The 17 Best Things That Happened This Year, Ranked
17. Kathleen Kane proved that people waste a lot of time trading really stupid emails at work. Of course, she also screwed up the Commonwealth’s entire justice system, but yeah, those emails. Ick.
12. Donald Trump, his support among black Americans flagging, turned for help to someone he called “a highly respected, great man in Philadelphia.” That man was … Milton Street. If any further proof was needed that The Donald isn’t qualified for national office, that was it.
11. In a wonderful fluttery dress, the Taney Dragons’ Mo’ne Davis, the first girl ever to win a game and pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series, claimed the ESPY award for Best Breakthrough Athlete. She continues to do her city proud.
10. The citizens of the River Wards, startled in the night by the crash of May’s Amtrak derailment, offered first aid, comfort, water and even their shoes to the survivors, polishing the brass on our badge as the City of Brotherly Love.
8. The city, with help from Independence Blue Cross, unveiled Indego, its wildly successful new bike-sharing program, enabling residents of all shapes and sizes to get out there and exercise and furthering the effort of all good people everywhere to drive Stu Bykofsky mad.
7. The Democrats are coming, the Democrats are coming! Suck it, NYC!
6. Jim Kenney rose up out of a field of uninspiring candidates to win the mayoral election, positioning himself as a bridge between the Old and the New Philadelphia. Mr. Mayor, if you disappoint us, you will feel our wrath.
4. The Eagles, mired in a season of discord and futility, astounded the nation by utilizing their defense and special teams to whup the lofty New England Patriots, 35 to 28. And then they fired Chip Kelly, a decision with which we cannot disagree. E-A-G-L-E-S!
3. Speaking of football, Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich capped off a season in which he led the Owls to a 10-4 record (best since ’79!) by winning the Bronco Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik awards, plus being named AAC Defensive Player of the Year and an AFCA and Associated Press first-team All-American, among other honors. Way to end a terrific college career, favorite son!
2. Preternaturally composed eight-year-old Zion Harvey, who lost both his hands and feet and a kidney to an infection, taught us something about grace and courage as he became the first child ever to receive a bilateral hand transplant, at CHOP. He hopes to be able to climb the monkey bars and throw a football with his new hands. “There hasn’t been one whimper, one tear, one complaint,” lead surgeon L. Scott Levin said. Man up, world.
1. Local street artist Kid Hazo turned non-street artist Claes Oldenberg’s ugly, pretentious Paint Torch into a cheery poop emoji, giving a Philly middle finger to art-world airs. Kid Hazo forever! And best wishes for 2016!