The holiday madness is here, and the year that is 2011 is coming up to the end.  Right around this time of year is where just about everywhere you turn there is a Best Of list popping up - I think you can see where this is going.  Here is a list 10 random categories created by myself - looking into music, movies, sports, and other things that may (or may not) played into your stream of consciousness this year:

1) The Best and Worst Movies That You Never Saw

Best - The Mighty Macs.  Hell I have not see this thing either, but after all the bad in sports this year it's nice to see a positive and uplifting story about Immaculata University, south Jersey native Cathy Rush (Egg Harbor Township girl), and the unlikely run of being the 1st ever Women's College Basketball champions in 1972.

Worst - The Son Of No One.  You would think a movie that has Al Pachino (acting legend), Tracy Morgan extremely funny SNL alum), Ray Liotta ("Goodfellas", "Cop Land"), Katie Holmes (um..... she is Tom Cruise's wife) and Channing Tatum (hot young hunk), in an Action/Cop drama would do a hell of a great deal better than $31,000 in 14 days in the theaters.  That is not a typing error - the movie barely made over 30K (just enough to pay for the trailer rentals..........for one day!)

2) The Best Song You Probably Did Not Hear

"Heartbeat" by Enrique Iglesias and Nicole Scherzinger.  His career came back in a big way with hits like "I Like It" and "Tonight", while her win on Dancing With The Stars last spring gave her new life (and a judging job on The X Factor).  Add to this formula an addicting groove with great vocals, somehow this one fell through the cracks.  I found the song one day shopping with my girlfriend and I was hooked instantly.

3) The Celebrity That Just Would Not Go Away

Kim Kardashian.  You could call for the entire clan here, but just when we had enough of Kim's drama in 2011 there was more.  This is all playing out on E!  The only way to avoid Kim Kardashian is to not go on line ever again.

4) The Best Charlie Sheen Moment

There were so many interviews, and so many sayings that created a Twitter sensation.  The man with Tiger Blood, Adonis DNA, and is completely high on "Charlie Sheen" was definitely "Winning" on his Today Show appearance with Matt Lauer in mid-September.  Sheen seemed calmer, accepting of his manic behavior, wished his former show "2 1/2 Men" well without him, and showed himself to be so human, vulnerable, and likable once again.

5) The Best and Worst New TV Shows You May Have Not Seen

Best - Person Of Interest.  I wish I have seen more episodes because the couple I've seen have been really good.  The show has been a bright spot in a  dreary season of network TV offerings.  They take on 9/11 in the world now where every move can be watched.  The creator of this computer (played by Emmy Winner Michael Emerson from Lost) has access to this system to detect when things are about to happen and can be stopped.  This is where the character John Reese comes in (played by the brilliant James Caviezel) to help through his talents and a former Special Ops man and CIA agent. CBS has this show that you should at least DVR.

Worst - Charlie's Angels.  This idea just seemed bad from the minute they announced it.  Catching lightning in a jar twice is hard - they had because of the movie franchise.  This ABC concoction proves that original ideas for network TV are lacking.

6) The Positive Sports Story That Makes Us Feel Good About Sports

Almost everyone will bring up Tim Tebow and the sensation he has become with the Denver Broncos. Yes there are questions of his talent and ability, but nobody questions his heart, his wanting the football with the game on the line, and all he seems to do is win.  A definite feel good story that has benefited from his Born-Again Christian beliefs - his personal beliefs have garnered as much attention as his play .  Tim is a positive in a year of much negativity in sports.

One other story needs to be recognized - Butler University is a small school in Indianapolis with 4000 students, no big-time sports budgets to recruit athletes, and play in the shadows of the Big Ten Conference and Notre Dame.  The Bulldogs Men's Basketball made it to the NCAA Finals earlier this year for the 2nd year in a row - only the 16th team in the 73 year history of the NCAA Tournament.  Most of these players were not considered good enough for the so-called power teams of college basketball, but head coach Brad Stevens brought talent and academics together successfully (something to be proud of).

7) The Lucky To Be Alive Inspiration

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  She was shot in the head by a crazed gunman in January.  Her survival is nothing short of a miracle.  Giffords has fought her way back from an induced coma, brain surgery, and what seemed a limited chance to live.  Gabrielle has vowed to return to work in Congress.  She has lost about 50% of her vision in both of her eyes, and she is still struggling with speaking, but when you consider how far she has come this year I would not bet against her!

8) The WTF Moment That Makes You Lose Faith In People

Black Friday at Walmart proved to be not the best place to be in parts of the country - 2 shootings in the Carolinas, one fight in N.Y. that saw a man injure 2 women, and the Pepper Spray felt around the internet - all in the name of bargain shopping.  Happy Holidays?

The Casey Anthony Verdict also needs to be included here as well (how could it not?)

9) The Comeback Of The 2011

The Muppets.  One again it has been time to play the music, light the lights and raise the curtain!  When actor Jason Segal took it upon himself to resurrect the popular crew of the 70s and 80s, the results have been over $70 Million in 4 weeks out in the theaters.  Resurrections work, but most remakes do not (see Charlie's Angels).

10) The Biggest Story of 2011

This will be of great debate, but I feel the taking out Osama Bin Laden seemed to bring a renewed hope in this country.  This may have been short-lived because of all of the other problems that are going on in the country this year, but this was a shining moment in a year that may have had more lows than highlights.

This may be my pessimistic view of 2011, but the optimistic view is that 2012 is only days away!





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