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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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And the Blanchey goes to …

John Blanchette The Spokesman-Review

Academy Award nominations are out. Once again, all my favorite movies of the year got snubbed.

OK, so I’m no Ebert, no Kael, no Webster. But tell me these flicks aren’t Oscar worthy:

“Alexander” – It’s almost a Greek tragedy when the Seahawks’ star running back tries to expand his empire to become the NFL’s leading rusher but instead gets “stabbed in the back.”

“Million Dollar Baby” – Nike founder Phil Knight’s right there to sign the first born of Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra to a bootie endorsement deal.

“Ray” – Jamie Foxx in a tour de force as the shooting guard who takes the heretofore woeful SuperSonics to the NBA championship.

“The Aviator” – Gonzaga’s Erroll Knight elevates for a dunk. What goes up, must come down – hard.

“A Very Long Engagement” – Tiger Woods tries postponing his wedding to Elin Nordegren until he wins another major.

“Bad Education” – In Jim Harrick Jr.’s “Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball” class at the University of Georgia, the first test question is a doozy: “How many halves are in a college basketball game?’ But it gets easier after that.

“Meet the Fockers” – Ron Artest, Jermaine O’Neal and Pistons fans get to know each other over a couple of beers at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

“Sideways” – The Cougs start their football game against USC game with a very strange kickoff.

“Fahrenheit 9/11” – Bill Bavasi works the phones and waiver wire, trying to keep the Mariners from being eliminated from the A.L. West with three weeks remaining in the season.

“Super Size Me” – Barry Bonds and his personal trainer go to the drugstore.

“Finding Neverland” – Mike Price is a big success at UTEP. A sequel to “Crazy in Alabama.”

“Closer” – A couple of months after he falls on his suitcase and breaks his ribs, Kazuhiro Sasaki packs up the same bag and heads back to Japan.

“Mean Girls” – Dissed by Danielle Ammaccapane and other LPGA grumps, Michelle Wie takes her Titleists over to the PGA Tour.

“Kill Bill, Vol. 2” – After humiliating the choking-dog Yankees in the ALCS, the Boston Red Sox exorcise the last demons remaining from the ground ball going through their first baseman’s legs in 1986 by sweeping St. Louis in the World Series.

“Garden State” – WSU athletic director Jim Sterk finally finds a football opponent to play the Cougs in Seattle in 2005.

“Lemony Snickets’ A Series of Unfortunate Events” – Rick Neuheisel gambles on NCAA hoops, the compliance lady says it’s OK, Rick lies to NCAA investigators, the NCAA says that’s OK, Dr. Feelgood distributes happy pills like hard candy, Rick and the softball coach sue, the football team goes 1-10 and the basketball team still can’t beat the Zags – there’s just no end to the fun at the University of Washington.

“Miracle” – Owners, commissioner Gary Bettman and the players’ union conspire to make people care even less about the National Hockey League than they did before.

“Open Water” – Slugger Moises Alou claims he doesn’t need to use batting gloves because he urinates on his hands to toughen them up.

“Spanglish” – According to the play-by-play guy on ESPN2, this is one of the languages that Ronny Turiaf speaks.

“Johnson Family Vacation” – The Big Unit packs up the clan and moves to New York City, and once he pushes a cameraman out of the way, the fun never stops.

“Jersey Girl” – Brandi Chastain whips it off one last time before retiring from soccer.

“Welcome to Mooseport” – Another .215 season gets Mariners bust Scott Spiezio shipped down to Class A ball.

“Outfoxed” – First Janet Jackson bares a breast on CBS’ Super Bowl telecast, then Nicolette Sheridan drops towel on Monday Night Football – and now Rupert Murdoch wants to know why his network is missing out on all the sports sleaze.

“She Hate Me” – Another bright idea from Vince McMahon: the Women’s XFL.

“Anchorman” – “And this just in from Iraq – boo-ya!” Stuart Scott is hired to replace Dan Rather on the CBS Evening News.

“The Incredibles” – Just some press conference footage of Ricky Williams, Maurice Clarett, Rick Neuheisel, Marion Jones, Barry Bonds and their ilk.

“Dodgeball” – Opposing defensive backs simply can’t get out of the way when Casey Paus is quarterbacking the Washington Huskies.

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” – After Latrell Sprewell, who’s making $14.6 million this NBA season, complains that “I got my family to feed,” a doctor is asked to look in one of the player’s ears and describe what he sees.

“Collateral” – Kobe Bryant tries to rustle up credit for a big enough diamond ring to make it up to the missus.

“White Chicks” – Somebody tries to revive the Professional Women’s Bowling Association tour, though no one is sure why.

“The Forgotten” – After not catching a pass in the last two regular season games, Jerry Rice doesn’t even get a ball thrown his way in the Seahawks’ playoff loss to St. Louis.

“Friday Night Lights” – It’s the night before Washington State’s 2005 home football opener and the traffic westbound on Highway 26 is bumper-to-bumper when the students learn the Cougs are playing Maine.

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