Out of Left Field
...first-timer in IRED ratings
The Annual Isaacs Ratings
of Esoteric Distinction
By STAN ISAACS
Hear ye, hear ye, it is time for the annual exercise in frivolous wisdom known as the Isaacs Ratings of Esoteric Distinction (IRED). This is the fifth edition of these ratings for TheColumnists.com after a run of more than 40 years on the sports and op-editorial pages of Newsday. The IRED will not die.
Anybody can rate the 10 best (and worst) dressed men (and women), the best movies, the worst presidents. Only IRED dares venture opinions on such high-and-low falutin categories as Fred Astaires Dance Partners; Things That Are Better Than They Used to Be and Things That Are Not As Good As They Used to Be.
The IRED are without redeeming social value, but fearless and honest-and not only because nobody ever has offered the one great rater a bribe. These findings are subject to change with any strongly-worded communication, but as ever, we brook no disagreement in the one permanent category, the almost-world-famous Chocolate Ice Creams.
And away we go:
Chocolate Ice Creams: (1) Berthillion, Ile de St. Louis, Paris; (2) Haagen-Dazs; (3)
Bassetts, Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia: (4) Olympic Mtn, state of Washington; (5) Godiva; (6) Dr. Mikes, Bethel, Conn; (7) Mercis, Vienna; (8) Double Rainbow, San Francisco; (9) Buds, San Francisco; (10) Ben & Jerrys.
The Brothers Karamazov: (1) Ivan; (2) Alexei (Alyosha); (3) Dimitri.
Englands Premier Sporting Events: (1) Wimbledon tennis: (2) Henley Regatta; (3) Aintree Grand National; (4) British Football (Soccer) Championship (5) Ascot Races;(6) Cowes Regatta; (7) All England Croquet Championships; (8) Lords cricket matches.
College Campuses: (1) Dartmouth; (2) Stanford; (3) West Point; (4) Princeton; (5) William & Mary; (6) Haverford; (7) North Carolina; (8) Cal-Berkley; (9) Hamilton; (10) Swarthmore.
Post 9-11 Flim Flammers: (1) George W. Bush; (2) Dick Cheney; (3) Donald Rumsfeld; (4) Karl Rove; (5) Douglas Feith; (6) Richard Perle; (7) Paul Wolfowitz; (8) Louis Libby; (9) Ari Fleischer; (10) tie, Condoleezza Rice, Karen Hughes.
All Time Great Philadelphians: (1) * Benjamin Franklin; (2) * Tom Paine; (3) Margaret Mead; (4) W.E. B. DuBois; (5) Thomas Eakins; (6) W.C. Fields; (7) Grace Kelly; (8) John Wanamaker; (9) Ethel Barrymore; (10) Bill Cosby. (* Not born in Philadelphia but icons of the city).
All Time Philadelphia Athletes: (1) Bill Tilden; (2) Roy Campanella; (3) * Richie Asburn; (4) Joe Frazier; (5) Wilt Chamberlain; (6) Jack Kelly Jr.; (7) Tom Gola; (8) Bucky Walters; (9) Ed Stanky; (10) Willie Mosconi. (* Not born in Philadelphia but icons of the city).
Movie Lines: (1) In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love--they have 500 years of democracy and peace--and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock .Orson Welles, The Third Man, 1949; (2) You should have seen it [the Atlantic Ocean] in the old days, Burt Lancaster, Atlantic City, 1980; (3) Badges? We aint got no badges. We dont need no badges. I dont have to show you any stinkin badges! Alfonso Bedoya, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948; (4) When it comes to dying for your country, its better not to die at all. Lew Ayres, All Quiet on the Western Front, 1930; (5) I dont like the country. The crickets make me nervous. Marlon Brando, On The Waterfront, 1954.
Santa Claus Reindeers: (1) Cupid; (2) Donder; (3) Dancer; (4) Dasher; (5) Comet; (6) Blitzen; (7) Prancer; (8) Vixen.
Novels That Have Made Me a Reader of Non-Fiction: (1) Absalom Absalom, William Faulkner; (2) One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez; (3) tie, Finnegans Wake, Ulysses, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce; (6) Moby Dick Herman Melville; (7) The Sot-Weed Factor, John Barth; (8) Every novel by Thomas Pynchon.
Words Most Frequently Misused by Sportscasters: (1) Notoriety: it doesnt connotate fame; it is a negative. (2) Halcyon: it doesnt mean glorious; it means peaceful; (3) Deadlock: it is not a synonym for tie; it denotes a complete standstill.
Redoubtables Least Likely to Be Invited to Sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom at this White House: (1) Bill Moyers; (2) Frank Rich; (3) Seymour Hersh; (4) Paul Krugman; (5) Bob Herbert; (6) Seymour Hersh; (7) Maureen Dowd (8) Arianna Huffington; (9) Jon Stewart; (10) tie, Michael Massing, Ellis Henican.
All Time Quarterbacks: (1) John Elway; (2) Joe Montana; (3) Johnny Unitas; (4) Otto Graham; (5) Roger Staubach; (6) Sammy Baugh; (7) Sid Luckman; (8) Tom Brady; (9) Terry Bradshaw; (10) Dan Marino.
Hardest-to-Spot License Plates in Most Areas of the Continental United States: (1) Hawaii; (2) Alaska; (3) North Dakota; (4) Idaho; (5) Montana; (6) Rhode Island; (7) Wyoming; (8) Arkansas; (9) Mississippi; (10) Utah.
Movie Actors Who Never Figured to Get the Girl: (1) Elisha Cook, Jr.; (2) Peter Lorre; (3) Bela Lugosi; (4) Lou Costello; (5) Donald Meek; (6) Stepin Fetchit; (7) Mike Mazurki; (8) Edward Brophy; (9) Robert Morley; (10) Mischa Auer.
Outstanding Sports Events: (1) Joe DiMaggios 56-game hitting streak; (2) Johnny Vander Meers double-no hitters; (3) Roger Bannisters Four-Minute Mile; (4) Bobby Thomsons 1951 shot heard round the world; (5) Jesse Owens four gold medals at 1936 Olympics; (6) Al Oerters discus gold medals in four straight Olympics, 1956-60-64-68; (7) tie, Roger Maris 61 home runs, 1961, Babe Ruths 60 home runs, 1927; (9) CCNYs NIT and NCAA tournament victories, 1950. (10) Triple Crown victories by Sir Barton, 1919, Gallant Fox, 1930; Omaha, 1935; War Admiral 1937; Whirlaway, 1941; Count Fleet, 1943; Assault 1946; Citation, 1948; Secretariat, 1973; Seattle Slew, 1977; Affirmed, 1978.
Journalistic Courtiers To Power: (1) Bob Woodward; (2) Robert Novak; (3) Judith Miller.
©2005 by Stan Isaacs. The Stan Isaacs caricature is ©2001 by Jim Hummel. This column first posted Dec. 5, 2005.
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