Anyone Who Says "dub dub dub" Instead of "www" Will be Shot
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Second Annual Wade's Most Visited Website Awards! You may recall the inaugural ceremony actually occurred back in March of '02. But we, uh, took last year off because of.. the war in Iraq. That's right. And since I think that's all over now, we can jump back into the frivolity and merrymaking of baseless awards. Let's go!
Best Random News Site
Fark is a site where registered users are allowed to post links to news found around the web, along with classifications and (brief) descriptions. Farkers do a pretty good job at extracting what's really newsworthy (and/or funny) from 40/50 websites so you can be informed and entertained efficiently. Categories include Breaking News, Strange, Sick, Sad, Dumbass, and Christopher Walken.
It's somewhat helpful for a homer like me who's tempted to get all of his news from the website of the west-side fishwrap factory. It's also good for people who'd prefer a daily dose of "News of the Weird."
Best Streaming Audio Site
Suspended this year because my friends in Policy and Compliance don't trust me enough to get streaming audio anymore via my work PC. You get caught looking at Afghani animal porn *one time* and this is what happens...
Best Site To Answer Annoying Trivia Questions
I can't tell you how often this site has saved me from pulling my (remaining) hair out. Here's some fun. Who played Stacy, the crazy gun-rack girl who stalked Wayne in Wayne's World? Answer. What was the first movie that Charlize Theron's appeared in? Answer. Who played the second and fourth Becky on "Roseanne"? Answer. What movie is being played in Hell right now? Answer.
Besides just listing actors, IMDB provides their own trivia section for most movies (the role of Peter Venkman was written for John Belushi, for example), goofs, memorable quotes, posters, and a fairly cool section entitled "Movie Connections." See this example from Caddyshack.
Best Time Sink Site
I could blow six to eight hours a day surfing this site. For those unaware, Baseball Reference lists the roster and stats of each player on each major league team (year by year) back to 1882. Each player is hyperlinked so that you can follow his movement throughout his career. Maybe you have to be a true baseball geek to appreciate the coolness of this...
If that weren't enough... each player page lists the likelihood of the player being elected to the Hall of Fame, transactions involving the player, salary by year, and appearances on leaderboards / awards standings. Team pages feature year-by-year positional starters, statistical leaders, managers, and ballpark data.
Perhaps the coolest feature? The Oracle. Here you can type in the names of two baseball players and find the degrees of separation between the two. How many degrees separate Grant Balfour and Cy Young? Answer.
And to prove that I'm not a freeloader, please see here. :)
Best Eighties Site
The '80s TV Theme Supersite
Definitely one of the cooler sites out there, 80stvthemes has audio and video clips of the themes to hundreds of the shows I watched growing up. It always amazes me how audio can transport a person back to the time when he/she got to know a particular song, and listening to the theme from "L.A. Law" or "Magnum P.I." turns me into a kid really fast.
Equally as great are the clips and audio from 80's commercials. You can sing along with jingles you haven't heard for twenty years-- Gatorade is Thirst Aid, Have You Driven a Ford Lately, Coke Is It... and you can keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool with the McDLT. Oh, and there are no references to anything being Atkins-friendly.
Best Sports Column
Two years ago this category was easily won by Bill Simmons. However, the Sports Guy has moved out to California and is focused on writing for the Jimmy Kimmel show, so his usual once- or twice-a-week column is now a maybe-once-every-two-weeks event. He's still entertaining, but is too irregular to win this illustrious award. Props also to cnnsi's Peter King, but he only writes during football season.
Not so with John Bonnes. Although he occasionally mails one in, he generally comes up with fresh content about baseball and the Twins all year long. His expertise seems to be in statistical analysis, but this isn't a numbers-only site. John provides good analysis of what's written about in the local and national press, and usually finds a fact or an angle that the "professional" journalists gloss over.
As someone who appreciates the struggle to come up with entertaining copy for a website, I appreciate his work a great deal.
brian + japan
I went to college with Brian Grivna. I went to college with most people reading this site. Therefore, I'm guessing that most of you know Brian Grivna. He's a pretty funny guy, he does the intelligent humor really well. (Not a bad bowler, either.)
Someone (I can't remember who now) sent me the link to this site last fall. Brian is in Japan teaching English to junior high students. I must say that has to offer more risk/reward that the SQL coding he was doing when I last talked to him. He doesn't update his site as much as you'd want, but when he does it's very funny. If you're in a hurry, just check out his takes on Engrish and the difference between American and Japanese baseball.
There you have it, folks. Thanks for your attention. There wasn't any Billy Crystal, but there wasn't any Michael Moore either, so we're pretty pleased with the ceremony as a whole. See you again in a year. (Or two.)