Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wrapping up 2008

What a crazy year! A new president, a bad economy, and crazy stories from sports and entertainment. Let's take a moment to reflect on the best and worst of 2008.

BEST SPORTS STORY: Michael Phelps. Hands down the most compelling sports story of the year. I think just for fun he should compete in the 2012 games while actually wearing all 8 Gold Medals as he swims. Honorable Mention: Tampa Bay Rays, Josh Hamilton, Boston Celtics.

BEST SPORTING EVENT/GAME: The Men's Wimbledon Final. Rarely do we see athletes pushed to the brink of mere survival in a single event. The 2008 Wimbledon final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer gave us just that. Including 2 rain delays, the match lasted roughly 7 hours. Nadal finally was able to put away his old nemesis for the first time in Wimbledon history. Honorable Mention: Super Bowl 43, Kansas vs. Memphis NCAA basketball final, Texas vs. Texas Tech NCAA football.

COLLEGE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Candace Parker, Tennessee Lady Vols. Say what you want about women's basketball, but you can't deny the sheer dominance portrayed by Candace Parker this past year. Not only did she lead her team to their 2nd consecutive national title, she won the SEC Player of the Year, Wooden Award (national POY), NCAA Tournament MVP, and eventually went on the win the Rookie of the Year in the WNBA. Honorable Mention: Tim Tebow, Tyler Hansbrough, Graham Harrell.

COACH/MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Chad Knauss, Jimmie Johnson's Crew Chief. Like 7 NASCAR Nextel Cup wins and 15 top five finishes this season wasn't enough, how about helping the 48 car win it's third straight NASCAR championship? That's impressive no matter what driver you root for. Honorable Mention: Joe Maddon (TB Rays), Nick Saban (Alabama), Tom Coughlin (NY Giants).

TEAM OF THE YEAR: Tampa Bay Rays. It's tough to decide among all the possible candidates for this one, but when your entire team's payroll doesn't even equal a fifth of the Yankees or Red Sox, yet you still win the division, that deserves a tip of the hat. Honorable Mention: Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Phillies, Kansas Jayhawks Basketball.

MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Dark Knight. Perhaps it was a bit overhyped, but for the most part, it lived up to the billing. Heath Ledger played what was by far the most convincing and truly eerie villain that the Batman series has ever seen. Honorable Mention: Baby Mama, No Country For Old Men, 21.

SONG OF THE YEAR: "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay. The music is phenomenal overall, which we've come to expect from this band. Honorable Mention: "So What", Pink; "I'm Still A Guy", Brad Paisley; "Swagger Like Us", T.I., Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil' Wayne.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR: "808s and Heartbreaks" by Kanye West. Take everything you already know about Kanye and throw it out the window. This album shows more creativity and less "preppie" rap; more heart felt soul and less redundant references to dropping out of school. Honorable Mention: "Death Magnetic", Metallica; "Viva La Vida", Coldplay; "Paper Trail", T.I.

WEBSITE OF THE YEAR: They complained in the beginning, but I don't know of too many that still don't like the new facebook format. Yes, the status updates get a bit annoying, but they certainly provide up to the minute info, even on the random person from high school who you don't really remember but don't want to feel like a jerk by denying their friend request. Awesome. Honorable Mention:,,

COMMERCIAL OF THE YEAR: Ozzy Osbourne AT&T Cell Phone Text. If you know anything at all about the former Black Sabbath frontman, you know that you can't understand what he's saying. AT&T does a great job playing off that in this ad:

WOMAN OF THE YEAR: Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska. Poke fun all you want, but she wouldn't have been hated so much if she wasn't a real threat to the Democratic Party. You can certainly expect to hear her name brought up in 2012. Honorable Mention: Hillary Clinton, Candace Parker, Pat Summitt.

WORST PERSON OF THE YEAR: Three-way tie between Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Ben Bernanke. It's hideous how bad these men failed at their jobs, leaving us in an absolute financial nightmare nationwide. It's further more disturbing that this men continue to have jobs. Honorable Mention: Rod Blagojevich, Al Davis, "Pacman" Jones.

MAN OF THE YEAR: Barack Obama, President-Elect. Like him or not, the soon-to-be-prez ran a brilliant campaign, and may very well be the best presidential speaker we've had since Reagan or perhaps even JFK. Honorable Mention: Michael Phelps, Jimmie Johnson, Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher.

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