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The Tuesday 10 - Champions League Winners As Oscar Best Pictures


By "The Other 87 Minutes" / Senior Unemployed English Major Correspondents

We get in the spirit of one of the most glamorous nights in Hollywood....ah, who are we kidding, we were bored as sin too. Here are the last ten UCL Champions and the ten Best Picture winners that most closely represent them (note: owing to my spotty knowledge of pre-1990s Oscar winners, forgive the bias towards more recent movies. Also, we're not riffing on the name of the movies; rather the general character of the movies and the likelihood of their victory).
Barca is the best. Did I stutter?
2011: Barcelona -- The King's Speech. Everyone's hum-drum pick for Best Picture. Utter lack of surprise in the victory. If Barcelona were boring that season, The King's Speech was even more so.
2010: Inter Milan -- The Hurt Locker. Mourinho's men scrapped and clawed their way to the Special One's second UCL, overcoming the behemoth Barcelona along the way (does anyone really remember who Inter beat in the final? OK, it was Bayern, but still). Similarly, Kathryn Bigelow overcame the highest grossing film of all time (Avatar) to win BP in a fairly large upset.
2009: Barcelona -- Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Easy comparison. Sextuple, meet the clean Oscar sweep.
2008: Manchester United -- The English Patient. Fitting for the only all-England final of the last ten years, the stereotypical English film of the 1990s that also won Best Picture. We would have used The King's Speech if we hadn't already.
Maaaatt. Da-Mon.
2007: AC Milan -- Million Dollar Baby. Both wins featured a potent blend of the old (Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Nesta, Maldini, Seedorf, Inzaghi) and the young (Hilary Swank, Kaka).
2006: Barcelona -- The Departed. The very good film in which Scorcese finally gets his Best Director Oscar. Likewise, the very good Barcelona team in which Ronaldinho finally gets his UCL title.
2005: Liverpool -- Shakespeare in Love. Written off from the very beginning, Liverpool continued to surprise at every turn, edging it's way to the final, going down three goals to Milan, and then storming back. Similarly, Shakespeare in Love was supposed to be another faceless victim of Spielberg's blockbuster Saving Private Ryan, but surprisingly managed to prevail in the end.
2004: Porto -- Crash. 2004 was Mourinho's big splash into the crisp waters of European football. Similarly, Paul Haggis had been mostly a TV writer before he released Crash, which to everyone's great surprise topped Brokeback Mountain in the Best Picture category.
What? No "Italian Job"?
2003: AC Milan -- The Godfather Part II. The final in 2003 was the first contested between two Italian teams... which reminds me of another time when the world was wooed by a certain Italian charm--when Al Pacino and company stole the show in 1974 with the riveting ode to the Sicilian mafia.
2002: Real Madrid -- The Titanic. Another easy comparison. Up until that point, the Galicticos assembled by Florentino Perez was the most expensive team ever created. And at the time James Cameron's magnum opus was created, Titanic was the most expensive film ever created. Both provide examples of the rare instance dollars alone purchase a title.
What is this new site we're exposing you too? We'll let them explain:
The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.

O87 wants to be a home for soccer writing that makes you think, but that also treats the game as just that, a game. The greatest game, the one we obsess over and fixate on, to the point where we can’t read that gas costs 3.43 a gallon without thinking of Ajax’s 1995 Champions League winning team. But a game nonetheless.

“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players – the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards – will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players – defenders – probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” –Johann Cruyff
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