In the next few days, you’ll be overwhelmed with “top stories of 2013” coverage – including from this newspaper.
Such lists are usually determined by a vote of the staff of the publication – or by power-mad editors, who resort to leg-wrestling to break ties.
I believe in a different method. I believe in competition. I also believe stories are more important if they affect you.
Therefore, I host the annual Biggest Story of the Year Tournament – an eight-story event, pitting the top stories of 2013 against each other.
Let’s start with the quarterfinals:
New pope vs. Golden State Warriors
Pope Francis’ selection in March was a game-changer – the college of Cardinals picked a Jesuit who is more interested in street people than church tradition or its hierarchy. He was the “Person of the Year” for Time magazine. He is a rock star, spiritually speaking.
The Warriors, meanwhile, reached the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years and stunned the Denver Nuggets before losing to the San Antonio Spurs. They spent the offseason as the darling of the NBA media and, despite some early season struggles, are still exciting. This is a tough one, but I watched the pope coverage for just a few days, but Mrs. Brad and I watched the Warriors all year. Another upset by the Warriors!
Russian meteor vs. Mrs. Brad and I see Pepperbelly’s fire
The February meteor crash in Russia was crazy – cellphone videos alone make it one of the most spectacular events in geologic history. More than 7,000 homes were damaged, nearly 1,500 people hurt. However, Mrs. Brad and I were eating sushi across the street from Pepperbelly’s when the dramatic, seven-alarm fire started on Jan. 25. We saw whispering smoke, then a motorcycle cop arrived. Then more smoke. Pretty soon, I was directing the newspaper’s coverage and tweeting photos from the scene, while Mrs. Brad got to see a huge news event unfold. Pepperbelly’s wins.
Choco Latte arrives vs. Fluoride debate
Finally, there’s a coffee place across the street from the Daily Republic! It’s always important when downtown Fairfield gets a new restaurant, but it’s awesome when it’s across the street from my office. However, that doesn’t quite measure up to the fact that people in my town are debating whether there should be fluoride in the water. (And you didn’t time travel. This is happening in 2013.) If you doubt their intensity, just read the comments on any story we’ve done on the topic. The fluoride debate fills one of the cavities in the semifinals!
Prince George born vs. Mrs. Brad changes jobs
The world welcomed an heir to the British throne in July, with over-the-top news coverage for a baby who still hasn’t done much – it’s been six months and he’s still hidden from public view. What is he hiding? However, Mrs. Brad changed jobs this year – moving from Fairfield to Richmond and loving it. You think I’m going to pick a British brat over Mrs. Brad? Never. Mrs. Brad’s new job advances.
On to the semifinals:
Golden State Warriors vs. Mrs. Brad and I see Pepperbelly’s fire
I shouted “Steph Curry is on fire!” several times, but that’s nothing compared to mumbling “I think Pepperbelly’s is on fire” with a mouthful of sushi. The burning of an iconic building takes the cake. It’s in the finals.
Fluoride debate vs. Mrs. Brad changes jobs
If you’re a gambling person, you’d bet on Mrs. Brad. But you’d lose. I love her new job, but it doesn’t have a fraction of the traction (hey, it rhymes!) in casual conversation as does the fluoride debate. And by mentioning the fluoride debate, I guarantee that many commenters will weigh in on our website and explain to me why it’s so dangerous. It’s in the finals!
Mrs. Brad and I see Pepperbelly’s fire vs. Fluoride debate
You knew about the Pepperbelly’s fire. You probably didn’t even realize Suisun City’s water doesn’t have fluoride. That settles it. The biggest story of the year?
The night Mrs. Brad and I experienced the irony of watching a building burn while eating uncooked fish.
Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.