Winners & Losers roundup: 2011

Not too many folks in the Winners column this year, but a few managed to
claw their way across the line. So, here goes.

1) Herman Cain

Loser. Announced his bid for the republican nomination for president. Took
the country by storm (and surprise), quickly rising to the top of the polls.
Then, rumors of affairs, accusations of sexual harassment, and a series of
embarrassments drove him to the sidelines. Welcome to politics, Herman.
Maybe try running for a House or Senate seat first next time.

2) Albert Pujols

Winner. At 41, in all likelihood he’ll be well, well past his prime, but the
contract he just signed with the California Angels will still be paying him
more than 25 mil per season. Who knows? By then the economy might even turn
around. Which leads us to…

3) Anybody looking for a job.

Losers. Let’s face it folks, the stimulis plan was a disaster, and it’s been
three years. The man at the top and his economic policies blow. My guess is
even the most rabid Bush-haters’d trade 2011 for 2005, with it’s 5.3%
unemployment rate and a booming housing market. As the twitterverse would
put it: #EpicFail

4) ebook authors

Winners. E-publishing is finally viewed as legitimate, and as a result many
quality writers have been able to carve out a spot for themselves without
the hassle of needing an agent to beat down the doors of a traditional
publishing house. Unfortunately, this also leads to…

5) ebook readers

Losers. No, not the Nook, Kindle or other devices-I’m talking actual
readers. Human beings. All you folks who like to turn a page, be it pulp or
pixels. The market’s been flooded with more garbage than the average river
near a chemical plant, and trust me, no matter how many .99 cent offerings
you plod through, there are a lot of non-quality writers doing the same
thing they did when self-published chapbooks were the order of the day.
True, they’re no longer killing trees. Just brain cells.

6) The Indianapolis Colts

Losers. Sure, they may get their own version of Aaron Rodgers in Andrew
Luck, who’ll learn behind Peyton Manning. But boy, how the loss of one guy
really put this franchise into the toilet. Sure, other guys have been hurt
and put on IR, etc. But…come on. This team started the season in pretty
decent shape aside from quarterback. Until a couple of weeks ago, they were
looking like they’d match the Lions from a couple seasons back and go
winless. (The Tennessee Titans sure wish they would have). Still, the
biggest reason the Colts are losers? Simply because of how quickly they were
exposed without Manning under center. In 2012, I expect the bulls-eye to be
on a still-recovering Manning, regardless of how risky it’s been to blitz
him in the past. Put him on the sideline for a couple series, this team isn’t
just different, it’s gutted.

7) Casey Anthony

The only person to make this list in both categories, Winner and Loser.
Sure, she got away with the murder of her child. In doing so, however, she
avoids prison only to face death threats and be the most hated woman in the
United States. Probably some other countries too-and she doesn’t even live
there.

8) The Occupy… movement

Losers. “What?!” you say. “But…look at what they accomplished!” Exactly.
They burned bright, burned brief, and…where are they now? They’ve been run
out of almost all their encampments. They managed to tick off the very
people they wanted to have on their side. They’re getting virtually no ink
at present, and my guess is they probably won’t be able to recapture the
media’s attention without doing something extreme-which would only
marginalize them further. So, yeah, for a short time they held the world’s
attention. But you know what? Justin Bieber has more staying power. What’s
that tell you about the mark Occupy… has left overall?

9) Drew Brees

Winner. Breaking a record is one thing, but breaking a record that’s stood
for 27 years, and was held by one of the greatest passers of all time in Dan
Marino…with another game left to add to it? Well done, sir, well done.

10) Creators & Intellectual property holders

Losers. You’d think that congress wanting to crack down on piracy would be a
good thing, at least in principle. But, this SOPA bill is so poorly crafted
that you now have creators and rightsholders clamoring for its defeat. No
wonder congress’ approval rating is lower than Mel Gibson’s…

and, just outside the Top 10…

11) You-if you like readin’ horror stories

Yep, for fans of extreme horror, I’m leaving up CHASERS, my grim Xmas tale,
for an extra week. Scroll back to the last column, or click here and grab
it:

http://tinyurl.com/cy835zp

Thanks for stopping by, here’s wishing you a safe and healthy New Year’s,
and all my wishes for everything in 2012 to be positive for you! (Well,
maybe not an HIV test, but still…)

–Joe

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