- Breaking Bad (2008-2013) AMC Created by Vince Gilligan.
- The Wire (2002-2008) HBO Created by David Simon. The Wire is television perfection, and if it's not the greatest series of all time it certainly is the most under-appreciated. How this never was even nominated for an Emmy is beyond all rationale. The Wire takes a brutal look at various aspects of life in Baltimore, exploring with harsh realism the interweaving worlds of street life, politics, education, poverty, law enforcement, and the media. What emerges is the sobering realization that from the drug cartels to the fractured bureaucracy tasked with combating them, all are players in the same game, mirrors of one another in a vicious cycle of ambition, dysfunction, and moral compromise.
- Mad Men (2007-2015) AMC Created by Matthew Weiner. Mad Men is like watching literature in hourly installments, replete with incisive symbolism and complex subtleties. It follows Don Draper, ad man extraordinaire inhabiting the world of 1960's Madison Avenue, a world of rampant smoking, drinking, and philandering. However, Mad Men is not so much a period piece as it is a series of character studies. Weiner seems to intimate that we all are searching for something to fill the void, whether it be that new car seen in a magazine, the next promotion, or woman at the end of the bar. Ultimately, when we run from ourselves we just end up out of breath.
- The Sopranos (1999-2007) HBO Created by David Chase. Long before The Jersey Shore was offending the sensibilities of Italians and Jerseyans everywhere, it was the Soprano family representing the Garden State. The Sopranos demonstrated what was truly possible for the television medium, raising production up to an almost cinematic level that single-handedly ushered in the era of premium television. Making that HBO subscription all but mandatory, it stands as the most financially successful program in cable history. Compiling 21 Emmys over six seasons, the Sopranos finally signed off in 2007 in a finale that can only be described as .
- Law and Order (1990-2010) NBC Created by Dick Wolf. T
- The West Wing (1999-2006) NBC Created by Aaron Sorkin. Just where do you think Charlie got that Adonis DNA from anyway? Papa Sheen is brilliant as Commander-in-Chief Josiah Bartlet, presiding over a series that would collect an astounding four consecutive best drama Emmys in its heyday. Taking on an array of real world issues, from the Israeli conflict to DOMA to North Korean nuclear ambitions, the West Wing is as relevant today as it was over a decade ago.
- Game of Thrones (2011-Present) HBO Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
- Lost (2004-2010) ABC Created by JJ Abrams
- NYPD Blue (1993-2005) ABC Created by Steven Bochco and David Milch
- 24 (2001-2010) FOX Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran. The way 24 plummeted after Season 5, it's hard to remember just how riveting those early seasons really were. There was always a certain degree of suspension of disbelief necessary with 24, but a guy can only go rogue, do the "there's no time to explain" routine, and end up saving the world so many times before things just descend into the ridiculous. Still, Jack Bauer was a hero for the new millennium
- ER (1994-2009) NBC Created by Michael Crichton. D
- Dexter (2006-2013) Showtime Based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay and developed by James Manos, Jr. When Dexter hit TV screens in 2006, all the world needed was another show about a crime scene forensic. However, when that forensic just happens to moonlight as a sociopathic killer of bad guys, things start to diverge from your average episode of CSI. Think Robin Hood as a hopeless kleptomaniac, channeling his uncontrollable inner demons into a public good. Fun fact: Michael C. Hall met his now ex-wife Jennifer Carpenter (Deb) on the set of Dexter, effectively marrying his sister.
- Six Feet Under (2001-2005) HBO Created by Alan Ball. Ironic that a show that revolves around death can penetrate with such poignancy what it means to be alive. This time Michael C. Hall plays a gay funeral director, running the Fisher and Sons funeral home in Los Angeles (what creator Alan Ball calls "the world capital of the denial of death") with brother Nate and partner Rico. Also in the picture are sister Claire, mother Ruth, and a host of significant others. All are eccentric, often demented, and always real, sometimes painfully so. Dealing with death on a daily basis is no easy gig. Dealing with life might very well be harder.
- The X-Files (1993-2002) FOX Created by Chris Carter
- New York Yankees: In 1920, Babe Ruth joined the New York Yankees. In the 90 years that would follow, the pinstripes would appear in what would feel like almost every other World Series hence, en route to a mind-boggling 27 championships. The Bombers have sent enough brass to Cooperstown that they could open their own wing; 44 players enshrined to date with at least a handful more assuredly on their way. Key 5: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter.
- Boston Celtics: The Celtics have been piling up hardware ever since Auerbach and Russell began their epic run of 11 championships in 13 years way back when. Today, the Green Men's 17 championships is tops in the NBA. A ridiculous 33 men with Celtic ties are enshrined in Springfield. Key 5: Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Bob Cousy, Paul Pierce.
- Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers: The absurdly inapt name isn't the only thing the Purple and Gold carried over from the "Land of 10,000 Lakes." Though they got whipped by #2 for much of the sixties, its hard to argue that since 1980, the Lakers have reigned supreme. Their 31 finals appearances is just plain stupid nasty, and at 16 championships, it may not be long before their cross-country rivals get overtaken. Key 5: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Kobe Bryant.
- Montreal Canadiens: Though the Habs have been looking more like the Hab-nots as of late, history is clearly on their side. Canada's finest have won an astounding 24 championships, essentially a quarter of all Stanley Cups won throughout history. They've also sent a stupefying 44 members to the Hall of Fame. Key 5: Guy Lafleur, Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard, Patrick Roy.
- UCLA Bruins Men's Basketball: Behind arguably the greatest coach that ever lived, UCLA epitomized dominance in the sixties and seventies en route to an overall 11 national championships and 30 conference titles. After falling out of favor for much of the eighties and nineties, the Bruins seized back their prominence under Ben Howland with 3 consecutive final four appearances from 2006-2008. Key 5: Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton, Gail Goodrich, Ed O'Bannon, Sidney Wicks.
- Brazilian National Soccer Team: In the world of international soccer, Brazil is the gold standard-bar none. Of the 18 World Cups that have been held, Brazil has starred in seven finals, capturing a whopping five Cups. They've also raked in three Confederations Cups and eight Copa America Cups to boot. Key Five: Pele, Ronaldo, Garrincha, Zico, Rivaldo, Kaka.
- Alabama Crimson Tide Football: UCLA had John Wooden, Notre Dame had Knute Rockne, and Alabama had one Paul "Bear" Bryant." From '58-'82, Bear took the Tide to six of their fifteen (again, this is up for debate) national championships. Over their 114-year history, Alabama Football has captured 27 conference titles and appeared in more bowl games than any other NCAA school with 59. Perhaps their most mind-boggling statistic was somehow managing to go 113 years before finally producing a Heisman winner in Mark Ingram. Key 5: Bart Starr, Joe Namath, John Hannah, Don Hutson, Ozzie Newsome.
- Notre Dame Fightin' Irish Football: Though the glory days of Notre Dame football are behind us (last championship was 1988), the Fightin' Irish will always hold a special place in college football lore. Notre Dame leads all schools with 48 alumni in the College Football Hall of Fame, and positively churns out NFL talent like few others, having produced nearly 500 NFL draft selections and ten Pro Football Hall-of-Famers (Did someone say Joe Montana?). Though national championships are always a bit murky to conclusively determine pre-BCS era (and even post, sadly enough) many credit the school with 13 national championships. Key 5: Joe Montana, Alan Page, Tim Brown, Paul Hornung, Curly Lambeau.
- Soviet National Hockey Team: When most of us think of the Soviet National Ice Hockey Team, one phrase comes to mind, “Do you believe in miracles?!!” Well believe me when I tell you that that win for the Americans was a miracle and then some. From the mid-fifties to the early-nineties (when the communist empire crumbled), Soviet hockey ruled with an iron fist, winning just about everything there was to win for an international hockey team including seven gold medals over nine Olympics and another 19 golds at the World Championships. Key 5: Vladislav Tretiak, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Valeri Kharlamov, Sergei Makarov, Aleksandr Maltsev.
- Tennessee Lady Vols: Though the UConn women are all the rage today, when it comes to women's college hoops, one school stands above all the rest, Pat Summit's Lady Vols. In the 29 March tournaments that have taken place, the white and orange have appeared in 27 Sweet Sixteens, an astounding 18 Final Fours, and have won eight championships. Key 5: Holly Warwick, Bridgette Gordon, Deadra Charles, Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings.
-----------------------------Honorable Mentions: -------------------------------------
Green Bay Packers, USC Trojans Football, UNC Tarheels Women's Soccer, Iowa Hawkeyes Wrestling, Pittsburgh Steelers, UCLA Rugby, Duke Blue Devils Basketball, Chicago Bulls, St. Louis Cardinals, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Toronto Maple Leafs, USC Trojans Baseball, Detroit Red Wings, UConn Huskies Women's Basketball, USA National Men's Basketball, Juventus, Michigan Wolverine Hockey, AC Milan, Manchester United, Kentucky Wildcats, Oklahoma St Cowboys Wrestling, Texas Longhorns Baseball.
With the advent of the digital music revolution, your favorite tunes are now more accessible than ever. However, as with every great advancement, there are bound to be certain things that get left behind. With the iPod came the demise of the album. Now that fans can pick and choose which songs they want to download off a new release, there is less and less of a need to create that cohesive, quality from top-to-bottom record.
Perhaps even more apparent is the antiquation of the album cover. Back in the day (not that I was actually alive for most of this but...) a record was something to behold. Often, it was just as much art on the outside as was contained within the grooves of the vinyl. While there are certainly a couple groups out there still keeping it real with the album art, for the most part this is a lost craft--a casualty of the digital revolution.
What makes album cover art iconic? Well for starters, it is instantly recognizable. The image it displays symbolizes the band itself, or even better, music in general. It is simple, yet profound--worthy of being displayed on the back of a bumper, or framed in one's living room. Of course, art is going to speak to every person differently, and I am not here to tell you what art was most visually stunning or held the most meaning. Rather, these are the ten most iconic album covers of all time.
- Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon-In March of 1973 Dark Side of the Moon was released. 741 weeks later, it remained on the Billboard charts, longer than any other album in history. With an estimated 45 million units sold, Dark Side may be the greatest album ever (without a doubt in my humble opinion...) Exploring the issues of aging, greed, war, and the mental illness that was inspired by Syd Barret's LSD-fueled descent into madness, the album was one of the first concept albums to ever hit record stores. The landmark prism design was inspired by a photograph that longtime Floyd designer Strom Thorgerson had seen during a brainstorming session with colleague Aubrey Powell. Meeting Richard Wright's request for a "simple and bold" design, the prism also harkened to the band's famous stage lighting. It has since come to epitomize the word "iconic."
- The Beatles- Abbey Road- On the morning of August 8, 1969, photographer Iain Macmillan was given ten minutes to take a photo of the fab four crossing Abbey Road for the band's next album cover. Little did he know that that negative would go on to become perhaps the most iconic group shot in all of music. A couple points of interest:
--Paul McCartney is bare-footed and out of step with the other three, later providing fuel for the "Paul is dead" urban legend in late '69.
--The man standing on the pavement in the background is Paul Cole, an American tourist unaware he had been photographed until he saw the album cover months later.
--The Abbey Road cover is the only Beatles album cover of their original UK albums to have neither the group's name nor an album title visible.
- Queen- Queen II- It's hard to believe now, but when Queen II dropped in '74, critics were less than impressed. Record Mirror wrote: "This is it, the dregs of glam rock. Weak and over-produced, if this band are our brightest hope for the future, then we are committing rock and roll suicide." The reviewer for Melody Maker expressed similar sentiments, writing: "It's reputed Queen have enjoyed some success in the States, it's currently in the balance whether they'll really break through here. If they do, then I'll have to eat my hat or something. Maybe Queen try too hard, there's no depth of sound or feeling." So how'd that hat end up going down, hot shot?
- The Grateful Dead- Steal Your Face- To be clear, this is not a list of great albums (though all but this one are admittedly classics). If it were, this selection would be nowhere near the top 10, not even if this was a list of Grateful Dead albums. Widely considered to be the Dead's worst live album, the record was dubbed "Steal Your Money" by unhappy fans. However, the image adorning its cover would go on to grace a billion bumper stickers and T-shirts, becoming almost synonymous with the hippie culture at large. Designed by Owsley Stanley and artist Bob Thomas.
- The Velvet Underground- Simple. Artful. Iconic. Designed by close friend Andy Warhol, the original record sleeve featured a yellow banana with “Peel slowly and see” printed near a perforated tab. Those who did remove the banana skin found a peeled, pink banana beneath.
- The Beatles- Sgt Peppers- The Grammy Award-winning album packaging was art-directed by Robert Fraser, designed by Peter Blake and his wife Jann Haworth, and photographed by Michael Cooper. The collage depicts more than 70 famous, well, icons, including writers, musicians, film stars and several Indian gurus. The final grouping includes Marlene Dietrich, Carl Jung, W.C. Fields, Diana Dors, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, Aldous Huxley, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sigmund Freud, Aleister Crowley, Edgar Allan Poe, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, William S. Burroughs, Marlon Brando, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and comedian Lenny Bruce. Also included was the image of the original Beatles bass player, the late Stuart Sutcliffe. Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus Christ were requested by Lennon, but ultimately they were left out, even though a cutout of Hitler was in fact made. The final bill for the cover was £2,868 (equivalent to $72,460 today), which was roughly 100 times the average cost for an album cover in those days.
- Nirvana- Nevermind- Kurt Cobain conceived the idea for this cover while watching a television show on water births with drummer David Grohl. Cobain mentioned it to Geffen's art director Robert Fisher, who found some stock footage of underwater births that were then deemed too graphic for the record company. Instead Fisher sent a photographer to a pool to take pictures of a three-month-old infant named Spencer Elden, the son of the photographer's friend Rick Elden. Geffen prepared an alternate cover without the penis but relented when Cobain made it clear that the only compromise he would accept was a sticker covering the penis that would say, "If you're offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile."
- Bob Marley- Catch A Fire- Perhaps it's a tad ironic that the lucky 20,000 to first get their hands on this 1973 vinyl release receiveded an album that was in fact missing this landmark Bob headshot. These folks instead received their record encased in a Zippo lighter sleeve. The sleeve opened at a side hinge to reveal the record within, an assembly operation that required hand-manufacture. Not surprisingly, the Zippo idea was deemed too expensive to mass-produce and subsequent pressings featured the Ester Anderson portrait you see here.
- Jimi Hendrix- Axis: Bold a Love- For all the accolades this famous cover has received, Jimi Hendrix was actually a little disappointed with the finished product. Although he appreciated the symbolic design, he mentioned in an interview that it would have been more appropriate if the cover art showcased his American "Indian" heritage. The British Track records' art department had independently chosen to use the current fad for all things Indian to create the cover, and thus the album's cover has a photographed copy of a cheap, mass produced religious poster of the Hindu devotional painting known as Viraat Purushan-Vishnuroopam showing the different forms of Vishnu with a small, superimposed painting of the Experience by Roger Law blended in.
- The Rolling Stones- Sticky Fingers- Andy Warhol appears yet again in the top ten with his work here for the Stones' Sticky Fingers. The original record cover featured a working zipper that opened to reveal a man in cotton briefs. The cover, a photo of Joe Dallesandro's crotch clad in tight blue jeans, was assumed by many fans to be an image of Mick Jagger. However, the people actually involved with the photo shoot claim that Warhol had several different men photographed (Jagger was not among them) and never revealed which shots he used. The album also features the first usage of the "Tongue and Lip Design" designed by John Pasche.
Honorable Mentions: Allman Brothers- Eat a Peach, Led Zeppelin- IV, Jimi Hendrix- Are You Experienced?, The Who- Who's Next?, Cream- Disraeli Gears, Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here, The Doors- The Doors, Led Zeppelin- I, Santana- Abraxas, The Beatles- Let It Be, Lynyrd Skynyrd- Street Survivors, Peter Frampton- Frampton Comes Alive, The Harder They Come Soundtrack, Parliament- Mothership Connection, Notorious BIG- Ready To Die, Nas- Illmatic, Public Enemy- Nation of Millions.
- Martin Scorsese: Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The Departed, Mean Streets, Gangs of New York, Casino, Shutter Island, The Last Waltz, The Wolf of Wall Street, Cape Fear, The Color of Money, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Aviator, The Age of Innocence.
- Steven Spielberg: Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E:T: The Extra Terrestrial, Jaws, Lincoln, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jurassic Park, Poltergeist, Catch Me if You Can, Minority Report, The Color Purple, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Amistad, Munich.
- Francis Ford Coppola: The Godfather, The Godfather II, Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, You're A Big Boy Now.
- Christopher Nolan: Memento, The Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar, The Prestige, Batman Begins, Insomnia.
- Joel/Ethan Cohen: No Country For Old Men, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Barton Fink, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona, True Grit, The Man Who Wasn't There, Blood Simple, A Serious Man, The Hudsucker Proxy.
- P.T. Anderson: There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, The Master, Punch-Drunk Love.
- Alejandro González Iñárritu: The Revenant, 21 Grams, Birdman, Amores Perros, Babel.
- Quentin Tarantino: Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Django Unchained, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds.
- James Cameron: Terminator 2, Avatar, Titanic, Aliens, The Abyss.
- David Fincher: Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
- Roman Polanski: Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby, The Pianist, Tess, Pirates.
- Darren Aronofsky: Requiem For a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan, Pi, The Fountain.
- Woody Allen: Annie Hall, Bullets Over Broadway, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Purple Rose of Cairo.
- Oliver Stone: Platoon, Wall Street, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers.
- Clint Eastwood: Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Mystic River, The Bridges of Madison County.
- Ridley Scott: Alien, Gladiator, Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down, The Martian, Thelma and Louise, American Gangster.
- Robert Zemeckis: Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Cast Away, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Romancing the Stone.
- Peter Jackson: The Return of the King, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, King Kong, The Lovely Bones.
- David Lynch: Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, The Elephant Man, Wild at Heart, The Straight Story.
- Milos Forman: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Ragtime, Man on the Moon.
- Terrence Malick: The Thin Red Line, Badlands, The Tree of Life, Days of Heaven.
- Steven Soderbergh: Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Ocean's Eleven, Che, Out of Sight.
- Brian De Palma: Scarface, Carlito's Way, Mission: Impossible, The Untouchables, Carrie.
- Ang Lee: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi, Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm.
- David Cronenberg: A History of Violence, The Fly, Eastern Promises, Dead Ringers, Videodrome.
- Tim Burton: Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Ed Wood, Batman, Big Fish.
- Wes Anderson: The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox.
- George Lucas: Star Wars: A New Hope, American Graffiti, TXH 1138, The Phantom Menace, Revenge of the Sith.
- Terry Giliam: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Brazil, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
- Michael Mann: Heat, The Insider, The Last of the Mohicans, Collateral, Manhunter.
- Gus Van Sant: Good Will Hunting, Milk, Finding Forrester, Drugstore Cowboy, Elephant.
- David O. Russell: American Hustle, The Fighter, Three Kings, Silver Linings Playbook, Flirting With Disaster.
- Edward Zwick: Glory, Blood Diamond, Courage Under Fire, The Last Samurai, The Siege.
- Sam Mendes: American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Revolutionary Road, Skyfall, Jarhead.
- John Carpenter: Halloween, The Thing, Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog, Big Trouble in Little China.
- Sydney Pollack: Out of Africa, Tootsie, Jeremiah Johnson, They Shoot Horses Don't They?, The Way We Were.
- Barry Levinson: Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam, The Natural, Sleepers, Bugsy.
- Ron Howard: A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon, Cocoon, Apollo 13.
- Alfonso Cuaron: Children of Men, Gravity, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, A Little Princess.
- Danny Boyle: Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, Steve Jobs, 127 Hours, 28 Weeks Later.
- Steve McQueen: 12 Years a Slave, Hunger, Shame.
- Peter Weir: Witness, Master and Commander, The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society, Green Card.
- Curtis Hanson: L.A. Confidential, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, 8 Mile, Wonder Boys, Too Big To Fail.
- Kathryn Bigelow: The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Strange Days.
- Ben Affleck: Argo, Gone Baby Gone, The Town.
- Richard Linklater: Boyhood, Dazed and Confused, Slacker, Before Sunset.
- Spike Lee: Malcolm X, Clockers, Do the Right Thing, Inside Man, 25th Hour.
- Rob Reiner: A Few Good Men, This is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, Misery.
- Alexander Payne: The Descendants, Election, Nebraska, Sideways, About Schmidt.
- Bennet Miller: Foxcatcher, Capote, Moneyball
*Best Director Academy Award winners in italics
First season: 1892
All-Time Win %: .733
Current conference: SEC
Defining Coach: Bear Bryant
Top 15 NFL Alumni: Bart Starr, Joe Namath, John Hannah, Don Hutson, Ozzie Newsome, Derrick Thomas, Dwight Stevenson, Ken Stabler, Chris Samuels, Bob Baumhower, Cornelius Bennett, Lee Roy Jordan, Shaun Alexander, E.J. Junior, Julio Jones.
2) Notre Dame Fighting Irish- 11 claimed national championships (8 national polls) and 15 bowl victories.
First season: 1887
All-Time Win %: .726
Current conference: Independent
Defining Coaches: Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Lou Holtz
Top 20 NFL Alumni: Joe Montana, Alan Page, Tim Brown, Paul Hornung, Curly Lambeau, Nick Buoniconti, Dave Casper, Joe Theismann, George Trafton, Wayne Millner, George Conner, Jerome Bettis, George Kunz, Ricky Watters, Bryant Young, Bob Kuechenberg, Daryle Lamonica, Justin Tuck, Mark Bavaro, Bob Toneff.
3) USC Trojans- 11 claimed national championships (7 national polls including vacated 2004 season) and 32 bowl victories.
First season: 1888
All-Time Win %: .708
Current conference: Pac-12
Defining Coaches: Howard Jones, John McKay, Pete Carroll
Top 30 NFL Alumni: Ronnie Lott, O.J. Simpson, Bruce Matthews, Junior Seau, Troy Polamalu, Marcus Allen, Anthony Muñoz, Ron Yary, Lynn Swann, Clay Matthews, Red Badgro, Frank Gifford, Ron Mix, Keyshawn Johnson, Marvin Powell, Willie Wood, Willie McGinest, Joey Browner, Tony Boselli, Dennis Smith, Tim McDonald, Jon Arnett, Rod Martin, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Chip Banks, Sam Cunningham, Mosi Tatupu, Lofa Tatupu, Matt Cassel.
4) Oklahoma Sooners- 7 national championships (7 national polls) and 27 bowl victories.
First season: 1895
All-Time Win %: .720
Current conference: Big 12
Defining Coaches: Bennie Owen, Barry Switzer
Top 10 NFL Alumni: Lee Roy Selmon, Adrian Peterson, Ralph Neely, Bobby Boyd, Tommy McDonald, Greg Pruit, Billy Simms, Roy Williams, Keith Jackson, Tommie Harris.
5) Michigan Wolverines- 11 claimed national championships (2 national polls) and 20 bowl victories.
First season: 1879
All-Time Win %: .732
Current conference: Big Ten
Defining Coaches: H. Fielding Yost, Bo Schembechler
Top 25 NFL Alumni: Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, Len Ford, Dan Dierdorff, Tom Mack, Bill Hewitt, Mike Ken, Elroy Hirsch, Steve Hutchinson, Al Wistert, Ty Law, Anthony Carter, Trevor Price, Rick Volk, Joe Runyan, Randy Logan, Reggie McKenzie, Amani Toomer, Jake Long, Desmond Howard, Dave Brown, Jim Harbaugh, Ron Kramer, Jumbo Eliot, John Morrow.
6) Ohio St Buckeyes- 8 national championships (6 national polls) and 21 bowl victories.
First season: 1890
All-Time Win %: .738
Current conference: Big Ten
Defining Coach: Woody Hayes
Top 25 NFL Alumni: Lou Groza, Orlando Pace, Jim Parker, Chris Carter, Paul Warfield, Bill Willis, Dante Lavelli, Jim Tyrer, Dick Schafrath, Eddie George, Jim Lachey, Jim Marshall, Mike Vrabel, Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, Randy Gradishar, Bob Vogel, Chris Spielman, Jack Tatum, Joey Gallaway, Terry Glenn, Dick LeBeau, A.J. Hawk, Pepper Johnson, Jim Houston.
7) Nebraska Cornhuskers- 5 national championships (5 national polls) and 24 bowl victories.
First season: 1890
All-Time Win %: .708
Current conference: Big Ten
Defining Coach: Tom Osbourne
Top 10 NFL Alumni: Bob Brown, Will Shields Mike Tingelhoff, Irving Fryar, Ron McDole, Ndamukong Suh, Neil Smith, Ahman Green, Roger Craig, Pat Fischer.
8) Miami Hurricanes- 5 national championships (5 national polls) and 18 bowl victories.
First season: 1926
All-Time Win %: .641
Current conference: ACC
Defining Coaches: Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson
Top 30 NFL Alumni: Ray Lewis, Jim Otto, Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp, Jim Kelly, Ted Hendricks, Ed Reed, Reggie Wayne, Edgerrin James, Andre Johnson, Devin Hester, Clinton Portis, Cortez Kennedy, Frank Gore, Jeremy Shockey, Vince Wilfork, Vinny Testaverde, Santana Moss, Chuck Foreman, Ottis Anderson, Jon Beason, Willis McGahee, Dennis Harrah, Jessie Armstead, Jonathan Vilma, Jimmy Graham, Antrel Rolle, Bryant McKinnie, Jerome Brown, Kellen Winslow II.
First season: 1893
All-Time Win %: .709
Current conference: Big 12
Defining Coach: Darrell Royal
Top 15 NFL Alumni: Earl Campbell, Bobby Layne, Steve McMichael, Bobby Dillon,Tommy Nobis, Priest Holmes, Ox Emerson, Bud McFadin, Ricky Williams, Raymond Clayborn, Diron Talbert, Eric Metcalf, Doug English, Vince Young, Jamaal Charles.
10) Penn St Nittany Lions- 7 claimed national championships (2 national polls) and 27 bowl victories.
First season: 1887
All-Time Win %: .688
Current Conference: Big Ten
Defining Coach: Joe Paterno
Top 15 NFL Alumni: Jack Hamm, Franco Harris, Mike Muncheck, Lenny Moore, Mike Michalske, Steve Wisniewski, Kerry Collins, Lydell Mitchell, Rosey Grier, LaVar Arington, Stew Barber, Dave Robinson, Ted Kwalick, John Capiletti, NaVorro Bowman.
11) Tennessee Volunteers- 6 claimed national championships (2 national polls) and 25 bowl victories.
First season: 1891
Current conference: SEC
Defining Coach: Robert Neyland
Top 25 NFL Alumni: Peyton Manning, Reggie White, Doug Atkins, Al Wilson, Jamal Lewis, Jason Witten, Arian Foster, Stanley Morgan, Mike Stratton, Anthony Miller, Jack Reynolds, Dick Huffman, Terry McDaniel, Leonard Little, Carl Pickens, Dale Carter, Bill Bates, John Henderson, Travis Henry, Jerod Mayo, Chad Clifton, Shaun Ellis, Albert Haynesworth, Charlie Garner, Donte Stallworth.
12) LSU Tigers- 4 claimed national championships (3 national polls) and 23 bowl victories.
First season: 1893
All-Time Win %: .647
Current conference: SEC
Defining Coach: Charles McClendon
Top 15 NFL Alumni: Y.A. Tittle, Jim Taylor, Alan Faneca, Johnny Robinson, Kevin Mawae, Bert Jones, Charley Hennigan, Billy Cannon, Patrick Peterson, Dwayne Bowe, Henry Thomas, Roy Winston, Tommy Casanova, Fred Miller, Kevin Faulk.
13) Pittsburgh Panthers- 9 claimed national championships (2 national polls) and 12 bowl victories.
First season: 1890
All-Time Win %: .584
Current conference: Big East
Defining Coach: Glen "Pop" Warner, John "Jock" Sutherland
Top 20 NFL Alumni: Dan Marino, Mike Ditka, Russ Grimm, Joe Schmidt, Tony Dorsett, Curtis Martin, Larry Fitzgerald, Darrell Revis, Ricky Jackson, Chris Doleman, Joe Stydahar, Ruben Brown, Mark Stepnoski, Bill Fralic, John Reger, Joe Flacco, Keith Hamilton, Andy Lee, Craig Heyward, LeSean McCoy.
14) Florida Gators- 3 claimed national championships (3 national polls) and 20 bowl victories.
First season: 1906
All-Time Win %: .623
Current conference: SEC
Defining Coach: Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer
Top 15 NFL Alumni: Emmitt Smith, Jack Youngblood, Lomas Brown, Wilbur Marshall, Wes Chandler, Fred Taylor, Kevin Carter, Jevon Kearse, Lito Sheppard, Chris Collinsworth, Rick Casares, John L. Williams, Nat Moore, Percy Harvin, Neal Anderson.
15) Minnesota Golden Gophers- 6 claimed national championships (4 national polls) and 5 bowl victories.
First season: 1882
All-Time Win %: .568
Current conference: Big Ten
Defining Coach: Bernie Bierman
Top 10 NFL Alumni: Carl Eller, Bobby Bell, Bronko Nagurski, Leo Nomellini, Karl Mecklenburg, Charlie Sanders, Gino Cappelletti, Keith Fahnhorst, Marion Barber III, Rick Upchurch.
_Note: Princeton and Yale actually lead all schools in national championships with 26 and 18 respectively. However, given the state of their current programs and the fact that most of these wins occurred at the turn of the century when far less teams were participating, they are not up for top 15 consideration. The same applies to Harvard (10 championships) and Penn (4 championships).
Other elite NFL talent producers:
---Syracuse: Jim Brown, Art Monk, Jim Ringo, Larry Csonka, John Mackey, Marvin Harrison, Walt Sweeney, Donavan McNabb, Dwight Freeney, Floyd Little, Jim Nance, Gary Anderson, Rob Burnett, Keith Bullock, Mike Williams.
---Florida St: Deion Sanders, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Fred Biletnikoff, Warrick Dunn, Leroy Butler, Antonio Cromartie, Anquan Boldin, Brad Johnson, Samari Rolle, Darnell Dockett, Sebastian Janikowski, Javon Walker, Chris Hope, Laveranues Coles, Leon Washington, Peter Boulware, Rohn Stark, Tra Thomas.
---Purdue: Ron Woodson, Drew Brees, Bob Griese, Len Dawson, Erich Barnes, Jim Everett, Mike Alstott, Matt Light, Kyle Orton, Dick Barwegan, Erich Barnes, Dave Butz, Cris Dishman, Ed Flanagan, Abe Gibron.
---Georgia: Fran Tarkenton, Champ Bailey, Herschel Walker, Richard Seymour, Hines Ward, Terrell Davis, Jake Scott, Ray Donaldson, Bill Sanfill, Len Hauss, Mo Lewis, Guy McIntyre, Marcus Stroud, Matthew Stafford, A.J. Green, Geno Atkins.
---UCLA: Troy Aikman, Jonathan Ogden, Jimmy Johnson, Carnell Lake, Bob Waterfield, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ken Norton, Freeman McNeil, Kenny Easley, Randy Cross, Max Montoya, Donnie Edwards, Luis Sharpe, Jerry Robinson, Mercedes Lewis.
---Cal: Tony Gonzalez, Aaron Rodgers, Hardy Nickerson, Les Richter, Marshawn Lynch, Ed White, Perry Schwartz, Tarik Glenn, DeSean Jackson, Nnamdi Asomugha.
---UNC: Lawrence Taylor, Julius Peppers, Chris Hanburger, Jeff Saturday, Harris Barton, William Fuller, Alge Crumpler, Ken Willard, Dre Bly, Greg Ellis, Hakeem Nicks, Vonnie Holliday, Jeff Reed, Sam Aiken, Willie Parker.
The Mendoza Line- The .200 AVG threshold, below which a player is essentially considered unstartable. Poor Mario. There have been countless hitters throughout baseball history who have sucked it up at the plate, but none are indelibly linked to batting ineptitude quite like 1970's shortstop Mario Mendoza. Though in fact a lifetime .215 hitter, his frequent dips below the .200 threshold earned him constant taunts from teammates. After a horrendous start one year by George Brett, colleagues began jokingly warning him about the danger of sinking below the dreaded "Mendoza line." Brett passed the running joke on to Chris Berman, who in turn disseminated it to the masses from his pulpit on Sportscenter, and the rest is history.
Soccer- Umm...soccer?- There are two things Americans will never go for, rest of the world be damned: the metric system and calling soccer anything but. But the next time an uppity European gives you crap for calling "football" soccer, you can remind them that it was their idea in the first place. During the mid-1800's when the rules of "football" were first being officially established in England, they called the sport association football to distinguish it from rugby football. The slang term for rugby at the time was rugger, and so over time, fans took to abbreviating association by taking the third, fourth, and fifth letters to in kind form the term soccer.
Haymaker- A wild, swinging, no-holds-barred punch with intent of a knockout. Back in the day, preparing hay for one's livestock was an essential part of daily life, and certainly no easy gig. The word haymaker most likely derives from the swinging motion of a scythe one would use to chop down hay for animal fodder. Another theory surmises that the term derives from "hitting the hay" as in putting the opponent to sleep.
Turkey- Bowling three strikes in a row. Believe it or not, the origin of this achievement is more literal than you might think. During Christmas and Thanksgiving, alley owners were often known to present an actual turkey to anyone who bowled three consecutive strikes as a promotion of sorts. Nowadays, just the thought of consuming anything prepared in a bowling alley, let alone holiday turkey, is enough to turn one's stomach.
- Flea-flicker- A trick play in which the running back "flicks" the ball back to the quarterback in the hope of fooling opposing cornerbacks into letting their guard down. Originally credited to Illinios' coach Bob Zuppke, the phrase was supposed to evoke "the quick flicking action of a dog getting rid of fleas." If you say so...
Hat Trick- A momentous three-goal performance in either hockey or soccer. The term hat trick owes its roots to cricket, after HH Stephenson took three wickets in three consecutive balls in a 1958 match. Stephenson was presented with a cap by his fans for his heroic feat, and soon the practice became customary any time one duplicated the extremely rare accomplishment (there have been only 38 hat tricks in the history of Test cricket.) As for the term's introduction into the American lexicon, the Hockey Hall of Fame credits Sammy Taft, a local Toronto businessman who in 1946 promised Blackhawk forward Alex Kaleta that if he scored three goals against Taft's beloved Maple Leafs, he would award him a free hat from his shop. Kaleta would in fact score four that night, and Taft was forced to make good on the deal. Today, most hat trickers are awarded not by hat shops but rather their fans, as it has become customary for hundreds of hats to reign down on the ice after #3.
The Golden Sombrero- The dreaded 4-strikeout game for a hitter. Think hat trick, but bigger and, of course, ugly.
Birdie, Eagle, and Albatross- In golf, completing a hole 1 under par, 2 under par, and 3 under par, respectively. "Birdie" was derived from the 1800's American slang word "bird," which was used to connote something good as in "a bird of a shot". From there, the logical extension went the bigger the bird, the better the score.
Southpaw- A left-handed pitcher. Baseball diamonds are historically laid out with home plate on the western side of the field, so that the afternoon sun would not be in batters' eyes. As a result, a left-handed hurler's paw would be on the south side of his body when on the mound.
- Alley-oop- A basketball play in which one passes the ball near the rim for his teammate to slam home. One of the most exciting plays in hoops got its name from, of all things, French circus performers. Before take off, acrobats were known to exclaim allez hop! The English translation made its way into the American lexicon during the 1950s in describing an arcing pass for which the receiver would out-leap the opposition during the course of a football game. Somewhere along the way, the term made the transition to basketball, though thankfully, players do not cry 'alley-oop!' before going airborne.
Back to the Future
2) Shooter McGavin
---"Damn you people. Go back to your shanties."
3) Sensei John Kreese
The Karate Kid
---"Sweep the Leg"
4) Walter Peck
---"Frankly there have been a lot of wild stories in the media and we want to assess any possible environmental impact from your operation like the presence of noxious, possibly hazardous waste chemicals in your basement. Now either you show me what is down there or I come back with a court order."
5) Fred O'Bannion
Dazed and Confused
---"Y'all ready to bust some ass?"
Good Will Hunting
---"I was just hoping you might give me some insight into the evolution of the market economy in the southern colonies. My contention is that prior to the Revolutionary War, the economic modalities, especially in the southern colonies, could most aptly be characterized as agrarian precapitalism..."
7) Bill Lumbergh
---"Oh, oh, and I almost forgot. Ahh, I'm also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too..."
The Green Mile
---"I didn't know the sponge was supposed to be wet."
9) Ernie McCracken
---"Do me a favor, will you? Would you mind washing off that perfume before you come back to our table?"
10) Eric Gordon
---"Well, 'sorry' doesn't put the Triscuit crackers in my stomach now, does it Carl?"
11) Caledon Hockley
---"Where are you going? To him? To be a whore to a gutter rat?"
12) Charlie Dillon
13) Harry Ellis
---"Hey babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast. I think I can handle this Eurotrash. "
---"I am the VP of the biggest executive helicopter leasing company on the western seaboard. I haven't had a carb since 2004. Check these out."
The Princess Bride
---"Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped."
16) Sack Lodge
"I hunt quail, Jeremy. They're overpopulated in this region and they're decimating the grubworm population. You got a fucking problem with that?"
17) Principal Ed Rooney
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
---"I did not achieve this position in life by having some snot-nosed punk leave my cheese out in the wind."
18) Judge Smails
---"Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too."
19) Dean Gordon 'Cheese' Pritchard
---"This is me leaving."
20) White Goodman
Carter Burke- Aliens, Douglas C. Neidermeyer- Animal House, Buzz McCallister- Home Alone, Mike Damone- Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Richard- Van Wilder, Stifler- American Pie, Ace Merrill- Stand By Me, Pat Healy- There's Something About Mary, Tony Perkis- Heavyweights, Stan Gable- Revenge of the Nerds, Col. William Tavington- The Patriot, Dave Harken- Horrible Bosses.
- The 40 Funniest People Right Now
- The Top 25 Chappelle's Show Skits
- Baseball's Green Jacket
- The 10 Greatest MLB Franchises
- Peyton Manning and The Godfather III Effect
- Paper Trails: The Highest Career Earners in NBA HIstory
- The 100 Greatest Movie Characters
- Age of Uncertainty: Getting it Right With #1
- The Ten Greatest Pro Football Franchises of All Time
- The 20 Greatest Broadcasters in MLB History
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