All the media news outlets have been doing their run down of the 1o most fascinating/amazing/intriguing/[insert your own adjective here] people of the year as is always done around this time. It made me realize I need to do my own. These are the top 10 folks who caught my attention in 2009 whether for better or worse...
10. Taylor Swift
Let's just get the negative entrants out of the way early. Yes, she falls into that category. I had NO clue who this gal was until the whole episode with her and Kanye. I knew the name, but couldn't pick her out of a line-up if you paid me. Now, unfortunately, I can. And her music STILL sucks. The ONLY reason she blew up this year was because of folks feeling sorry for her for that incident. At a Video Music Awards Show of all places. Please go somewhere and sit down in 201o, Taylor.
9. Tiger Woods
He's on this list for all the wrong reasons. You already know all of them. Before the year is over, hopefully the list of mistresses/girlfriends/jumpoffs/affairs will have tapered off before it hits 20. It's really too bad because he had accomplished so much on the golf course that now it will all be forever overshadowed. Nike said this will be a blip on the radar when we look back on his career years later. I'm kinda' thinking not.
8. Ricky Gervais
There are probably several folks who are fans of Steve Carell's show "The Office" that don't even realize the show owes its beginning to the BBC version starring this cat. Honestly, I haven't seen a single episode of the original. However, everything I have seen Gervais in has been on point. I don't know how he'll do with hosting an awards show (The Golden Globes) but in just two movies this year, he's secured a spot on my "must-see" talent list.
7. Kevin Hart
Easily one of the most underrated comedians out there. I blame his management. Ever since his one starring role in a TERRIBLE movie ("Soul Plane"), he hasn't been allowed to take off like he should. That was 5 years ago. Since then, he's been blowing up and stealing scenes in bit parts such as his role in "Not Easily Broken". The real reason he's on here though is his stand-up concert "I'm a Grown Little Man" is on constant rotation on the Zune. One of the best stand-ups I've seen in a LONG time.
6. Harrison Barnes
This will be the only regional entrant on the list but it's well-deserved. I went at this youngster rather hard earlier about his decision to go to UNC over Iowa State. That was well-deserved as well. It doesn't change the fact that the kid is a pretty great talent. He went up against an Illinois high school team with their own national superstar and more than held his own. It was a nice change of pace to see Iowa have the top rated high school baller in the nation. We have Barnes to thank for that.
5. Kaleb Eulls
Name doesn't ring a bell, does it? Don't feel bad because I had to go back and check the archives myself to jog my memory. I could remember his phenomenal feat of heroism of saving his fellow classmates; I just couldn't remember his name. Kaleb set himself apart from any and all of his peer group on that date. The story stuck with me all year long even though the media didn't play it out that much. I thought I would continue his pub by giving him even more due credit here.
4. Captain Chelsey Sullenberger ("Sully")
When we first heard the story of a huge Airbus crash landing in the Hudson, who would have ever thought any one would survive? The photos of that thing just sitting there on top of the water still baffles me. Captain Sully deserves all the credit he received for landing that jet in such a manner that all 155 souls walked away without so much as a scratch. His calm demeanor throughout the ordeal as well as his humility in the aftermath earned him big points with me.
3. Michelle Obama
You have to go clear back to the JFK presidency to recollect a time that anyone ever gave a hoot about the First Lady. I honestly don't think it was solely because she was the first Black woman in that position (although it was a contributing factor). It was mainly because it has been a LONG time since there's been an attractive First Lady in the White House. As if that wasn't enough, she has a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law to boot. I'm just going to need you to back off the Vaseline on the legs a bit when you're on television, Madame First Lady.
2. Michael Jackson
Barbara Walters has a rule when she does her similar list that the people must be alive in order to be recognized. I don't subscribe to that theory. It's probably not right to rank one person's death as being more significant that another's, but there's no denying that Mike's death left a huge void in the entertainment world. A talent like him only come along once in a generation. His "This Is It" movie reminded us of that. There's not much more I can say that I didn't already touch on in my original tribute to him. Except that we are all blessed to have experienced his gift during our lifetime.
1. President Barack Obama
Now you HAD to know he was going to be number one. Contrary to how long it may seem, he hasn't even been President for a year yet. His historical inauguration just took place in January of 2009 and people keep acting as though everything he's promised should be accomplished by now. He inherited a HUGE mess that was accumulated over 8 years. It will take more than a year to clean it up. I'm glad that he's taking the time to make sure it's done right. Most of all, I'm glad that the President we have in office to help us recover from the Rethuglicans' reign is a brutha.