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Movies about Accounting and Baseball

Honestly, there are not that many movies that discuss both accounting and baseball. There is at least one, though: Moneyball. Us rare fans of accounting and baseball were astounded to finally find both our hobbies embraced in a movie starring Brad Pitt. Maybe you don't like Brad Pitt, but Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman were also in that movie. Now that's a cast for everyone.

You may be asking, "What could accounting possibly have to do with the great American pastime?" Like any organization, a sports team can benefit from research and creative accounting to discover a new competitive advantage. In the movie, a team called the Oakland Athletics uses a new method of analyzing players to build a better team on a small budget.

The nerd who brings this new perspective to the team is played by Jonah Hill. Jonah does great in this unusually dramatic role, and passably pulls off the charisma and depth of character that's so typical to the average person who chooses the accounting profession. This made the film feel more realistic.

Change is not easy for the heroes of the film. Many of their colleagues and superiors are not interested in a new way of doing things. In some cases, these changes threaten stable careers. This is, of course, the pressure faced by almost anyone who finds themselves overhauling their accounting system to make their business operations more efficient and their legal protection air-tight

Like Jonah Hill, we must learn to move forward in the face of adversity. If we don't choose to be the ones who bring a new way of doing things to the market, we're doomed to be the ones bowled over when someone else does it first. Being the first to try something means the first to make a mistake, but making those mistakes is what leads to the final triumph.

I don't want to spoil the end of the movie for you. "Final triumph" doesn't describe the human story as much as it describes the story of the numbers. You may not have heard of a team called the Oakland Athletics, but almost every professional sports team everywhere uses a data-driven approach to scouting.

At the end of the movie, the power of accounting stands triumphant. On film, we are drawn toward the athletes, though in this case, management was covered better than it usually is. Still, I think we all know one thing: the real hero of this movie is the proud profession of accounting. It's the force that came through and saved the day.

You'd think a film about an LA baseball team would have nothing at all to do with the country of Canada.
In fact, the the film first appeared at the Toronto Film Festival.

Westfield High School

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Chantilly, Virginia  20151-1731

Sports Hotline:  703.488.6500

Head Coach:  Rob Hahne (rlhahne@aol.com)