From a very early age I've always been a list-driven person. I probably checked out Phil Pepe's "The Sports Book of Lists" from my local library 8-10 times as a kid. And I loved the Top 5-driven theme of High Fidelity, a theme I'm going to shamelessly borrow in this exercise.
Keep in mind there's no preferred order with these Top 5 lists unless specifically noted, and also accept that this is one of the most subjective of undertakings. So you like different football players or music or movies than I do? It's all good. There's no problem. That's the fun of it, the disagreements.
Have a happy and safe New Year and we'll catch you on the flip side.
Five Reasons Peyton Manning Is My 2012 MVP
- Quarterbacks drive outcomes in the modern NFL, far more than any other position.
- Manning is essentially the Broncos offensive coordinator and associate head coach.
- Denver's point differential spiked by 273 points from last year to this year, with Manning the only major addition to the offense.
- Manning had just two games under a 90 passer rating, and only one game under an 83 rating (none since September).
- The growth of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker is significantly tied to Manning's tutelage.
Five Mythical Award Votes From NFL 2012
- Peyton Manning: MVP
- Adrian Peterson: Offensive Player of the Year (rare case where a split vote between MVP and OPOTY makes sense)
- Robert Griffin: Rookie of the Year (Russell Wilson second)
- J.J. Watt, Defensive Player of the Year (in a landslide)
- Mike Shanahan, Coach of the Year (with a hat tip to his son, Kyle)
Five Playoff Coaches I'd Most Want On My Side (in order)
- Bill Belichick
- Jim Harbaugh
- Mike Shanahan
- Mike McCarthy
- Chuck Pagano
Five Underrated NFL Units
- Bengals Defense (though public is catching on)
- Vikings Offensive Line
- Rams Defense
- 49ers Running Game
- Browns Secondary
Five Best John Cusack Movies (in order)
- Grosse Pointe Blank
- San Anything
- High Fidelity
- Being John Malkovich
- The Sure Thing
(Everyone likes The Grifters more than me)
Five Star Quarterbacks Who Never Started A Super Bowl
- Dan Fouts
- Warren Moon
- Bernie Kosar (has a ring from Dallas)
- Randall Cunningham
- Mark Brunell (has a ring from NO)
Five Random Things I Loved From Week 17
- The Giants reaching out to Sandy Hook.
- Arian Foster's bow to Chuck Pagano.
- Tony Romo and Jason Witten jawing on the sidelines (it's cool to care).
- Jordy Nelson's field alertness after Mike McCarthy's mistaken flag toss.
- The Colts refusing to hand Houston the No. 1 seed (and the atmosphere at that stadium).
Five Things To Carry With You At All Times
- Music and good headphones
- A charged phone
- Something to read
- Something to write on
- Cash (cash is king)
Five Key Players I Misranked In August
- Dez Bryant
- Fred Jackson (and C.J. Spiller)
- Jordy Nelson
- Antonio Brown
- Demaryius Thomas
Six One-Hit Wonders From 2012 Fantasy Football
- Kevin Ogletree, Week 1
- Jake Locker, Week 3
- Brian Hartline, Week 4
- Shonn Greene, Week 6
- Michael Floyd, Week 17
- DeAngelo Williams, Week 17
Five Star Running Backs Who Never Got To Super Bowl
- Barry Sanders
- O.J. Simpson
- LaDainian Tomlinson
- Eric Dickerson
- Earl Campbell
Five Players Who Justified My Preseason Love
- Russell Wilson
- Eric Decker
- Greg Olsen
- Alfred Morris (kudos to Mike Salfino, who skippered this ship)
- Kyle Rudolph
Five Simple Ways To Enhance The Fantasy/Roto Experience
- Auctions over drafts
- Start more players (helps iron out the flukes)
- Don't be afraid to partner up
- Embrace midseason and playoff leagues
- Friendly rivalries and sidebets
Five Playoff Coaches I'd Least Want On My Side (in order)
- Gary Kubiak
- Leslie Frazier
- Marvin Lewis (never aggressive enough)
- John Fox (though Manning will often overrule)
- Vacant (no ideal candidate)
Five Favorite Chases
- The Paper Chase
- Chris Chase
- Chase Utley
- Angela Chase
- The Chase Interlude from Ms. Pac Man
Five Underrated Moments In Time
- The night before Thanksgiving
- The final 30 minutes of the early NFL wave, any Sunday
- Walking into an empty (but open) restaurant for lunch
- The first day it snows
- Sophomore year of college
Five Snubs I'd Put Into Canton
- Randy Gradishar
- Ken Stabler
- Cris Carter (he will get in, though)
- Terrell Davis
- Ray Guy
Five Major Cities I'd Like To Live In
- San Diego
- St. Paul
Five Make-Good Running Backs Who Were Sixth-Round Picks
- Terrell Davis
- Alfred Morris
- Mike Anderson
- Wilbert Montgomery
- Larry Kinnebrew
Five Ridiculous Award Screw-Jobs
- Pedro Martinez, 1999 MVP
- Jim Brown, 1956 Heisman
- Dan Fouts, 1982 MVP
- Roger Clemens, 1990 Cy Young
- Ted Williams, 1947 MVP
Six Coolest Places To Watch An NFL Game
- Green Bay
- New Orleans
Five Terrific Quotes From Rounders
- "Here's the thing … if you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker."
- "If you want to see this seventh card, you're gonna stop speaking Sputnik."
- "Just walking in here makes me queasy. The brick walls, the (freaking) mopes at the tables. The musty smell. I feel like Buckner walking back into Shea."
- "Hanging around, hanging around. Kid's got alligator blood."
- "In the poker game of life, women are the rake. Women are the (freaking) rake."
Five Reasons Mark Sanchez Didn't Make It
- Spotty pocket awareness.
- Ordinary arm strength.
- Marginal supporting cast (including his coordinators).
- Not good with pre-snap decisions (every blitz comes with an indicator).
- Suspect work ethic.
Five Tremendous Athlete Cameos In Movies
- Xavier McDaniel in Singles (untoppable)
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Airplane
- Reggie Jackson in The Naked Gun
- Brett Favre in There's Something About Mary
- Lee Trevino in Happy Gilmore
Five Things I Loved About Big East Basketball
- Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas - the best three-man announcing team in sports history.
- Eric Murdock Time, 1987-1991
- Reading Billy Reynolds.
- Any game involving Syracuse.
- Send It In, Jerome.
Five Notably Humble Superstars
- Calvin Johnson
- Ray Bourque
- Jack Nicklaus
- Jim Thome
- Nicklas Lidstrom
Five Great Songs While The Credits Roll
- Joy To The World (Three Dog Night/The Big Chill)
- Just Like Honey (Jesus & Mary Chain/Lost in Translation)
- Murray (Pete Yorn/Igby Goes Down)
- Baby, You're A Big Star Now (Counting Crows/Rounders)
- Livin' Thing (Electric Light Orchestra/Boogie Nights)
Five Strange Athlete Drive-Bys
- Wayne Gretzky in St. Louis
- Franco Harris in Seattle
- Pete Maravich in Boston
- Emmitt Smith in Arizona
- Mike Piazza in Florida
Five Popular Things Everyone Seems To Love But Me
- 80s Pop Music (though I love the new wave and alternative stuff)
- Saturday Night Live, any era
- New Year's Eve (ultimate Amateur Night)