On March 7, 2015, the seedings and pairings were announced for March Madness, Hollywood Style. We have made it through the first round, which was filled with a combination of higher seeds continuing on and assorted upsets. We are now in the “Round of 32” which, of course, continues this tournament where the results are completely made up by me but are subject to your opinions to the contrary. The match-up summaries and results for the East and South second round regional games are as follows:
Raging Bull (Boxing, 1980) # 1 Seed
Downhill Racer (Skiing, 1969) #9 Seed
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and director Martin Scorsese have been lauded as having helped create one of the best films of all-time in “Raging Bull.” Robert Redford has been listed as being among the best actors of all time. Unfortunately, after its opening round upset over “He Got Game,” it’s all downhill for “Downhill Racer” here and Raging Bull scores an early round knock-out.
For Love of the Game (Baseball, 1999) #4 Seed
Chariots of Fire (Track, 1981) #5 Seed
These are two of my favorite films of all time. I realize that “Chariots of Fire” may not be everyone’s cup of tea because it does move along at a slow pace but so does a tortoise when racing against a hare. In the round of 32, my love of the game gets nosed out by the Chariot.
Sweet 16 Match-up: Raging Bull (#1) vs. Chariots of Fire (#5)
Rocky (Boxing, 1976) # 2 Seed
The Fighter (Boxing, 2010) #10 Seed
Mickey Ward, the subject of the story in The Fighter, is not significantly different than the fictional Rocky Balboa. Both were journeymen fighters. Both came from very little. Both found love and success in the ring based much more on heart and toughness than on ability. Similarities aside, “Rocky” is the superior film and Sylvester Stallone shows that he deserved his seeding with a fairly easy victory of Mark Walhberg in “The Fighter.”
Miracle (Hockey, 2004) # 3 Seed
Little Giants (Football, 1994) #11 Seed
Both are “feel good” movies. Both tell the story of the underdog defeating the “evil empire,” that being the Russians in “Miracle” and the “Pee Wee Cowboys” in “Little Giants.” While the story of the O’Shea brothers was entertaining, “Little Giants” just does not have enough to pull off the miracle here.
Sweet 16 Match-up: Rocky (#2) vs. Miracle (#3)
Remember The Titans (Football, 2000) # 1 Seed
Glory Road (Basketball, 2006) #9 Seed
This is an interesting societal match-up. Both films dealt with important racial issues. In “Glory Road,” Texas Western College took the lead in ensuring the opportunity for everyone to compete. “Remember The Titans” portrayed that separate cannot be equal and that we have much more in common than the differences that exist in the color of our skin. Historically, what happened at Texas Western reflected a more dynamic move toward social change but “Remember The Titans” is the superior film.
Friday Night Lights (Football, 2004) #4 Seed
Cool Runnings (Olympic Bobsledding, 1993) #12 Seed
“Friday Night Lights” certainly captured what high school football is all about in Texas. But in a comedic and inspirational way, “Cool Runnings” captured the “little train that could” story that has often been told but rarely with as much fun. John Candy was an ingenious casting selection as Coach Irv Blitzer and who will ever forget Doug E. Doug as “Sanka?” While we must all keep in mind that there is far more fiction than fact in “Cool Runnings,” that fact is that no one cares. It wins in an upset.
Sweet 16 Match-up: Remember The Titans (#1) vs. Cool Runnings (#12)
Bull Durham (Baseball, 1988) # 2 Seed
Days of Thunder (Auto Racing, 1990) #7 Seed
There is no contest here. “Days of Thunder” is nothing but a drizzle when going against “Bull Durham.” A victory by the “Bull” here will ensure a Costner v Costner match-up in the Sweet 16. That will be far more interesting than this round, so let’s get on with it.
Tin Cup (Golf, 1996) # 3 Seed
The Wrestler (Wrestling, 2008) #11 Seed
Despite the seedings, this is a much closer competition than many of the rest. A majority of sports fans do not consider professional wrestling to be a sport but “The Wrestler” shows that regardless of your views, wrestlers are athletes and suffer the same or more wear and tear over time than do athletes in the real sports. That is the story that is so compelling and makes this a wonderful film. But in this round, “Tin Cup” pins “The Wrestler” and the Sweet 16 “goes chalk” with both favorites moving on.
Sweet 16 Match-up: Bull Durham (#2) vs. Tin Cup (#3)
Next up: The South and West Regions round of 32.