You be the judge.
It sure does look as if Warren Beatty left his co-presenter, Faye Dunaway, on the running board of that machine-gun-bullet-riddled car from their movie of 50 years ago, “Bonnie and Clyde,” when the pair presented the Best Picture Oscar award at the conclusion of Sunday night’s Academy Awards show in Los Angeles.
The fun began when it was discovered that Beatty was handed the wrong envelope by a PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant, opened it, looked confused and then allowed Dunaway to blurt out the Best Picture Oscar winner as “La La Land.”
A few seconds later, however, people on stage quickly realized that the Best Picture Oscar should have been presented to “Moonlight.”
According to TMZ, Beatty and Dunaway maneuvered back and forth at Saturday’s rehearsals to see who would make the official announcement. With that knowledge, maybe Beatty, in the confusing moment, “allowed” Dunaway to have the honor. Dunaway didn’t seem pleased – nor did her escort – when they were confronted afterward by Extra’s Jerry Penacoli.
Only in real “La La Land,” of course. Well, blunders like this happen in real life, especially in real-life sports. As the late Marine Corps decorated fight pilot, New York Yankees infielder and San Diego Padres play-by-play announcer Jerry Coleman – a teammate of Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (“It’s like déjà vu all over again”) – once malapropped: “I’ve made a couple of mistakes I’d like to do over.”
THE WORST BIRTHDAY YOU COULD EVER HAVE
British Open champion Roberto De Vicenzo of Argentina was celebrating his 45th birthday – and being serenaded by the friendly Augusta National Golf Club galleries – on April 14, 1968 during the final round of the Masters.
After shooting a 7-under 65, De Vicenzo waited in the shade of an umbrella at the scorer’s table by the 18th green to see American Bob Goalby shoot a 66 to tie him at 11-under-par 277.
But De Vicenzo’s playing partner, Georgia native and ex-Florida Gator Tommy Aaron, who was keeping his card, noticed that De Vicenzo had signed for a wrong score at No. 17.
“It’s a shame,” Aaron said. “He should have checked his scorecard.”
De Vicenzo had made birdie on the par-4 hole but Aaron, who would later win the 1973 Masters, put down a “4” on the card. And since De Vicenzo signed for the card with its “4” on 17, his round of 65 became a 66 and, according to the rules of golf, he finished as runner-up to Goalby.
“I play golf all over the world for 30 years, and now all I can think of is what a stupid I am to be wrong in this wonderful tournament,” said De Vicenzo later. “Never have I ever done such a thing.”
Here’s De Vicenzo’s explanation afterward in the Butler Cabin. Very classy.
Here’s a little piece about Bob Goalby in which there is an explanation by Masters co-chairman Clifford Roberts for the “penalty” administered. By the way, Augusta National built a little scorer’s cabin by the 18th green so that future participants could have privacy to check their scorecards more closely.
A personal postscript: De Vicenzo’s caddy that day was Henry Brown, who is pictured here showing Lee Elder the line on one of Augusta National’s greens during preparations for the 1975 Masters when Elder became the first African-American to play in the tournament.
Brown later moved to South Bend and showed off his cross-handed playing skills which almost allowed him to qualify for the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. When I asked Henry about his memories of the 1968, all he could remember was Aaron’s part in it. “They had to stop me from going after him (Aaron) in the parking lot,” Brown told me before he died in 1992.
KID GIVES JETER AND THE YANKEES A POSTSEASON LIFT
Derek Jeter had just completed his Rookie of the Year season as the New York Yankees shortstop when his team met the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series in 1996. In Game 1, the Yankees trailed 4-3 when Jeter stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth. With Orioles reliever Armando Benitez on the mound, Jeter swung and hit a deep fly ball to right field.
Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco raced over and seemed to have a play on the ball until 12-year-old Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier stuck his glove over the wall, and with the help of others, somehow pulled the ball into the stands.
The Orioles argued fan interference but right-field umpire Rich Garcia ruled it a home run, and since there was no instant replay to overturn his call, it stood. The Yankees won the game in the 11th on a solo homer by Bernie Williams, took the series in five games and then beat the Atlanta Braves for the first of four World Series titles in the next five years.
THE MARSHALL PLAN WASN’T TO RUN THE WRONG WAY
Jim Marshall was a member of the Minnesota Vikings’ famous “Purple People Eaters” defensive front four. On Oct. 25, 1964 in a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Marshall was pursuing downfield after a completed pass when the 49ers player (then receiver and future NFL QB Billy Kilmer) fumbled when tackled. Marshall picked up the football and outran everyone – including his own teammates – to the wrong end zone 66 yards away. Defensive linemate Carl Eller later saved the day for the Vikings when he returned a fumble caused by Marshall for the winning touchdown in a 27-22 Vikings victory.
FAB FIVE RUN OUT OF TIMEOUTS AND TIME
There are many examples of basketball blunders, on the court and off of it. Perhaps the most famous of the latter category was the Portland Trail Blazers’ second pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. After the Houston Rockets used the top pick to chose hometown hero Akeem Olajuwon of the University of Houston, the Trail Blazers chose University of Kentucky center Sam Bowie, who had an injury-plagued career. The No. 3 pick? Michael Jordan, who won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls.
Nine years later, Jordan’s alma mater, North Carolina, played Michigan in the NCAA Championship Game in New Orleans’ Superdome. These were the “Fab Five” Wolverines coached by Steve Fisher that included center Chris Webber. The Tar Heels led by two points late when Webber, double-teamed in front of his bench, signaled for a timeout that Michigan no longer have. The resulting technical’s free throws allowed North Carolina and coach Dean Smith to escape with a 77-71 victory. Webber declared for the NBA Draft following the game, and Michigan would later vacate that season and its honors when an investigation discovered Webber and other teammates had accepted favors from a booster.
WHAT THE PUCK!
Oh, there have often been many times in hockey when a bad clearing pass has hit off an unsuspecting player or a puck has bounced crazily off the boards to end up behind the goaltender.
But watch what happens here when Dallas Stars forward Patrik Stefan and his teammates try to kill off the remaining seconds of a game with the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 4, 2007. The Stars were ahead 5-4 when the puck found its way to Stefan’s stick and there was no defender between him and an empty net.
EVER WONDERED ABOUT ‘THE AGONY OF DEFEAT’ GUY?
Ah, how I – we – miss ABC’s Wide World of Sports, particularly the intro voiced by the late Jim McKay that began, “Spanning the globe …”
Ever wondered who the “agony of sport” guy was? Well, let Jim McKay tell you about ski jumper Vinko Bogataj of the then Communist nation of Yugoslavia.
DESPITE THE BLUNDERS, HERE’S OUR HERO OF THE WEEK
On Tuesday during a men’s basketball game between visiting Fresno State and Boise State, the basketball got stuck in the bars supporting the backboard. No one had much luck dislodging the ball until young Hunter Hales, with the help of his father Paul, came to the rescue at Taco Bell Arena.