February 25, 2020

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Best of the rest

Winnipeg Free Press staff pick their best of... stuff

It’s that time of the year, when best-of lists are flying fast and furious. In that spirit, Free Press staffers were asked to pick some of their top 3... well, anything.

Some provided an order, some provided descriptions, while others provided little or no comment.  Enjoy!


Top three political events

By Shannon Sampert

1. The Mulcair loss (and, conversely, the Trudeau win). Lots of focus on how Justin Trudeau won it, but to my mind, the bigger story is why Thomas Mulcair lost. We talked about this over Christmas dinner – when Muclair declared he was going to balance the budget, that was the moment it became clear he wasn’t espousing typical NDP values. It was his defining moment.

2.  The NDP win in Alberta. Rachel Notley turned the country on its head with this win – unbelievable for this Alberta girl to see an NDP government. And, frankly, Mulcair should have paid attention to how she did it.

3. The political response to the Syrian crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed why she is Forbes’ most powerful woman. She set the tone for the rest of the EU to respond in a humanitarian way to the Syrian refugees. A true leader.



Top three most face-palm-worthy moments in federal politics of 2015

By Mia Rabson

1.  Green Party Leader Elizabeth May’s speech at the Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinner in May would win the "get the hook award" if there was one.

2.  Manitoba NDP MP Pat Martin’s explanation for why he was out of his seat in the House of Commons when he wasn’t supposed to be, wins the "cheap underwear ain’t what it’s cracked up to be award".

3. Conservative Sen. Nancy Ruth would win the "entitled to her entitlements award" of 2015 when she complained that the Auditor General seems to think senators should eat airplane food.

[The best moment is at about the two-minute mark: "If you want ice-cold Camembert and broken crackers, have it.]


Top sports moments of 2015

By Steve Lyons

April 20 — Return of the whiteout: Winnipeg Jets fans celebrate the first NHL playoff game in our city since 1996.

Oct. 14 — Bautista bat-flip: Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista launches a clutch home run in the seventh inning of Game 5 in the ALDS followed by an equally memorable, and somewhat controversial, bat-flip.

June 3 — A Pharoah electrifies sport of kings: Three-year-old colt American Pharoah wins The Belmont Stakes to capture horse racing's Triple Crown, the first runner to win the spring trifecta since Affirmed in 1978.




Top three Byfuglien pain infliction gifs of 2015

By Erin Lebar

1. Byfuglien crushes St. Louis Blues’ Forward Patrik Berglund


2. Byfulglien puts Dallas Stars’ Jamie Benn in a headlock with his legs:


3. Byfuglien takes out both Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty


Top three sports moments of 2015

By Paul Wiecek


1. American Pharoah wins Belmont Stakes.

2. American Pharoah wins Preakness Stakes.

3. American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby.


Top 3 documentaries

By Scott Billeck

1. Winter on Fire: An incredible look at the unrest in the Ukraine between 2013 and 2014. The must-see of the year, period.

2. Welcome to Leith: The bizarre, chilling story of how one prominent KKK member tried to take over a small town in North Dakota.

3. Cartel Land: A little good, a little evil, a Breaking Bad feel and one hell of a look at Mexican drug cartels and those trying to stop them.


Top 3 most missed TV shows (in no particular order) 

By Rob Williams


The Soup

The League

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart


Top 3 albums of 2015

By Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

1. Low, Ones and Sixes (Sub Pop): Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s inimitable harmonies float over dark, powerful, sometimes-sinister but always-beautiful sparse arrangements.

2. Braids, Deep in the Iris (Arbutus): This Montreal trio’s newest gets less electronic, layering Raphaelle Standall-Preston’s beautiful and powerful voice over driving drums and deep synths.

3. Beach Slang, The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us (Polyvinyl): James Alex and company revive the best of ‘80s and ‘90s punk-tinged rockers such as Jawbreaker and The Replacements while still sounding vital and new.


Top 3 songs of 2015

By Scott Billeck

1. Kendrick Lamar - King Kunta: If I check the plays on my iTunes, it'd read in the hundreds.

2. JP Hoe - Beautifully Crazy: Ever since I saw JP Hoe three years ago at Morden Corn and Apple, I was hooked. He's talented and he's local. Winnipeg can be proud.

3. Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood: Like Springsteen and Talladega before it, Church's songs continue to personify country music.


Top 3 concerts of 2015

By David Fuller

1. AC/DC, Investors Group Field, Sept. 17: Despite the lack of founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young due to health reasons, the Thunder from Down Under put on a fantastic show.

2. Def Leppard, MTS Centre, Apr. 29: Flawless performance all around, played with precision and gusto.

3. Mötley Crüe, MTS Centre, Aug. 3: Considering opener Alice Cooper was on the bill as well for a $30 ticket price, this farewell concert was a no-brainer. But the Crüe put on a bigger show with more of their classics on display back in 2005. Still, they went out with a bang this time.


Top books read in 2015

By Bill Redekop

1. Lila, by Marilyn Robinson (2014). This was my first Marilyn Robinson book, and it was a revelation. She is a classic writer whose books will still be read a hundred years from now. Lila is an unforgettable character.

2. The Lottery and Other Stories, by Shirley Jackson (1949). If I were a fiction writer, I'd like to write like Shirley Jackson. She's like an early female version of Ian McEwen. There's always something sinister going on behind her domestic scenes. Such a loss her dying so young, at age 48, in 1965.

3. True Grit by Charles Portis (1968). Another oldie, but goodie I've been meaning to read for years. While some writers write about offbeat characters, Portis is an offbeat character writing about offbeat characters.



Top Three Times Animals Helped Themselves in 2015

By Jen Zoratti

1. Pizza Rat

2. Doughnut Raccoon

3. Bear Pool Party


Top 3 new cars introduced in 2015

By Kelly Taylor

1. Mazda MX-5: Read Kelly's review

2. Honda Civic: Finally Civic gets back to being the Honda it should be.

3. Volvo XC90: The Swedes put on a clinic on how to design a luxury SUV.

Ctrl+F is a dose of local flavour from life in our city. Produced with care and character by @WinnipegNews, this online conversation is published Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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