Top 50 Sports Plays of 2015
For what looks like will be my last list I'll be able to post in the actual year 2015, I thought I'd save the biggest post for last. My ultimate creation- the top 50 sports plays from 2015. There are some really talented athletes out there. Humans are just awesome in general. This is the best of what they had to offer in the world of sport this year. Let's get to it.
November 1: World Series Game 5- Royals baserunning in ninth leads to a tie game, later a series win over Mets- Kansas City vs. N.Y. Mets
Less of a top play and more of just good baseball, the Royals rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth to tie game 5 using effective baserunning by Eric Hosmer. They would score 5 runs in the 12th inning to win their first World Series since 1985.
September 12: Deshone Kizer finds Will Fuller late to put away Virginia- Notre Dame vs. Virginia
Notre Dame's starting QB Malik Zaire goes down and out for the season after breaking his ankle in this game against Virginia. Redshirt freshman Deshone Kizer comes in and holds of the Cavaliers, and ends the game with this. Talk about making an entrance.
November 8: Lance Stephenson's alley-oop to DeAndre Jordan- Houston vs. LA Clippers
More from DeAndre in a little bit. But give credit where credit is due. That pass by Lance Stephenson, though....
February 24: Karri Ramo robs JT Miller with spectacular save- Calgary vs. NY Rangers
You had an open net, JT. Aaaaaaaand, it's gone. Go-go-Gadget Glove Save!
August 27: Carlos Torres kicks comebacker, David Murphy completes putout- NY Mets vs. Philadelphia
This one seriously requires all the luck in the world. To be able to kick a screaming low line drive like Torres does, then to be in the perfect position the way David Murphy was, then to complete the throw to first base... just watch this.
The Top 50:
50. September 12: David Ortiz hits career home run #500- Boston vs. Tampa Bay
A legendary exclamation point on the end of a brilliant career. Keep on swingin', Big Papi.
49. May 9: Albany lacrosse goalie Blaze Riordan runs the field, splits the D, scores- UAlbany vs. Cornell
There are a number of factors that make this play amazing. The first is that Riordan's a big boy, and look at the guy move! The second is that he's a goaltender, so stuff like this never happens in lacrosse. Third, the splitting of the two Cornell players. It's just funny the way he leaves them in his dust. Finally, the shot that beats the buzzer. Like, come on. Lax is ridiculous like that, as is this play.
48. January 9: Travis Booker beats the shot clock with a circus-style tip in- Utah vs. Oklahoma City
Another shot that requires 39 different kinds of luck. This one just makes you laugh, it's so silly.
47. May 23: Ducks score 3 times in 37 seconds to take lead over Hawks- Western Conference Finals, Game 4, Chicago vs. Anaheim
Can't tell if lazy defense by the Blackhawks... or just impressive offense by the Ducks... the Blackhawks won this game, by the way.
46. September 26: Aaron Green lifts TCU over Texas Tech with touchdown catch off deflection- TCU vs. Texas Tech
If Green doesn't make this catch on 4th down, Texas Tech wins, and TCU's #3 ranking is done for. Things this video doesn't show: Texas Tech's crazy lateral play that almost went the distance to win the game. A fine game-winning TD from one of the best college football games this season.
45. September 20: Bartolo Colon flips ball behind the back, isn't really 42- NY Mets vs. Miami
The best part of this video is at about 0:08, when the announcers realized that they just saw a 42-year old man who is still pitching at a major league level defy the laws of aging. Bartolo Colon is literally timeless.
44. October 10: Alex Ovechkin dekes John Moore out of his skates, scores- Washington vs. New Jersey
Let's be honest here. This is Alex Ovechkin doing Alex Ovechkin-type things, which is nothing new whenever one views a Washington Capitals game. Poor John Moore, he never saw it coming.
43. November 7: St. Thomas College's no-look pass for 2-point conversion- St. Thomas vs. Carleton
I wonder how many times these guys practiced this before they got it right. Carleton was actually leading this game, 3-0, before St. Thomas scored this touchdown/conversion. They wound up losing, however, 80-3.
42. May 16: Garry Hill's gravity-defying grab- Brookland vs. Star City (Arkansas)
This here is high school baseball, the Arkansas Class 4A semifinal. Star City centerfielder Garry Hill goes back after a long fly ball- what he does next is instant awesome.
41. January 9: Michal Neuvirth reaches across the crease to rob Brett Connolly- Nashville vs. Tampa Bay
When you can fake out even the guy who sounds the goal horn, you know you've done something right. Michal Neuvirth's save of the year candidate on Brett Connolly, everyone.
40. May 14: Tristan Thompson makes circus style layup while falling- Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 6, Cleveland vs. Chicago
The landing looks like it might have hurt a little bit- watch Tristan Thompson get the dish from Matthew Dellavedova, go up, maintain his focus and concentration, and fall to the floor as his layup rolls in.
39. September 26: Mike Trout takes a home run away from Jesus Monteiro, makes it look easy- LA Angels vs. Seattle
I mean, the guy's an American League MVP and a four-time All-Star, so what else do you expect from Mike Trout? But this? This is just rude. Although, to the fielder's credit, the wall at Angel Stadium isn't that high...
38. January 13: Julian Kislin's crazy passing skills lead to goal- Freehold Township vs. Middletown North (N.J.)
If you took Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Sydney Crosby, and Pavel Datsyuk on a good day, and rolled them all up into one, you might just get what Julian Kislin does to his opponents in this high school hockey game. Have a day, kid.
37. April 26: Alex Gordon flies into stands to make catch, takes fan with him- Kansas City vs. Chicago White Sox
The dive and catch into the stands is impressive, yes. But what really steals the show for me here is the contact made between Gordon and the White Sox fan in the black jacket. It's like a running back meeting a linebacker on a goal-line stand. Advantage on this one goes to the running back.
36. December 9: Kevin Garnett still has game, dunks on Blake Griffin, draws technical- Minnesota vs. LA Clippers
The guy's 39 and still making posters, and he's making posters over other guys who love to dunk. This might be a young man's game, but sometimes the youngin's need to respect their elders, especially when they can still do this.
35. August 19: Juan Perez makes basket catch over the wall to rob a home run- San Francisco vs. St. Louis
This one is just plain old disrespectful. To go up on the wall and rob a home run is one thing, but to make a basket catch? Please. Juan Perez makes this look easy.
34. August 11: Neymar scores beautiful spinning goal- Barcelona vs. Villareal
This goal by Neymar is just pure artistry, pure genius. And it's kinda funny, really. Pop. Spin. Shoot. GOOOOOOL.
33. September 7: Braxton Miller's spin move leaves Virginia Tech in the dust- Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech
This right here is some video game stuff... like, Braxton Miller pressed the B button on Virginia Tech. Without any effort at all, Miller was absolutely gone. With a spin like that, he deserved to score.
32. April 21: Tom Wilson steamrolls Lubomir Visnovsky- Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 4, Washington vs. NY Islanders
It was at this point that Lubomir Visnovsky knew... something was definitely wrong here. Given, there was a charging penalty on Wilson for this hit, it was still really pretty to watch anyways.
31. July 6- Ryan Smith makes spectacular flipping catch- Saskatchewan vs. Toronto
Canada has football too, you guys. That's right, we're talking the CFL here. That's Ryan Smith of the Saskatchewan Roughriders going up high and basically flipping in the air to bring down the ball against that defensive back for the Toronto Argonauts. Great country, great catch, great reactions from the kids, great football.
30. May 9: Paul Pierce calls "game," hits buzzer-beater over three defenders- Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 3, Washington vs. Atlanta
The Atlanta Hawks couldn't handle "the truth." With time winding down, and the Wizards with the ball, Paul Pierce single-handedly won the game for Washington, holding onto the ball for at least seven seconds, then going up over three Atlanta defenders to bury the jumper at the buzzer. When asked in a post game interview if he "called bank," Pierce responded calmly, "I called game."
29. September 4: Mac Bignell crushes a Fort Lewis receiver- Montana State vs. Fort Lewis
Jadeveon Clowney, anyone? Even with all the padding, this one had to hurt. The plays seems innocent at first; a simple swing pass out to the right side... and then Bignell makes it all go south for the poor guy.
28. January 3: Jerian Grant climbs the ladder, defies gravity on huge dunk- Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech
"Where was the defense?" "Where was the gravity?" Jerian Grant's monster dunk over a Georgia Tech defender was the first big play of 2015. The All-American point guard gets so much air on this dunk, it literally looks like there's an actual ladder underneath him. Like... how?
27. September 5: Tanner Mangum's hail mary finds Mitch Matthews to beat Nebraska- BYU vs. Nebraska
This play is one of a few hail mary's on this list, and for all of them, I wonder what went wrong for Nebraska here. At least have one guy in front, and have at least one guy behind the receiver. That way, you can, I don't know, deflect the ball somehow. It's still a great play- and what's even more amazing is that Mangum threw another hail mary the very next week to beat Boise State.
26. July 28: Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar combine for incredible put out- Kansas City vs. Cleveland
This is some grade-A defense right here, based on just pure skill alone. I personally love the fact that it's all this effort just to nab the runner headed to first place- no double play or anything. It's a testament to how much of a team that Royals squad was on their World Series quest.
25. March 19: RJ Hunter hits deep 3 to sink Baylor, dad falls off stool- NCAA Tournament Second Round, Baylor vs. Georgia State
Baylor was in my Final Four, and this was the second game of the first day... so I was a little angry when RJ Hunter hit this shot. In hindsight, it's pretty awesome. The shot is from 35 feet, and it's for a 14-seed to knock out a 3-seed in the first round. And the icing on the cake is Hunter's father, Ron, falling off his stool (he tore his achilles celebrating the team's tournament birth) as the shot fell. This play is everything that March Madness is about.
24. April 10: Andrelton Simmons breaks sound barrier with throw to nab runner- Atlanta vs. NY Mets
This is one of those Derek Jeter-esque plays. To grab a grounder from short left field, jump, and still get the guy is ridiculous. Additional props go to Freddie Freeman, the first baseman, for that split. This is the second time in as many seasons that Simmons has made a play like this to get the same hitter, Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
23. March 21: Steph Curry breaks Chris Paul's ankles, part 1- Golden State vs. LA Clippers
So, technically, this play is actually second chronologically in the pantheon of Steph Curry-Chris Paul interactions (the second is coming up on this list). Two things about this play stood out as amazing to me (definitely a non-basketball person): the first being Curry dribbling behind his back to get Paul to bite and then bite the floor, and the second being reaction of the Warrior bench.
22. August 15: Three Nationals combine for wild defensive out, Washington vs. San Francisco
Plain and simple- this play should not have happened. Nats 1B Clint Robinson has to be in just the right position to deflect the ball up in the air, where 2B Anthony Rendon has to time his jump perfectly and be in perfect position to snag the ball with a bare hand, who fires it to basically nowhere, where P Felipe Rivero just happened to be in just the right spot where he is completely outstretched to make the out. If any of these elements are off, even by an inch, Brandon Crawford is safe at first.
21. January 10: Julian Edelman throws touchdown pass to Danny Amendola- AFC Divisional Round, New England vs. Baltimore
For context, Julian Edelman was a former quarterback when he played in college at Kent State. The Pats have even used this double-pass play before, where it worked on the Indianapolis Colts. This one brought the Patriots back to tie the game, as they had come back for the second time from down 14.
20. June 24: Josh Donaldson dives into the stands to make the catch- Baltimore vs. Tampa Bay
The announcer makes a comparison between Donaldson and Derek Jeter, who also famously ended up in the stands in a game against the Red Sox. The difference between Donaldson and Jeter is this: Jeter didn't catch the ball in the stands- he caught it about 10 feet from the stands and his momentum carried him (and perhaps a bit of embellishment did as well) into the crowd. Donaldson dove into the stands and caught the damn ball in the stands. Also, this was to keep Marco Estrada's perfect game alive in the 8th inning. The edge between the AL MVP and the Captain goes to Donaldson here. And yes, there are 19 plays left that are more amazing than this one.
19. December 3: "The Miracle in Motown:" Aaron Rodgers ends game with walk-off hail mary- Green Bay vs. Detroit
I didn't watch this game, and I'm mad at myself for it. I saw a Facebook post that read "A live look in at the Green Bay Packers" with a picture of the Titanic sinking- it was 20-0 at halftime. All of a sudden, about an hour later, I get a notification from ESPN saying Aaron Rodgers had won the game with a 60+ yard hail mary. And sure enough, that was the case. The Packers had come from 20 points down to beat their division rivals with this gem. As for the Lions- put someone in FRONT of the receiver.
18. November 28: Mike Thomas does his best Odell Beckham, Jr. impression- Southern Mississippi vs. Louisiana Tech
You have to get at least one foot down in college, so flying body parts on this play make it all the more fun to watch. The one handed grab by Thomas here put Southern Miss up 21-3; they'd go on to win, 58-24. Thomas's hands might not be as sticky as OBJ's, but it sure is one hell of an athletic grab.
17. September 25: Mookie Betts goes over the wall to rob Chris Davis, ends game- Boston vs. Baltmore
Earlier in the season, Mookie Betts caught a ball that took him over the wall, but was called a home run as the ball popped out of his glove (#MookieCaughtIt), giving the White Sox a bizarre homer. This time around, Betts (and the ball) stayed in the park, as he robs Chris Davis of a home run, and sealed Rich Hill's 7-0 shut out win over the Orioles. (Also spotted: Steve the bullpen cop.)
16. February 1: Jermaine Kearse makes crazy bobble catch to put the Seahawks in position to win- Super Bowl XLIX, New England vs. Seattle
Had it not been for another play, this would have been the storybook ending the Seahawks needed to put away Super Bowl XLIX. Malcolm Butler tips the ball in the air, but Kearse is able to maintain a focus on it and bring it down at the 5. It's another "He did what??" moment. I guarantee you, every Patriots fan that night had horrible flashbacks at this very moment (see Tyree, David). Regardless, one of the best plays from one of the most intense Super Bowls ever.
15. August 31: Kevin Kiermeier robs Manny Machado of a home run- Tampa Bay vs. Baltimore
Full extension right here. That would have taken my arm out of its socket. How do you feel about this, Chris Archer?
14. June 3: Alex Killorn makes no-look, tip in goal to open the series- Stanley Cup Final, Game 1, Tampa Bay vs. Chicago
I think it's safe to say Alex Killorn has some really good hand-eye coordination. The Bolts' center redirects a deflected shot by Anton Stralman, and bats it out of mid-air past Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford. Doc Emrick's reaction is vintage, too.
13. November 30: Ravens block Browns' potential game-winning FG, return it for game-winning touchdown- Baltimore vs. Cleveland
Ah, the Kick-Six. After Ravens QB Matt Schaub had thrown his third interception of the night, the Browns only needed to go something like 15 yards to give their kicker Travis Coons a chance at a game-winning field goal. Coons kick was blocked, and Ravens DB Will Hill returned it the rest of the way, giving Baltimore a stunning 33-27 win on Monday Night Football. This is, far and away, one of the most Browns things to ever happen.
12. December 9: DeAndre Jordan posterizes Greg Monroe
This will be your NBA 2015-16 dunk of the year, I'm calling it. DeAndre shows no mercy when he's up that high. I can't come up with too many words to describe this- I'm just in awe.
11. July 5: Carli Lloyd scores third goal of a hat trick- from midfield- FIFA Women's World Cup Final, United States vs. Japan
The first two were great, but now you're just toying with the Japanese team now, Carli Lloyd. This was the fastest hat trick ever scored in a World Cup match- at only the 16th minute. This game was better off being USA 1776, Japan 0.
10. October 16: Michigan mishandles punt, Michigan State returns it for touchdown to win- #12 Michigan vs. #7 Michigan State
I felt so bad for Michigan and its fans on this play. This is one of those "You had ONE job" moments. All Michigan has to do is hang onto the ball, or punt it away if they really wanted. They fumble. MSU picks it up and returns it for the game-winning touchdown. Poor Blake O'Neill. And to boot, Michigan State's got a chance to play for a National Championship on New Year's Eve.
9. February 3: Carter Hutton spins around and makes incredible paddle save- Nashville vs. Toronto
Kick saves and glove saves are nice, but paddle saves are the absolute best. Having to swing around a piece of wood that is easily detachable from your body (especially when it's a bigger piece of wood than other players have) and swat a puck out of mid-air without even looking at it is an achievement, to say the least. You'll need to watch this a few times to fathom what you see.
8. August 6: Kevin Pillar is Superman, robs Miguel Sano of extra bases- Toronto vs. Minnesota
Somewhere, Jim Edmonds is smiling. Sano drives one to deep right center, but Pillar lays out for a spectacular catch. The best camera angle of this play is from far away, where Pillar looks so small compared to the huge walls at the Rogers Centre. More from Pillar in a second.
7. September 21: Chad Kelly finds Quincy Adeboyjo (somehow) for touchdown- #15 Ole Miss vs. #2 Alabama
Another play that should not have happened. The botched snap, the desperation throw, the tip and the catch are all absurd. Alabama would get the last laugh, though, getting the 43-37 win.
6. February 1: Malcolm Butler picks off Russell Wilson to seal Super Bowl victory- Super Bowl XLIX, New England vs. Seattle
This never gets old. Butler was the cornerback who tipped the ball up in the air when covering Jermaine Kearse, only to have Kearse catch it on the rebound, a great play in its own right, which should have sealed victory for the Seahawks. Down 28-24, instead of running the ball from the 1 yard line, Seattle coach Pete Carroll decided to call a Russell Wilson pass play, which was subsequently intercepted by Butler with only 20 seconds remaining. It will be remembered long after Patriots and football fans alike die. By the same token, the Kearse catch should have been the movie ending for the Seahawks. The Butler interception is the harsh reality that your heart can be ripped out of your chest, just seconds after it was ready to explode with happiness.
5. March 8: Steph Curry breaks Chris Paul's (and the Clippers) collective ankles, part 2- Golden State vs. LA Clippers
Crossing over one guy is one thing. But four?? Steph Curry makes it happen, and makes it look so easy. The fall away jumper at the end is the icing on the cake. Also, check out Steve Kerr's reaction to this piece of artistry. It's amazing how far this guy has come along, and how much more exciting he's making the game of basketball.
4. April 16: Kevin Pillar enjoys parkour, robs Tim Beckham of a home run- Toronto vs. Tampa Bay
Jumping at the wall is one thing. Being able to get a foothold on it and climb it is another. Kevin Pillar does just that, as he just barely reaches over and snags Tim Beckham's sure home run on Jackie Robinson day. Lots of good things happened for the Toronto Blue Jays this year, that's for sure.
3. November 29: Odell Beckham Jr, "The One-Handed Catch, Part 2"- NY Giants vs. Washington
Another year, another spectacular catch by the sensation out of LSU. Odell Beckham Jr. somehow makes a ridiculous one-handed grab, almost a year to the day he made his first one that propelled him to super-stardom. The first one involved Beckham diving backwards to make the grab, this time he's diving forwards to make the grab. Somehow, this one seems almost more impossible than the first one.
2. November 1: Miami uses 8-lateral kick return to score touchdown to beat Duke- Miami vs. #22 Duke
Lateral. Lateral. Lateral. Lateral. Lateral. Lateral. Lateral. Lateral. Easy as 1-2-3. After Duke scored on a 1-yard rush from Thomas Sirk (and a two-point conversion) with 6 seconds to play, all the Blue Devils needed to do was squib the ball on the kickoff and tackle whichever Miami Hurricane was holding it. Easier said than done, as Miami returned the ball up to their own 40, then lateraled their way back to their own goal line, and then ran it down the field to score the game-winning touchdown. Miami was actually up by 12 with 5 minutes to go before Duke scored 15 unanswered points.
1. October 16: Francis Owusu makes catch pinned to defender's back- #15 Stanford vs. #18 UCLA
Taking the top spot on this list is something that, as far as we know, originated in Alabama in 2005, when Tyrone Prothro made a catch pinned against a Southern Miss defender's back. Stanford's version involves a little more razzle-dazzle... like, say, a double reverse pass from Kevin Hogan. A tad underthrown, I might admit, but Francis Owusu makes this play possible by wrapping up the player covering him and catching the ball, pinned to the defender's back. To make a catch like this, having another guy in your face, while not being able to see the ball and maintain possession of it is utterly incredible. A big tip of the hat to you, Francis Owusu.
What did I miss? What do you think should be included on this list? Leave a comment if you so desire. Have a happy and peaceful New Year, everyone!
Top 10 Sports Moments of 2015
2015 was a damn good- and at points bizarre- year for sports. From the awesome to the crazy, I'm counting down the top 10 moments in sports from 2015. The moments can be really great; from a team winning a championship or a single person reaching a career or lifetime achievement; really shocking- such as a scandal or other event that shook the sports world; or just downright stupid and funny- such as... well, you'll find out. Let's begin, yes?
First, a few honorable mentions:
September 12- David Ortiz hits career home run #500
David Ortiz has, far and away, become the greatest clutch hitter in the history of that franchise. From the two clutch hits in the 2004 ALCS to lift the Sox over the Yankees, to the grand slam in game 2 of the 2013 ALCS that turned momentum for the Red Sox against the Tigers, to his World Series MVP that same year, Big Papi has done it all since coming to Boston in 2003. Ortiz's final quest, it seems, was reaching the career plateau of 500 home runs, a feat he accomplished on a two-home run night. Ortiz tagged Rays pitcher Matt Moore twice, hitting #499 in the first inning to deep right, and then again in the fifth inning to nearly the same spot. At the end of the 2015 campaign, Ortiz said he would hang it up after the 2016 season. With so many accolades to his credit, David Ortiz will long live in New England baseball lore.
January 1- Jameis Winston fumbles away the Rose Bowl
All it took was one backwards pass, and the rest was history. The undefeated Florida State Seminoles, the defending National Champions, faced off against the 12-1, 3rd-seeded Oregon Ducks in the first ever College Football Playoff Semifinal. Oregon looked to be in control for most of the game, as many experts thought they would be. However, in the third quarter, with Florida State just past midfield, Noles QB Jameis Winston, winner of the Heisman Trophy the year before, dropped back to pass and was instantly surrounded by Oregon defenders. Winston panicked, scrambled backwards, and tried to wind up and throw the ball away, only to have the ball slip out of his hands, which was scooped up by the Ducks and returned for a touchdown. This was the last exorcism of Winston's rollercoaster career before entrance in to the NFL draft, although both Winston and Ducks QB Marcus Mariota (who went 2nd overall, just after Winston) would meet in the first game of the NFL season later that year. Oh, and the score? Oregon throttled Florida State, 59-20.
November 29- Kobe Bryant announces his retirement
While it did not come as a shock to some, most couldn't fathom the reality that they were about to face: an NBA without Kobe Bryant. Kobe had been struggling for a majority of the 2015-16 season, posting what seemed like career-low numbers left and right. Everything came to a head on November 29, when the Lakers superstar announced that this season would be his last. Unlike a traditional press conference, Bryant announced his retirement online, with a heartfelt poem submitted to the Players' Tribune. The poem, entitled "Dear Basketball," details Kobe's deep love for the game of basketball, but reveals the sad but inevitable truth that all good things must come to an end. "I fell in love with you," writes Bryant about the game he so loved, but acknowledged: "I'm ready to let you go./ I want you to know now/So we can savor every moment we have left together." This man was a legend. A 17-time all-star, an NBA MVP, and a five-time NBA champion. He will be missed.
October 15- Jose Bautista crushes home run, does bat flip to end all bat flips
The scene was the Rodgers Centre in Toronto, for the decisive game 5 of the American League Division Series, which pitted the Texas Rangers, eager to make good on their last two failed attempts at a World Series title, and the Toronto Blue Jays, who hadn't made the playoffs since 1993. With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 7th, and runners at first and third, Jose Bautista stepped into the box and delivered one of the most dramatic home runs ever in franchise history, crushing one into the upper deck of the Rodgers Centre. The place exploded- as was to be expected when your team goes up by three runs in an elimination game. However, while the home run was exciting, it was Bautista's bat flip after the fact that made headlines. Bautista confidently threw the bat up into the air after hitting the cover off the ball in what he was sure was a home run. Just the pure energy and electricity put into the event made this moment really fun, and pretty damn cool to watch. A really nice moment for the Blue Jays and the city of Toronto.
The Top 10:
10: October 18- Colts execute worst play in the history of football
This was the first time the two teams had met since the AFC Championship the year before, a game which sparked the whole Deflategate controversy. Naturally, everyone thought the Colts would be ready for the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots, and the Colts even led the game at halftime, 14-13. New England would jump out to a 27-21 lead in the 3rd quarter, however, and the Colts knew they were in trouble. Then this (see the shit storm above) happened. On a 4th and 2, the Colts decided to punt, then tried to go into some weird formation, leaving only Griff Whalen on the line of scrimmage to snap the ball to Colt Anderson. I think the Colts were trying to get the Patriots to either jump offsides or call a time out... I think? Instead, Whalen snapped the ball, and was wrapped up for a loss, and the Colts got flagged for an illegal formation penalty. The Patriots proved in this game that some they don't even have to beat some teams, because those teams like the Colts have already psyched themselves into losing. I watch the replay and I just... I just... (face palm).
9. May 27- FIFA, Sepp Blatter involved in bribery scandal
Was anyone else wondering why the World Cup was given to a nation like Qatar? John Oliver's right, there is no earthly reason why the World Cup should ever be held in Qatar. Well, it would appear that something fishy was up. On May 27, seven FIFA officials were arrested at a Swiss hotel, on an investigation by the FBI and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, and fourteen were later indicted on charges of wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering. The FIFA execs were preparing to attend a FIFA Congress, where their current President, Sepp Blatter, was expected to be reelected for a fifth consecutive term. Various findings included a $10 million bribe paid to FIFA to select South Africa as the host country for the 2010 World Cup. Following more investigation, Blatter was hit with an eight year ban from all football-related activities and a $50,000 fine. Blatter has since "resigned" from office (although he says he's "put his office back in the hands of the FIFA congress"). As for subsequent World Cups, it was reported that FIFA officials accepted bribes of more than $1.5 million for Qatar to host the tournament in 2022. Sources say that if there is sufficient evidence of bribery, Qatar will be stripped of the bid, although no concrete official word has been given.
8. December 11- Golden State Warriors set new NBA mark by starting 24-0
What a year it has been for these Golden State Warriors. First they win an NBA Championship in June, knocking off Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then they start the season 24-0. On November 27, with a win over the LA Lakers, Golden State set a new NBA record with the best start to a season, winning their first 16 games. On December 11, the Warriors and MVP Stephen Curry, still undefeated at 23-0, traveled to Boston to face the Celtics, a team that has been on the rise, but seems to pull out all the stops for big time games. In a game that could have gone both ways at either time, the Celtics, eager to end the Warriors' undefeated streak, pushed the champs into double overtime before Golden State finally pulled away, 124-119. Boston had two chances to win, in fact, both at the end of regulation: Isaiah Thomas' shot was blocked by Shaun Livingston, and Kelly Olynyk's jumper at the buzzer was wide. However, the Warriors, even without Klay Thompson due to an ankle injury, and Steph Curry playing one of his worst games from the field this season (shooting 9 of 27 from the field, a 33% average, although he was 6 of 13 from downtown and 14 of 14 from the line), kept their streak alive. Coincidentally, Golden State would lose its very next game to Milwaukee. However, that's been the only blemish on their record this season, as they stand a tall 29-1.
7. January 11- Ohio State wins the first College Football Playoff Championship
Everybody loves brackets, am I right? When the NCAA announced that college football would be expanding its playoff system to include a four-team playoff, fans rejoiced. I mean, if Division II has been able to do it for years, why can't Division I? With the new system, it cuts out the annoying committee to decide a #1 and #2 seed. With the CFP, a deserving #4 ranked team could win a national title. Such was the case for the inaugural championship, as 4th-ranked Ohio State would upset #2 Oregon in the first CFP National Championship. The Buckeyes, coming off an upset of #1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl (a CFP semifinal), put up 42 points on the Pac-12 Champion Ducks, who throttled #3 Florida State in the Rose Bowl. The Ohio State win simply proved the system worked, and with the next playoff right around the corner, the fans are definitely in store for something special for years to come. Now if only the NCAA could get rid of those damn bowl games. I mean really, who gets excited for the Belk Bowl? Really?
6. April 29- Orioles and White Sox play game in empty Camden Yards
I'm not gonna lie. This one was weird. As a sports fan who is used to being surrounded by throngs of screaming spectators whenever I attend a game live, I can't even imagine what this must have been like for the players. The game on April 29th at Camden Yards was surreal in that way. Due to the protests going on in Baltimore as a result of the arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray, the city was put on lockdown, the time of the contest was moved from 7:05pm to 2:05pm, and no fans were allowed inside the ballpark for the game between the Orioles and White Sox. As a result, with the exception of those gathered outside the fence to watch what they could, things were quiet. Announcers had to keep their voices down (see Orioles announcer Gary Thorne doing his best Masters analyst impression) as gloves popped and baseballs exploded off bats. The Orioles would win the game, 8-2, and go on to play a three-game series with the Rays in Tampa, but would play as the home team due to the state of emergency in Baltimore. The game was a little bit of a reality check, and it demonstrates that sports, while they can be a healing mechanism, can also fall victim to the horrifying events that have been so present in our world these past few years.
5. May 11 - September 3- Tom Brady and the Deflategate scandal
Hehe... Tom Brady said "balls." Being from New England, this entire story pissed me the hell off. After the Patriots 45-7 thrashing of the Colts during the AFC Championship Game on January 18, a report surfaced that 11 of the 12 balls used by the Patriots in the game had been under inflated, which caused an eruption of controversy, because, well... they're the Patriots. Then the Patriots won the Super Bowl, which, of course, lit a fire under the asses of all the haters. Then May 27th rolled around, and things got interesting. A 243-page report filed by Manhattan lawyer Ted Wells was submitted, with the main finding being: "It is 'more probable than not' that Tom Brady was 'at least generally aware' of the PSI level of footballs during the AFC Championship Game." As a result, the NFL came down hard on Brady and the Pats, suspending Brady for 4 games, handing the team a $1 million fine (twice the fine the Saints had for deliberately targeting players), and a loss of two first-round draft picks. Then came the backlash. Brady hired a crack team of attorneys and took the NFL to court during the month of August. Deflategate finally (finally) came to an end on September 3, a week before the NFL season began, when Judge Richard Berman threw out the suspension, due to a lack of due process on Tom Brady. Go into details with it if you want (I won't, because coverage of the whole thing was rammed down my throat for five months) to find out more. Just know that the NFL's got some problems with how it handles things like this.
4. May 2- The lead up and letdown of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
It was the fight we had wanted for years, but never thought it would come to fruition. Billed as "The Fight of the Century," Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally faced off at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2nd, after 7 long years of speculation and planning, with negotiations finally being successful in February. Revenue for the fight surpassed all expectations, as pay-per-view buys totaled 4.6 million, generating over $410 million. The two emerged aggressive, but the energy slowed down significantly, as Mayweather chose a tactical, more defensive approach, and Pacquiao, try as he might, failed to land punches on his opponent. Pac-Man also re-injured his shoulder in the 4th round, something he had agitated a month before the fight, but disclosed that it had healed. Overall, while fans got their money's worth, with both fighters slugging out a very close match over the course of twelve full rounds, many fans thought the fight was a let down due to the conservative approach of both fighters. There was a lot more hugging than boxing fans were used to, I suppose. Additionally, many thought the fight should have gone Pacquiao's way, even though Mayweather was awarded the victory by a very close unanimous decision among the judges. "Better Never Than Late," or a true "Fight of the Century?" You decide.
3. November 15- Holly Holm knocks out Ronda Rousey at UFC 193
It is only very recently that mixed martial arts has found its way into the spotlight. With the dawn of UFC and fighters like Anderson Silva, Randy Couture, and today's stars like Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo, the momentum for Dana White's creation has grown immensely. One such fighter is Ronda Rousey, who has become one of the most dominant (and I mean dominant) fighters in the sport, male or female. Rousey, the former UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion, began her career undefeated, winning her first twelve fights, eleven of them coming in the first round (eight of them coming within the first minute via knockout). November 15th at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, saw Rousey's reign of dominance come to an end at the hands (or feet, as the knockout shows) of Holly Holm. Rousey was heavily favored to win the fight, but was battered and bloodied by the end of the first round. Holm took advantage in the second round, knocking the champion out with a vicious kick to the side of the head. This right here, friends, is the greatest upset of the 2015 sports year.
2. July 5- U.S. Women decimate Japan to win World Cup, avenge loss from 2011
Losing sucks. It's no secret, especially when you're a sports fan of a team from America. We don't like to lose. 2011, for that reason, was a heartbreak year for the U.S. Women National Soccer Team, who played Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Final to a 2-2 draw at the end of additional extra time, only to be beaten on penalty kicks. The Americans had a score to settle with the Japanese, and they got their chance at BC Place in Vancouver the day after the 4th of July. In short, Japan had a chance to win this game... right before the opening whistle. The game was over in less than 16 minutes, as the Americans scored four times, three of them coming from Carli Lloyd, the fastest hat trick in World Cup history. It was a sweet, sweet victory for the U.S, who didn't take kindly to coming so far only to miss the gold by that much four years ago. If you're like me, and weren't really all that excited about the game (and ended up missing the first four goals due to apathy and crappy internet), support your country more. It doesn't look like the men have a chance at winning the World Cup any time soon, but the women's team is damn good. America, fuck yeah.
1. June 16- American Pharaoh becomes first horse in 37 years to win the Triple Crown
Being a horse racing fan who wasn't alive before 1978 was hard. And, as I'm one of them, watching horses try and fail to win the Triple Crown was hard (yes, fragile 10-year old me cried when Smarty Jones got upset by Birdstone in 2004). First it was Smarty Jones. Then it was Big Brown. Last year, it was California Chrome. This year, it was American Pharaoh. The three-year old was the favorite for the Kentucky Derby, which it won, the closest of all three races it ran in. Then, in the slop at Pimlico, American Pharaoh took home the win in the Preakness Stakes. And three weeks later, the frustration for so many horses was over, and the trifecta was finally complete- a wire-to-wire victory by 5 and 1/2 lengths in the Belmont Stakes. After so many years of disappointments from other horses, American Pharaoh, who would also go on to be the first horse to win the Thoroughbred Horse Racing "Grand Slam" by winning the 2015 Breeders' Cup, finally evaporated the Triple Crown drought. Winning the Belmont was also a pretty cool moment for jockey Victor Espinoza, who also rode California Chrome to wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before losing in the Belmont one year earlier. A historic moment for sports in 2015 indeed.
More Best of 2015 lists to come soon!
Top 10 Sports Games of 2015
These were the pulse-pounding, nail biting games that kept us on the edge of our seats for their entirety. These are the best games of the 2015 sports calendar year. The following list was put together based on these criteria: the importance of the game at hand and its subsequent outcomes, and the intensity and craziness factor of the content of the games themselves.
A few honorable mentions before we begin:
December 5- Big 10 Championship Game, #5 Michigan State vs. #4 Iowa
#4 Iowa came into the game with a 12-0 record, and was considered by many at the midway point of the season to be a shoe in for a college football playoff spot. Standing in their way, however, was #5 Michigan State, seeking their 2nd Big 10 title in three seasons. The game was nip and tuck for the first three quarters, until Hawkeye QB C.J. Beathard found Tevaun Smith for an 85-yard touchdown. However, with 33 seconds to go, Michigan State freshman LJ Scott punched the ball in from the 1-yard line to give Michigan State the 16-13 victory. The Spartans would go on to be the #3 seed, and face off against the #2 seeded Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff Semifinal.
January 18- NFC Championship Game, Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers
A game that looked like a sure victory for the Green Bay Packers suddenly became anything but. The Packers looked real good for a majority of the game, taking it to the defending Super Bowl Champions, leading 16-0 at halftime, and 19-7 with three minutes to go in the game. With 5 minutes to play, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw his 4th interception of the game, and it looked like the Seahawks chances to repeat were dashed. However, the Packers decided to play conservatively and run the ball, giving Seattle another chance, which they did convert on with RB Marshawn Lynch punching the ball in to make it 19-14. The Seahawks would recover the onside kick and score a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to make it 22-19 with only 1:25 left. The Packers would drive and kick a game-tying field goal as time expired on regulation, but in overtime, the Seahawks would win on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Jermaine Kearse, and go on to play in Super Bowl XLIX.
October 3- #6 Notre Dame vs. #12 Clemson
Give Notre Dame one more shot at this game, and I think they would have beaten Clemson. Both teams came in undefeated (ND at 4-0, Clemson at 3-0), but things would go Clemson's way early, as they built up a 21-3 lead on the Fighting Irish heading into the 4th quarter, which became 24-9 with only 11 minutes to play. However, Notre Dame's QB Deshone Kizer orchestrated a massive comeback attempt, the first on a 3-yard touchdown run, and another on a 1-yard pass to Torii Hunter, Jr. with only 7 seconds left to make it 24-22 Clemson. Unfortunately for Notre Dame, they would miss the two-point conversion (their second of the day), and the Clemson Tigers would hang on for the victory. Clemson is currently the #1 team in the country, facing off against #4 Oklahoma the CFB Playoffs. Notre Dame would make its way to #8 and face #7 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
The Top 10:
10. November 15- New England Patriots vs. New York Giants
As the NFL regular season draws to a close, this was one of the most intense matches of the year. The Patriots were unbeaten at 8-0, but had not beaten the New York Giants since 2007; since then, the Giants had beaten them 3 times, twice in the Super Bowl. The game was back and forth, with the Patriots eventually falling behind by 10 midway through the 3rd quarter. The Patriots eventually pulled ahead, 24-23, on a 75-yard pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski. With 6 minutes to play, Brady brought the Patriots down to the Giants 1-yard line, where a touchdown would seemingly put the game away. Instead, Brady was intercepted, and the Giants moved down the field and seemingly scored the go-ahead touchdown with 2 minutes to play, instead, officials concurred that Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. had not maintained possession of the ball, and the Giants settled for a field goal. Brady was almost intercepted one more time which would have put the game away; instead officials ruled that the Giants defender also dropped the ball. The Patriots would continue the drive, with kicker Steven Gostkowski hitting a 54-yard field goal with 1 second to play to preserve the Patriots' 9-0 record, with a 27-26 win.
9. May 10- The Players' Championship, Final Round
This was quite possibly one of the most intense final rounds of a golf tournament ever played. With a stacked leaderboard including Sergio Garcia, who had won the event at TPC Sawgrass the year before, it came down to three men: Garcia, Kevin Kisner, who was with Garcia in the final group, and Rickie Fowler, who had trailed by 5 shots with only 6 holes to play. Fowler would play his last 6 holes at 6-under par (birdie, par, birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie) to tie with Kisner and Garcia at 12-under par. Garcia, in that final group, would make a 44-foot putt on #17 to remain tied with Kisner for the lead. The three men would go to a three-hole playoff of 16, 17, and 18 to decide the winner, with Garcia eventually being eliminated after missing a birdie putt on 17 and bogeying 18. Kisner and Fowler would play sudden death on 17, with Fowler landing his ball 5 feet from the pin and making birdie. Kisner would miss his birdie putt, thus giving Rickie Fowler his second PGA Tour win.
8. August 27- Little League World Series, U.S. Semifinal, Texas vs. California
When talking about sports, the Little League World Series often gets overlooked. However, ESPN decided to really step up the coverage this year, with most, if not all games this summer being broadcast. The United States semifinal pitted Pearland, Texas against Bonita, California, two teams that had met before in the second round of the U.S. bracket, lost, and reconvened a few days later. Texas led 4-3 after the first inning, but California, fueled by a 2-run home run by Jake Baptista, scored 3 to make it 6-4. California would later tie the game with an RBI single in the 4th and a home run in the 5th, and the game would head to extra innings. Finally, the tie was broken by California in the top of the 8th, as Baptista came through again with an RBI single to give California a 7-6 lead. In the bottom of the 8th, however (shown in the video above), Texas's Ben Gottfried tied the game with a solo homer, and Caleb Lowe followed up with a walk off 2-run shot win it. Texas, however, would go on to lose the U.S. Championship to Pennsylvania, 3-2.
7. September 26- #3 TCU vs. Texas Tech
Ever hear about those college football games where the top-5 school plays an unranked school and you think: "hmm... I think they could actually win that game," and that game turns out to be crazy intense and back and forth all day? This was that game. 3rd-ranked TCU faced off against Texas Tech, in a game that featured 11 lead changes, an improbable game-winning touchdown, and an almost impossible game ending. With Texas Tech leading 52-48, TCU moved down the field for one last drive. The Horned Frogs found themselves with a 4th and goal from the Texas Tech 4 yard line with only 30 seconds left. TCU QB Trevone Boykin threw a pass to John Doctson in the back of the end zone, which sailed too high and tipped off the receiver's hands. However, the tip was just enough for TCU receiver Aaron Green to haul it in for the score, putting TCU up, 55-52 with 23 seconds to play. Texas Tech, however, on the ensuing drive, managed to get the ball to only midfield. With no time left, Tech tried to lateral their way to the end zone, and they managed to get the ball down to the TCU 10 yard line before being run out of bounds, and the Horned Frogs held on for a well-deserved victory, to stay #3 at 4-0.
6. October 27- World Series, Game 1, Kansas City Royals vs. New York Mets
Game 1 of the World Series tied the record for the longest World Series game ever. In a wild, 14-inning slugfest, the Royals willed their way to a 5-4 win over the New York Mets. On the very first pitch from Mets starter Matt Harvey, Alcedes Escobar hit an inside-the-park home run to put the Royals on the board first. In the middle of the 4th inning, the game was interrupted by a power outage that blacked out Fox's telecast for a short time. With the Mets up 4-3 in the 8th inning, and Jeurys Familia in the game, I, for one, thought the game was over for Kansas City. Little did I know that Alex Gordon would come up with a dramatic, game-tying home run in the bottom of the 9th. The game wore on until almost 1:00 a.m, when, in the 14th inning, a sacrifice fly from Royals 1B Eric Hosmer just barely beat Mets CF Curtis Granderson's throw home, sealing the deal for Kansas City. The Royals would go on to win the Series in 5 games, their first since 1985.
5. June 16- The Belmont Stakes
I should include the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes on this list, but I chose the Belmont Stakes simply because it was the most glorious for American Pharaoh. The horse, driven by jockey Victor Espinoza, who had driven California Chrome to a heartbreaking second-place finish in last year's Belmont (one leg from a Triple Crown), became the first horse since 1978 to win the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont in consecutive tries. American Pharaoh took the race, even after a rocky start, wire to wire. All you really need to do here is watch the race replay, and let the electricity fill your body.
4. May 13- Stanley Cup Playoffs, Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 7, New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals
The Caps built up a 3-1 lead on the defending Eastern Conference champions before losing the next two games. In a pivotal game seven, Alex Ovechkin essentially guaranteed a game 7 win for Washington, and, at least for the moment, appeared to make good on his promise by opening up the scoring in the first period. From there, it was mostly a game of defense, as both goaltenders combined for 72 saves on 75 shots. The Rangers tied the game in the second on a beautiful power play goal from Kevin Hayes. Both Washington's Braden Holtby and New York's Henrik Lundqvist took control of the game from there, as both turned away shot after shot in the third, sending the game to overtime. Finally, in the first overtime period, New York's Derek Stepan delivered the series-winning goal on a beautifully-drawn up faceoff play. Just a hard-fought game on all fronts by both teams, and a prime example of why playoff hockey is the best kind of hockey.
3. March 28- NCAA Men's Tournament, Midwest Regional Final, Kentucky vs. Notre Dame
Notre Dame, just as a rule, has a history of being grossly overrated and blowing it in big time games. The Fighting Irish's run to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament in March, however, was no fluke. When the draw was announced that Notre Dame would be playing in the same bracket as the unbeaten Kentucky Wildcats, many felt that it was destiny that the two would meet for a chance to go to the Final Four. The game was nip-and-tuck, as the Irish kept the Wildcats at bay, leading for most of the first half. However, as time expired in the first half, Trey Lyles knocked in Andrew Harrison's layup to tie the game at 31 at the midway point. Notre Dame came out swinging in the second half, leading by as many as 6 points with a little over 6:00 to play, but Kentucky clawed its way back into the game, with Aaron Harrison hitting a long three with three minutes left to put Kentucky back up, 64-61. Notre Dame answered right back 90 seconds later, down 64-63, with a deep three from Jerian Grant to go up, 66-64. Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns evened the score at 66-66 with a quick bucket with 1:13 to go. The Wildcats would get the ball back after a Notre Dame shot clock violation, and Aaron Harrison took advantage of a Demetrius Jackson blocking foul, converting on the free throws to make it 68-66. Notre Dame had last possession, but a last-gas heave from Grant from the corner was well off, and Kentucky remained undefeated, and moved on to the Final Four. In a game that lived up to the hype, these were two teams with something to prove, and did not disappoint the fans.
2. July 5- FIFA Women's World Cup Final, United States vs. Japan
This game was over in the first 15 minutes. A note to the rest of the world- Do not even attempt to mess with the United States national any team on Independence Day weekend. Four years ago, the US Women's National team lost a heartbreaker to the Japanese in the World Cup final, as Japan broke a 2-2 tie in penalty kicks, converting on 3 to the 1 scored by American Abby Wambach. Well, the American women came to play against the Japanese, and came out swinging. In just the 3rd minute, Carli Lloyd put one in the back of the net, the fastest goal ever in a World Cup final. Lloyd would score again, this one coming three minutes later on another corner kick. In the 14th minute, Lauren Holiday scored on a mishandled header by Japanese defender Azusa Iwashumizu, putting the U.S. up, 3-0. Two minutes later, Lloyd scored her third goal of the match, this time from almost midfield, as the U.S. went up 4-0, showing an unstoppable wave of hunger and determination to win this match. Japan got lucky on a few shots, one of them being a fluke own goal, but the Americans showed firm resolve, putting Japan away, 5-2. This was the third World Cup title for the United States, and it was the ending of a highly successful career for Abby Wambach, who was playing in her final USWNT game.
1. February 1- Super Bowl XLIX, New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks
Greatest. Super Bowl. Ever. Leading up to Super Bowl XLIX, Las Vegas set the odds for this game at a toss up; the most evenly matched Super Bowl ever. Coming off the strangest prelude to a Super Bowl ever, Tom Brady, amid all the deflate-gate controversy, led his New England Patriots to a 4th Super Bowl title. Standing in their way: the resolute but dangerous defending champion Seattle Seahawks. The game was pretty even in the first half. Brady threw an interception but also threw for two touchdowns. Seattle's QB Russell Wilson had a touchdown pass of his own to Chris Matthews, who had come out of basically nowhere for this game (and was basically never seen again after it) at the very end of the second quarter, and the game was tied 14-14 at the break. In the third quarter, however, it was all Seattle, as the Seahawks wore down the Patriots defense, highlighted by the rushing attack of Marshawn Lynch, who averaged 4.3 yards per carry in the game, and a 3-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Doug Baldwin. The Seahawks led by 10 heading into the 4th. However, Brady, calm and collected as ever, orchestrated two fantastic drives, throwing a touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 7:55 left to play, and another one to Julian Edelman with 2:02 left to play, to go up 28-24. Seattle, however, as you'd expect, wasn't done yet. In the blink of an eye Seattle was down near the New England goal line, highlighted by a long pass from Wilson to Lynch, and then a pass to Jermaine Kearse, which was batted up in the air and then caught, reminiscent of two plays the New York Giants used to beat New England in 2008 and 2012. However, it was New England CB Malcolm Butler who got the last laugh, as Wilson's pass attempt from the New England 1 was intercepted, essentially winning the game for the Patriots. While Pete Carroll's play calling and Tom Brady's role in deflate-gate remained in question for weeks to come, this game will go down in history as the best of the year, as well as one of the best of all time.
Which sports games did you enjoy this year? Let me know in the comments section down below. More countdowns to come before the year is out!
Top 10 Most Annoying Songs of 2015
These ear worm tracks get stuck in your head until they kill you from the inside. 2015 was a great year for music, but it also had its fair share of songs that you wish the radio would just stop playing. Today I'm counting down the top 10 most annoying songs from this past year.
I'd like to point out that this list is (obviously) not the end all, be all, I'm just one guy, and I know that one man's most annoying list is another's top 10 favorites list. I'm not saying these songs are bad, they're just annoying. Once again, if I've omitted (or included) one of your favorites, I can only apologize. Without further ado, one with the list! Beginning, of course, with some honorable, or in this case, dishonorable mentions.
"Fun," Pitbull feat. Chris Brown
When I first heard about this song, it was Pitbull on a radio commercial telling people to "have F-U-N. Fun (Pitbull tongue roll)," and I said: "no, Pitbull. I will do no such thing." These two together, who are, no doubt super stars in the hip-hop world, don't make the track any better. The Men-at-Work-esque musical interlude seems real out of place for a Pitbull track. I can think of many other different ways to have fun that don't involve listening to this song.
"Focus," Ariana Grande
I really like Ariana, she's great. She can sing, for one thing. But this song is just "Problem" in a minor key. It's got the same set up: Retro-style opening, followed by empowering "individuality" lyrics from Grande, followed by a pre-chorus that builds up to Ariana belting a super high note, which leads into a chorus that includes the title of the song, spoken or whispered by someone who's not Ariana. The one saving grace of this song is the horn section in the middle. I'm not fooled by this one, Ariana.
"Bitch Better Have My Money," Rihanna
Go ahead, say it one more time. "Bitch better have my money." We get it. Rihanna's gotta get that money. I'll give you $20 to keep this song off the radio for a little while. I don't really see anything else to this song other than an excuse for Rihanna to pose as some kind of a hitman. The parrot-like melody to this track is obnoxious. The music video's fairly entertaining though.
"Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)," Silento
Full disclosure: I really like this song. Watching people whip and nae nae is the best thing ever. But this is another one of those songs similar to Soulja Boy Tell Em's "Crank That Soulja Boy." What's the purpose of cramming a bunch of dance moves into a three-and-a-half minute song? This is a one-hit wonder if I ever saw one. There's even a reference to Soulja Boy in the damn song! I'm just thankful that he Silento doesn't include his name in all his song titles.
The Top 10:
10. "Dear Future Husband," Meghan Trainor
With the release of this song and another to be mentioned on this list, I understand what Meghan Trainor was trying to do with "All About That Bass," which she did succeed at, to some extent. From a song that was about empowerment and body positivity to this song, I'm just not buying it. Literally every song this girl puts out is an Amy Winehouse ripoff. Convince your producers to let you try something new, Meghan.
9. "Love Me Like You Do," Ellie Goulding
For some reason, this song skeezes me out a lot. Maybe it's because I know it's from Fifty Shades of Gray and the message of the song could be what the main character in the film is thinking, which just makes me uneasy. On top of that, "Love Me Like You Do," I found to be super overplayed this year. The contents of the film for which it was written and the feeling of the song don't mix well for me. While it did reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, I could only take people obsessing over it for so long.
8. "I Really Like You," Carly Rae Jepsen
Sigh. How Carly Rae Jepsen ever got Tom Hanks to participate in the making of this music video, I will never understand. Also, I was okay with "Call Me Maybe." It was fun, and it was silly, and that was okay. This one, where she says "really" about six times in the course of one line of the chorus it a bit much. There's nothing about this song that's fun, it just kinda screams to me "I remember hearing that Carly went broke so this song was definitely put out there to make her a little bit of money."
7. "Lean On," Major Lazer & DJ Snake feat. MØ
I don't really know how it started, these middle-eastern/Indian-inspired horn riffs in place of hooks of songs. But this one is just plain dumb. These are the same two guys who put together "Bubble Butt" and "Turn Down For What" (even though Lil Jon made that one what it was). The lyrically-void section in the center of the song, punctuated by "somebody to Lean On," will burrow its way into your skill and make you want to shoot the radio every time this song comes on.
6. "Lips are Moving," Meghan Trainor
Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Again, this song doesn't really have a point, and as a result, does nothing for me. Hearing this song reminds me how much I despised "All About That Bass." Once again, it's another Amy Winehouse ripoff song. Now, while not every song needs to rip out your guts and expose your soul, I'm not the biggest fan of this tune making its way through my car's speakers. Also, I'm really wishing that Trainor will find away to break away from the "rap-speak-sing-monotone" thing she has going on in most of her songs. I'm sure she's got a lot of talent, but I don't feel like she's using it in quite the right places.
5. "Where Are Ü Now," Skrillex & Diplo feat. Justin Bieber
Another two-DJ collaboration, another hook featuring no vocals and an annoying signature musical melody, another annoying song. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm actually pretty impressed with the Biebs' new stuff (see: "Sorry," "What Do You Mean," and "Love Yourself), but this one is just lazy. I didn't even know that Skrillex and Diplo were still relevant, to be quite honest. But what really grinds my gears about this song is its hook. I'm not really even sure what to make of it, but it's just freakin' annoying. This one deserves a radio station change.
4. "Somebody," Natalie La Rose feat. Jeremih
Nobody samples Whitney Houston and gets away with it. Also, I just really hated Jeremih's song "Don't Tell 'Em" from last year. But of course, like the Pitbulls and Soulja Boys before him, Jeremih insists on dragging the song that made him relevant along with him into this Natalie La Rose ear worm. Why am I even kidding myself. Jeremih is literally the only problem I have with this entire song. Having him here just really irks me. And it irks me so much that he singlehandedly put this song at #4.
3. "Marvin Gaye," Charlie Puth feat. Meghan Trainor
This song infuriates me more than the previous one did. Oh, Charlie. You did so well with Wiz Khalifa, but you had to go ahead and collaborate with Meghan Trainor for this piece of garbage (can you tell how much I dislike Meghan Trainor yet?). This song is just so lazily written. It's too easy to take one of the most famous songs ever written by one of the most legendary artists ever written and try to put your own teen-pop spin on it to make it popular again. "Let's Marvin Gaye and get it on?" Please. If I told you to "Van Halen and jump" off a bridge, would you do it? Also, "To Marvin Gaye" isn't even a verb. It's really just a tad disrespectful to use the Marvin's song in this way, and for your efforts (or lack thereof), it's earned you the 3rd spot on this list.
2. "Fight Song," Rachel Platten
If I have to hear the phrase "Like a small boat on the ocean/setting big waves into motion" one more time, I'm gonna rip my eyes out. I'm curious to know what this song is written about and why it was written. What exactly is Rachel Platten fighting about? And why does she feel the need to use so many songwriting and wordplay cliches to reach the top of her personal mountain? Everything about this song annoys me. I'm sure Rachel Platten is a nice girl, but she could do much better. Silver medal of shame. Next.
1. "Worth It," Fifth Harmony feat. Kid Ink
I read a Youtube comment on this video that compared Fifth Harmony to the Spice Girls. The only comparison I can draw between the two groups is that they're made up of five women. That's about it. The Spice Girls revolutionized the pop industry. Without them, Fifth Harmony probably wouldn't exist (except for Simon Cowell probably. If he made One Direction, I'm sure he would have made Fifth Harmony). Did the girls call up Jason Derulo and ask him who his saxophone player was for "Talk Dirty?" Because that's what that riff in the hook sounds like. I don't know who came up with the idea of using Middle Eastern/Indian-inspired horn riffs like that, but this one will worm its way into your brain and literally devour it until you're dead. There is nothing interesting about this song, there is nothing special about this song. Go ahead, play it one more time. I dare you.
Which songs from 2015 drove you nuts? Leave a comment if you so desire. Here's to 2016 and a bunch more countdowns to come!!
Top 25 Pop Songs of 2015
From singles that revolutionized the phrase "party song" to huge albums pushing artists in new directions, 2015 was another huge year for music. To christen this site with its first countdown list, I'm counting down the top 25 pop songs of 2015. This list is something of my own opinion (obviously), which takes into consideration the amount of Top 40 radio airtime the song received, the song's position and length of time on various music charts, and, honestly (because all criticism is subjective like that), whether or not I enjoyed listening to the song.
I originally had something like 30 or 35 songs for the list, so in order to include as many as I could, I threw in a few honorable mentions just, because.
"Fourfiveseconds," Rihanna feat. Kanye West & Paul McCartney
An interesting combination of ingredients makes for a delicious musical soup. I'm not usually one for Rihanna, but the blend of voices between hers, Kanye's and Paul McCartney's is something extraordinary, given the strange combination of musicians.
"Bad Girls," MKTO
From the makers of the infectious "Classic," MKTO came out with this slightly less catchy song earlier this year. It's sexy, it's got that vintage R&B sound (Those horns, though...), and it's just plain fun.
"Renegades," X Ambassadors
I keep hearing this song in Jeep commercials, and it's grown on me, especially in the last few months as I was putting the finishing touches on this list. "Renegades" just makes you want to go out on a rainy day and explore. The lyrics speak about empowerment despite adversity, which, despite its grayer musical layout, gives the tune a really cool depth when the two are paired together.
"Want To Want Me," Jason Derulo
This song off Derulo's newest album, Everything Is 4 just screams "fun." The song reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and hit the top of the UK charts, where it remained there for four consecutive weeks. I'm one of those people who associates songs with certain colors, and I see "Want To Want Me," as a bright, sky blue. It's one of those "roll down the windows on the highway and sing" songs.
"Style," Taylor Swift
2015 was a huge year for Taylor Swift, as her 1989 album sold over 1 million copies during its first week of release, and has sold 5.5 million copies in 2015 alone. There's a few more T-Swift songs coming up later in the countdown, but "Style," brings an 80s pop sound to the table, with an enticing hook, and lyrics more mature than we've seen with Swift's earlier tracks.
"Sugar," Maroon 5
With Adam Levine being everywhere it seems nowadays, I wonder why the band hasn't put his name above its title yet. "Sugar," from the band's V album provides less grit than songs like "Animal," but the Levine falsetto isn't as annoying here as it is in songs like "Feelings." "Sugar" was released in January and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Top 25:
25. "Drag Me Down," One Direction
Confession: I've secretly always really liked One Direction, five members or not. Their songs are catchy and infectious, but what more could you ask for when looking for music that you like to listen to? "Drag Me Down," is another one of those. While I was skeptical about the track at first, the guitar riffs paired with the catchy hook is fantastic. Why the four of them are dressed as American astronauts in the music video is completely beyond me, though.
24. "On My Mind," Ellie Goulding
"Love Me Like You Do," off the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack makes me uncomfortable for some reason. "On My Mind," which I just discovered around Thanksgiving, has the opposite effect. The track is very radio-friendly, with its quirky, fast moving, but simple and creative lyrics and unique backing instrumentation, and I think it's one of the best songs Goulding has released thus far in her career. "On My Mind," was a top-10 hit in the UK, and has thus far reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. An interesting thing to note: could this be an answer piece to Ed Sheeran's "Don't"?
23. "Budapest," George Ezra
"Budapest" is gloriously simple. George Ezra's voice is simply gorgeous. This indie rock track from Ezra's album Wanted on Voyage, while released in Italy in late 2013, was released in the US in October 2014, and reached peak air time on American top 40 radio in mid-2015. The song uses very few chords on guitar, (as they were some of the only ones Ezra knew while writing it), and has an extremely hummable melody. As Ezra commented about "Budapest," it was his first failed attempt at writing a love song, which is something that really resonates with me, both as a person and a musician.
22. "Hotline Bling," Drake
I shouldn't like this song. I didn't when it was first released, and I think that was because of the music video and various Vine clips of Drake dancing. The video was directed by someone named Director X, who I'm pretty is either Drake or a five-year old. It just doesn't really have anything to offer me, and I think people are going to look back on this video in the same way we look back on 80s pop music: "Wait... we liked this?? Why??" So disregard the video and Drake's horrendous dancing. The song, however, is pretty damn good. Not that "cell phones" are a thing anymore, but we're all suddenly fans of the horribly-unmelodic phrase "you used to call me on my cell phone" again. Trivial, yes. But we can't. Get it. Out. Of our. Heads. And what exactly is a "hotline bling," anyways? It's one of those songs where you don't give a shit about the meaning, look the other way and enjoy thoroughly. Listen to it alone when you're driving in the car. You'll get it.
21. "Honey, I'm Good.," Andy Grammer
If you're wondering where Andy Grammar has been for all those years (and I assume you weren't), we found him. "Honey, I'm Good." which, for some reason has punctuation in the title, has a very country feel about it. Likable and singable, this song from Grammer's second studio effort Magazines or Novels is pretty straightforward: Andy's in a club, sees a hot girl and says "LOL JK I can't, I have someone at home." Cute, right? Another of those "roll-down-the-windows-on-a-hot-day-and-blast-the-music" songs.
20. "Hello," Adele
Ah, Adele, you've done it again. She's back in the land of the living and given us another soul-stirring piano ballad with one hell of a hook. Though Adele's new album, 25 hasn't been out long, but it's already the best-selling album of 2015, selling over 3.3 million copies in its first week. The leading single, "Hello," was Adele's return to civilization, a statement entrance chock-full of emotion, signature backing vocals, and riffs upon riffs upon riffs. Had 25 been released earlier in the year, "Hello" might be higher on this list. But the fact that it's entering its 8th week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 isn't hurting it, either.
19. "G.D.F.R.," Flo Rida feat. Sage the Gemini & Lookas
At the start of last year's NBA season, this song by Flo Rida (who was also apparently MIA before this song came out) was a part of many a-commercial. I mean, that horn part during the hook? SO good. The additional verses by Sage and Lookas only make this song better.
18. "Cheerleader," OMI
So apparently the original of this song is from 2012. Who knew? 2015's Felix Jaehn remix of "Cheerleader" features a faster tempo, a dash of autotune, and some added orchestrations from the original reggae track. The song's about finding that one person that you can count on as your "cheerleader," a feel-good track that almost anyone can relate to. "Cheerleader" reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this past summer.
17. "Ex's & Oh's," Elle King
When I first heard this song, I could have sworn that it was Gin Wigmore. After further investigation, I learned the "Ex's & Oh's" was by Elle King, who I later also learned was the daughter of actor Rob Schneider. The song, which was originally huge on most rock charts, features a driving beat the remains the pulse of the song while King's catchy vocals complete the track. The song was the only the second song since 1996 by a solo female to reach the top of the Alternative Songs chart (the first being Lorde's "Royals" in 2013), and it received two Grammy nominations, for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song.
16. "Stitches," Shawn Mendes
From the opening acoustic guitar notes to the memorable hook, "Stitches" is everything Shawn Mendes could have hoped for this song from his debut album Handwritten. The chorus gets stuck in your head so easily, as Mendes dotes on lost love, and how the lack of it in his life has left him broken. Both danceable and heart breaking, "Stitches" has it all. The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Also, check out the acoustic version of this song featuring Mendes and Hailee Steinfeld.
15. "Someone New," Hozier
Forget "Take Me To Church;" this is your new favorite Hozier song. The song's a lot brighter than the aforementioned "Church," featuring a catchy hook in a major key, lyrics about being able to be honest with oneself and loving many people in different ways, and greater range of vocals from Hozier. However, the real hero of this song is the chord selections on guitar, which range from simple to delightfully complex. The blues-y chords are very John Mayer-sounding in that respect. Just listen to it and you'll fall in love with it.
14. "Bright," Echosmith
First "Cool Kids," and now "Bright." I like Echosmith a lot, I enjoy their sound, I enjoy their instrumentation, and I enjoy their lyrics. After I saw The Fault in Our Stars last year (and remembered how to cry), I heard OAR's song "Peace," and "Bright" reminds me a lot of the former. It's a song about cute, adorable, love! What more could your inner teenage girl want? I'm also a big fan of the opening lines of the hook and its metaphors regarding stars and constellations and all that. Good stuff.
13. "The Wolf," Mumford & Sons
At last! The long awaited return of Mumford & Sons! I'm a huge fan of their Wilder Mind album, which sees the band move away from their neo-folk sound that made them famous, and embracing their electric instruments, resulting in a more alternative sound. "The Wolf" is a driving alt-rock number, and the music video, which shows the band at a music festival, perfectly reflects the spirit of the song. It's one of those songs like The Killers' "Mr. Brightside," in that it makes you wanna stand at the foot of the stage at Bonaroo and jump up and down to every beat of the song. Ya done good, Mumford. Keep on keepin' on.
12. "Bad Blood," Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar
The second of three Taylor Swift songs on this post, "Bad Blood," is the most defiant from the style that built Taylor's career. With a deep, pulsing bass and a guest appearance from Kendrick Lamar (and apparently tons of celebrities in the music video), "Bad Blood," is an unreal friendship-breakup smash. I'd also like to point out that, while I traditionally have not been a fan of rap, nor have I been a fan of rap remixes of songs, the Kendrick version of "Bad Blood" is far superior than the Taylor-only version. The verses are stronger and have more bite, and the instrumentation is MUCH better. With the version not featuring Kendrick, Taylor's verses lack any kind of complexity, and it's just plain annoying.
11. "Talking Body," Tove Lo
Tove Lo's "Habits (Stay High)" peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts, the highest for a Swedish artist since Ace of Base's "The Sign." Personally, I'm way more of a fan of "Talking Body" than of "Habits." Maybe that's just because I'm a fan of the thrill of the physical part of a relationship, and not vomiting in my own bathtub. Regardless, the electro-pop sound of "Talking Body" is fantastic, and the hook that pulls the whole thing together, anchored by Tove Lo's melodic "if you love me ri-i-ight..." is divine and instantly memorable. I "can't get this one off my mind, ooooh," as it were.
10. "Lay Me Down," Sam Smith feat. John Legend
You'll notice that this version of "Lay Me Down" is not the version that features solely Smith from In the Lonely Hour. Instead, I've chosen this version, which was released in March for Red Nose Day, a British charity telethon event founded in 1985 by comedians Richard Curtis and Larry Henry to support those affected by famine in Ethiopia. This version surpasses the original due to the lack of additional instrumentation, and the addition of one John Legend, who is the featured pianist for the track. Plain and simple, the harmonies Legend and Smith create together will make you cry. Legend adds a certain soulfulness to the song, and, while the song's meaning when it only features Smith (in that version of the music video, anyway) is about mourning the loss of a lover, the two Grammy-winning artists together give this version of "Lay Me Down" a hopefulness. It's oddly perfect for the event it was created for.
9. "Cool for the Summer," Demi Lovato
This song is so easy describe, I can do it in one word: Hot. "Cool for the Summer," very much like the season Demi is referring to, is hot, steamy, and all those other words that you're thinking of. The glaringly obvious undertones to Demi's experiences with another woman are, well, awesome. Let's not forget that Lovato got her start on the Disney Channel, so it's nice to see someone finally break the mold, and not in the whole Miley Cyrus way, where she rammed it down our throats. I for one am a huge fan of Demi's new outlook (Go check out "Confident."). There are really so many lyrics that make this song great (and hot), like when Lovato references cherries being bitten into, having two people of the same body type, and even whispering the simple "don't tell your mother." And I've never heard anyone slide so hard between notes during a chorus like that either. Yas, Demi.
8. "Believe," Mumford & Sons
Marcus Mumford and his band are back and better than ever. Many people were a little skeptical about the band's change from a folk-rock sound into an alt-rock sound. "Believe," the first single from their most recent album Wilder Mind, has a mystical quality about it for the first two minutes, and then explodes into an array of pounding drums and wailing electric guitar. However, it still contains that wondrous, awe-inspiring feeling that Mumford & Sons are known for. While it doesn't have an official music video, watch that audio track video above. It's just someone on a motorcycle with a mounted camera riding around London, but it's mesmerizing. It's good to have you back, boys.
7. "Uma Thurman," Fall Out Boy
Yes. That would be a sample from the television show "The Munsters" included in Fall Out Boy's newest smash, "Uma Thurman." The song is clearly Pulp Fiction inspired, what with all the coke sniffing, surfer guitar riffs (reminiscent of that epic final scene), and references to Uma Thurman and what not. I appreciate how far Fall Out Boy has come musically, beginning as a punk rock band, gradually including deeper bass sounds applicable to most of the music found on today's top 40 radio, but still managing to keep that unmistakable sound, confusing lyrics and all. "Uma Thurman" is just an all around great song. So get up and dance to it. Now.
6. "Blank Space," Taylor Swift
"Nice to meet you, where you been" indeed. "Blank Space," the second single from Taylor's 1989 (the first being "Shake It Off") further immerses the- finally- pop star into the sound we've all been craving. This song was really the first one that made me really care and believe what Taylor was talking about. She understands that she's done all this crap with men in the past (a.k.a. writing #1 hits about men that broke her heart- although one has to make money somehow, am I right?), but is still putting herself out there and attempting to go at it again. If "Shake It Off" was the prologue to this chapter of Taylor's career, "Blank Space" is the perfect genuine first few pagers of the book.
5. "See You Again," Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth
Everything about The Fast and The Furious franchise (aside from the first movie) annoyed the crap out of me. They went from racing cars to jumping out of planes, and then somehow The Rock got involved. However, the events leading up to Furious 7 and the release of "See You Again," is simply heartbreaking. The track is the perfect homage to the late Paul Walker, who really made the franchise what it is. The soft and haunting hook from Charlie Puth, combined with the meaningful lyrics (while not aggressively overbearing) from Wiz Khalifa is a magical blend of sound. It gets me thinking about the people outside of my family who really mean a lot to me, and how that group of people becomes your second family. I'm pulling for this song to win an Oscar, because it deserves it.
4. "Can't Feel My Face," The Weeknd
Is this song about cocaine? Yeah, probably. Does it really matter, because the song is incredible? No. The Weeknd's first #1 single channels a little Michael Jackson, between the vocals, the memorable hook, and the uptempo, all-in, jam out sound. It's this amazing slice of neo disco, with some 80's synth and 2010's R&B/hip-hop sound. One critic called it "retro-modern disco-funk," which I think is a perfect way to sum it up. It'll be interesting to see if The Weeknd can keep up his success as we enter 2016.
3. "Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran
Say what you want about this song: It's annoying, it's overplayed, it's stupid, it's corny. I think it's the best love song of the year, simplistic as it is. It's just so genuine and so damn cute. Not to mention Ed singing his little heart out for whoever it may be. "Take me into your loving arms/kiss me under the light of a thousand stars." Awwwww. The guitar solo is absolutely fantastic (and I'm a sucker for a well-placed guitar solo), and it's a crime that it has been cut from many radio versions of this song. Also, look at the music video! Ed's lost a lot of weight from his + album, and he spends most of the video dancing. I'm so proud of him. But really, you can bash this song all you want. I think it's great, and it receives the bronze medal spot on this list for being so effectively cute and mushy.
2. "Shut Up and Dance," Walk The Moon
Taking the silver medal on this list is the catchy, bouncy, happy-go-lucky smash hit from the first album by Walk the Moon. For this song to not reach #1 on the Billboard charts is an absolute travesty. It's a dance hit, but it's got so much rock and roll infused in it, which is great. The heavy power chords on the guitar, combined with the up-tempo nature of the song, paired with the fun lyrics and vocals of lead singer Nick Petriccia make the song a full out yacht-rock song (Yes, I said yacht-rock). The song reminds me so much of summer, but it's really a track that can be enjoyed all year round, without hesitation. I think we'll look back on this song years from now, and still be able to shut up and dance to it.
1. "Uptown Funk," Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
Oh come on, how could it be any other song? "Uptown Funk," in my humble opinion of blogger and list maker, has reached the upper echelon of one of the best party/dance songs of all time. Let me give you a little bit of background as to how popular this song was this year. I studied abroad in England at the beginning of the year, in January. It was the #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 when I left in the first week of the New Year. It was the #1 song in the UK for about half the time I was there. I returned in early March to the U.S. "Uptown Funk" was STILL the #1 song on the Billboard charts. Bruno Mars' lyrics and vocals are unmistakable, and the intro is so memorable. But the two real heroes of the song are the horns and bass, especially in the final portion of the song (Skip to 4:08 in the video, where there's an amazing section not included in the radio single). When I first heard it at the end of the 2014 (when it wasn't receiving much airtime, thus it being included in the 2015 list), it sounded like any other 80s song I had heard before. Now that I've had a chance to really learn to love this song, it's become one of my favorites, to be sure. Uptown has funked me up, and I love it.
If I missed one of your favorites, I can only apologize. Maybe I'll get it on the next one. But just so I know, which songs do you think were the best from 2015? Leave a comment if you so desire. Happy New Year everyone!
Merry Christmas, everyone who happened to stumble upon this blog!
Last year, I made a set of private "Best of 2014" lists, an idea that I've had since mid-2013 at the earliest. What started out as a list of my favorite songs on the radio that I heard that year grew into something like 10 or 15 countdowns in pop culture categories like music, movies, and sports.
This year I thought I'd take it one step further and share my Best of 2015 lists with the world. I'll do my best to get them all in before January 1 rolls around, although with only a few days left in the year, it seems unlikely. But I'll try!
I'll have my first few up in the coming days, and let me begin by saying that if I've omitted one of your favorites, I can only apologize and say "eh... maybe next year!"
As for the rest of the blog, let the countdowns begin, and here's to a happy and peaceful 2016!
I enjoy making lists, countdowns, and making sense of the world that I see around me.