The Academy Awards shows its anti-golf bias once again

January 19, 2016

The [nominees for the 2016 Academy Awards were announced last week and do you know what got the shaft? Golf. Again.

OK, so this year isn't the best time to complain. There wasn't exactly an abundance of great candidates. In fact, we're not sure if there were any candidates (Oh, right. "The Squeeze". . . ). But that doesn't explain the award show's lifetime of turning its back on our favorite sport. It might be time for the golf community to stage an Oscars boycott.

As far as we can tell, a golf-based movie has never even received an Oscar nomination. For anything. Not for best actor. (Hello, Will Smith in "The Legend of Bagger Vance.") Not for best director. (Does Harold Ramis' work on "Caddyshack" ring a bell?) Not even for best original score. (Um, has the Academy ever listened to the title theme from "The Greatest Game Ever Played"?)

Sure, silly comedies like "Caddyshack" or "Happy Gilmore" -- no matter what the subject matter -- often don't receive any love from the stuffy Academy (If "Anchorman" couldn't land a nomination, nothing will), but what about a movie that blends laughter and heartache as brilliantly as "Tin Cup"? Just watch the movie's bittersweet climax:

Yes, spinning a 3-wood back into the hole from 235 yards at the U.S. Open is a bit of a stretch, but this is Hollywood we're talking about! Oh, and nothing for Kevin Costner? Eh, we can see that. But Cheech Marin couldn't get a supporting actor nod for his brilliant portrayal of Romeo the caddie? SNUB.

Or what about more serious films that chronicle historic events or people like "The Greatest Game Ever Played" or the biopic "Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius." Those movies even starred legit actors like Shia LaBeouf and Jim Caviezel! Then there are cult classics like "Dead Solid Perfect" (based on the novel by Dan Jenkins) and "Follow the Sun," the story of Ben Hogan's comeback from a near-fatal car accident. You can't have a more inspirational plot than that! And still, no love from the Academy.

When the documentary "The Short Game" came out in 2013, it looked like golf might end its long drought at film's biggest awards show -- even if it came in the documentary category. But despite winning the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival that year, the Oscars didn't come calling.

Meanwhile, a documentary about a high school football team coming of age in Memphis, "Undefeated," won the Academy Award for best documentary just two years before. And SPOILER ALERT: the team didn't even go undefeated!

In other words, the Oscars likes sports, especially boxing ("Rocky," "Raging Bull," "Million Dollar Baby"). It just doesn't like golf. At least, until there's a movie about the sport directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day Lewis and Meryl Streep. Maybe that would get the Academy's attention.