"I think anyone who's spent some time in Florida understands that we have more than our share of weird news," says Florida Freakshow co-creator Britt Olesen. "At some point, you just learn to embrace it."
The eight contenders for the Freak of the Year honor range from morbid (an man who allegedly asked his fifth-grade son to help him bury a dead prostitute's body), to humorous (a woman who called 911 when she locked herself inside her car), to downright bizarre (a man who allegedly pretended to be mentally handicapped in order to get women to change his diapers).
Tiger Woods, who dominated headlines in Sunshine State and worldwide, is not on the list. "Tiger's behavior wasn't exactly model," says the Florida Freakshow's other creator, Cory O'Donnell. "But it's way too easy to pick him. Seriously, if he wasn't a celebrity, he wouldn't even have been on our radar."
For Web site visitors who aren't satisfied with the eight choices on the Freak of the Year poll, there's also a write-in option for voters to nominate their own favorite "freak."
The Web site also plans to announce "Florida's Freakiest City" at the end of the year. Olesen explains, "While odd news seems to come out of every corner of the state, there are definitely some areas that seem to have a higher concentration of weird behavior."