Tuesday  December 19, 2006

The Top Ten Viral Sports Videos of 2006

An idosyncratic, prejudicial, and by no means exclusive list of the best viral sports clips seen during the past year.

10.  Ted Williams promotes an evocatively named Florida real-estate development.  Sample quote:  "Citrus Hills.  Fuck this."

9.  The New Zealand All Blacks rugby team performs its pre-match "haka," a Maori warrior dance meant to cow enemies into submission.  Subtitles and commentary in French, in case you don't speak Maori.

8.  Taurian "Air Up There" Fontenette of the AND1 Tour pulls off what has been billed as the first-ever documented 720-degree dunk.  Naysayers claim, however, that it's actually a 540.  You make the call:

7.  Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals scores a goal that can only be called--incongruous though this may sound--Jordanesque.

6.  In this high-school-highlight reel, Heisman winner and NFL superstud Reggie Bush goes through opposing defensive lines like a cheese knife through a room-temperature, triple-creme Brie.

5.  A Ten-Best within a Ten-Best:  The finest baseball imbroglios of all time.  No-hitters notwithstanding, Nolan Ryan's finest moments arguably can be found here:

4.  An oddly moving highlight reel in which twelve years of a player's football career, from Pee Wee through high school, have been condensed into a minute of film.  The player is Sean Calcagnie, a high-school star who walked on this year at USC.

3.  A montage of NFL Draft Days featuring Jets fans recoiling in horror year as, year after year, their team passes up future stars like Dan Marino and Warren Sapp in favor of guys you've never heard of.  The groans and cries of "Nooo!" are hilarious.

2.  The bottom of the tenth inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, as recreated on the late-80s Nintendo game RBI Baseball and synched to Vin Scully's play-by-play.

1.  Ron Burgundy auditions for fledgling 24-hour sports network ESPN.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Not a video, but an mp3:  Visiting the mound during the 1977 World Series, Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda bickers affectionately ("Fuck you, Dougie!") with starting pitcher Doug Rau.  To listen, paste this link in your browser:  http://www.dodgerblues.com/images/lasorda-rau.mp3

Friday  December 15, 2006

Best Lamp '06

GQ's Best Stuff '06 list is out, and among our picks for your home is Roberto Cárdenas's lovely Corner Lamp.


The premise of the lamp is so rational (it's essentially a traditional floor lamp, quartered) that I expected Cárdenas to have a certain Swedish practicality to him. After we met, though, I realized that Cárdenas—a painter, poet, and former high school teacher—is all heart. "If I have to choose between beauty and function, I will always choose beauty," he told me.

It's often the simplest designs that are the hardest to pull off (there is nothing to distract your eye, so the details must be perfect). In this case, it took a great deal of trial and error to manufacture the lampshade's unique frame and upholster it so the seams would be unobtrusive.

What makes the design resonate for me is that it manages to be unquestionably novel, while at the same time staying rooted in the familiar. And knowing how much attention went into creating such a seemingly simple object only makes me appreciate it more.