The Mount Rushmore game is simple. As most of our non-robed readers know, Mount Rushmore has four American Presidents enshrined. The Mount Rushmore game is simple- pick four- and only four- of the greatest in any particular category. Give us your picks in the comments section and we will post some.
1) It starts with Judge Ed Cowart. He has to be first.
2) Has to be Alan Schwartz on the 3rd DCA. He cast a long legal shadow on this town and this state for over forty years.
3) Jose Gonzalez. Jr., SDFla. Could have been former Chief Judge Ned Davis, but Judge Gonzalez is a personal favourite. It's hard to explain how great he was, but he was. He would listen to arguments, lean back for a moment, close his eyes and then rule, and almost never missed the mark. He was decent, kind, funny, and dedicated to the law.
We are at a loss for the last one, but open to suggestions. We are leaning toward another favourite- Federico Moreno. Mattie Bell-Davis as Miami's first female Judge has to get some consideration, as does Fast Gerry Klein for sheer longevity. Meek Robinette (who has the best first name of any Miami Judge) does not get consideration despite his memorable line and holding at bond hearings every day: "unless ah sahy otherwhaise, Ah fahind probable cause..."
1) Don Shula.
2) Bob Griese- brought the first two championships to Miami.
3) Now it gets tough but Dan Marino gets the nod here despite not winning a championship.
4) The fourth spot is very hard. Miami Heat should be represented and that is Dwayne Wade. But what about the Hurricanes and Coach Howard Schnellenberger? And a Miami Marlin? Jeff Conine? And a Miami Panther? We think our pick is Coach Schnellenberger- he brought UM football back and is responsible for the decades of success after he led the Canes to a national title over the feared Cornhuskers in 1984. It was the first of what was to become 5 national championships for the Canes and very simply if there was no Coach Schnellenberger then there would be no Championships for the Canes in the following years because that first one allowed Miami to recruit the players needed for the others.
1) Lincoln. Saved the Union while enduring unendurable tragedy- personal and national.
2) FDR. Won WWII.
3) Teddy Roosevelt The most fascinating and energetic man who has ever lived in the White House.
4) This is where it gets hard. Washington gets the nod because we do not have a democracy without him. But you could make a case for Reagan (ending the cold war, restoring American pride, bringing down the Berlin Wall) or Lyndon Johnson (civil rights act, great society, but the Vietnam war is a big negative).
This is very hard because if you go with some of the greatest American Novels, like to Kill A Mockingbird, you run into the issue that it was Harper Lee's only book. Similar criticism for J.D. Salinger, except he probably wrote dozens of books while is self-imposed exile and just didn't publish them. Lee and Salinger don't make the list because they didn't write a lot (or publish a lot) and this is about great American Writers, not novels. Sinclair Lewis wrote the great American Novel, indeed he may have invented the category, but he was not a great writer.
1. John Steinbeck. The best. Period. Grapes of Wrath. Of Mice and Men. Devoted to his craft, and has a depth and breadth of writing that no writer matches.
2. We do not personally care for his writing other than The Old Man And the Sea, but Hemmingway gets the nod here.
3. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Wrote too little and died too soon, but what he wrote makes his inclusion mandatory.
4. Stephen King- very controversial pick here, but he gets out vote for longevity, productivity, and some wonderful writing that is not often attributed to the King horror genre that he no longer should be pigeonholed into. For example, The Long Walk is a great novella and something our readers should read on a rainy Sunday.
MIAMI CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS
1. Roy Black. Put the Miami criminal defense bar on the map.
2. Richard Sharpstein. Fearless and immensely talented.
3. Joel Hirschorn. "Diamond Joel" is still trying cases better than just about anybody.
4. Not going here- you pick it. But for sheer toughness, bravery, and his winning record, you couldn't find much better these days than everyone's favourite federal blogger (other than Rumpole, but we cannot vote for our self).
No, The Goonies won't make the list, so do not even try. We could make a great case for one of our all time favouties - Car Wash, but we won't waste the space here. We also will not include Titanic because popularity does not a great movie make.
1. Casablanca. Simple story superbly told with great actors. Does not get any better than this.
2. Star Wars. Changed the world of movie making and has had a lasting influence over forty years later.
3. Double Indemnity. One film noir needs to be on this list, and this is our favourite.
4. Once again a fourth choice automatically forecloses all other possibilities. But we press on and close our eyes and select....
The Godfather. Yes we know we did not include Citizen Kane, but in all honesty, we do not see the greatness in that movie, while the Godfather endures in so many ways. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" (yes, its GFII, but still great advice). "They shot Sonny on the Causeway", "It's strictly business", and perhaps the greatest line in the history of cinema- "Leave the gun...take the cannolis."
It's a fun game so have at it. Lots of rain in store for Miami this next week so stay dry. Maybe do something different and try staying at home this week for a change.
UPDATE: MUSICIANS: Suggested by a reader, we go with her/his picks:
1. Bob Marley
2. Bob Dylan
4. The Boss.
Interesting that the topic was not "singers" because that makes things different and we would have to replace one of the picks with Sinatra. But the reader chose Musicians and we cannot disagree with the picks. Prince was a genius beyond what most people realize and he belongs on that list. Maybe Dylan is the weak choice. Bruce plays guitar and is the true poet of rock:
You can hide 'neath your covers and study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers, throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain for a savior to rise from these streets...
Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band, Thunder Road.
Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain
Bruce Springsteen, E Street Band, Jungle land.
It just doesn't ever get any better than that. Ever.