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Twenty-five years of Bottoms amounts to quite a load - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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Twenty-five years of Bottoms amounts to quite a load

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Posted: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 12:00 am

After much deliberation, the extinguished panel of judges charged with choosing winners of the annual Bottom of the Basin Awards finally came to a consensus for the top honor, Newsmaker of the Year.

Actually, it was a no-brainer to choose the declining economy because it seemed as if all facets of financial stability were ... well, excuse the phraseology ... bottoming out.

Now the judges were aware that the local economy hasn't taken as big a hit as other areas of the country, but the involved discussions before making a choice might be attributed to the fact that they wanted to appear busy in order to avoid being laid off.

And because this is the 25th year the Bottoms have been given out, there was some talk of designing a special silver anniversary edition Bottom made of the aforementioned precious metal. But fears about the direction of our financial future ruled out that kind of investment. So the economy only has itself to blame for not getting a spiffy new trophy. But that's OK, too, because we can't think of anyone who would be willing to accept the award on behalf of financial ruin.

Then the judges went on to select some other Bottom winners in special and unique categories. In fact, they managed to prolong the deliberations to justify ordering in a meal. Yes, in this case, there is a free lunch.

Anyway, the "All My Children in The Daze of Our Lives As The World Churns Bottom" goes to Permian product and NFL wide receiver Roy Williams. You'd think that getting a chance to escape from a team destined to go 0-16 (the Detroit Lions) would be a blessing. Turns out he got traded to a soap opera where he pretty much got lost in the fracas. But at least as a Dallas Cowboy with a hefty new contract and salary to match, Roy has the chance to set a record - highest paid per capita wide receiver based on the number of passes thrown to him.

Also making the elite list is the homicide suspect who claimed he was wrestling a demon that had taken over his wife when she died. The suspect also claimed he was sharing a cell with 10 demons and was on a first-name basis with the vice president of demons. Since he was appointed an attorney by the court whose phone number ends in 666, he qualifies for the "Amazin' Coincidence Bottom." Either that or we owe a judge the "Best Twisted Sense of Humor Bottom."

To round out this year's bling, the "With Friends Like This ... Bottom" will go to U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway. The Midland Republican (who also happens to be a former Permian football player) found himself in an awkward situation when a $700 billion government bailout for troubled financial institutions was being kicked around. At first, Conaway voted against an early version of the bailout, which put him at odds with a longtime friend by the name of George W. Bush. What's more, Dubya was scheduled to drop by Conaway's home in Midland for a Republican congressional fundraiser as all this was unfolding. Conaway eventually decided to vote for the revamped proposal, despite some reservations, and took a lot of heat from constituents as a result. But you have to presume that it made for a more congenial time when the leader of the free world did make it over to Mike's house for the event. For good measure, the judges gave Bush a parting gift in the form of the "Prodigal Favorite Son Bottom" since that was his first visit to Midland in his eight years as president.

On that note, we'll let this year's awards demonstrate how quickly one can go from the top to the Bottom.

Odessa, TX

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