Word of the day: best (adjective) Of the highest quality, excellence, or standing.; (verb) To get the better of; defeat; beat.
As it's the end of the year, all the best-of lists are popping up. But because it's also the end of a decade AND the end of the first decade of the 2000s, the stakes seem to be that much higher for the best-of lists. I always read them and always feel indignation over most of the picks but I never really care beyond that.
This year, though, two things jumped out at me: Tiger Woods as the best athlete of the decade and Nickelback as the best band of the decade.
Let's start with the latter. So, Nickelback...WTF!?!?!
Billboard has named Nickelback the best band of the decade. Now, I'm into music but I'm not into music (not like some people I know) but I do know a couple of things: Billboard seems to be pretty important in the whole music thing (hell, they even have their own awards) and Nickelback is absolutely horrendous. So how the hell does something like this happen? Well, it's because Nickelback was the band of the past decade to have the most staying power on the Billboard 100, meaning "best" was awarded to the band based on numbers and ranking power rather than on talent, musical quality, listenability or any of the things that most people think of when they think "best". (As an aside, I feel it is necessary to point out that Nickelback hails from Alberta. You know who else hail from Alberta? Conservatives. In fact, it's a Conservative province. Has been for awhile now. So if you vote Conservative, you're letting bands like Nickelback win. Just saying.)
I once saw in an article about Nickelback that, even though they're bad, they're good at the whole arena-rock thing, so you can hate them all you want; they are still good at something. You know who else is good at something? Rush Limbaugh. He's good at being an ignorant blowhard. Still doesn't make it okay.
The fact remains, though: Nickelback is terrible, no matter what Billboard says.
Now, about Tiger Woods: does anyone else find it suspicious that he's names athlete of the decade (okay, so it was only by Associated Press, but still) after all the tabloid-y stuff about his shagtastic infidelity? But that's not really my main beef. The biggest problem I have is that he's a golfer and even though golf is a sport, it's not like he has to exert himself or anything. I mean, he doesn't even carry his own clubs and he just has to walk from hole to hole. It's not like he's Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt and has to move really fast or anything. He's nowhere near like David Beckham, having to run all the time (well, when the guy's actually on the football pitch). Lance Armstrong ranked second and he beat cancer and won the most grueling cycling race there is. Seriously now. Good thing there wasn't a speed walker who had cheated on his wife recently, else poor Tiger would have been demoted on the list.
So why is he the best athlete of the decade? Apparently it's not just because he needs some kind of good press, but because he won a bunch of times. Well, so did #3, Roger Federer, and he did it under much more difficult circumstances than Mr. Woods. In fact, Mr. Federer has won more championships than any other male tennis player, ever. Tiger, well, he won a bunch but there are still other players who have won more.
But regardless what the Associated Press says, come 2010, everyone is going to remember Tiger as a cheating jerkface idiot loser and I'm going to bite my thumb at his whole "best athlete" thing.