August 06, 2008
Yours truly, Leahy and Smithwick's (especially Smithwick's) have completed the deliberations, our voices hoarse from the intense debate surrounding the individual awards for our "Gary Bettman: Portraits in Heroism" art contest. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; and since we be holdin' the beauty, decisions had to be made.
The three place-winners will be announced by the end of the day. We've compiled some honorable mentions we'd like to bestow upon fans who toiled for literally minutes in creating these pieces. Check out our other Gary Bettman art galleries for more analysis; and of course, the entire 231 entries in the mothership gallery. Now, onto the award-winning pieces, including the one featured here for Best Symbolism for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins/Sidney Crosby Favoritism by Jerry Moxley.
So many choices. Really, the quality of this thing blew us away.
Best Nightmare Inducing Photoshop (tie): Bill O'Brien managed to make Angelina Jolie nauseating while at the same time turning Bettman into an action hero. No small feat. Meanwhile, East of Here basically raped our childhood.
Most Patriotic: Leahy was a big fan of this one, and I agree. This is the kind of heroism that gets your face on the $1 bill. Congrats to Brendon.
Best Superhero: This was a very stiff competition, but there's really nothing that compares to David Cicirelli's hilarious ode to the NHL on Fox.
Best Fast Food Tie-In (tie): Chris Jaros gets the nod for the 1980s nostalgia, but Ben Thomas deserves credit for finding the cherubanic charm of Bettman's Big Boy.
Best Sacrilege: If Matthew Funtime's Bettman-as-Dean Martin and Kevin Sharkey's Messianic Gary don't make you throw up in your mouth just a little, there's really no offending you.
Best Symbolism for the NHL's Detroit Red Wings Crosby Favoritism: Jannah Jablonowski shows Gary Bettman rescuing Mike Babcock's cat from a tree. Notice it wasn't an octopus.
Best Anti-Hero: Matt Schwartz presents one of the most disturbing images in the contest. Can Bettman make a pencil disappear?
Best Use of Gary Coleman and an Incredibly Small Towel: Kris Salo of Open Hockey gets major puckhead points for using the classically awkward Mark Messier photo.
Best Hockey Movie Tribute: Tsumani Stoner presents the Bettman Brothers, an image drenched in irony.
Best Commentary on the NHL/KHL Controversy: "Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with Radulov ... Radulov, Dmitri... ALEXANDER RADULOV!" Brilliant, Randy Oldfield.
Most Wholesome: Mom by Michael Freudberg. More nurturing than heroic, but comforting all the same.
Fourth Place Finisher: Ben Lunin's Bettman-as-sniper is a work of art, and a rather amazing achievement. This just missed out.
And finally, our Audience Award, as if it could be anything else. Kyle Higaki says: "Go For It, Jews!"