It’s time again to celebrate the most glorious, the most horrendous and the most outrageous moments from the previous year! It’s the Fourth Annual Top Hats.
Give Peace a Chance Top Hat:
In a move sure to ease policitcal tensions, avert nuclear catastrophe, and pave the way to a new era of international harmony, Dennis Rodman appointed himself ambassador to North Korea. Said his instructions from dictator Kim Jong Un were to, “Tell the American people we’re very cool.”
Give Peace a Chance Part II Top Hat:
There is no diplomacy like barbecue diplomacy. Photo evidence proves that it can bring together even the most hardened enemies, as a picture this February showed Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Michigan’s Brady Hoke enjoying some wings together.
Give Labor Peace a Chance Top Hat:
The NHL finally got around to playing hockey after resolving an idiotic lockout. For that, we’ll let Predators center Colin Wilson present this award. Take it away, Colin!
“Pumped I am no longer an unemployed 23-year-old living with his parents.”
Top Hat Saluting Buckeye-On-Buckeye Violence:
David Perkins hit mascot Brutus Buckeye so hard, he eventually had to flee the university and transferred. Okay, maybe that’s not the reason for the transfer, but it was one heck of a tackle. Rumor has it that after, Brutus had to be told he wasn’t Eminem giving a halftime interview.
All Good Things Must Come to an End Top Hat:
The Blue Jackets finished up the regular season on a remarkable, Sergei Bobrovsky-led, 19-5-5 run, but came a tie breaker short of heading to the playoffs. Ohio State saw their school-record 24-game win streak end in the Big Ten title game with a 34-24 loss to Michigan State. And Thad Matta did maybe his best ever job coaching by taking a Buckeye squad that had lost 74-55 at Illinois and 71-49 at Wisconsin clear to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. That’s where the Scarlet and Gray ran into Wichita State, which pulled off a 70-66 upset.
Ohio State’s Soap Star:
Speaking of Matta, following a win over Marquette, coach Buzz Williams praised Matta’s humility. If he was more of a self-promoter, Williams insisted, we could see endorsement deals like this…
Fear the Hat, of course covered the subject of Matta’s potential as a pitch man, and all was right with the world…until Dispatch reporter Bob Baptist showed Matta the above photo.
(Actually, Matta handled it really, really graciously.)
And Now a Word From Our Other Sponsors:
Yes, we know commercial breaks are normally the time you go make yourself a sandwich, but if you did that this year, you missed a special game of wheelchair basketball, which ended with a tear-inducing twist. Peyton and Eli wanted to put football on your phone. A gap-toothed Tom Izzo drove a zamboni. Oh, and here’s the explanation for why all other sports ads this year were downright awful.
Top Hat for Proving Every Second Counts:
This award is a tie, and it goes to the crew that officiated the end of the Wisconsin/Arizona State football game, as well as Alabama’s Nick Saban, whose decision to kick a field goal with one second to go against Auburn ultimately cost the Tide a spot in the national title game.
Top “Are You Flipping Kidding Me?” Hat:
Looking at you, Brandon Weeden.
“I Call ‘Em Like I See ‘Em…Even When I Probably Shouldn’t” Top Hat:
As bad as Chris Perez’s numbers were this year for the Indians, they would have been even worse if umpire Angel Hernandez had correctly ruled that Adam Rosales hit a homer off the Tribe closer this July. The botched call almost certainly impacted the game, as the Indians won 4-3. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Hernandez blew the ruling even with the benefit of replay. And if that wasn’t bad enough, speculation was Hernandez intentionally did so as a protest of the instant replay system.
Wild Year for Ohio Baseball:
One team did well enough that their skipper won Manager of the Year. The other ended up firing their manager. Interestingly, though, both the Reds and Indians made the postseason as wildcard teams. We won’t mention what happened to them once they reached the playoffs.
Top Hat for Unintentionally Funny Tweet:
Okay, before we go any further, you need to know that Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo was NOT looking at pictures of young boys in their skivvies. His poorly worded, soon-deleted tweet may have led you to believe that, however. This just proves a truism that exists in the news industry: It takes a dirty mind to write clean copy.
Top Hat for Intentionally Funny Tweet:
Some other year-end lists you might want to check out? The gifs that kept on giving in 2013. (Note: They are sometimes R-rated.) Sports Illustrated shares a photo gallery of their covers from 2013. Finally, Dispatch columnist Bob Hunter submitted his year-end awards.
Thank you so much for reading Fear the Hat in 2013! Like this little trip down memory lane? Go even further down the path by visiting the 2012, 2011 and 2010 Top Hats. And if you feel I missed something this year, please leave your submission in the comments section. I’d love to know your favorite story, moment, athlete, coach, Twitter account, whatever from this past year!