You know that your year has been a bit of a downer when the symbol of all that has been dreamed and accomplished is a central banker whose biggest claim to fame is not fucking everything up. Hooray for only 10% unemployment! Look, I'm the sure the Professor (is there anyway to call somebody "The Professor" these days without sounding condescending?) is great at what he does, but what have you people been doing all year? Didn't you build or invent anything? Slice a gene? Write a poem? Anything?
The only other candidate I can think of for this award is Captain Sully, and his great victory was successfully crashing a plane. Our greatest cultural achievement is putting eight guidos on TV instead of calling the cops on them. Sports? ... (checks Deadspin archives) ... never mind.
Man ... 2009 sucks.
Honorable mention: Central Michigan coach Butch Jones, who got his job when Brian Kelly bolted for Cincinnati right before a big bowl game, will now take over Cincinnati right before their big bowl game. Might as well start looking for apartments in South Bend now.