Each week our culture scientists rank their 10 favorite things in the universe. The resulting list is infallible. The list is perfect. If you don't agree with the list, you are wrong. Some items may stay atop the list for weeks, others may only make a brief appearance. Some items are Portland-centric, but only because Portland is at the center of the universe. Please do not write to us, asking for the metrics behind the list. We will not provide source material. We will not be swayed. Bow down to the list. Love the list, as the list loves all things. Let the list move through you. (And, you know, if you have suggestions for the list, stick them in the comments section below.)
1. A Punter Wins the Super Bowl
The Super Bowl felt like a throwback until the third quarter: Used to be, the game was always outshone by the halftime show. And then the lights went out. The 49ers started playing really well and the game came down to the wire. The real MVP? Ravens kicker Sam Koch, who ran 8 seconds off the clock by dancing around the endzone begging to be tackled or forced out to take the safety. Had he simply run off the field and taken the safety, the 49ers would have likely had another five seconds and time for an extra play. Colin Kaepernick might have tossed the ball of his life. Koch stopped all that. Yes, the bad guys won, but they won in a pretty cool way.
3. WoodchuckBarrel-Aged Cider
Yeah, Woodchuck cider tends to be a little sweet and simple, but, wow, the barrel-aged stuff we had at Bushwhacker over the weekend was something else. Aged in bourbon barrels until it had a woody, vanilla-tinged flavor, it ends up something like a great bourbon cocktail.
4. Fast and Furious 6
Cinema's greatest example of "good stupid" is back! Everyone thought the series was over after "Fast Five," but you know a franchise this gloriously moronic isn't ending until they're pulling a heist on the space station’s souped-up cars in space.
5. The Calvin Klein Super Bowl Ad
In a year where only about two Super Bowl commercials were slightly better than suck-ass, we'll take the ad that trolled viewers by juxtaposing a very serious-looking, well-sculpted male model in his underwear with images of a piston dripping wet with some kind of unidentifiable liquid. When it aired, you could almost hear all of Middle America drop its nachos and go silent with shameful curiosity.
5. Laurie Notaro Discourages Phoenicians From Moving to Portland
Now, true, Laurie Notaro has not lived a day in Portland, instead dwelling in the giant truckstop town of Eugene, but we still appreciate what she's doing here. Best of all, she furthers the fiction that there is only one Voodoo Doughnut, the one with the big line, and that Phoenicians should wait in it rather than coming to our pleasant East Side location.
6. Surfer Kai Wins the Internet
Smash! Smash! Suhmash! That is all.
7. Grantland’s 30 Rock Eulogy
“A farce about the pragmatic limits of ambition aimed a lot of its own ambition at the comedy of race.”
8. The Questionnaire, by Jiri Grusa
So an unemployable Czech walks into an employment office… and tells them everything. Everything at all. From the beginning. It is wonderful. And it is like no other book in any language, except other books that are also like no other.
9. Drunk Orson Welles, on Wine
Never gets old. Never dies.
10. Closing Out the Fertile Ground Festival With a “Penis Noir” Joke Although, we’re pretty sure it’s pronounced pay-NEE.