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Ray Lewis, Michael Phelps, Anne Tyler smackdown

Ray Lewis, Michael Phelps, Anne Tyler smackdown

What better way to ring in the holidays -- a time for peace on Earth -- than a vicious contest that pits Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis, Olympic champion Michael Phelps and author Anne Tyler, among others? That's the aim of Celebrity Smackdown, an annual contest that determines the most popular local celebrity in Baltimore.

Besides Tyler, the local celeb list includes authors such as David Simon ("Homicide" and "The Corner") and Laura Lippman ("I'd Know You Anywhere" and the Tess Monaghan novels).

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Many of the other celebs, including Phelps, Olympic skater Dorothy Hamill and movie director John Waters, have written books, but they fall short of being an author with a capital "A".

So if you're a book-lover, make sure to vote -- and ensure that Baltimore is known for more than athletes. Consider each bookish vote a victory for the English majors who were terrorized by jocks in school.

Vote, and vote often.

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