As we enter 2020, I wanted to encapsulate some of the best and favorites of the 2010s. From a personal standpoint, I graduated college, been fired from a job, left a job, launched a business, became a husband, became a father and checked plenty of other boxes in the last 10 years. It is amazing how fast life moves. I wanted to talked about everything from movies, music, sports, wrestling, politics and more that meant something to me in the 2010s. For the industry snobs of movies, music, wrestling etc who will crush my picks…I don’t do the indie shit so get bent.
Movies and TV
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I saw it twice in theaters because of how excited I was for the reboot. I still need to see the final installment and I was meh on The Last Jedi, but The Force Awakens was a great awakening for an amazing franchise.
4. The Dark Knight Rises
This is easily one of the best trilogies ever. I thought Tom Hardy was AMAZING as Bane. Although The Dark Knight was better, the final installment wasn’t far behind.
From star studded cast to a typical Leo mindfuck movie, it is still one of my favorite movies to this day. Let’s be honest, we all want to be able to successfully carry out inception.
2. Draft Day
Maybe it is because I love the NFL draft and I love fantasy drafts. Draft Day is one of my favorite sports movies ever despite their being minimal in game action. I have always wanted to be in a war room on draft day. I loved how the movie depicted crazy things franchises will do to find their guys. Just remember, VONTAE MACK NO MATTER WHAT!
1. Shutter Island
I just watched this within the last year with my wife and it still stands the test of time. The movie is absolutely wild from start to finish leaving you wondering what the hell is going on. I love that the end is absolutely up for interpretation.
Favorite TV Shows
5. The Newsroom
This show was cancelled way too quickly. I wish this show was still on in today’s political climate. It depicted the events of the early 2010s with such an honest truth and I loved that.
4. Bates Motel
Aside from the acting, one of the things I always rave about with Bates Motel, they stopped it on a high note. They didn’t drag out the show. They told the story they needed to tell and that was it. There aren’t many shows that I can think of done so perfectly.
3. Breaking Bad
Speaking of perfect shows, it is hard to find flaws with this masterpiece. This was THE first TV show I ever binged hardcore and I remember not being able to stop. I was hooked after episode one.
2. The Office
Although it began before 2010s, this show gets the nod because it wrapped up this decade and it still ultra popular. I didn’t jump on the train until the last year and a half or so ago. I am glad I did. I am almost done my second time through in the last 6 months. I love it.
1. Game of Thrones
THE show of the decade debuting in 2011 and wrapping up in 2019. There is no other show that deserves the top spot for 2010s and that is not debatable.
Favorite Team Sport Athletes
5. Marshawn Lynch
Beast Mode took the sports world by storm with his hard hitting running style and one word answers in press conferences. Just remember, he is here so he won’t get fined.
4. Stephen Curry
In terms of athletes who changed the way their sport is played, Curry is the blueprint for the modern NBA. Three balls all day. In addition to his play style changing the game, he is just downright fun to watch.
3. LeBron James
He is my generation’s Jordan and the reason I got as into the NBA as I did. He was THE guy of the 2010s winning three championships with two different teams.
2. Tom Brady
We love Tom Brady in my house. It is crazy for me because prior to 2010, I loathed him. Part of the turn was watching him evolve from game manager to mega star. I appreciate greatness and there is no better QB to ever touch a field.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan is my guy. I started getting into soccer pretty heavily during his run with PSG where he was an absolute stud. Although he is a total wild card, I absolutely love the arrogance from him.
5. 2018 Boston Red Sox
108 wins and running the gauntlet to near perfection in the post season gets them then nod, period.
4. 2011-12 Kentucky Wildcats Basketball
Was there ever any doubt with this team? Anthony Davis arguably is the best college player of the decade. Having him on the floor was an absolute game changer on defense. This season was the complete embrace of one and done.
3. 2019 USWNT
They ran through the World Cup with ease this season thanks to a star studded roster which included a 13-0 win over Thailand.
2. 2013 Seattle Seahawks
Thanks to an incredible defense, stable running game and a playmaker at QB, they were a tough out. They capped off their 13-3 season demolishing a Broncos team that looked unstoppable behind Peyton Manning.
1. 2016-17 Golden State Warriors
They added Kevin Durant to a 73 win roster. Enough said.
5. Saints Onside Kick in Super Bowl
This probably shouldn’t be top 5, but I don’t care. It was one of the most ballsy plays in SB history. The Saints were down 4 at half and had to kick off to Peyton Manning’s Colts. Instead, Payton dialed up the surprise onside. The scramble for the ball after felt like it took an hour to figure out which made the play that much better.
4. Jose Bautista ALDS 3 Run Shot and Bat Flip
Much like number five, it is not the play itself. It was the damn bat flip after. He hits a moon bomb and throws the damn bat like a rag doll. It was mean!
3. Kick Six, 2013 Iron Bowl
Down goes Bama. All you had to do was stop them from returning a field goal 109 yards and they didn’t.
2. The Beast Quake, 2010 Seattle v Saints
This was the beginning of Beast Mode. I will never forget this play. One, it is one of many unfortunate shortcomings for the Saints. Two, I don’t think an act of God could have stopped Marshawn Lynch from getting six on this one.
1. Malcolm Butler Interception, Super Bowl XLIX
This gets the nod because it was a classic case of Bill Belichick making another great coach over-think something that was clear as day to everyone else…give the ball to Lynch.
5. Richard Sherman Cuts Postgame WWE Style Promo (2014)
Don’t you ever try him with a sorry receiver like Crabtree. I have never seen anything like this in sports. Immediately after making the game winning deflection leading to an interception at the end of the game, Erin Andrews finds Sherman to ask about the play and he popped off in the most biblical way ever!
4. Tiger Woods Wins Masters (2019)
TIGER RETURNS BABY! I don’t give two shits about golf. Then Tiger shows up and I care about it and so do a lot of other people. He is one of most polarizing figures in sports. After the downfall of everything, it was amazing to see him win again.
3. Falcons Blow 28-3 Lead (2017)
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *Takes Breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
2. NFC Championship Garrett Hartley Kicks the Saints to the Super Bowl (2010)
I will never forget that magical season. As much as I should have them winning the Super Bowl here, it was the kick that led them there. One, I was there. I will never forget crying like a child along with every other fan near me. Two, Jim Henderson’s call on it is one of the best ever.
Snap. Placement. Kick by Hartley. And it is…IT’S GOOD! IT’S GOOD! IT’S GOOOOOOOOD (voice cracks)! HAHAHA! PIGS HAVE FLOWN! HELL HAS FROZEN OVER! THE SAINTS ARE ON THEIR WAY TO THE SUPER BOWL!
1. Cubs win the World Series (2016)
Some people waited an entire lifetime for this to happen. When it finally did, I felt fortunate to witness it. That was the one wish I had for sports was to see the Cubbies finally get one.
5. AJ Styles
From TNA to New Japan to WWE, it would be a complete misfire to not have AJ Styles in the top 5. Smackdown became the House that AJ Styles built. From face to heel, it didn’t matter. AJ has been superb.
4. Chris Jericho
It doesn’t matter what you have him do, he turns it into gold every single time. We had evil suit Jericho, the List of Jericho and now Le Champion Jericho. He is a gem and god of wrestling. You should be thanking him. Let’s poor a little bit of the bubbly out in honor of the GOAT.
3. Daniel Bryan
The B+ superstar everyone wanted to see go over and after months of fans keeping so freaking over, WWE eventually had to give in. They did. His Wrestlemania 30 run was one for the ages. The YES movement became the new “WHAT” chant.
2. CM Punk
I don’t know that there was/is a bigger star in wrestling than CM Punk. When he left wrestling prematurely around the beginning of 2014, fans hated it. They still do. Arenas still chant his name 6 years later. He was bigger than wrestling when he started peaking. The crowd will lose their shit if his music ever hits again.
1. The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose/Jon Moxley)
As big as CM Punk was, all three members of The Shield should be in the top 5. So I figured why not combine them? Love or hate any of them, there is no denying their footprint since their debut together. It is arguably the best stable of all time. As individuals, none have disappointed. Yes, I include Roman in that.
5. Dustin Rhodes v Cody – Double or Nothing
Dave Meltzer gave this one his patented 5-star rating. This was a match that showed what wrestling outside of WWE could be. It also was meaningful because it featured brothers who have always been WWE cast offs.
4. CM Punk v John Cena – Money In The Bank 2011
The smoke and fire surrounding this event was insane. Punk was facing super Cena for the title and rumors about his contract were making the rounds. Heading into the PPV, he hadn’t signed a new deal because he was pissed he kept getting fucked. He signs the new deal hours before the event and then left the arena running out with the title in one of the biggest moments of 2011. The match itself was fantastic and when it ended with Punk winning in his hometown, holy shit, that gives you all the goosebumps.
3. The Shield v Wyatt Family – Elimination Chamber 2015
This will be such a forgotten gem of the last decade. They absolutely stole the entire show. The Wyatts and The Shield were both so over with the crowd that a 3 star match would have sufficed. But no, those six went all out for this one and I remember talking about that match through 2015.
2. Sami Zayn v Cesaro – 2/3 Falls Match 2013
The golden child of Triple H, NXT, is known for showcasing the best young talent. There may not be a bigger case than the 2 out of 3 falls match between two of the best in ring performers in WWE.
1. Shawn Michaels v Undertaker – Wrestlemania (2010)
This goes down as one of the best Mania matches ever. When you have two of the best to ever grace a ring going head to head in the biggest show and in the twilight of their careers, it is impact you can’t deny.
5. Mark Henry Retirement and Heel Turn
This may have been one of the biggest swerves in the decade. Everyone loves Mark Henry. No one ever expected or put him over enough for a main event push. He faux retired and we all ate it up only for him to turn heel and slam John Cena to the mat thus putting him in the main event scene. It was fucking brilliant.
4. The One Behind the One in 21-1 – Paul Heyman
I sat in the Superdome when Brock Lesnar ended the streak and you could hear a pin drop in an arena of 70,000. The crowd was ready to kill Brock on Raw because no one wanted him to end the streak. I think I was one of 12 cheering when it happened. So how do you turn disdain into real heat? Give Paul Heyman a damn microphone.
3. Undesirable to Un-goddamn-deniable – Cody
Wrestling is at it’s best when the fourth wall is broken. I will forever remember this promo and watch it over and over. He broke the fourth wall entirely cutting this one before his match with Jericho at Full Gear. He took the wrestling world and flipped it on it’s ass with the launch of AEW. WWE has been scared since regardless of what they say. The moves they have made prove that. He is absolutely right when he said it is about the 14 years it took him to go from undesirable to un-goddamn-deniable. THANK YOU CODY!
2. The Miz Destroys Daniel Bryan
A war that lasted years because Daniel Bryan could not physically get in the ring. It started because Miz did a full shoot on him.
1. The Pipebomb by CM Punk
I mentioned how wrestling peaks when the fourth wall is broken. Just look up the pipebomb if you haven’t seen it. He trashed Vince McMahon, The Rock, John Cena and everyone who gets preferential treatment.
5. AEW Launches
I have ranted plenty about AEW and how much I love it. The second it was announced, I think wrestling was put on it’s ass.
4. The Shield Breaks Up
Seth Rollins with the best heel turn ever. No one saw it coming and everyone was broken when it happened.
3. Daniel Bryan Wins Wrestlemania Main Event
You don’t know emotion until you are standing in an arena of 70,000+ screaming YES over and over and over as the guy we all wanted has the titles in hand.
2. The Streak Ends
Speechless. That is exactly what that moment left 70,000 people.
1. Seth Rollins Cashes In MITB at Wrestlemania
I have always been a huge mark for SETH FREAKING ROLLINS. When Lesnar and Reigns were both laying flat in the ring in the main event and Rollins music hit, I lost it because I knew what was about to happen. He runs down cashes in and did so to steal the entire show and title. Insane!
5. Kid Cudi
Althought he disappeared toward the back half I feel like, Man on the Moon I and II, WZRD and Indicud were all great. I listened to for months and still do.
4. Lupe Fiasco
Although his previous decade of music is more heralded among fans with Food and Liquor and The Cool, I love what Lupe did in the 2010s. I was one of the few who loved Lasers. Then he had Food and Liquor II, Tetsuo and Youth and Drogas. One of the gems from him was his 2011 mixtape Friend of the People.
3. Taylor Swift
I don’t care. I love her. In a bar, in a car, doesn’t matter where. If I hear T Swift, I lose it. One of my favorite moments of me singing T Swift was singing We Are Never Getting Back Together pointing a football at someone I just got passed in intramural flag football on my way to the endzone.
2. Childish Gambino
This would have been my clear cut number one until the last three years roughly. The thing I love about Gambino or Donald Glover is the moment he gets traction in one industry, he moves on. From Camp to Because the Internet to single This is America, he blew the 2010s out the water.
1. Panic at the Disco
Brendon Urie is a god, period.
5. Hey Look Ma I Made It – Panic at the Disco
4. Mirrors – Justin Timberlake
3. We Are Never Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
2. Freaks and Geeks – Childish Gambino
1. Words I Never Said – Lupe Fiasco
5. 20/20 Experience – Justin Timberlake
4. Death of a Bachelor – Panic at the Disco
3. Camp – Childish Gambino
2. Lasers – Lupe Fiasco
1. Pray for the Wicked – Panic at the Disco
5. Barack Obama Re-elected
I think this is and was a big deal because presidents get cast off in terms of success when they don’t get re-elected historically speaking. Obama was major milestone for obvious reasons. He was the first black president. That matters. When he was re-elected, that was a big deal.
4. Same-sex Marriage Becomes Legal
You love who you love and this was a win for humanity when same sex marriage became legal. We already have broken homes with heterosexual marriage so I never understood why people hated on the idea of this. It doesn’t affect you.
3. Trayvon Martin
When you think of movements, I can’t think of the exact moment movements like the Tea Party gained significant traction. Meaning they are not just cast off like Antifa or the Alt Right. They are actually gaining substantial ground in the political sphere. The Martin shooting was the moment I can point to and say that was the event that led to Black Lives Matter major traction in the US.
2. Osama Bin Laden Killed
I remember watching President Obama on TV the night this was announced. I was in fifth grade when 9/11 happened and most people can remember exactly what they were doing and where they were when they found out. I was in the car on my way to school and I remember the exact building I was in front of. I was trying to talk to my mom and she snapped at me to hush because of what was coming across the radio. We found out that Bin Laden was the mastermind behind 9/11. When he was killed, I think it allowed many Americans especially pilots to breath a little easier. This clip below from The Newsroom gets that message across so eloquently…
1. Donald Trump Elected US President
I remember watching the results come through the night we found out he was going to be the next president. I wrote a long column a few months back about my thoughts on the voting process and why I didn’t register for so long. That night was the exact moment I knew I would never ever skip going to the polls again.
Things to Come To Fruition
It is one of the fastest growing industries. There are kids making bank to stream video games. Love it or hate it, it’s happening.
If you don’t use Venmo, you’re behind.
They changed the way we do just about everything.
Don’t get in cars with strangers…unless it is an Uber.
Instagram changed social media entirely including the evolution of Facebook. It is WILD how much social media has changed over the past 10 years. Michael is mindblown.
Pop Culture/Political Deaths That Hit Me Hard
5. Paul Walker
Tell me you didn’t cry for See You Again in end of the movie or when Dom held up the child and said “everybody, meet Brian.”
4. Chester Bennington
One of the best musical voices of all time. I could listen to his live performances for days. I wish I would have seen him live. Linkin Park’s music hits so much harder now anytime you hear his voice.
3. Muhammad Ali
While I love the highlights of his boxing and what he did inside the ring and on the mic, I love him more for everything he did outside the ring. I love and respect those who push through racial barriers when all the chips are stacked against them and still come out the other side with a loving heart. Ali evolved so much in his time on this Earth and my favorite quote of his is “The man who views the world at 50 the same he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
2. Nelson Mandela
Easily one of my favorite if not my favorite political figure in recent history. The world needs more political leaders like Mandela. It was a sad day when we lost him. He spent nearly an entire lifetime fighting for human right for black folks in South Africa. Spending most of his life in prison and then still fighting after his releases and eventually being the one to end Apartheid, that is the definition of putting others ahead. Nobility, passionate, forgiving, he was an amazing person and leader.
1. Robin Williams
This one stung bad. I grew up laughing at him. He made some of the best movies and dropped some of the best monologues in those movies. He was a passionate funny man. But behind all the good, you don’t see the struggle deep within. Depression can hit anyone. It sucks because it grabs some of the brightest lives like Williams.