We’ve been engaged in “Operation Best of
Springfield” for more years than we can remember, and though
we’ve been forced to adapt to changing conditions on the ground,
we’re still focused on the mission: giving a voice to the thousands
of people who want the good guys to win.
THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
Each year we invite our readers to vote for their
favorites in dozens of categories. Some categories change; others
don’t. The top recipient of votes in each category is declared the
winner — and gets a certificate, a write-up in this special edition,
and bragging rights for a year. This contest for superiority is unrelated
to advertising — some of our loyal advertisers win, some don’t.
We play by the rules of the Geneva Conventions: No contestants are
tortured, and all our corpuses are habeased. Life’s not fair, but the Best of Springfield is.
This year we received and tabulated 2,124 votes
— a 57 percent increase over last year and another record response.
For the second year in a row, technology helped us target our quarry; in
other words, most votes were cast online. We saw heavy fighting in three
provinces: Best Radio Station for Music, Best Pizza, and Best Sub
Sandwiches. In two, insurgents fought hard, pushing aside some familiar
faces, and in other hard-fought categories victory hung by a thread. In the
Best Bartender, Downtown Bar, and Jewelry Store categories, our winners won
by two votes or fewer. War is hell.
Operation Best of Springfield is commanded by an
elite group of career journalists, including Marissa Monson, R.L. Nave,
Dusty Rhodes, Amanda Robert, and Roland Klose, assisted by our volunteer
special-forces team of Tom Irwin, Phil Funkenbusch, and Job Conger. (Conger
also took many of the pictures for this issue.) Military intelligence was
supplied by copy editor Kerry Bailey. Battle maps were provided by able
graphic-design specialists Joe Copley and Dave Janes. Becky Austwick helped
with online voting.
We’ve declared victory, so all results are
final — until next year or until Congress grows a backbone. If you
don’t like the way we conducted the war, write a letter. Here’s
the address: Editor, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705. You may also send
an e-mail to [email protected], but remember: Your government may be
reading the contents.