Moneyball lost, but sports still scored a big win at Sunday's Academy Awards.
"Undefeated," which chronicles the journey an inspiring high school football team in an impoverished part of Memphis, scored the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature -- becoming the first overtly sports-themed documentary since 1996 ("When We Were Kings") and only the fifth ever to take home that award, which dates to 1942. ("Hoop Dreams," cited by the filmmakers as their favorite doc, controversially wasn't even nominated.)
Although several prognosticators picked "Undefeated" to win heading into Sunday, few during the year felt this outsider doc -- which originally centered on only one of the team's players -- had any chance.
"A year ago today we were sitting in our editing room, depressed, thinking nobody was ever going to see this movie," co-director Dan Lindsay said in his acceptance speech. "And a friend said: 'Don't worry, next year you'll be at the Oscars.' And we said, 'You're an idiot.' So we'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to him and say, 'You're a lot smarter than we thought.'"
Lindsay went on to thank his producers -- including former NFL player Ed Cunningham, who also took the stage during the Oscars (check out Lindsay and Cunningham on "Oustide the Lines" here).
Then T.J. Martin, the film's other director, gained some notoriety of his own, earning a telecast muting when saying it would be "[expletive] awesome" for the other nominees to join the group onstage (although backstage, Martin was reportedly contrite).
Later, during their web-streamed news conference, Lindsay gave one more shout-out: To Diddy himself, Sean Combs, the film's executive producer.
"I'm going to go make sure I have another drink with Mr. Combs over here tonight," Lindsay said. "That wasn't happening three weeks ago."