper." Or maybe the Academy will surprise everyone by overlooking this year's underwhelming crop of films and retroactively give "The Shawshank Redemption" the award it deserved 20 years ago!

4. Pablo Sandoval: Speaking of guys needing to get back into playing shape, the big (literally) free-agent signing by the Red Sox in the off-season had this unflattering photo of him taken on Tuesday:

Safe to say Pablo Sandoval didn't miss too many meals this offseason [cough] #redsox #worst2firstround2

— Steve Silva (@stevesilva) February 17, 2015

Sandoval, known as the "Kung Fu Panda" during his successful stint with the San Francisco Giants, signed a five-year deal for $95 million. He responded to the criticism by claiming "that picture caught me at a bad angle." Don't you hate when that happens?

5. Ryder Cup captains: DL3 will get chance No. 2 to lead Team USA, which has drawn somewhat of a mixed reaction from fans as well as puzzlement over why a Ryder Cup Task Force was needed to come to such an unoriginal conclusion. Not surprisingly, Darren Clarke was named Europe's captain for 2016. Of course, none of it will matter when the Europeans win again, but let the over-analyzing begin!