Man of the Year: Bill Simmons. With the publication of his first book and ESPN work that’s now bigger and better than ever, Simmons is now officially on top of the world.
Blog of the Year: RoadFromBristol.com. An uproariously hilarious “tournament” that pitted ESPN personalities against one another, with biting commentary from author Mac Thomason and dozens of commentators.
Chutzpah Award Winner: Terrell Owens. I don’t have to tell you why.
Runnerup: John Rocker, for saying in an interview that “I’ve taken a lot of crap from a lot of people… probably more than anybody in the history of the sport… I know Hank [Aaron] and Jackie [Robinson] took a good deal of crap, but I guarantee it wasn’t for six years. I just keep thinking: ‘How much am I supposed to take?'”
Eckstein Award Winner (for excellence in being a gentile with a Jewish-sounding name): Wake Forest forward Jamal Levy, the only player in college basketball history with a Muslim first name and Jewish last name, who played at a Baptist university in North Carolina.
Levy beat out a late charge from 2003 winner Rex Grossman, and White Sox bench player Geoff Blum, who hit a key homer in the World Series.
Burn Your Siddur Award Winner (for embarrassing statements/actions by Jewish clergy): The Union of Reform Judaism, for passing a resolution urging withdrawal from Iraq.
Weinkauf Award Winner (for arts criticism injecting political analysis in reviewing a work that has nothing whatsoever to do with politics):
“To his credit, Mr. Howard does not wave the flag as vigorously as Mr. Ross, though the new film’s tagline (“When America was on its knees, he brought us to our feet”) prepares you for the worst. In any event, given that Mr. Howard and his writers would be hard-pressed to bend this underdog narrative to our current political nightmare, it’s a good thing they don’t venture down that path.”
–Manohla Dargis, in the New York Times, reviewing “Cinderella Man”- calling American flag-waving “the worst,” praising Ron Howard for not making the movie about something it has nothing to do with, and referencing “our current political nightmare” while reviewing a movie about the Great Depression.
Quote of the Year:
“Watching football last Sunday with my friends, I brought up the topic, “What touchdown dance would cause the biggest possible fine?”
I think this one would be [the worst]: “The Delivery.” What if Moss scored a TD and immediately fell to the ground on his back, with his legs up in the air like a pregnant woman, and two receivers stood on either side “cheering him on,” and Randy pretended he was pushing, and finally the QB leaned over him and “pulled” the football from Randy’s loins, then held the football to his shoulder like a baby for a few seconds before Moss stood up, gingerly grabbed the “baby,” cut an imaginary umbilical cord, then spiked the ball as hard as he possibly could? I think that would be like a three-game suspension and a $500,000 fine, right? Plus, Buck would be more distraught than Walter Cronkite after JFK’s assassination.”
Film Critic Quote of the Year:
“[Dukes of Hazzard] is a film that is not there. It can’t really be reviewed because it doesn’t really exist. It is not empty calories, which implies pleasure, but simply empty. It’s a cosmic void where a movie ought to be… with no plot, character, or dialogue worth experiencing, let alone remembering, the film merely occupies space on the screen and hopes for the best.”
–Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times.
“In interviews, Theron and her director, Niki Caro, have said that the original screenplay (by Michael Seitzman) was a little too black-and-white, and that they tried to introduce “shades of gray.” I can only infer that said shades are moments when some of the men—after hissing the c-word and pushing over a Port-A-Potty with one of Josey’s co-workers (Michelle Monaghan) in it, who emerges screaming and sobbing and covered in liquid shit—are shown, for a second or two, with a look of shame. But those looks are fleeting. There is, after all, harassment to be done.
North Country is powerful and then some. I came out shaking, dabbing at my eyes, and vowing never again to write the c-word in shit on the walls of a women’s room.”-
David Edelstein, reviewing “North Country” in Slate.
TV Critic Quote of the Week:
“To suggest someone watch ‘The Andy Milonakis Show’ would also require suggesting the use of mind-altering drugs or alcohol. Having watched a tape of the premiere episode, airing 9:30 p.m. Sunday on MTV, being under the influence is about the only way I can see someone sitting through a full show… is a stretch, but Milonakis might be funnier if seen after an hours-long bender.”
Richard Huff, in the New York Daily News.
Music Critic Quote of the Year:
“Consider the Los Angeles hip-hop quartet the Black Eyed Peas. Their current single, “My Humps,” is one of the most popular hit singles in history. It is also proof that a song can be so bad as to veer toward evil…
It’s a song that tries to evoke a coquettish nudge and wink, but head-butts and bloodies the target instead. It isolates sectors of the female anatomy that obsessive young men have been inventing language for since their skulls fused, and yet it emerges only with “humps” and “lumps”—at least “Milkshake” sounded delicious.”
Hua Hsu, in Slate, in a piece that calls “My Humps” a “song so awful it hurts the mind.”
Theological Quote of the Year:
“To those who want profound change, consider an outsider’s perspective: the Catholic Church is the National Review of religion. You may live long enough to see it become the Weekly Standard. In your dreams it might become the New Republic. But it’s never going to be the Nation. And if ever it does, it will have roughly the same subscriber base.”
– James Lileks.
Headline of the Year: “Ass Backwards: The Media’s Silence About Rampant Anal Sex” -Slate.
First runnerup: “Dick to Replace Johnson vs. Gamecocks” (for a story about Arkansas coach Houston Nutt replacing quarterback Robert Johnson with Casey Dick for a game against South Carolina.
Lede of the Year:
OP-ED COLUMNIST W. Won’t Read This
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: December 14, 2005
Never ask a guy who’s in a bubble if he’s in a bubble. He can’t answer.
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Poster of the Year:
Catchphrase of the Year: “Is it because I’m a lesbian?”
Tabloid Front Page of the Year:
T-shirt of the Year:
Yes, we’re still glad to be rid of him.