Best local sports team 

Northwestern University's women's lacrosse team

Forget those rosters of gazillion-dollar jocks on Chicago's professional sports scene: the area's best and best-coached team just pulled off its sixth national championship in seven years, with so little attention there's a chance you might not even have heard about it. Northwestern University's women's lacrosse team, which had won five NCAA championships in a row before it lost last year to Maryland, wrested the title back from the Terps in a relentless 8-7 game last month. Lacrosse hasn't yet found the audience it deserves (a luminous ball, easier to spot in a thicket of sticks and pockets might help), but Wildcat coach Kelly Amonte Hiller is already legendary, and they're playing right under our noses. —Deanna Isaacs

Critics' Picks

Best fake dinosaur

Novelty Golf & Games continue
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)