Thursday, December 31, 2015

The 15 Biggest Winners Of 2015

Oh yeah, there were some really BIG winners this year and not just in the world of sports.
For every sad loser of 2015 there were sparkling winners -- winners who provoked, entertained and inspired us.
So now, in no particular order, here are the year's Biggest Winners:

1. Donald Trump. Love him or hate him (and no one seems to be in-between) he said what many were thinking but refused to say. He shook the both Washington and GOP establishments to their very core. He broadened the debate and introduced issues that others hadn't thought of or were afraid to tackle. Quite simply, he's a sensation.

2. Chris Stapleton. The hottest, fastest-rising star in country music, Stapleton has single-handedly revived classic country making it real, heartfelt and relevant once again. Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells -- they're all smiling down on him!

3. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. They stood firm and survived it all. No amount of rumor, scandal or investigation could harm this team (and this quarterback) that many fans love to hate. Deflategate was flicked away like a mere nuisance.

4. Greg Berlanti. This tireless TV producer revolutionized video entertainment with superhero megahits The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl. And, he's got more on the way. He's tapped into the pulse of a new TV viewing audience.

5. Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton. Miranda has reinvented Broadway with a street smart rap musical that's the hottest ticket (and best ensemble cast) since A Chorus Line. With a young, vibrant, diverse company, an inventive score and a compelling story (based on Ron Chernow's outstanding biography) Miranda has made American history sizzle on the Great White Way.

6. J. J. Abrams, Disney and that movie serial that won't go away. Abrams took the seventh installment of an old, tiresome chestnut and turned it into a billion dollar (and counting) bonanza for Disney. You won't catch us at a showing of this flick but we have to admit that The Force remains powerful.

7. Vladimir Putin. You can thank President Obama for this addition to the list. Need we say more?

8. Pope Francis. We can't say that we agree with him every time this most loquacious of Popes opens his mouth but it's awfully hard not to like this guy or not to recognize his success. He's played to a live audience of more than 3.5 million people this year. Whew!

9. Women's Soccer. The US now has the world's best women's soccer team. The women brought home their third World Cup victory and the first since 1999. GoGoGo!

10. Chris Christie. They count him out again and again but New Jersey's irrepressible governor keeps coming back. Relegated to the debate undercard, he nonetheless shined and fought his way back onto the Main Event. His Town Halls in New Hampshire are SRO and his numbers are on the upswing again. Don't ever underestimate this guy out.

11. Frank Sinatra. What a banner centenary year for The Voice -- the man who eventually became The Chairman of the Board. 'Ole blue eyes has been dead for nearly 18 years and yet he's hotter than ever. Doobie, doobie, doo . . . .

12. Uber. The one name, the one service that seemed to be on everyone's lips. People don't walk or jog or ride or taxi anymore. They simply Uber. And Uber is now worth more than $60 billion!

13. American Pharoah and Victor Espinoza. After 37 years we finally have another Triple Crown winner. What a thrill! And, for this we also have to thank the great jockey who rode the horse to victory.

14. Chris Kyle, Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper and American Sniper. The movie (and the story) that Hollywood and the mainstream media wanted to ignore became the biggest movie sensation of the year. In grand testament to Kyle's heroism, his tale was finally given its due. Bravo!

15. Pharrell Williams and John Legend. Ok, so we're cheating here. We've decided to throw these two inventive musical powerhouses together just because we've run out of numbers. They write, they produce, they sing, they perform. They're extraordinary (each in his own right) and it appears there's nothing musically that they can't do. Captivating!

1 comment:

Eric Berinson said...

Hi Dan,

Great List! But what about Elon Musk? This guy has a triumvirate of HUGE initiatives in play, commonly referred to as "Tesla, Space-X and the HyperLoop..." each continuing massive 2015 achievement, with more on the way. Any one of these technological accomplishments would be enough to land Mr. Musk on your winners list, but the combination of all 3? He's anyone's List Leader!

Thanks for your continued provocative commentary.