On Tuesdays, we do a lil' piece called "The Sporting Equivalency," whereby we take a non-athlete and equate him to various athletes in the four major sports. Today, we honor the 45th birthday of Greg Kinnear by wondering: who exactly in Major League Baseball could possibly be Tina Fey's love interest in Baby Mama?
Greg Kinnear's MLB Equivalent: Dan Uggla
We were gonna go with Terry Francona here for a second, since both him and Kinnear went to University of Arizona around the same time. Then we realized: Francona can be lovable, but he's lovable because he's gruff and Kinnear is never really completely gruff—and if he was, he'd stop getting roles. Uggla seemed a good fit: he's one of the cornerstones of a team that's 38-32 and only three back in the NL East, but he couldn't do it without Hanley Ramirez and some of his other guys. Kinnear's best roles? As Good As It Gets (Oscar nomination): he had Jack and Helen Hunt. Little Miss Sunshine? He had Steve Carrell and that adorable girl. Even Baby Mama, he had Fey, Poehler and Dax Sheppard. Wait, scratch that last one.
Greg Kinnear's NBA Equivalent: Danny Granger
OK, this one seems weird. First peg, easy and obvious: Kinnear was born in Indiana; that's where Granger plays! Second peg, less so: Greg Kinnear has reached a level—still below John Tuturro, though—where he's literally popping up in everything. Between now and the end of 2009, he has five movies coming out. At the same time, though, he's not massively well-known; people likely wouldn't group him as an "A-Lister." Granger toils in similar anonymity: he averaged 19 and 6 last year for a Pacers team that hung around the playoff hunt, yet everyone wants to call them "Jermaine O'Neal's team." Was Invincible Mark Wahlberg's movie? Or was it Kinnear's? Think about it…
Greg Kinnear's NFL Equivalent: Brian Westbrook
Because of Invincible, we wanted to go with an Eagle here. Westbrook is amazing: comes out of nowhere (Villanova), as did Kinnear (his first film role was Blankman; even before Talk Soup, he was doing bit parts on Life Goes On). Had one of the best seasons in Eagles history last year: 2,104 yards from scrimmage. Kinnear's next film is with Ricky Gervais (it's gotta be funny!) and he's in Green Zone in 2009 with Matt Damon (it's gotta make money!) For coming from nowhere to achieve (albeit under-the-radar) success (no one confuses Westbrook with guys like LT), Kinnear and Westbrook are equivalent.
Greg Kinnear's NHL Equivalent: R.J. Umberger
Because if you're making a romantic comedy and you can't score Greg Kinnear, wouldn't it be cool to have the leading man named "R.J. Umberger?" It'd be good for at least another 36 bucks at the door.