Thanks again to Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil for asking me to participate in an Oscar Prediction Throwdown taping two days ago (i.e., this one), but I just couldn’t see driving all the way down from Santa Barbara and then back just to do this one thing. The round trip would have taken at least four hours plus pit stops and whatever unforeseen traffic obstructions and slowdowns. I don’t need to add I would have grumped and grouched my way all through the discussion. I’m not much for home-stretch predictions anyway — I’m more of an early fall-to-late December “this or that it what ought to be nominated” kind of guy. Congrats to O’Neil, Yahoo Movies senior editor Kevin Polowy and Access Hollywood‘s Scott Mantz for keeping the ball in the air without my brilliant backhands and slam shots.