Monday, December 28, 2009

Best Feuds of the Year

The year we are about to conclude had plenty of material when it comes to public feuds--people fighting, brands combatting and celebrities who just don't get along. All juicy stuff, and we wrap it up here for your consideration. Here are our favorite feuds of 2009:

- Jon and Kate: Any list of feuds is incomplete without these two parents who very publicly split. In fact, the train wreck was so public we're all tired of it...and thus, we won't replay the details here.

- Tiger and Elin: Boy runs from house, gets in SUV and drives into fire hydrant. Girl has golf club in hand. Vehicle has smashed windows. That alone had gossip outlets considering the possibilities. Then, the list of raised hands came from all those ladies who claimed to have been one of Tiger Woods' sexual conquests. Publicly humiliated, look for Mrs. Woods to return to her native Sweden in 2010, hopefully with her children in tow.

- PC versus Mac: Microsoft struck back with its own campaign in 2009 after Mac's very successful head-on comparison to PC's and all of their issues. The work by Apple, and TBWA Chiat Day, continued to be great advertising.

- AT&T versus Verizon: Here's another public battle of the brands--category leaders taking on one another over network coverage. The two companies duked it out with millions of ad dollars spent in the fourth quarter along with public legal battles. It was reminscent of the long distance wars of the early 1990s.

- Mark Funkhouser versus Wayne Cauthen: This one didn't make the national news but city government in Kansas City, MO maintained its heritage of being great theater. The very public feud between the Mayor and City Manager ended with Cauthen's ouster, and a perturbed City Council. In the end, it was another black eye for Kansas City.

- Lane Kiffin versus Urban Meyer, Pete Carroll versus Jim Harbaugh and Rick Neuheisel: Kiffin, the rookie coach at Tennessee, called out SEC golden boy Meyer; Carroll went nose-to-nose with Harbaugh after Stanford went for two late in their victory over USC; Carroll had his QB throw a late touchdown pass against Neuheisel when the USC coach took issue with a UCLA timeout, late in a game in which USC was comfortably ahead. Boys being boys? Perhaps, but not exactly good examples set by these leaders of young men.

- Kanye versus Taylor: America's darling, Taylor Swift, was in the midst of another awards show winning yet another award when Kanye West stole her microphone, and the show, by proclaiming that Beyonce had a better and more deserving video than Swift. In the process, Swift's appeal only grew.

- Letterman versus Palin: The mean side of David Letterman was exposed when he went after Sarah Palin through jokes about her daughter. He later apologized but Palin is still in his cross-hairs as a comedic foil.

- Steven Tyler versus Aerosmith: Their tour was cancelled, the band split, then Tyler showed up at a performance by Joe Perry and proclaimed that all was well. The story reversed course when the band commented to Rolling Stone magazine that it was over. Tyler's now in rehab and it sounds as if the band will eventually re-unite provided the lead singer successfully deals with his dependency to prescription painkillers.

- Etta James versus Beyonce: Etta didn't take kindly to Beyonce serenading President Obama with James' classic "At Last"...and she let everyone know about it. The suggestion of bodily harm to Beyonce was over-the-top, even for noted bad girl James.

- Christian Bale versus Shane Hurlbut: The Dark Knight went off on the crew technician when Bale felt Hurlbut had deliberately walked through his line-of-sight during the filming of a scene in Terminator. In case you missed it, here's the clip from YouTube. (Caution: Contains very strong language.)

- Clay Aiken versus Adam Lambert: Former American Idol competitor Aiken wasn't upset by Adam Lambert's second place finish on this past season's Idol. Said Aiken, "I couldn't be happier about the way AI ended this year. I only turn on the show once a season and only to see what the set looks like each year. This year, I happened to turn it during the minute when Adam Lambert was singing 'Ring of Fire' and, at that moment, thought my ears would bleed. Contrived, awful and slightly frightening!" Ouch...

- Hilary Duff versus Faye Dunaway: Dunaway starred in the 1968 classic Bonnie and Clyde and was not happy about Duff's being cast in the role of Bonnie Parker in the upcoming The Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Dunaway's alleged comment was "Couldn't they at least have cast a real actress?" To which Duff responded, "I think that my fans who are going to see the movie don't even know who she is. I think it (the quote) was a little unnecessary, but I might be mad if I looked like that too." Game, set and match to Ms. Duff.

And, finally, our feud of the year goes to the Kansas football and basketball teams. Unfortunately for we Jayhawk fans, the public rumble between select members of the two teams, apparently over the attention of a young woman, revealed a split within the Athletic Department which ultimately came to a head with the disappointing Kansas football season and the ultimate resignation of head coach Mark Mangino.

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