My 10 Favorite Movies of 2015, So Far

It’s hard to put together a “Top 10” when we’re 7 and a half months into the year and Oscars season hasn’t hit. I’m also not the one handing out any Golden Globes or Academy Awards, so that’s why I prefer saying “Favorite” when putting this list together.

Honorable Mentions

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland was a refreshing original from Disney that we hadn’t seen in a while that doesn’t have “PIXAR” all over it. In a world (voice-over guy voice) when franchises and sequels rule all, director and writer Brad Bird told a story that combined a mixture of our fascination with the future and a deep seeded love many of us may have from our very first visit to Epcot at Disney World. George Clooney and Britt Robertson play characters who shine for their innovative minds, while Hugh Laurie antagonizes with some of the bleakest/best lines of the movie:

“There are simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starving – how is that even possible?!”

I also enjoyed the hat-tip to old animated Disney character names with Keegan-Michael Key as “Hugo” (Hunchback of Notre Dame) and Kathryn Hahn as “Ursula” (The Little Mermaid).

Child 44

Child 44

Not too many people liked this movie, but I did. Tom Hardy reunites with Gary Oldman for the first time since Dark Knight Rises and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. They are two of the better actors in the business and it shows in this film. The story is incredible. The film opens with a line that is repeated throughout, “The is no murder in paradise.” Russia banned this film because of how it portrayed its citizens who live in fear of their government. I won’t get into real global politics, but imagine a world where a serial killer can roam free because law enforcement isn’t allowed to admit there is a problem. This film frustrates the viewer because of that, but the dodging and weaving Hardy must execute is what makes the movie fascinating to me.

People Places Things

People Places Things

You know how awkward and painful The-Breakup is? People Places Things took the subject of breaking up and made it suck WAY LESS. When Jermaine Clement isn’t voicing over super annoying horses on a beach with Hannah Davis, he’s a terrific indie comedy actor. On top of being “Weekend Fun” Dad of the year, Clement’s character is a graphic novelist whose art serves as interludes for the story. Regina Hall (Scary Movie) and Jessica Williams (The Daily Show) give excellent supporting performances and so do the kids, Aundrea and Gia Gadsby.

The List

10. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Age of Ultron List

Avengers: Age of Ultron wasn’t great and wasn’t even the best Marvel film of this year…but it didn’t have to be. I understand Joss Whedon really beat himself up over the pressures of making a follow up to the first Avengers flick, but his final product was exactly what I wanted. James Spader NAILED IT as Ultron, and it was so creepy how the robot featured his mannerisms. The Marvel Cinematic Universe and its timeline of films are basically a long TV series of epic 2 hour episodes. The ongoing story evolved well in Age of Ultron, and we got all the action, witty banter, and intros to new characters that we needed…before things get really hairy in Captain America: Civil War. 

9. Ant-Man

Ant Man 2015

I had some personal investment in Ant-Man, because I wanted it to surprise people for how good it could be. After opening weekend, there was much chest-pounding and “Told ya!” from me and I am totally shameless about it. The Ant-Man story in the MCU has been rearranged, as Hank Pym was the one who originally assembled The Avengers in the comics and also created Ultron. The film was also more of a “changing of the guard” than an origin story, as Hank (Michael Douglas) was passing the suit on to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd).

Rather than be an action film with some comedy, Ant-Man was a comedy with plenty of action. I LOVED that about the film. I died laughing every time Michael Pena was on screen and I appreciated the fact Paul Rudd didn’t have to try being someone else (like Chris Pratt had to for Jurassic World ). It was a fun one-off movie that still moved the Marvel story along and concluded with an awesome scene after the credits.

8. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION

The latest in the Ethan Hunt/IMF saga did not disappoint. Rogue Nation continued the fun-spy-stunt vibe that many of us loved in Ghost Protocol, but established itself as its own film more than a sequel. Tom Cruise may be a crazy person in real life, but on the screen he is good an action star as any. This installment didn’t really force a love story on you either but more of a mutual respect between Hunt and MI6 agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), that may or may not have led to some natural attraction. Faust was a badass character in this film too.

07. Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton

I walked out of the theater with one thought: “Helluva story.” The NWA biopic directed by Friday director F. Gary Gray grabs a hold of the viewer, gets the head bobbing/toe tapping, and reminds many of us (who grew up or lived in the era that revolutionized hip-hop) of what was going on in the streets. It’s a long film, but it’s almost like 3 different stories mashed into one following Eric “Eazy-E” Wright, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. I do feel that the stories regarding Ice Cube and Dr. Dre were cleaned up a little because they were producers on the film, but that was expected.

Oshea Jackson Jr. playing his father felt perfect and both Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre) and Jason Mitchell (Eazy-E) gave excellent performances. You really do get chills when both Snoop Dogg and Tupac are introduced. And of course Paul Giamatti settles in fine as his now typical a-hole manager role.

6. Love & Mercy

Love & Mercy

Speaking of Giamatti a-hole manager roles…Love & Mercy edges out Straight Outta Compton for me because Paul Dano gives one of the definite Oscar-worthy performances from this summer as a young Brian Wilson. I do recommend listening to Pet Sounds before watching the movie, and then become amazed at how wrong Wilson’s father and Mike Love were about the album when the Beach Boys originally recorded it. The process Wilson goes through composing his music makes you say “Wow” out loud.

My one fear going into the theater was John Cusack mailing in another gig where he seems like “John Cusack as John Cusack…as (insert historical figure)”. Nope. I actually forgot at times that it was Cusack as the older version of Wilson. I also have to say that Elizabeth Banks pulls off one of the more powerful scenes as someone standing up to a threatening jackass bully like Giamatti’s character. I may have slow clapped as it happened.

5. Ex Machina

Ex Machina

Ex Machina is one of the great surprises of 2015. Throughout the entire film, you are so unsure as to when something is going to go wrong and who is really in control. The robot, Ava (played by Alicia Vikander), has you on a string and you can’t do anything about it. Oscar Isaac’s performance adds to the suspense like a time bomb waiting to explode. Then, when the credits roll at the end, you have no idea if you should be afraid of the technology you rely so much on (i.e. cell phones, Google, EVERYTHING). A movie that makes you question such things, because they are sort of plausible, is undeniable as a great thriller.

4. Inside Out

Inside Out

Dammit, Pixar…You made us feel feelings again, which I guess is expected in a film LITERALLY about feelings. Inside Out  really is the emotional roller coaster that it’s advertised as. It is casted masterfully for each of the different character “feelings” in young Riley’s (Kaitlyn Dias) head. The two characters that felt dead on to their real-life counterparts were Sadness (Phyllis Smith) and of course Anger (Lewis Black). What made the film this good though, was how it reminded the viewer how important and natural each of your feelings can be, no matter your age. High five for deep overall messages, Pixar.

3. The End of the Tour

The End of the Tour

The film is based on a 5-day interview between Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) and author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) following the release of ‘Infinite Jest’ in 1996. The reason I hold this film in such high regard is because it felt like the most honest interaction between two people given their statuses and positions. Their humor, insecurities, competitiveness, and self awareness hit home with me, and Segel captured that the best as Wallace. It’s also funny now that movies taking place in the 90’s can now be considered period pieces and I giggled every time Segel asked for a Diet-Rite.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is the fastest 2 hours you’ll ever experience in a movie theater. Once the vehicles, spawned from the sick and beautiful mind of George Miller, hit the desert road, your breath is held for the remainder of the ride. Visually, it was like nothing I had seen before. It was pure action, adventure, and horror. You also didn’t have to see any of the other films to pick up on Fury Road. Charlize Theron kicked everybody’s ass as Furiosa. And who doesn’t love an army of hell-bred maniacs being led by a Heavy Metal guitarist whose axe shoots real flames out of it?

1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Use this one)

Naming something #1 says a lot about whatever it is you are actually ranking. When you you make the proclamation though, you stand by it (like when you rank 40 different pizza places and everybody loses their minds in the comments section).

As of August 15th at 5:34 PM CDT, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is my favorite movie of 2015. I laughed, I connected, I cried, I laughed again, and repeat. I wanted Earl (RJ Cyler) to be my “coworker”. I wanted to hangout with Rachel (Olivia Cooke) and talk about how awesome Hugh Jackman ALWAYS is as Wolverine. I was Greg (Thomas Mann) in high school, to an extent, and I wanted to tell him things don’t turn out so bad. The supporting cast is incredible in this film as well with Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, Jon Bernthal, Molly Shannon, and the dude who plays Earl’s brother (Bobb’e J. Thompson). 

It’s also a film about kids who love movies. I love movies. Weird how someone would relate with something like that, right?

Have a favorite film that didn’t make the list? What does your “Favorite 10” look like? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

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#TBT Year in Review: 1988

In the year that Michael Jordan took flight… Jordan Flight

  • The Winter Olympics were held in Alberta, Canada.
  • The Supreme Court sided with Larry Flynt in the Hustler vs. Falwell case.
  • George H.W. Bush was elected President of the United States. 
  • The first “World AIDS Day” was held on December 1st. 
  • The NBA’s youngest MVP, Derrick Rose, was born. 

And here’s what else happened in Movies, Music, and Sports…

Movies

Comedy

Beetlejuice, Big, A Fish Called Wanda, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad, The Great Outdoors, Bull Durham, Hairspray, Heathers, Working Girl, Midnight Run, Punchline, Twins, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Earth Girls are Easy, My Stepmother is an Alien, Mystic Pizza, Scrooged, Crocodile Dundee II, Big Top Pee-Wee, She’s Having a Baby, Short Circuit 2, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, AND…

Coming to America

Action/Thriller

Young Guns, Rambo III, Child’s Play, They Live, Frantic, The Dead Pool, Red Heat, Dead Ringers, The Vanishing, Action Jackson, Off Limits, D.O.A., Tequila Sunrise, Spellbinder, Halloween 4, Shoot to Kill, Shakedown, The Bourne Identity, Friday the 13th VII, Maniac Cop, The Presidio, Bloodsport AND…

Die Hard

Drama

Cocktail, Willow, The Accused, Dangerous Liaisons, Beaches, The Last Temptation of Christ, Evil Angels, The Accidental Tourist, Mississippi Burning, Dead Solid Perfect, Eight Men Out, And God Created Woman, Another Woman, Patty Hearst, Betrayed, Bright Lights Big City, Torch Song Trilogy, Stealing Home, The Moderns, Sweethearts Dance, Cocoon: The Return, A Summer Story, Running on Empty, Bird, Stand and Deliver, Colors, Gorillas in the Mist, AND…

Rain Man

The 61st Academy Awards

Best Actor

  • Gene Hackman, Mississippi Burning
  • Tom Hanks, Big
  • Edward James Olmos, Stand and Deliver
  • Max von Sydow, Pelle the Conquerer
  • Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man – Winner

It was Dustin Hoffman’s second Oscars win after Kramer vs. Kramer in 1980 out of 7 nominations.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Alec Guinness, Little Dorrit
  • Martin Landau, Tucker The Man and His Dream
  • River Phoenix, Running on Empty
  • Dean Stockwell, Married to the Mob
  • Kevin Kline, A Fish Called Wanda – Winner

Kline is 1-for-1 at the Oscars

Best Actress

  • Glenn Close, Dangerous Liaisons
  • Melanie Griffith, Working Girl
  • Meryl Streep, A Cry in the Dark
  • Sigourney Weaver, Gorillas in the Mist
  • Jodie Foster, The Accused – Winner

Of 4 nominations, this was Jodie Fosters first of 2 Oscar wins. 

Best Supporting Actress

  • Joan Cusack, Working Girl
  • Frances McDormand, Mississippi Burning
  • Michelle Pfeiffer, Dangerous Liaisons
  • Sigourney Weaver, Working Girl
  • Geena Davis, The Accidental Tourist – Winner

Geena Davis has won 1 out of 2 nominations, the second for Thelma and Louise. 

Best Picture

  • The Accidental Tourist
  • Dangerous Liaisons
  • Mississippi Burning
  • Working Girl
  • Rain Man – Winner

Rain Man won 4 of the 8 Academy Awards it was nominated for, including Best Director and Best Writing.

Music

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Hip Hop Albums

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Pop Music

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Billboard Year-End Top 25

01. “Faith” – George Michael

02. “Need You Tonight” – INXS

03. “Got My Mind Set On You” – George Harrison

04. “Never Gonna Give You Up” – Rick Astley

05. “Sweet Child o’ Mine” – Guns N’ Roses

06. “So Emotional” – Whitney Houston

07. “Heaven is a Place on Earth” – Belinda Carlisle

08. “Could’ve Been” – Tiffany

09. “Hands to Heaven” – Breathe

10. “Roll with It” – Steve Winwood

11. “One More Try” – George Michael

12. “Wishing Well” – Terrence Trent D’Arby

13. “Anything For You” – Gloria Estefan 

14. “The Flame” – Cheap Trick

15. “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” – Billy Ocean

16. “Seasons Change” – Expose

17. “Is This Love” – Whitesnake

18. “Wild, Wild West” – The Escape Club

19. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” – Def Lepard

20. “I’ll Always Love You” – Taylor Dayne

21. “Man in the Mirror” – Michael Jackson

22. “Shake Your Love” – Debbie Gibson

23. “Simply Irresistible” – Robert Palmer

24. “Hold On To The Nights” – Richard Marx

25. “Hungry Eyes” – Eric Carmen

Sports

Baseball

League Leaders:

Offensive

Average: Wade Boggs (BOS) – .366

Hits: Kirby Pucket (MIN) – 234

Home Runs: Jose Canseco (OAK) – 42

RBI: Jose Canseco (OAK) – 124

OPS: Wade Boggs (BOS) – .965

Stolen Bases: Rickey Henderson (NYY) – 93

Pitching

Wins: Frank Viola (MIN) – 24

ERA: Joe Magrane (STL) – 2.18

Strikeouts: Roger Clemens (BOS) – 291

Complete Games: Danny Jackson (CIN) & Orel Hershiser (LAD) – 15

Shutouts: Orel Hershiser (LAD) & Roger Clemens (BOS) – 8

Saves: Dennis Eckersley (OAK) – 45

MVP

AL – Jose Canseco (OAK)

NL – Kirk Gibson (LAD)

CY Young

AL – Frank Viola (MIN)

NL – Orel Hershiser (LAD)

Rookie of the Year

AL – Walt Weiss (OAK)

NL – Chris Sabo (CIN)

World Series

Los Angeles Dodgers over Oakland Athletics (4-1)

Basketball 

NCAA

Final Four:

(1) Oklahoma, (1) Arizona, (2) Duke and (6) Kansas

National Championship

(6) Kansas over (1) Oklahoma 83-79

NBA

League Leaders

Points Per Game: Michael Jordan (CHI) – 35.0

Rebounds Per Game: Michael Cage (LAC) – 13.0

Assists Per Game: John Stockton (UTAH) – 13.8

All-NBA Team

Charles Barkley (PHI)

Larry Bird (BOS) 

Magic Johnson (LAL)

Michael Jordan (CHI)

Hakeem Olajuwon (HOU)

MVP – Michael Jordan (CHI)

Rookie of the Year – Mark Jackson (NY)

NBA Finals

Los Angeles Lakers over Detroit Pistons (4-3)

Football

NCAA 

Heisman Trophy: Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State)

National Championship

ND 88 National Championship

Notre Dame over West Virginia 34-21 in the Fiesta Bowl

NFL

League Leaders

Passing Yards: Dan Marino (MIA) – 4,434

Passing Touchdowns: Jim Everett (LAR) – 31

Passer Rating: Boomer Esiason (CIN) – 97.4

Rush Yards: Eric Dickerson (IND) – 1,659

Rush Touchdowns: Greg Ball (LAR) – 16

Receiving Yards: Henry Ellard (LAR) – 1,414

Receiving Touchdowns: Mark Clayton (MIA) – 14

Receptions: Al Toon (NYJ) – 93

AP MVP: Boomer Esiason

Super Bowl XXIII

San Francisco 49ers over Cincinnati Bengals 20-16

Hockey

League Leaders

Goal: Mario Lemieux (PIT) – 70

Assists: Wayne Gretzky (EDM) – 109

Points: Mario Lemieux (PIT) – 168

Hart Memorial Trophy: Mario Lemieux (PIT)

Stanley Cup

Edmonton 88

Edmonton Oilers over Boston Bruins (4-0)

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.

Also checkout past #TBT Years in Review.

2011

2006

2005

1999

1998

1992

1989

1987

#TBT Year in Review: 1999

As we waited to see what would happen when Y2K hit…

  • The Sopranos debuted on HBO.
  • President Bill Clinton was acquitted in impeachment proceedings.
  • Sega Dreamcast was released in North America,
  • George Harrison was attacked at his home in Friar Park.
  • Wilt Chamberlain passed away at the age of 63.

CHAMBERLAIN

And here’s what happened in the worlds of Movies, Music, and Sports…

Movies

Comedy

American Pie, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, 10 Things I Hate About You, Notting Hill, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Being John Malkovich, She’s All That, Big Daddy, Galaxy Quest, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, Never Been Kissed, Dogma, Stuart Little, Blue Streak, Analyze This, Jawbreaker, Bowfinger, Dick, Idle Hands, Mystery Men, Life, Drive Me Crazy, EDtv, Detroit Rock City, The Bachelor, Superstar, AND…

Office Space

Action/Thriller

The Sixth Sense, The Matrix, Three Kings, The Boondock Saints, End of Days, Deep Blue Sea, The Insider, Universal Soldier: The Return, A Murder of Crows, 8mm, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Double Jeopardy, Instinct, The Bone Collector, The World is Not Enough, The Ninth Gate, Arlington Road, Chill Factor, True Crime, Payback, Resurrection, Stigmata, The Mod Squad, Entrapment, The Astronaut’s Wife, The Rage: Carrie 2, AND…

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Drama

Fight Club, American Beauty, Eyes Wide Shut, Bicentennial Man, Boys Don’t Cry, Anna and the King, Girl Interrupted, Animal Farm, 200 Cigarettes, The Virgin Suicides, October Sky, Great Expectations, Onegin, Flawless, The Hurricane, Brokedown Palace, Magnolia, Cruel Intentions, Random Hearts, All About My Mother, The Winslow Boy, Varsity Blues, The Cider House Rules, The Deep End of the Ocean, Tuesdays with Morrie, Black and White, AND…

The Green Mile

The 72nd Academy Awards

Best Actor

  • Russell Crowe, The Insider
  • Richard Farnsworth, The Straight Story
  • Sean Penn, Sweet and Lowdown
  • Denzel Washington, The Hurricane
  • Kevin Spacey, American Beauty – Winner

(Spacey’s 2nd Oscar. First was Best Supporting Actor in 1996 for The Usual Suspects)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile
  • Jude Law, The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense
  • Tom Cruise, Magnolia
  • Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules – Winner 

(Caine’s 2nd win out of 6 nominations.)

Best Actress

  • Annette Benning, American Beauty
  • Janet McTeer, Tumbleweeds
  • Julianne Moore, The End of the Affair
  • Meryl Streep, Music of the Heart
  • Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry – Winner

(This was Swank’s first of two Oscar nominations and awards.)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Toni Collette, The Sixth Sense
  • Catherine Keener, Being John Malkovich
  • Samantha Morton, Sweet and Lowdown
  • Chloe Sevigny, Boys Don’t Cry
  • Angelina Jolie, Girl Interrupted – Winner

(Jolie has also won the Humanitarian Academy Award in 2014)

Best Picture

  • The Cider House Rules
  • The Green Mile
  • The Insider
  • The Sixth Sense
  • American Beauty – Winner

(American Beauty won 5 of the 8 Oscars it was nominated for.)

Music

Rock Albums

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Hip Hop Albums

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Pop Albums

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Billboard Year-End Top 25

01. “Believe” – Cher

02. “No Scrubs” – TLC

03. “Angel of Mine” – Monica

04. “Heartbreak Hotel” – Whitney Houston featuring Faith Evans and Kelly Price

05. “…Baby One More Time” – Britney Spears

06. “Kiss Me” – Sixpence None the Richer

07. “Genie in a Bottle” – Christina Aguilera

08. “Every Morning” – Sugar Ray

09. “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” – Deborah Cox

10. “Livin’ la Vida Loca” – Ricky Martin

11. “Where My Girls At?” – 702

12. “If You Had My Love” – Jennifer Lopez

13. “Slide” – Goo Goo Dolls

14. “Have You Ever?” – Brandy

15. “I Want It That Way” – Backstreet Boys

16. “I’m Your Angel” – Celine Dion and R. Kelly

17. “All Star” – Smash Mouth

18. “Angel” – Sarah McLachlan

19. “Smooth” – Santana featuring Rob Thomas

20. “Unpretty” – TLC

21. “Bills, Bills, Bills” – Destiny’s Child

22. “Save Tonight” – Eagle-Eye Cherry

23. “Last Kiss” – Pearl Jam

24. “Fortunate” – Maxwell

25. “All I Have to Give” – Backstreet Boys

Sports

Baseball

League Leaders:

Offensive

Average: Larry Walker (COL) – .379

Hits: Derek Jeter (NYY) – 219

Home Runs: Mark McGwire (STL) – 65

RBI: Manny Ramirez (CLE) – 165

OPS: Larry Walker (COL) – 1.168

Stolen Bases: Tony Womack (AZ)

Pitching

Wins: Pedro Martinez (BOS) – 23

ERA: Pedro Martinez (BOS) – 2.07

Strikeouts: Randy Johnson (AZ) – 364

Complete Games: Randy Johnson (AZ) – 12

Shutouts: Scott Erickson (BAL) & Andy Ashby (SD) – 3

Saves: Mariano Rivera (NYY) – 45

MVP

AL – Ivan Rodriguez (TEX)

NL – Chipper Jones (ATL)

CY Young

AL – Pedro Martinez (BOS)

NL – Randy Johnson (AZ)

Rookie of the Year

AL – Carlos Beltran (KC)

NL – Scott Williamson (CIN)

World Series

New York Yankees sweep Atlanta Braves (4-0)

Basketball

NCAA

Final Four:

(1) Duke, (1) Michigan State, (4) Ohio State and (1) UConn

National Championship:

(1) UConn over (1) Duke 77-74

NBA

League Leaders

Points Per Game: Allen Iverson (PHI) – 26.8

Rebounds Per Game: Chris Webber (SAC) – 13.0

Assists Per Game: Jason Kidd (PHX) – 10.8

All-NBA Team

Tim Duncan (SA)

Allen Iverson (PHI)

Jason Kidd (PHX)

Karl Malone (UTAH)

Alonzo Mourning (MIA)

MVP – Karl Malone (UTAH)

Rookie of the Year – Vince Carter (TOR)

NBA Finals

San Antonio Spurs over New York Knicks (4-1)

Football

NCAA

Heisman Trophy:

Ron Dayne (Wisconsin)

National Championship

(1) Florida State over (2) Virginia Tech 46-29 in the Sugar Bowl

NFL

League Leaders

Passing Yards: Steve Beuerlein (CAR) – 4,436

Passing Touchdowns: Kurt Warner (STL) – 41

Passer Rating: Kurt Warner (STL) – 109.2

Rushing Yards: Edgerrin James (IND) – 1,553

Rushing Touchdowns: Stephen Davis (WAS) – 17

Receiving Yards: Marvin Harrison (IND) – 1,663

Receiving Touchdowns: Cris Carter (MIN) – 13

Receptions: Jimmy Smith (JAX) – 116

AP MVP: Kurt Warner (STL)

Super Bowl XXXIV

St. Louis Rams over Tennessee Titans 23-16

Hockey

League Leaders

Goals: Teemu Selanne (ANA) – 47

Assists: Jaromir Jagr (PIT) – 83

Points: Jaromir Jagr (PIT) – 127

Hart Memorial Trophy: Jaromir Jagr (PIT)

Stanley Cup

Dallas Stars over Buffalo Sabres (4-2)

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.

Also checkout past #TBT Years in Review.

2011

2006

2005

1998

1992

1989

1987

#TBT Year in Review: 2005

Looking back a decade ago.

  • Watergate whistleblower “Deep Throat” was revealed to be former FBI Associate Director Mark Felt.
  • Pope John Paul II passed away, Pope Benedict XVI succeeded him.
  • YouTube is launched. First video is uploaded April 23rd at 8:27 PM ET. 
  • “Live 8”, 10 simultaneous concerts around the world, took place featuring more than 1,000 artists broadcasted on 182 TV networks and 2,000 radio stations. 
  • Actor John Spencer passed away at the age of 58.

And here’s what we saw from the world’s of Movies, Music, and Sports

Movies

Comedy

The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, Hitch, The Longest Yard, The Pacifier, Bewitched, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Fun with Dick and Jane, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Fever Pitch, Waiting, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Just Like Heaven, Guess Who, The Duke’s of Hazzard, The Man, The Ringer, Kicking and Screaming, Rumor Has It, A Lot Like Love, Be Cool, and…

Thank You For Smoking

(starring Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg’s doppleganger)

Action/Thriller 

Batman Begins, Lord of War, Harsh Times, Saw II, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Island, Hostage, V for Vendetta, Flightplan, The Interpreter, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chaos, Doom, Red Eye, The Descent, Into the Blue, Assault on Precinct 13, War of the Worlds, Hostel, The Cave, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Four Brothers, Transporter 2, Serenity, Elektra, Stay, Hide and Seek, Hard Candy, The Skeleton Key, The Devil’s Rejects, Domino, House of Wax, Revolver, and…

Sin City

(wish the sequel was better)

Drama

Brokeback Mountain, Walk the Line, North Country, Kingdom of Heaven, Pride and Prejudice, The New World, Capote, The Constant Gardner, A History of Violence, The Family Stone, Coach Carter, Proof, Derailed, Cinderella Man, Elvis, Munich, The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio, Green Street Hooligans, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Squid and the Whale, The Jacket, An Unfinished Life, The Proposition, Syriana, Archangel, Lords of Dogtown, Jarhead, and…

Good Night and Good Luck

And the Oscar goes to…

The 78th Academy Awards

Best Actor

  • Terrance Howard, Hustle and Flow
  • Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line
  • David Strathairn, Good Night and Good Luck
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote – Winner

Best Supporting Actor

  • Matt Dillon, Crash
  • Paul Giamatti, Cinderella Man
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
  • William Hurt, A History of Violence
  • George Clooney, Syriana- Winner

(Clooney was also nominated twice more that night for Directing and Writing Good Night and Good Luck)

Best Actress

  • Judie Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
  • Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
  • Keira Knightly, Pride & Prejudice
  • Charlize Theron, North Country
  • Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line – Winner

Best Supporting Actress

  • Frances McDormand, North Country
  • Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain
  • Amy Adams, Junebug
  • Catherine Keener, Capote
  • Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener – Winner

Best Picture

  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Capote
  • Good Night and Good Luck
  • Munich
  • Crash – Winner

(Also won Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing)

Music

Rock Albums

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Hip Hop Albums

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Pop Albums

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Billboard Year-End Top 25

01. “We Belong Together” – Mariah Carey

02. “Hollaback Girl” – Gwen Stefani

03. “Let Me Love You” – Mario

04. “Since U Been Gone” – Kelly Clarkson

05. “1, 2 Step” – Ciara and Missy Elliott

06. “Gold Digger” – Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx

07. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” – Green Day

08. “Candy Shop” – 50 Cent

09. “Don’t Cha” – The Pussycat Dolls featuring Busta Rhymes

10. “Behind These Hazel Eyes” – Kelly Clarkson

11. “Disco Inferno” – 50 Cent

12. “You and me” – Lifehouse

13. “Don’t Phunk With My Heart” – Black Eyed Peas

14. “Lose Control” – Missy Elliott featuring Ciara and Fatman Scoop

15. “Shake It Off” – Mariah Carey

16. “Mr. Brightside” – The Killers

17. “Just a Lil Bit” – 50 Cent

18. “Pon de Replay” – Rihanna

19. “How We Do” – The Game featuring 50 Cent

20. “Beverly Hills” – Weezer

21. “Oh” – Ciara featuring Ludacris

22. “Lonely No More” – Rob Thomas

23. “Drop It Like It’s Hot” – Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell

24. “Hate It or Love It” – The Game featuring 50 Cent

25. “Lovers & Friends” – Lil Jon featuring Usher and Ludacris

Sports

Baseball

League Leaders:

Offensive

Average: Derek Lee (CHC) – .335

Hits: Michael Young (TEX) – 221

Home Runs: Andruw Jones (ATL) – 51

RBI: David Ortiz (BOS) – 148

OPS: Derek Lee (CHC) – 1.080

Stolen Bases: Chone Figgins (LAA) – 62

Pitching

Wins: Dontrelle Willis (FLA) – 22

ERA: Roger Clemens (HOU) – 1.87

Strikeouts: Johan Santana (MIN) – 238

Complete Games: Dontrelle Willis (FLA) & Chris Carpenter (STL) – 7

Shutouts: Dontrelle Willis (FLA) – 5

Saves: Chad Cordero (WSH) – 47

MVP

AL – Alex Rodriguez (NYY)

NL – Albert Pujols (STL)

CY Young

AL – Bartolo Colon (LAA)

NL – Chris Carpenter (STL)

Rookie of the Year

AL – Huston Street (OAK)

NL – Ryan Howard (PHI)

World Series:

Chicago White Sox sweep Houston Astros (4-0)

Basketball

NCAA

Final Four:

(1) Illinois, (4) Louisville, (1) North Carolina and (5) Michigan State

National Championship:

(1) North Carolina over (1) Illinois 75-70

NBA

League Leaders

Points Per Game: Allen Iverson (PHI) – 30.7

Rebounds Per Game: Kevin Garnett (MIN) – 13.5

Assists Per Game: Steve Nash (PHX) – 11.5

All-NBA Team

Tim Duncan (SA)

Allen Iverson (PHI)

Steve Nash (PHX)

Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)

Shaquille O’Neal (MIA)

MVP: Steve Nash (PHX)

Rookie of the Year: Emeka Okafor (CHA)

NBA Finals

San Antonio Spurs over Detroit Pistons (4-3)

Football

NCAA

Heisman Trophy:

Reggie Bush (USC)

National Championship

(2) Texas over (1) USC 41-38 in the Rose Bowl

NFL

League Leaders

Passing Yards: Tom Brady (NE) – 4,110

Passing Touchdowns: Carson Palmer (CIN) – 32

Passer Rating: Peyton Manning (IND) – 104.1

Rushing Yards: Shaun Alexander (SEA) – 1,880

Rushing TD: Shaun Alexander (SEA) – 27

Receiving Yards: Steve Smith (CAR) – 1,563

Receiving Touchdowns: Marvin Harrison (IND) & Steve Smith (CAR) – 12

Receptions: Larry Fitzgerald (AZ) & Steve Smith (CAR) – 103

AP MVP: Shaun Alexander (SEA)

Super Bowl XL

Pittsburgh Steelers over Seattle Seahawks 21-10

Hockey

Sorry Hockey fans…

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 5.46.12 PM

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.

Also checkout past #TBT Years in Review.

2011

2006

1998

1992

1989

1987

#TBT Year in Review: 1989

Yes, I know…

It’s the year Taylor Swift was born, but also happening in 1989…

  • George H.W. Bush succeeded Ronald Reagan as the 41st President of the United States.
  • MGM Studios at Disney World opened to the public.
  • The world’s first HDTV broadcasts commence in Japan
  • Nintendo released Game Boy portable gaming system to North America.
  • Pete Rose received his lifetime ban from Major League Baseball.

And here’s what we saw from the world’s of Movies, Music and Sports. 

Movies

Comedy

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Back to the Future Part II, Ghostbusters II, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Parenthood, When Harry Met Sally…, Seen No Evil, Hear No Evil, Say Anything…, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Look Who’s Talking, The Burbs, Uncle Buck, Weekend at Bernie’s, Driving Miss Daisy, Turner & Hooch, Fletch Lives, Harlem Nights, Going Overboard, The War of the Roses, UHF, New York Stories, The Big Picture, Gross Anatomy, Crimes and Misdemeanors, We’re No Angels, AND…

Major League

Action/Thriller

Lethal Weapon II, Black Rain, License to Kill, The Abyss, Dead Calm, Next of Kin, Lock Up, The Punisher, Leviathan, Pet Sematary, Kickboxer, DeepStar Six, The Killer, The Package, Samurai Cop, The January Man, Cutting Class, Johnny Handsome, Halloween 5, Sea of Love, Blue Steel, Far From Home, Shotgun, Ministry of Vengeance, An Innocent Man, The Mighty Quinn, AND…

Road House

Drama

Dead Poets Society, Do The Right Thing, Glory, Steel Magnolias, My Left Foot, Casualties of War, Sex Lies and Videotape, Always, Rooftops, Born on the Fourth of July, Driving Miss Daisy, Sea of Love, Small Sacrifices, Lean On Me, Gleaming the Cube, True Believer, Scandal, Look Back in Anger, The Ryan White Story, Drugstore Cowboy, The Karen Carpenter Story, Immediate Family, Listen To Me, Dad, Music Box, AND…

Field of Dreams

The 62nd Academy Awards

Best Actor

  • Kenneth Branagh, Henry V
  • Tom Cruise, Born on the Fourth of July
  • Morgan Freeman, Driving Miss Daisy
  • Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society
  • Daniel Day Lewis, My Left Foot – Winner

Best Supporting Actor

  • Dan Aykroyd, Driving Miss Daisy
  • Marlon Brando, A Drive White Season
  • Martin Landeau, Crimes and Misdemeanors 
  • Danny Aiello, Do the Right Thing
  • Denzel Washington, Glory – Winner

Best Actress

  • Isabelle Adjani, Camille Claudel
  • Pauline Collins, Shirley Valentine
  • Jessica Lange, Music Box
  • Michelle Pfeiffer, The Fabulous Baker Boys
  • Jessica Tandy, Driving Miss Daisy – Winner

Best Supporting Actress

  • Anjelica Huston, Enemies, A Love Story
  • Lena Olin, Enemies, A Love Story
  • Julia Roberts, Steel Magnolias
  • Dianne Wiest, Parenthood
  • Brenda Fricker, My Left Foot – Winner

Best Picture

  • Born on the Fourth of July
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Field of Dreams
  • My Left Foot
  • Driving Miss Daisy – Winner

Music

Rock Albums

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Hip Hop Albums

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Pop Albums

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Billboard Year-End Top 25

1. “Look Away” – Chicago 

2. “My Prerogative” – Bobby Brown

3. “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” – Poison

4. “Straight Up” – Paula Abdul

5. “Miss You Much” – Janet Jackson

6. “Cold Hearted” – Paula Abdul

7. “Wind Beneath My Wings” – Bette Midler

8. “Girl You Know It’s True” – Milli Vanilli

9. “Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley” – Will to Power

10. “Give You The Best That I Got” – Anita Baker

11. “Right Here Waiting” – Richard Marx

12. “Waiting for a Star to Fall” – Boy Meets Girl

13. “Lost In Your Eyes” – Debbie Gibson

14. “Don’t Wanna Lose You” – Gloria Estafan

15. “Heaven” – Warrant

16. “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” – Milli Vanilli

17. “The Look” – Roxette

18. “She Drives Me Crazy” – Fine Young Cannibals

19. “On Our Own” – Bobby Brown

20. “Two Hearts” – Phil Collins

21. “Blame It On The Rain” – Milli Vanilli

22. “Listen To Your Heart” – Roxette

23. “I’ll Be There For You” – Bon Jovi

24. “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” – Simply Red

25. “Like A Prayer” – Madonna

Sports

Baseball

League Leaders

Offensive:

Average: Kirby Puckett (MIN) – .344

Hits: Kirby Puckett (MIN) – 215

Home Runs: Kevin Mitchell (SF) – 47

RBI: Kevin Mitchell (SF) – 125

OPS: Kevin Mitchell (SF) – 1.023

Stolen Bases: Rickey Henderson (NYY & OAK) – 77

Pitching:

Wins: Bret Saberhagen (KC) – 23

ERA: Bret Saberhagen (KC) – 2.16

Strikeouts: Nolan Ryan (TEX) – 301

Complete Games: Bret Saberhagen (KC) – 12

Shutouts: Tim Belcher (LAD) – 8

Saves: Mark Davis (SD) – 44

MVP

AL – Robin Yount (MIL)

NL – Kevin Mitchell (SF)

CY Young

AL – Bret Saberhagen (KC)

NL – Mark Davis (SD)

Rookie of the Year

AL – Gregg Olson (BAL)

NL – Jerome Walton (CHC)

World Series: Oakland Athletics def. San Francisco Giants (4-0)

Basketball

NCAA

Final Four:

(1) Illinois, (3) Michigan, (3) Seton Hall and (2) Duke

National Championship:

Michigan over Seton Hall in overtime 80-79

NBA

League Leaders

Points Per Game: Michael Jordan (CHI) – 32.5

Rebounds Per Game: Hakeem Olajuwon (HOU) – 13.5

Assists Per Game: John Stockton (UTAH) – 13.6 

All-NBA Team

Charles Barkley (PHI)

Magic Johnson (LAL)

Michael Jordan (CHI)

Karl Malone (UTAH)

Hakeem Olajuwon (HOU)

MVP: Magic Johnson (LAL)

Rookie of the Year: Mitch Richmond (GSW)

NBA Finals: Detroit Pistons over Los Angeles Lakers (4-0)

Football

NCAA 

Heisman Trophy

Andrew Ware, University of Houston 

National Champion

(2) Miami over (7) Alabama 33-27 Sugar Bowl, (1) Colorado lost to (4) Notre Dame 6-21 Orange Bowl

NFL

League Leaders

Passing Yards: Don Majkowski (GB) – 4,318

Passing Touchdowns: Jim Everett (LA) – 29

Passer Rating: Joe Montana (SF) – 112.4

Rushing Yards: Christian Okoye (KC) – 1,480

Rushing Touchdowns: Greg Ball (LA) – 15

Receiving Yards: Jerry Rice (SF) – 1,483

Receiving Touchdowns: Jerry Rice (SF) – 17

Receptions: Sterling Sharpe (GB) – 90

AP MVP: Joe Montana (SF)

Super Bowl: San Francisco 49ers over Denver Broncos 55-10

Super Bowl 29

Hockey

League Leaders

Goals: Mario Lemieux (PIT) – 85

Assists: Wayne Gretzky (LA) & Mario Lemieux (PIT) – 114

Points: Mario Lemieux (PIT) – 199

Hart Memorial Trophy

Wayne Gretzky (LA)

Stanley Cup

Calgary Flames over Montreal Canadiens (4-2)

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.

Checkout past #TBT Years in Review 

2011

2006

1998

1987

#TBT Year in Review: 2006

I graduated high school in 2006…but that’s not why you called

  • NASA launched the first space mission to Pluto.
  • Twitter was founded and launched.
  • No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock became the most expensive painting, selling for $140 .million
  • Former Iraq president Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging.
  • Actor Peter Boyle passed away at the age of 71.  

And this is what we saw from the worlds of Movies, Music, and Sports!

Movies

Comedy

Borat, Grandma’s Boy, The Break-Up, The Devil Wears Prada,  Idiocracy, John Tucker Must Die, Little Miss Sunshine, Beerfest, Benchwarmers, A Good Year, Nacho Libre, Accepted, Employee of the Month, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, You, Me and Dupree, The Pink Panther, Clerks II, Man of the Year, AND…

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Action/Thriller

Superman Returns, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, X-Men: The Last Stand, Deja Vu, Crank, Mission Impossible III, The Prestige, Inside Man, Running Scared, Lucky Number Slevin, Children of Men, Miami Vice, The Sentinel, The Marine, The Illusionist, Underworld: Evolution, Smokin’ Aces, 16 Blocks, Snakes on a Plane, The Da Vinci Code, Apocalypto, Poseidon, Silent Hill, The Good Shepard, The Hills Have Eyes, AND…

Casino Royale

Drama

Babel, The Lake House, Pans Labyrinth, The Pursuit of Happiness, Children of Men, The Queen, United 93, The Lives of Others, The Fountain, Rescue Dawn, Blood Diamond, The Black Dahlia, Invincible, The Last King of Scotland, Tristan & Isolde, Lady in the Water, Marie Antoinette, Gridiron Gang, The Last Kiss, Find Me Guilty, We Are Marshall, The Nativity Story, Candy, Flyboys, Rocky Balboa, AND…

The Departed

Animated

Happy Feet, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Over the Hedge, Open Season, The Ant Bully, A Scanner Darkly, Monster House, Curious George, The Wild, Barnyard, AND…

Cars

The 79th Academy Awards

Best Actor

  • Leonardo Dicaprio, Blood Diamond
  • Peter O’Toole, Venus
  • Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
  • Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happiness
  • Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland – Winner

Best Supporting Actor

  • Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
  • Djimon Honsou, Blood Diamond
  • Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls 
  • Mark Whalberg, The Departed
  • Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine – Winner

Best Actress

  • Kate Winslet, Little Children
  • Penelope Cruz, Volver 
  • Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
  • Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
  • Helen Mirren, The Queen – Winner

Best Supporting Actress

  • Adriana Barraza, Babel
  • Cate Blanchet, Notes on a Scandal
  • Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
  • Rinko Kikuchi, Babel
  • Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls – Winner

Best Picture

  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • The Queen
  • Babel
  • Letters of Iwo Jima
  • The Departed – Winner

Music

Rock Albums

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Hip Hop Albums

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Pop Albums

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Billboard Year-End Top 25

  1. “Bad Day” – Daniel Powter
  2. “Temperature” – Sean Paul
  3. “Promiscuous” – Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland
  4. “You’re Beautiful” – James Blunt
  5. “Hips Don’t Lie” – Shakira feat Wyclef Jean
  6. “Unwritten” – Natasha Bedingfield
  7. “Crazy” – Gnarls Barkley
  8. “Ridin” – Chamillionaire
  9. “SexyBack” – Justin Timberlake feat Timbaland
  10. “Check on It”- Beyonce
  11. “Be Without You” – Mary J. Blige
  12. “Grillz” – Nelly, Paul Wall and Ali & Gipp
  13. “Over My Head (Cable Car)” – The Fray
  14. “Me & U” – Cassie
  15. “Buttons” – Pussycat Dolls feat. Snoop Dogg
  16. “Run It!” – Chris Brown feat Juelz Santana
  17. “So Sick” – Ne-Yo
  18. “It’s Goin’ Down” – Yung Joc feat. Nitti
  19. “SOS” – Rihanna
  20. “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” – Panic! at the Disco
  21. “Move Along” – The All-American Rejects
  22. “London Bridge” – Fergie
  23. “Dani California” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  24. “Snap Yo Fingers” – Lil Jon feat E-40 and Sean Paul
  25. “Lean wit It, Rock wit It” – Dem Franchize Boyz 

Sports

Baseball

League Leaders:

Offensive:

Average: Joe Mauer (MIN) – .347

Hits: Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) – 224

Home Runs: Ryan Howard (PHI) – 58

RBI: Ryan Howard (PHI) – 149

OPS: Albert Pujols (STL) – 1.102

Stolen Bases: Jose Reyes (NYM) – 64

Pitching:

Wins: Johan Santana (MIN) & Chien-Ming Wang (NYY) – 19

Strikeouts: Johan Santana (MIN) – 245

Complete Games: Aaron Harang (CIN) & CC Sabathia (CLE) – 6

Shutouts: Chris Carpenter (STL) – 3

Saves: Francisco Rodriguez (LAA) – 47

MVP:

AL – Justin Morneau (MIN)

NL – Ryan Howard (PHI)

CY Young

AL – Johan Santana (MIN)

NL – Brandon Webb (AZ)

Rookie of the Year

AL – Justin Verlander (DET)

NL – Hanley Ramirez (FLA) 

World Series: St Louis Cardinals over Detroit Tigers (4-1) 

Basketball

NCAA

Final Four:

(3) Florida, (2) UCLA, (11) George Mason, and (4) LSU

National Championship

(3) Florida over (2) UCLA 73-57

NBA 

League Leaders

Points Per Game: Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 35.4

Rebounds Per Game: Kevin Garnett (BOS) – 12.7

Assists Per Game: Steve Nash (PHX) – 10.5

All-NBA Team

Kobe Bryant (LAL)

Lebron James (CLE)

Steve Nash (PHX)

Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)

Shaquille O’Neal (MIA) 

MVP: Steve Nash (PHX)

Rookie of the Year: Chris Paul (NO)

NBA Finals: Miami Heat over Dallas Mavericks (4-2)

Football

NCAA

Heisman Trophy

Tim Tebow, Florida 

National Championship

Florida over Ohio State 41-14 in the Fiesta Bowl

NFL

League Leaders

Passing Yards: Drew Brees (NO) – 4,418

Passing Touchdowns: Peyton Manning (IND) – 31

Passer Rating: Peyton Manning (IND) – 101.0

Rushing Yards: LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) – 1,815

Rushing Touchdowns: LaDainian Tomlinson (SD) – 28

Receiving Yards: Chad Johnson (CIN) – 1,369

Receptions: Andre Johnson (HOU) – 103

Receiving Touchdowns Terrell Owens (DAL) – 13

AP MVP

LaDainian Tomlinson (SD)

Super Bowl

This…

And then…Indianapolis Colts over Chicago Bears 29-17

Hockey

League Leaders

Goals: Jonathan Cheechoo – 57

Assists: Joe Thornton (BOS/SJ) – 96

Points: Joe Thornton (BOS/SJ) – 125

Hart Memorial Trophy

Joe Thornton (BOS/SJ)

Stanley Cup:

Carolina Hurricanes over Edmonton Oilers (4-3)

Did I miss anything? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03

Also checkout past #TBT Years in Review

1998 & 1987

Academy Awards Picks 2015

Awards season has flown by, hasn’t it? The Golden Globes and their weirdness feel like yesterday…

Louie Golden Globes

Wait, that was like a month ago? Wow. It has also felt like a quiet season too, in terms of big upsets and such…hold on a sec…

SIT DOWN, KANYE!

Back to the show…

Besides the actual awards being announced, I can’t wait to see what Neil Patrick Harris has up his sleeve. There are few hosts who are as much of a showman as NPH. Multiple Tony Award shows, the Emmys, and now the Oscars…? He’s just a Golden Globes away from his own Hosting EGOT. NPH be criticized and scrutinized like everybody ever to host it, but I expect nothing short of something Legen…wait for it

If you need a reference of what to anticipate, check out one of my favorite award show opens of his.

The Picks…

Last year everything felt predictable. The Dallas Buyers Club boys, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, took Best Lead and Supporting honors EVERYWHERE. Cate Blanchett did the same, like most Woody Allen characters do. Then Lupita Nyong’o and 12 Years a Slave, while not necessarily consensus favorites, didn’t surprise anyone with their wins.

This year isn’t so easy, and that’s a good thing. 2014 (and early ’15) was an excellent year in film and made it fun going to the movie theater every week. Why the Academy went with just 8 nominees for Best Picture is beyond me, but every film in the running is very deserving…

So was Guardians of the Galaxy.

Peter Quill MF

Anywho…

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper 

Benedict Cumberbatch – Imitation Game

Michael Keaton – Birdman or ( The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

My Pick: Eddie Redmayne

It’s a loaded category. Benedict Cumberbatch was flawless in Imitation Game. Controversy over the man he depicted aside, Bradley Cooper rocked the “Punisher” logo he wore HARD. Steve Carell made everyone’s skin crawl (although I was more interested in Channing Tatum’s performance). And Michael Keaton carried the suspense of a bomb you were anticipating to explode…without the timer.

Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking though was too special to deny. While I would love to see the award go to either Keaton or Cumberbatch, it’s Redmayne’s to lose at this point. His transformation into Hawking has won at nearly everything and fun fact…

The SAG winner in this category has won 100% of the time in the last decade.

(I do have to mention that I felt David Oyelowo was horribly robbed of a nomination in this category. Every bit as deserving as Cumberbatch, Keaton, Carell, and Redmayne…You can figure out who I left out.)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything 

Julianne Moore – Still Alice 

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl 

Reese Witherspoon – Wild

My Pick: Julianne Moore

I know…Nothing too controversial here. Moore has won in nearly every awards show that matters. Cotilard won the New York Film Critics Circle award…and good for her. Moore is as every bit of the accolades for her role in Still Alice, and it’s amazing that this will likely be her first win in 5 tries. But if there was a sleeper pick to make here, I would take Felicity Jones. You couldn’t ask for a better compliment performance to Eddie Redmayne’s than Jones.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Robert Duvall – The Judge

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood 

Edward Norton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher 

J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

My Pick: J.K. Simmons

I feel bad for Edward Norton. He put out arguably his best performance of a great career in Birdman, but J.K. Simmons was just. too. good…

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Laura Dern – Wild

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game

Emma Stone – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Meryl Streep – Into The Woods 

My Pick: Emma Stone

Yeah, I can’t play the favorite on this one. Patricia Arquette has been cleaning up at award shows all season and I really don’t understand it. Yes, she was moving…but she wasn’t a showstopper like Emma Stone was.

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Boyhood 

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma 

The Theory of Everything 

Whiplash 

My Pick: Birdman

I understand that this has turned into a 2 horse race between Boyhood and Birdman in terms of odds, but Birdman was clear and away the better film to me. I was more interested in how Boyhood was made than the actual product. Richard Linklater should, and probably will, win Best Director for presenting an entire childhood in 3 hours, but there wasn’t much of a story and the performances didn’t wow me more than the gimmick…

Birdman, on the other hand, is filled with performance after performance that grabs you by your collar, unpredictable, and has you at the end of your seat. Watching Boyhood, I just waited for Mason to finally grow up…but I loved the soundtrack.

That’s just me though…

Who are you picking to win tonight? Let me know and let’s talk about the show on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.