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In Movies & TV Commentary

Melissa McCrady at the Geneva National Foundation's 2011 Push, Walk, Ride.

Milwaukee media's picks for best (and worst) of 2011

You've already read the staff picks for best and worst of 2011. Now we opened up the conversation to our peers in TV and radio across Milwaukee.

Just like our own selections, we asked each of the respondents the open-ended question: what is your "pick" of the year? The could choose the category and the winner (or loser).

Some are serious, some are lighthearted, some are political and some are uplifiting. So, in alphabetical order and without further adieu ...

Jon Adler, FM 102.1
Best Word Association:
Looking back on 2011 I couldn't come up with what's best or worst, rather what has changed in 365 day by doing a little word association. "Maverick," for example, at the beginning of the year would most likely lead your brain to author/reality show star/politician Sarah Palin. However, almost exactly halfway through the year (June 12) the "Maverick" title was supplanted by Mark Cuban and his Dallas crew in the NBA Finals against Miami's "Big 3" who many wanted to see fail. (Sidenote: Google still thinks of "Maverick" first and foremost as the 1994 James Garner, Mel Gibson gambling cowboy film.)

Speaking of a word that has become equally as divisive, let us finish this word association with "Walker." In February, the county learned about our governor and immediately took sides. I have my own opinion, however, and no matter how much time and effort you put into your political agenda eventually you need to lie on the couch, turn your brain off for a bit and relax. When I do this, it's with the AMC's Emmy Award winning "The Walking Dead," a post-apocalyptic zombie adventure (which 2012 promises to be according to some). In this show, a "Walker" is the name given to zombies that have to be hacked to pieces, blown up or shot in the head to stop from attacking.

Carole Caine, 96.5 WKLH
Most Pride
: I would have to say it was the dominance of Wisconsin sports and how much fun it was to be a fan here in Wisconsin. I do not remember a time when we were so dominant in football (pro and college), baseball and even Marquette's basketball team. There was nothing like watching people finally really enjoying the moment.

Rob Haswell, FOX6
Best Place For Comedy:
For national or international acts it has to be a tie between the Pabst and the Riverside. Some big names have been in town this year and "D List" super star Kathy Griffin even shot her comedy special at the Pabst and gave the city a big thumbs up, too! If you're looking to catch the next big thing or just hear some funny local folks, I'd tip my hat to Comedysportz and Milwaukee's Comedy Cafe.

Elizabeth Kay, 99.1 WMYX
Best Run:
The Storm the Bastille at Bastille Days in Downtown. It was my first run (since high school) and Downtown Milwaukee and the Third Ward have never looked better. Crowds lined the sidewalk and cheered for us and bar goers raised their glasses on patios while we ran by. I will definitely do this run again!

Best Homecoming: The Return to Titletown celebration at Lambeau Field to welcome back the Super Bowl winning Champs! Only Packers fans like me are crazy enough to sit in the -15 degree wind chill and thaw our faces with a "Go Pack Go" chant!

Best Movie: "Bridesmaids!" They showed how gorgeous Milwaukee looks on the big screen (and they gave love to the street where I grew up in Bay View, Homer Street off of K.K.)

Best Sale: The selling of Packers stock – need I say more, just call me an owner!

Susan Kim, WTMJ-4
Professional Best: 2011 TODAY'S TMJ4 Community Baby Shower. A one day shower we started in 2003 to benefit local babies in need. This year, we received a near-record number of donations. Despite the rough economy, the people of Southeast Wisconsin, once again, showed their collective generosity.

Personal best: Milwaukee Brewers playoff run ... so, that's what Miller Park is like in October. After covering the end of County Stadium and the beginning of a new ball park, it was so fun to watch some really good baseball. A bunch of hard working players, together, lifted the spirits of a community. They made us agonize over every pitch... and boy was it fun.

Nicole Koglin, FOX6
Moment of the Year:
Not original, but my "moment of the year" has to be the Packers winning Super Bowl 45. The confetti inside Cowboys Stadium seemed to fall in slow motion! After a hectic week of Super Bowl coverage, this Wisconsin girl had to pinch herself. I couldn't help but think of my 84-year-old grandmother, biggest Packers fan I ever met, who passed away last year. She used to keep stats during every game and scream at the living room TV like she was at a sports bar. Standing there in Texas, I couldn't help but think "How about that, Grandma!?"

Brian Kramp, FM 102.1
Fan of the Year:
The "Fair Weather" Fan. In 2011 it was easy to want to cheer for several Wisconsin sports teams because they were winning. But not all fans have been there from the beginning nor will they be there until the end. For a true fan it's about tradition. It takes time and dedication. For a fair weather fan it takes $10 to buy your team's shirt at Marshall's, cheap beer and the right people to hang out with.

Interest in the Packers kicked into high gear near the end of the regular season, but the masses didn't come out until the playoffs and Super Bowl 45. Same goes for the enthusiasm of the Brewers as they approached their first Division Championship in nearly 30 years. Again, once they hit the NL Championship Series everyone was a fan. Even your grandma was doing the Beastmode. We connected with them, supported them, had childish fun recreating cartoon characters with them and in turn we helped cheer them on as they brought national attention to a city and state that offers so many amazing things.

But remember those same "fans" are turned off just as easy when the teams lose. When it's no longer popular to spend hours on end chatting, texting and posting online about the Brewers, where does the fair weather fan go? Will they follow the team next year for more than opening day and the playoffs? Will they voice their displeasure with offseason acquisitions and unsigned players, or will they simply decide to come back only if the team is winning next season? It's nice to see them clapping, fist-pumping, or shouting for the home team, but it's more gratifying to those who play the game to see it on a consistent basis.

I usually have issues with the fair weather fan, but this year I didn't because it was great to see the people of Milwaukee happy. It's refreshing and rare to see so many people agreeing with each other and having common interests and without this type of sports fan, we may not have felt the city and statewide connection that we did.

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AndrewJ | Dec. 29, 2011 at 9:49 a.m. (report)

"...a "Walker" is the name given to zombies that have to be hacked to pieces, blown up or shot in the head to stop from attacking." Very subtle, Adler. Check Ted Perry's section, and then for 2012 try to shoot for at least a fraction of that amount in class.

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