By Rick Morris
The FDH Lounge conducted its fourth edition of The FDH Lounge Pantheon on Episode #123, broadcast on November 10. A list of all Pantheon winners, along with links to full recaps such as this one, can be found on The FDH Lounge home page.
Voting was conducted as always by The FDH Academy of Arts and Sciences, a body comprised of FDH Lounge Dignitaries and other invited and respected friends of the show. As is customary, we would like to thank all who voted: Rick Morris, Tim Dustin, Simon Applebaum, Paul Belfi, Brett Stalnaker, Nate Noy, Chris Galloway, Tim Foust, Mike Ptak, Alex Slemc, Bob Benak, Pam Rusk, TK Holtcamp, Tom Denk, Jeff Maslanich, Steve Cirvello, Paul Pasek, Kyle Ross, Russ Cohen, Nick Despones, Tony Mazur, Ron Glasenapp, Bob Glassman, Jake Digman, Ken Becks, Jason Jones, Samantha Jones, Dave & Pam Adams (joint ballot), Bryan Landriscina, Jon Adams, Kristen Jackson and Joe Staszak.
We always track the ballots to see who ended up voting for the most winners. This time around, it was one of the FDH Lounge Dignitaries who has been almost completely behind-the-scenes to date: my best friend Jeff Maslanich, whose busy schedule has not allowed for any appearances on the show as of yet but who is an invaluable backstage “idea man” and all-around sounding board. He voted for nine winners, including, hilariously, the one in the Pro Wrestling Monster Bad Guy category – and he absolutely hates pro wrestling!
Voters were free as always to make their choices based on any criteria they embraced. While the overwhelming majority of votes were cast with seriousness of purpose, a few strictly embraced levity – as evidenced by my receipt of votes in two categories! But all in all, the results were supremely credible as always and were indicative of a fascinating range of thought process among the voters. These categories are fun to analyze not merely from the perspective of who won, but how many different entities drew votes. Social experiment, celebration of excellence, unmatched on-air fun for purposes of breaking it all down – The FDH Lounge Pantheon represents all this and much, much more.
Winner with 8 votes: Steelers/Cardinals-XLIII
Others: 5 votes for Rams/Titans-XXXIV, 4 votes for Giants/Bills-XXV, 3 votes for Giants/Patriots-XLII, 2 votes for Broncos/Packers-XXXI, Patriots-Rams-XXXVI, 49ers/Bengals-XXIII, Steelers-Cowboys-XIII, 1 vote for Jets-Colts-III, Saints-Colts-XLIV, Packers-Chiefs-I and Cowboys-Steelers-XXX.
NOTE: An extremely close race turned into a late blowout as half the votes for the winner rolled in right at the end. No love for Patriots/Panthers-XXXVIII? That was easily the best one overlooked by our voters.
Comeback Game, Regardless of Sport
Winner with 13 votes: Bills/Oilers NFL Playoff Game, January 3, 1993 (Bills rally from 35-3 deficit in the second half to win at home with backup quarterback Frank Reich at the helm)
Others: 4 votes for Indians/Mariners Sunday Night Baseball, August 5, 2001 (Indians rally from down 14-2 in the seventh inning to become the third team in history to overcome a 12-run deficit – against a team in the midst of an American League-record 116-win campaign), 1 vote for Broncos/Browns “Drive” game, Boston comeback in 2004 American League Championship Series, 1994 Kentucky hoops comeback from 31 down vs. LSU, Doug Flutie “Hail Mary” game, USA Swimming 4X100 victory at 2008 Beijing Olympics, Phillies/Dodgers game from August 21, 1990 when Phillies scored nine in the ninth inning to win 12-11, Jets/Dolphins “Midnight Madness” game from 2000, Bill Buckner game in 1986 World Series, Duke/Kentucky 1992 regional final “Christian Laettner game,” 1983 NCAA hoops title “Jim Valvano game,” 2003 Steelers/Browns “Butch prevent game,” Browns/Broncos October 8, 1990 Monday Night Football field goal at end of game, Miracle on Ice game and Flyers/Bruins Game 7 Eastern Conference semifinals when Flyers came back from 3-0 down after coming back from 3-0 down in the series.
NOTES: Boy, that Bills comeback has a lot of resonance, especially for those of us either in adolescence or young adulthood at the time. I always enjoy categories where I get to learn something new and I wasn’t previously aware of the Kentucky/LSU game or the Phillies/Dodgers one. They were impressive comebacks, to be sure.
Single-Season Team, Regardless of Sport
Winner with 9 votes: 1995-96 Chicago Bulls
Others: 8 votes for 1972 Miami Dolphins, 3 votes for 1985 Chicago Bears, 2 votes for 1995 Cleveland Indians, 1 vote for 1964 Cleveland Browns, 1998 New York Yankees, 2004 Boston Red Sox, 1906 Chicago Cubs, 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers, 1986 Cleveland Browns, 2007 New England Patriots, 2009 New Orleans Saints, 1993 Dallas Cowboys and 1983-84 Los Angeles Lakers.
NOTE: The Jordan/Pippen Bulls racked up a ton of early votes, but almost got overtaken by football’s “Perfect Team.” Surely Bill Simmons would be appalled that nobody voted for the 1985-86 Boston Celtics!
Pro Franchise Regardless of Sport
Winner with 15 votes: New York Yankees
Others: 4 votes for Los Angeles Lakers, 2 votes for Boston Celtics, Pittsburgh Steelers, Montreal Canadiens, 1 vote for St. Louis Cardinals, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Red Sox, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Manchester United and Detroit Red Wings.
NOTE: There were few surprises here among those who received votes. Lack of regard for hockey among the voters held back Montreal. The NFL really didn’t represent much here, demonstrating that the perception of parity in the league goes also to the history of the game and the sense that dynasties are fleeting and always giving way to another one.
College Coach, Regardless of Sport
Winner with 7 votes: Mike Krzyzewski
Others: 4 votes for John Wooden, 2 votes for Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes, Lou Holtz, Joe Paterno, Bobby Knight, Jim Tressel, 1 vote for Chris Peterson, Jim Boeheim, Dean Smith, John Chaney, Anson Dorrance (North Carolina women’s soccer coach), Jack Clark (Cal rugby coach), Red Berensen, Jimmy Johnson and Gary Williams.
NOTE: The Coach K bandwagon was indicative of a strong “new school” mentality among the voters. Check out the amazing list of coaches receiving at least two votes – what an honor roll that is.
Winner with 3 votes: Handshake line after Stanley Cup Playoff series
Others: 2 votes for Script Ohio before Ohio State football games, Kentucky Derby, tailgating, Texas A&M 12th Man, 1 vote for throwing octopi on the ice at Detroit Red Wing games, jumping in the pond before the Ohio State-Michigan football game, the singing of My Old Kentucky Home at the Kentucky Derby, the Masters, the Rose Parade, the Ohio State-Michigan football game, the hat trick in hockey, the seventh-inning stretch, “dotting the I” in Script Ohio before Ohio State football games, drinking with the other team after rugby games, Green Bay Packers training camp, the singing of the National Anthem before sporting events, the “running of the bulls” at Pamplona, celebrity singing of God Bless America or the national anthem at sporting events, the “Lambeau Leap,” college bowl games on New Year’s Day, cheerleading, singing of Euro football songs at Colorado Rapids MLS soccer games, Super Bowl Sunday, the Lee Corso mascot head winner, Ohio State in general.
NOTES: You couldn’t get much more variety than this! There are quite a few traditions surrounding the Ohio State football program and if more voters had agreed on one of them, it would have won easily. The handshake line actually won on the very last ballot submitted.
College Football Program
Winner with 11 votes: Ohio State
Others: 4 votes for Oklahoma, 3 votes for Notre Dame, 2 votes for Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, USC, 1 vote for Michigan, Texas, Miami, Navy and Mount Union.
NOTES: Every so often, the geographic shading of the voters shines through in the results and with the vast majority of the ballots coming in from the Buckeye State, the results were none too surprising.
Genre of Motorsports
Winner with 14 votes: NASCAR
Others: 4 votes for Formula One, 2 votes for dirtbikes, 1 vote for the Dale Earnhardt, Sr. era of NASCAR, open wheel, monster trucks, IndyCar, Scirocco Cup, motocross, supercross and drag racing.
NOTES: NASCAR proves once again that it has become the 800-pound gorilla of American motorsports. The IRL has at least a decade of work left to overcome the open-wheel split caused by Tony George & Company back in the mid-90s. There were many niche aspects of racing mentioned here as well.
Pro Wrestling Monster Bad Guy
Winner with 4 votes: The Undertaker
Others: 3 votes for Abdullah the Butcher, Roddy Piper, 2 votes for Mr. McMahon, Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, Hulk Hogan, 1 vote for Killer Khan, The Great Kabuki, The Undertaker (Ministry era), Big Van Vader, The Big Show, Yokozuna, Rick Morris, Papa Shango, Chris Jericho, the Powers of Pain, Shane McMahon and Mankind.
NOTES: The Undertaker pulled ahead late, staving off a big potential upset from Abdullah – would that have made him, ironically, the underdog babyface of the category? The voters displayed a strong sense of history in naming all of the legends that they did.
Movie Franchise (Original & Sequels)
Winner with 7 votes: Star Wars
Others: 3 votes for The Godfather, 2 votes for Dirty Harry, Austin Powers, James Bond, Harry Potter, Rocky, 1 vote for Batman, Spiderman, Die Hard, George A. Romero Zombie films, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, Bourne movies, Oceans 11 & 12, Star Trek, New Jersey Chronicles (first six Kevin Smith movies) and Lord of the Rings.
NOTES: Wow – the voters did not let us down in this category. We saw many represented that we anticipated and at least a few that we did not.
Innovative TV Series
Winner with 4 votes: 24
Others: 3 votes for All in the Family, 1 ½ votes for NBC’s The Office, Seinfeld, 1 vote for Sons of Anarchy, Glee, Smallville, Family Guy, MASH, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Weeds, Lost, The Simpsons, Modern Family, Ice Road Truckers, The Sopranos, Laugh-In, Six Feet Under, Burn Notice, Cosby, Bones, Spartacus, Fringe, Chuck and West Wing.
NOTES: Concepts like “innovative” leave a lot to the interpretation of the voter and we saw many, many different manifestations of that here.
Winner with 3 votes: Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)
Others: 1 vote for Papercut (Linkin Park), Faint (Linkin Park), Shimmer (Fuel), Fernando (Lady Gaga), Dance the Night Away (Van Halen), Jump (Van Halen), Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel), Take on Me (A-Ha), Fade to Black (Metallica), Master of Puppets (Metallica), Hold on Loosely (.38 Special), Piano Man (Billy Joel), United State National Anthem (Francis Scott Key), Satisfaction (Rolling Stones), Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen), Steeler (Judas Priest), Imagine (John Lennon), Unforgettable (Nat King Cole/Natalie Cole), Everyday (Carly Comando), Walk This Way (Aerosmith), American Pie (Don McLean), Roundabout (Yes), Flashlight (Parliament), 7 (Eli Mattson), Roadhouse Blues (The Doors), Don’t You Forget About Me (Simple Minds), Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand (Primitive Radio Gods), Anything (Plain White Ts) and Semi-Charmed Life (Third Eye Blind).
NOTES: While it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see no duplicate votes for any song – just look at the insane variety here – it’s even less of a surprise to have the one that did garner three votes being “Stairway.” Forget the songs – just look at how many different genres of music are represented here.
Winner with 18 votes: North America
Others: 7 votes for Europe, 5 votes for Australia, 2 votes for Antarctica.
NOTES: North America becomes only the fourth winner to join the “Pantheon Within The Pantheon” with over 50% of all votes received. Previous winners included Football for Best Fantasy Sport, Madden for Best Sports Video Game and Muhammad Ali for Best Heavyweight Boxer.
Fast Food Meal or Sandwich
Winner with 3 votes in tiebreaker: Mr. Hero Cheeseburger
Others: 2 votes for Burger King Whopper with Cheese, McDonalds in general, 1 vote for Mr. Hero Cheesesteak, KFC Double-Down, Blimpie Tuna Fish, Chick Fil-A Chicken Sandwich, Wendy’s Double with Cheese, Hardee’s Monster Thickburger, Philly Cheesesteak in general, Steak & Shake Steakburgers, Subway $5 Footlong, Steak & Shake Frisco Melt, McDonalds Big Mac, Chipotle Burrito Bol, Taco Bell Chicken Chalupa Supreme, Taco Bell Burrito, McDonalds 20-Piece McNuggets, McDonalds Double Quarter-Pounder, McDonalds Double Quarter-Pounder with Cheese, McDonalds Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Burger King Grilled Chicken on Ciabatta Bread, Taco Bell Cheesy Gordita Crunch, McDonalds Filet-O-Fish, Swenson’s Galley Boy Burger, Fat Jack’s The Don (Italian Sub), McDonalds Big Mac Meal, KFC Original Recipe Chicken, Spicy Pickle Build Your Own Roast Beef with Provolone/Bacon/Lettuce/Red Onions/Chipotle Mayo/Horseradish Mayo on Ciabatta Roll and Arthur Treacher’s Chicken & Chips.
NOTES: This one was a doozy, requiring the only tiebreaking vote of the night. And strangely enough, the Mr. Hero Cheeseburger garnered two of its three votes on the second ballot to vault right over the two ones previously tied for first, the Burger King Whopper with Cheese and McDonalds in general.
Winner with 7 votes: Independence Day
Others: 5 votes for Thanksgiving, 4 votes for Independence Day fireworks, 2 votes for trick-or-treating, 1 vote for Halloween, Thanksgiving morning backyard football, Thanksgiving Day football, Thanksgiving dinner, hunting, NFL season, BBQ in the summer, democracy/peaceful transition of power, voting, Mardi Gras, Super Bowl Sunday, Christmas preparation and National Anthem before sporting events.
NOTES: Independence Day and Thanksgiving both scored very highly, even more so when you take into account all the various permutations of each tradition that were voted for as well.
Animal or Fish in a Zoo or Aquarium
Winner with 2 ½ votes: dolphin
Others: 2 votes for gorilla, giraffe, piranha, 1 ½ votes for monkeys, sharks, 1 vote for koi fish, wolf exhibit in Toledo Zoo, cheetah, panda, lion, giant squid, penguins (especially Rockhammer Penguins), Rick Morris, chimpanzees, Bengal Tiger, Kodiak Bear, Killer Whale, elephants, octopus, otters, Great White Shark, Arctic Monkeys, crocodile, ½ vote for tiger, penguin and whale.
NOTES: Three of our voters split their ballots, choosing to cast a half-vote apiece for an animal and fish. A late half-vote for dolphin put it over the top and prevented a tie.