This website combines the world of fantasy sports with the world of award shows. With that mixture of sports and entertainment in mind, I’m going back to the well with the favorites versus underdogs format I did for the Emmys last year.
 

Supporting Actress in a Comedy
Favorite: Jane Lynch (Glee) – When I wrote this article last year I compared Glee to the Red Sox because they get more than their fair share of media coverage and the show’s obnoxious fans insist upon how great it is even though you couldn’t care less. Again this year Glee is like the Red Sox because Boston goes out and signs the best free agents to make already good teams even better and after winning last year Lynch is the host this year so she’s greatly increased her chances to repeat.

Underdog: Sofia Vergara (Modern Family) – Like the US Women’s National Soccer team, who are playing in the Women’s World Cup this month, Vergara often gets overlooked in favor of her male counterparts. However, the talent level is equally entertaining albeit somewhat different and without Vergara Modern Family wouldn’t be as funny. And, of course, without the US Women’s team the US would never win anything in soccer.
 

Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Favorite: Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family) – He’s last year’s winner but I’ll call him the Boston Bruins simply because as much as I love playoff hockey, every year I have no idea who is going to win. Teams win and lose seemingly at random and one night your goalie is on his head and the next night you want him out on his ass. This category is so wide open there really is no favorite.

Underdog: Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) – He’s the Vancouver Canucks to Stonestreet’s Bruins. Harris has loads of talent, as did the Canucks, and if he won or got the chance to perform in any way it would be a riot … get it, riot?
 

Lead Actress in a Comedy
Favorite: Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) – Quidditch … because only in a fantasy world would this show count as a comedy.

Underdog: Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) – Amy Poehler is like rugby. I really enjoy rugby despite its lack of wider acceptance. In fact, rugby’s outsider status makes me enjoy it even more because it’s like I’m a member of a small exclusive club. Surely Parks and Rec has more fans in America than Rugby does, but in the TV landscape it’s an underexposed sport that is full of guts, hard work, and understated intelligence. Also, Poehler is stuck in Tina Fey’s shadow the way rugby is stuck in the shadow of American football.
 

Lead Actor in a Comedy
Favorite: Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory) – He won last year and stars on show that’s pretty bland and conventionally formatted, but is somehow widely popular in the same way that that former champions the Pittsburgh Steelers play pretty plain and conventional football, but utilize it successfully and have a large following nationally.

Underdog: Joel McHale (Community) – The Green Bay Packers are, very simply, lovable. The fans own the team, they play in the middle of nowhere in a historic stadium that sells out every game, and they’ve always got a gunslinger quarterback who makes for exciting TV. Similarly, Community is a show that pushes the boundaries of network comedy and has developed a sort of cult following. Moreover, Aaron Rogers is a hero to stat geeks while McHale is a hero to television and cinema geeks. While the Packers won the Super Bowl, I don’t see McHale following suit.
 

Supporting Actress in a Drama
Favorite: Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) – This is an up and coming show that currently manages to garner individual awards and recognition but can’t win the big enchilada of best drama. Thus, I’ll say this is like the University of Kentucky’s basketball team. It’s full of stars that are individually great, but as a team they fall short of the big prize. Plus, this show is about cheating and the University of Kentucky and John Calipari are experts on cheating.

Underdog: Margo Martindale (Justified) – The Butler Bulldogs used a lethargic offense and gritty, hardnosed defense to get to back to back championship games. At the beginning of the tournament no one thinks they have a chance, but the more you watch them the more you realize they are a force to be reckoned with. Martindale may not even make the big dance, but if she does get nominated and people do look closely at what she brings to the table they’ll realize that while it isn’t flashy it is good solid work the way it was meant to be done.
 

Supporting Actor in a Drama
Favorite: John Slattery (Mad Men) – I’m out on Mad Men, but Slattery is always ok by me. He’s the show’s best character and the only one that doesn’t have some absurd back story. Plus, he gets all the good lines. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones does whatever he wants and thrives off pursuing life’s excesses. He’ll step on the throat of anyone who gets in his way and then deliver some coy, folksy sound bite at a press conference that makes you like him despite his vices. Doesn’t that sound a lot like Roger Sterling?

Underdog: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) – It would be easy to compare him to Muggsy Bogues but I think he’s more like Kevin Durant. He’s on a really popular show that people want to do well just like how people pull for the Oklahoma City Thunder and want to see them become a power player in the NBA. And the Thunder’s star, Kevin Durant, is not only the best player but entirely affable. In my opinion, though Dinklage isn’t the shows focal point, I think he might be the best actor. Everyone else seems to be putting on the accent or mannerisms or Middle Ages vocabulary while it appears to come to Dinklage with ease. Dinklage probably won’t get nominated but in the same way that the Thunder are going to establish themselves as a dominant force very soon, Game of Thrones is on the rise and will eventually force the Emmys to take notice of some of their players.
 

Lead Actress in a Drama
Favorite: Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) – I’m comparing her to the Miami Heat simply because I don’t know anyone who likes this show and no one outside of Miami likes the Heat. Also, I find it funny to relate a show called The Closer to LeBron James who repeatedly fails to close by disappearing in the fourth quarter.

Underdog: Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy) – She is a true underdog. She’s absolutely great on a show that doesn’t get the credit or recognition or ratings it deserves and she’s been bringing it like an All-Star for her entire career. So she’s like Dirk and the Dallas Mavericks, although she’s got a much better supporting cast than Dirk had. There’s an outsiders chance that she wins the way the Mavs did and I feel like people will be rooting for her, but it would be a huge upset.
 

Lead Actor in a Drama
Favorite: Jon Hamm (Mad Men) – Maybe it’s because it’s in New York, but Mad Men makes me think of the Yankees. There is tons of talent, tons of media attention and tons of praise. However, I find all the flattery and attention annoying so I’m put off. Hamm seems like a good guy as does Mark Teixeira or Derek Jeter, but once you put on the pinstripes you’re in a position to win but you’ve alienated the people who don’t idealize Madison Avenue.

Underdog: Hugh Laurie (House) – The Cubs haven’t won since 1908. They’ve had some chances but always got outshined by someone and now they are just abjectly horrible. They’ve tried to add new blood to the lineup but the end result is a team with no shot to return to winning ways this year or anytime in the near future. Hugh Laurie has been a staple in the group of nominees for this category getting into the mix in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 but has never won.  He’s zero for five. This season of House they tried something new, got away from the format, and the result was their worst season yet. Sadly, now  it seems that Laurie has absolutely no chance to win and might not even be nominated this year. And the way the show is going it doesn’t seem like his chances will improve. Like the Cubs, Laurie seems destined to remain a lovable loser.