Last year, TechCrunch founder and middle-finger-waving investor Michael Arrington announced he'd no longer judge the site's annual startup competition, citing the ominous influence of outside forces over the editorial process. In unrelated news, a startup he backs just won the top prize, again.

"Vurb is a web and mobile contextual search engine." It's also the benefactor of Arrington's CrunchFund, which means he owns part of Vurb. This in turn means that if Vurb ends up, say, getting acquired by a larger company for a tidy sum—a possibility increased by a very high profile victory at TechCrunch Disrupt—that's money in Arrington's pocket.

"Picking the winner of the battlefield startup competition should be free of any influence of non-editorial people and judges," Arrington wrote last year. And yet here we are, for the fourth year in a row. Mike: this is why Arianna Huffington fired you.

I've asked TechCrunch's co-editor Alexia Tsotsis for comment on this odd coincidence.

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