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THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO / RANDY HARVEY

It's His Chance to Say, 'And the Winner Is . . .'

March 25, 1997|RANDY HARVEY

I love the Academy Awards. That's one of the rare nights when the Eberts, Siskels and Turans have to write on deadline and the sportswriters get to sit at home and watch.

Desiring, however, to be part of it in some small way, I created my own awards. Call them the Roogies, named for the lead character in the 1954 movie, "Roogie's Bump."

It's about a Little League pitcher who develops big league stuff after discovering a mysterious bump on his arm and joins the Brooklyn Dodgers, including, as themselves, Roy Campanella, Carl Erskine, Billy Loes and Russ Meyer.

Moving quickly along, something the Oscar telecast seldom does:

Baseball Movies: "Bang the Drum Slowly," "Bull Durham," "Field of Dreams," "Long Gone," "The Natural."

And the winner of the Roogie is: "Bull Durham."

Boxing Movies: "Body and Soul," "Champion," "Fat City," "The Harder They Fall," "Raging Bull."

Roogie: "Raging Bull."

Basketball Movies: "Drive, He Said," "Hoop Dreams," "Hoosiers," "One on One," "White Men Can't Jump."

Roogie: "Hoosiers."

Football Movies: "Everybody's All-American," "Knute Rockne, All American," "The Longest Yard," "North Dallas Forty," "Saturday's Hero." (The last is memorable because of John Derek's line, "Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse."

Roogie: "North Dallas Forty."

Actors Playing Sportswriters: Woody Allen in "Mighty Aphrodite," Humphrey Bogart in "The Harder They Fall," Walter Matthau in "The Odd Couple," Ryan O'Neal in "Fever Pitch," Robert Wuhl in "Cobb."

Roogie: O'Neal. (Hey, they're my awards.)

Sportswriters Playing Somebody Else: Allan Malamud as a caterer in "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," Mud as a Big Joe Burger buyer in "Car Wash," Mud as a rocket scientist in "White Men Can't Jump."

Roogie: Mud.

*

Maybe next year I'll think of a category for "Breaking Away," "Chariots of Fire," "Downhill Racer," "The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick," "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner," "Olympia," "Personal Best" and "This Sporting Life." . . .

"The Man of Steel," Tony Zale, was buried Monday. He was bitter because he never received the acclaim of his middleweight rival, Rocky Graziano, even though Zale won two of their three fights. . . .

One reason might have been the popularity of the 1956 movie about Graziano's life, "Somebody Up There Likes Me," starring Paul Newman. . . .

"You got what a lot of fighters don't have. Hate. Let your hate do some good for you," prison gym instructor Judson Pratt says, encouraging the young Newman to take up boxing. . . .

The first person to say, "Show me the money!" was not Cuba Gooding Jr. in "Jerry Maguire." It was former USC defensive back Tim McDonald. Screenwriter Cameron Crowe overheard it and put it in the movie. . . .

About 20 former Trojan football players, among them Junior Seau, Ronnie Lott, Anthony Davis and Mark Carrier, attended the initial meeting Sunday night of "SC Legends," organized to raise money for the USC football team. . . .

Rodney Peete announced to the group at the Grand Havana Room in Beverly Hills that he and his wife, actress Holly Robinson, are expecting twins. . . .

Director Ron Shelton ("Bull Durham," "White Men Can't Jump,") and actress Lolita Davidovich ("Blaze," "Jungle 2 Jungle,") have announced they're getting married at an undisclosed location on an undisclosed date. Presiding will be George Foreman. . . .

According to a poll in Tour magazine, PGA Tour players have seen "Caddyshack" an average of 23 times each. Robert Gamez skews the curve with 123 viewings. . . .

Trumpeter Herb Alpert's horse, Funontherun, is bypassing the April 5 Santa Anita Derby, running instead in Saturday's Jim Beam Stakes at Turfway Park in Kentucky. That will give him more time to recover before the May 3 Kentucky Derby. . . .

Victor Hugo's descendants charge Disney with "commercial pillage" because of its treatment of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Isn't that what baseball fans said last season about Disney's treatment of the Angels? . . .

In a new Taco Bell commercial, Shaquille O'Neal suddenly can shoot free throws because he's developed a condition called "Taco Neck Syndrome." Sounds to me like they ripped off "Roogie's Bump."

*

While wondering when some producer is going to produce another movie about Joe Louis, I was thinking: Arizona is either the most underachieving team in the Pacific 10 or the most overachieving in the tournament, it was a relief to read it's not that Keith Jackson who's retiring, even an objective journalist has to pull for Jim Abbott.

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