The Oscars!

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS March 4, 2013 #426                Up next…The Oscars!

After further review…The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently presented Oscars for the “best” motion picture, “best” director, “best” actor/actress and numerous other categories, during its 85th awards show. I have seen the work of most nominees and I am not a critic, yet I always struggle with the concept of “best”.  You may well ask what that has to do with sports; isn’t that what this column/blog concerns itself with? Indeed it is, and TUNNEYSIDE is now in its eighth year of taking a closer look at current sports stories and issues, with the goal of reframing them in a way that reinforces and strengthens a positive view of everyday life. Stay tuned!

One question is regularly asked of me: who was the “best” NFL player you shared the field with during your thirty-one years as an NFL referee? You can understand my apprehension toward that term. Just as the Oscars always represent a subjective judgment, it’s only fair to say that judging as athlete is subjective as well.  To be sure those inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (the Oscar of football, as it were) have hard-earned stats and numbers on their side. And yet, there is always a question of who’s the best, and the answer is inevitably subjective.

The 2013 Pro Football HoF class is well deserving of this honor. Still, many other deserving candidates were pushed into future voting or discarded as others become eligible. If you consider that there are only 1700 athletes playing in the NFL in any given year, you realize these are the best of an enormous pool of men wearing pads. So how do you choose the “best-of-the-best”? Many ancillary factors, such as the era, T*E*A*M components, style of play, and competitive balance must be taken into consideration.

However, what stood out most dramatically for me during that Academy Award ceremony was the gratitude expressed by actor/director/producer Ben Affleck in his acceptance speech for the movie “Argo”. He said “so many people extended themselves to me when I couldn’t get a job. You have to work harder than you think you possibly can…it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life, ‘cause that’s gonna happen.  All that matters is that you gotta get up”. In the TUNNEYSIDE’s view, that is the key to achieving one’s best.

Will you strive to be at your best when your best is required?

To contact Jim go to or email him at


This entry was posted in Books, Current Affairs, Games, Sports, Television, Uncategorized, Weblogs. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>