“John McCain is a maverick.” Americans have heard that thousands–if not millions–of times over the last few months. We’ll hear it some more, too, as election day approaches. While McCain contends this “maverick” status will make him a good president, The Hangover remains dubious. The truth is, McCain isn’t even the best Maverick the United States has to offer. Therefore, as a public service, The Hangover offers its list of:
Best American Mavericks:
1) Bret Maverick as played by James Garner
The television show “Maverick” aired from 1957-1962, with Garner playing Bret Maverick from ’57 to ’60. The show was a comedy-action-western featuring three Maverick brothers and one nephew, all card-playing sharps who dressed well, cracked jokes, and then did good–often reluctantly. The Museum of Broadcast Communications termed the show “a subversive Western with a dark sense of humor.” The show can still occasionally be seen on the Encore Western channel.
Only one or two of the Maverick clan were featured in an episode, with Garner’s Bret being the lead during the shows creative and ratings peaks. Garner’s charisma, timing, and acting were impeccable. Bret Maverick’s ability to carry the day against even more underhanded and over-sized foes made him an icon. While the typical western character wore jeans and flannel, Bret Maverick operated in his fine gambler’s suit. He would outsmart his adversaries more often than he’d outslug them, but he was adept at both. He won chips and broke hearts, including his own. He always intended to act in his own self interest, but rarely did. Bret Maverick is the mark against which all Mavericks should be measured.
2) Mark Cuban
Cuban made his fortume as a technology entrepreneur during the Internet boom of the ’80’s and ’90’s by being a maverick in his field. He’s currently rated the 161st richest American, not bad for a kid from a working class family. But Cuban is not only a business maverick, he owns Mavericks–the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. He also writes a maverick blog: http://blogmaverick.com/. While the Dallas Mavericks have yet to win the NBA title under Cuban’s stewardship, the team is always in the playoffs and made the finals in 2006. As a real maverick, Cuban is often fined by the league for speaking out, speaking truth, and sharing his opinion, whether it is in his best interest or not. If only our politicians talked as honestly and straight as Cuban.
3) Raul Malo
Malo is the former lead singer of the Mavericks, a smooth Latin-tinged roots-country band that broke out in 2000. While the music itself was excellent, the band’s focal point was Malo’s lush, deep vocals. Rolling Stone described Malo’s voice “on par with the best of ’em: Sinatra, George Jones, and Orbison.” That explains why he continues to grow as an artist in a fine solo career. This singer-Maverick is among the greatest of all time.
4) The Ford Maverick
The Ford Maverick was a compact car built by Ford from 1969-1977. With a price tag of $1995, it’s first year sales eclipsed records set by the Mustang in 1965. Despite being labeled a compact, it’s sporty flourishes gave the car personality and a certain level of muscular elan. It also proved to be dependable and fuel-efficient transportation during the fuel crisis of the 1970’s. The Maverick rarely let down its owners and, in fact, The Hangover learned to drive behind the wheel of a ’76 four-door model. This car was one great maverick.
5) Bart Maverick as played by Jack Kelly
Kelly’s role as Bart Maverick spanned the length of the entire Maverick series. And while Kelly was not quite the force that Garner was, he was a model of comic, wry consistency. The characters of Bret and Bart were not so different, both winners at cards, love, and the high life. They were distinguished mainly by Bart’s gray hat (Bret wore black). Episodes where both brothers co-starred are classics.
6) Dirk Nowitzki
Nowitzki is the face and star of the NBA’s and Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks, His lifetime stats reveal greatness. As the leader of the Mavericks, over the last ten years he’s averaged 36.5 minutes per game, 22.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. In this years playoffs, he raised his game when it mattered the most with 26.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. A real maverick comes through when it counts. Unfortunately, Nowitzki is a citizen of Germany and must be disqualified.
Other Notable Mavericks:
17) Roger Moore as Beau Maverick. Beau Maverick was a cousin of Bart and Bret. Moore, despite being his usual suave self in the role, is also English and disqualified.
38) Sarah Palin. The Hangover is unsure how being a hockey Mom, potential book banner, religious zealot, and mainstream Republican make one a maverick. But seeing as she hit Alaskan energy companies with a windfall profits tax–which actually put money in the pockets of regular Alaskans–she deserves recognition.
53) Robert Colbert as Brent Maverick. Colbert starred in some episodes of the 1961 season, a poor man’s Bret or Bart. Hence his position down the list.
72) John McCain. Proclaiming (or having your running mate do so) oneself a maverick does not make it so. What has McCain done to earn this status? Co-write legislation that makes sense with Ted Kennedy? Kennedy’s written legalisation with countless other Senators. McCain did institute campaign finance reform; unfortunately it was a package that was more “gums” than “teeth.” Special interest money keeps rolling into candidates’ pockets including McCain’s and Obama’s. If McCain wanted to be a real Maverick: he wouldn’t take that special interest money; seven of his tops aides wouldn’t be former lobbyists; and he wouldn’t have voted with George W. Bush 95% of the time.
99) Bret Maverick as played by Mel Gibson. Gibson lacked the charisma, self-deprecation, and nuance that made James Garner such as great Maverick. Not even a cameo by Garner could save this debacle. Australian mavericks must have been disheartened by Gibson’s performance.
278) Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell as played by Tom Cruise. This highly clichéd character in the highly clichéd Hollywood blockbuster Top Gun produced a highly clichéd and therefore low-rated maverick.