Thumbs Up go to . . . . Barack Obama. Describing herself to a new boyfriend on 30 Rock last season, Tina Fey confessed that she tells all of her friends that she is voting for Barack Obama but will probably just vote for John McCain in the end. It was a great line because it struck the chord of Obama's popularity as the "hip" candidate, but not one that anyone viewed as actually crossing the finish line. That seems to have changed in the last few weeks. Obama is now first in Iowa (in a pretty reputable poll), and appears to have a legitimate shot at staging a credible challenge to Hillary, who seemed like a foregone conclusion only a month ago. I have never been excited about Hillary as a candidate, and if Obama emerges as a real contender, I would drive the bandwagon. My only gripe with Hillary (she is generally an advocate of the positions I would take on most issues) is that she seems so totally disingenuous in everything she says . . . now people say that's true of all politicians, but that doesn't seem to be the case, as Obama is proving. I like him, and am getting excited about his candidacy.
Thumbs Down go to . . . . the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). Jimmy Rollins, a notorious murderer of kittens and hater of rainbows, was named NL MVP by this crowd. Matt Holliday had a better year, hands down. Whatever - David Wright will take it next year and put this nonsense to rest.
Kittens, man. Kittens.
Thumbs Up go to . . . . the New York Giants. Now look, we've been down this road before, and Open Bar has written extensively on this point, but the fact is they are 7-3 with a defense that looks like it can keep them in the game against all but the very best teams (i.e., Dallas and New England). Given the remaining schedule, they could legitimately win 10 if not 11 games, and maybe get a home playoff game. Given how this season looked in August and September, that is dramatic improvement, and a nice consolation prize for still suicidal Mets fans.
Thumbs Down go to . . . . nytimes.com. Has anyone noticed the creeping mediocrity of the New York Times online? The conversion to a Yahoo!/MSNBC type website has been subtle, but undeniable. Half of the site is now a blog (which just means you can write a story without having to edit it), and everything is linked to "reader comments." This is supposed to be the paper of record in this country, but it is starting to look like the MySpace page of a 14 year-old on Ritalin. If I gave shit what Nikos from Greece thinks the Knicks need to do to rebuild I would ask him. Just watch, nytimes.com will have a "Who Should Get Voted Off Dancing With The Stars" poll up by years end. What a travesty.
Thumbs Up go to . . . . this guy. Hey, when a man wants a beer . .