I'm certainly no fan of_____, but you've got to hand it to them...

Personally, my prime example of this is Apple. I’m really no fan of Apple and sort of despise the Mac culture, but boy you’ve got to hand it to them. They do know how to design slick hardware, generate a consumer frenzy, and cultivate a devoted following. They know their business. They know how to make money.

Another example might be Barry Bonds. I certainly don’t like the guy; I think he’s a lier and a cheater, should be booted from baseball, and his records thrown out, but I’ve got to hand it to him. The guy knows how to hit home runs. No amount of steroids makes hitting 700+ home runs a trivial feat.

Maybe even: I’m no fan of the Republican administration of this country, but I’ve got to hand it to them – they know how to manipulate the American public and push the very limits of what they can get away with.

IMHO, I think that statements like these are a key indicator of a rational person. Basically that no matter how much I might dislike someone or something, I can still recognize what it does well. Credit where credit is due, and all that. Even, as in the last example, where what I give credit for might be something negative and be, in itself, a barb at them, there’s no sarcasm or irony. I truly due appreciate their prowess on the matter.

How about you?

The Dallas Cowboys.

8 Conference Championships since '70? (Winning 5 Superbowls) … Dang that is a Conference Championship every 4.6 years and a SB win every 7(.2). The longest they have been out of the playoffs in, closer to 40 than 30 years, is a 5 years stretch.

They have been very sucsessful at building teams that win and contend among the elite. They do it with a style and a splash.

I hope that Romo et al., are a blip and we will see a return to the mediocrity that has characterized the Teams in 2000’s (despite 2 Playoff appearances)… But I have my doubts.

I’m certainly no (longer) a fan of the Catholic Church, but the Brothers did a first-rate job of educating me.

Thanks, guys.

Like I always say, the Nazis may have been evil, but they had the best uniforms of all time. Their SS officer’s uniforms outclassed the Allies’ by a mile - no, by *six million *miles. [dodges thrown objects] I mean, from an aesthetic standpoint - the combination of red, white, and black just looks good. And they had all kinds of leather belts and straps and stuff all over everything, which looks super intimidating. So while they may have been some evil motherfuckers, they really dressed to kill.

I was going to post exactly this. :eek:

GWB- he did a wonderful thing making the new Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument. He gets a day out of the Lake of Boiling Blood every year for just that act alone.

Not just the uniforms, but just design aesthetic in general. German tanks, for example, look a hell of a lot more dangerous than their allied counterparts. Great architecture, too.

Pity about all the evil.

Will Smith.

I’m certainly no fan of his, but so what.

He’s built a successful and lucrative entertainment career, piece by piece, brick by brick.

Started as a rapper, parleyed that and personality into a hit TV show.

Launched a movie career (slowly – Six Degrees – someone pretending to be someone else, easy-peasy) and eventually became box office.

Moved on to producing viable projects, not just “vanity, I’ll hire myself” projects.

I do admire his seemingly successful, longterm Hollywood marriage.

He’ll never be truly Shakespearean as an actor, but I gotta hand it to him.

And I do like “Summertime.”

Og, I am gonna get flamed for this, and I am not posting to be a jerk, but if we can talk about Nazi’s here.

The Taliban. :eek: I have talked to many military members about the events of 9/11/01 and most agree that from a tactical standpoint, from a strategic angle, and from an losses vs. kills angle, they hit us good. When you look at their resources against ours, somebody in the Taliban intel and planning areas hit pure gold.

Sorry, I feel that it was a well planned and executed hit. I hate the fact it was successful. I hate the loss of lives.

SSG Schwartz

Jim Tressel (Ohio State’s football coach). I can’t stand his stupid face, his stupid sweatervest, or his stupid “golly, we’re playing against a darn good football team this week, so I better make sure we play our hearts out” attitude (when he’s in front of the camera). But the man is a ringer. He may have gotten outfoxed in last year’s national championship, but don’t let that fool you. He can gameplan with the best of 'em.

sniff

Hey boys, call off the hit. This one’s got class. Let’s focus on the insane porcine instead.

TOS, you are a man amongst men.

We’d love to have you here. Just drink this, oh, and sign this as well.

sniff

Hey boys, call off the hit. This one’s got class. Let’s focus on the insane porcine instead.

TOS, you are a man amongst men.

We’d love to have you here. Just drink this, oh, and sign this as well.

In this vein, the communists always seem to know how to throw a good military parade/celebration. Some of the May Days in the USSR almost make me want to live under an authoritarian government just to see the parades.

I guess that would be Microsoft. I hate the uber-control they insist on having over all programs used on their system… I hate the constant advertisements… I hate the customer support.

But they designed the most user-friendly OS ever, to the point that everyone from a 6 year old to an 89 year old can figure it out. And they marketed it well enough that most people use it without thinking twice.

I mean, that’s just kind of impressive.

McDonald’s.

They’re gross and will probably help send lots of people to early cardiac-related deaths, but their success at expanding to the global market is just ridiculous. They know where to put new restaurants, how to tweak the menu for different cultures, and how to make the whole world think they really, really need a Big Mac and fries for lunch today.

I hate them, but they’re good at what they do.

I have to agree. It’s the most spectacular terroism stunt in history–cinematic in its over-the-top grandiosity.

Harley Davidson

Their bikes are heavy, have little cornering clearance, are technologically outdated, and a bit expensive. But mainly I’m not a fan of the whole “biker lifestyle” thing that people buy into and basically just play dress-up every other weekend, maybe putting a thousand miles a year on their bikes as they ride to the bar and back if the weather is nice.

But I gotta hand it to them. As a marketing machine, they’ve been tremendously successful. In 1981, they were literally hours away from closing their doors when a group of executives got together and bought the company back from their parent company AMF. They couldn’t afford to update their outdated motorcycles to compete directly with Japanese bikes of the day so they took another tack and instead marketed the heritage of the brand and the biker lifestyle image. This brought them back from the brink and built them into the market leaders in the largest-selling motorcycle category today.

They’re also very responsive to the customers. They listen to them and give them exactly what they want. Harleys are the way they are because that’s what their riders have asked for. For example, in an interview in Cycle World, the author asked one of their engineers why they couldn’t make their engines run smoother. He said they could make them as smooth as a watch, but their research showed their customers wanted vibration and he was quite proud that they dialed in just the right amount. If only more companies were like that. Heck, it took Kawasaki 20 years to fix a known problem with the KLR 650’s gearbox (google “KLR doohickey” to see what I’m talking about).

No, the bikes aren’t great performers, but that’s not what they’re designed to do. They’re meant for loping along the open highways with a certain style, and in that respect they really aren’t bad bikes for what they are. I’ll admit, an Electra Glide does make for a fine touring machine.

The damn Yankees.

Much as I’d like to believe (and am often inclined to say, just to tweak the fans) that their success stems straight from their swollen budget, if you cut their payroll in half they’d still be a godo team every year. They have a talent for putting good talent on the field, and for somehow inflating the value of mediocre talent such that other teams will overpay to receive it. They may have certain advantages, but the administrative team that’s in place right now knows how to leverage those advantages to create a dominant franchise. I couldn’t do Brian Cashman’s job, and I’ll bet half the GMs in Major League Baseball couldn’t, either.

Still evil, though.

I’m no fan of Nixon, but admire the way he won enough money at poker, during his Naval tour of duty during WWII, to fund his first campaign.

On the other hand, given what history has shown, I have to wonder if he used something besides that poker face in accumulating all those winnings. Maybe I should withdraw this.

Microsoft was my first thought too. Not because of their actual software, but because they have managed to fight off every one else that has come after them. Despite having expensive, buggy software with security holes all over it, they still keep a lion’s share of the market.

Walmart - I hate the company, and will only shop there as a last resort. I don’t like how they deal with their suppliers and stories of how they deal with their employees make me cringe. Yet, they have figured out how to run a store that carries the items people want, at costs that bring customers in the door.

My ex. She dumped me unceremoniously (and all the while lying), but man was she good at, well, you know.