Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Sports As Life Utterly Meaningless and Totally Contrived Year-End Awards

The end of the year means two things - useless resolutions that will inevitably be broken approximately 1.3 days after January 1st... and made-up awards. We'll do the awards first - I'll wait 'til January to deal with my addiction to Duel.

We've got 4 award categories this year (as that's all I could really think of). All 4 of the Sports As Life contributors (as well as myself) were asked to pick one person/moment/story in each award category. So here we go...

The Mark Mangino Award (For Biggest Story/Moment of the Year)

Cooper: I am going to be a major homer on this one - but my choice for the biggest sports story/moment of the year (more moment than anything) is the Riders finally prevailing and winning the Grey Cup. I know I complained about this team as much as the next guy but it was still great to see them finally win one.
Jeff K: First, who in the hell is Mark Mangino? After Googling him, I did come up with this clip. After watching this, this award should probably be for the biggest blowup/meltdown in sports. How can someone of his health/physique have a fit like that and not go into cardiac arrest?
On to my pick for favorite sports story of the year - I would say Brett Favre. Brett is dominating at the age of 38. The Packers have been playing tremendous football all year and this all stems from Brett's play. After reading the Sports Illustrated "Sportsman of the Year" article where they gave the honours to Brett, I have decided this is the greatest thing in sports this year. Hopefully Brett can pull some sort of miracle out and beat the Cowboys and then Pats in the playoffs to take the Super Bowl... then he could retire already. Although, why retire when you are in your second prime?
Luke: I'm going to surprise everyone (and disgust myself) by saying this - but it's the New England Patriots. As much as I loathe that organization to its very core, I can't deny that what they're doing is unbelievable. We may never again see a team dominate with such ease and play so flawlessly (at least prior to the last few weeks). Through the first 10 or so weeks of the season they played football as close to perfection as is humanly possibly. And they just made it look so easy.
TH: England not making the Euro 2008 competition after being knocked out by Croatia 3-2 in their final match of the qualifying round. For a nation that worships European football this is a big one. Turkey made it. Romania made it. Poland made it. Even the neutral Swiss made it. Not only will England not be in the Euro Cup competition next year, they won't be in the World Cup in 2010. This will be the end of some of England's best international players' careers. I think that this will affect a whole nation's psychology and sense of self... and for that it is the biggest sporting story of the year. The award goes to England's collapse and the let-down of an entire nation.
Trebor: Kevin Glenn breaking his arm. That story meaning that the Riders, for the first time, wouldn't have to wait 23 years between Grey Cups... only 18.

The Pierre McGuire Mangasm of the Year Award
This award is given to a player who's jersey you would buy or makes you sit up and say 'wow' - basically your favorite player, regardless of sport.

Cooper: My choice for the Pierre McGuire Mangasm of the Year Award goes to Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. As much as I dislike the Vikings and their horrific colour scheme, I am very impressed with how this kid runs. (Remember when you referred to a pro-sport rookie and couldn't call them 'kid') He is one of a few rare breed of running backs that possesses the speed and agility of a Gale Sayers and the brute power and strength of a John Riggins. It is a shame that he will most likely be gone from the NFL in a few short years. Taking pounding after pounding, week in and week out in the NFL eventually takes its toll (i.e: Ricky Williams, Priest Holmes, Jamal Anderson, Jamal Lewis). And with his history of injuries at Oklahoma (broken collarbone, sprained ankle) and now his torn LCL with the Vikings, it leads me to believe he will be going to the glue factory in a short time. Watch him any chance you get while he's still here.
Jeff K: My favorite player: Daniel E. Ruettiger... Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! Honestly, after thinking about it, I don't think I have a "favorite" player right now. So I guess I am taking resumes. There are a ton of players that I like, but none I would call my favorite. How sad is that? Later Edit: After more thought, I should have chosen Steve Nash as the winner for this award... simply for this.
Luke: With all due respect to Purple Jesus, who I've loved since the Jets game in the pre-season, my Mangasm of the Year is San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis. He runs like a gazelle and hits like Ike Turner... oooohhhh. Because he plays on an awful 49ers team I haven't been able to watch many of his games - but I did get to see him play on Saturday night. He laid a licking on Rudi Johnson (or possibly Kenny Watson) that made me get out of my seat, pumping my fist. /crosses fingers - Patrick Willis jersey for Christmas, Patrick Willis jersey for Christmas.
TH: Brett Favre, no doubt about it. Who would have thought that this old man - who was great in the mid-to-late 90's - would be having the year that he is. And seriously, who doesn't secretly root for this guy to win it all. To go out like Elway. To recapture a bit of his youth, and in turn a bit of our own youth. I am not a Packer fan, but I would most assuredly buy a Favre jersey. The award goes to: Brett Favre.
Trebor: Patrick Willis... maybe it came from watching the highlight of him against LSU. Just get all kinds of fired up over that. And though there hasn't been that many big hits (the Leinart hit has alright), he had back-to-back games with 18 tackles... so pretty good. He's also incredibly fast. In one of those games where he got 18 tackles he chased down a WR 62 yards from the line of scrimmage. Also I'm a fan of defensive play, despite being in all sorts of Fantasy leagues.

The Apollo Creed Award (For sports story that was beaten to death)

Cooper: My choice for the Apollo Creed Award is a toss up between the Mike Vick saga and the Barry Bonds home run chase/should their be an asterisk debate. I have a feeling that I am not alone in this, but I could be wrong.
Jeff K: Well there are some pretty obvious choices here. You have Michael Vick and his great decision making. You have the most lovable player in baseball, Barry Bonds, and his record-breaking home run and indictment. Honestly, between Bonds and Vick don't you have a couple great role models? Next you have anything that has to do with the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots... just ask Luke, who has repeatedly proclaimed his love for Pats coach Bill Belichick. The "Camera-gate" scandal was all you could hear for... well, it still is all you hear about. Also there was the reffing scandal when Donaghy bet on games he officiated in the NBA. So, in the face of all these dead horses that were beaten, what have I chosen? How about the Beckham's moving to Los Angeles. This shouldn't have received more than one day of media... and let's fact it, Victoria Beckham drove the story. If you take her out of the equation, you might not have even heard that David Beckham was moving to L.A. Honestly, I can't even think of what the US soccer league is called. NSL? MLS? Who cares? I hate is when Hollywood and Sports collide. I shouldn't have to see or read about Victoria Beckham when I am watching or reading sports news. By the way, what ever happened to Victoria Beckham's reality show? Good riddance.
Luke: I'm going off the board on this one... sure there was Bonds and Vick and Brady and steroids. But at least all of those stories were legitimately newsworthy, despite all the over-hyping that followed. My pick is something that I don't think even qualifies as legitimately newsworthy, not yet anyway. And it's the imminent death of the CFL at the hands of the mighty and terrible NFL. I haven't seen this much hand-wringing since O.J under the bathroom faucet in '94. Too soon?
TH: This is a tough one. Brady? Unbeaten Pats? But I have to go with Barry Bonds chasing the home run record earlier this year. Does anyone remember this now? After it happened Bonds, the Giants and excitement in regular season baseball just disappeared. But while he was chasing it that was all that anyone talked about on all the sporting networks... heck it even made it into mainstream news. Every time Barry and his sub-.500 team were playing that was the game that was shown. When he was a few away from the record, he every at-bat was picked up by all the stations that could pick it up - just to watch this over-the-hill steroid monster swing for the fences (usually striking out or walking after 4 or 5 pitches). This was going to be the biggest event in sports EVER... but it wasn't and the media jumped all over it like a hungry hobo. The award goes to: Barry Bonds run for the HR record... with honourable mention going to the Brady-loving media and the Pats chase for 'perfection'.
Trebor: "Spygames", "Patriot Games"... anything Patriot-related. Yeah, they are going to go undefeated and all but I just don't need to hear about it all the time. Coming a close 2nd is the Mitchell report... maybe because it's fresh?? It wasn't much of a story but it was hyped and the conference was a waste of time and the report proves nothing and it's an hour of my life I'll never get back. I hate baseball.

The Award for Most Howard Cosell Grave Roll-Overs (For worst sports commentary)

Cooper: My choice for the Howard Cosell Award goes to Mr. Bryant Gumbel of the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football. I was all pumped up to watch NFL football on Thursdays, however Mr. Gumbel's ineptitude at play-by-play has completely turned me off tuning in anymore. I am sure that I am not alone in this. Remember his quote, "Two Minutes Morning," instead of "Warning"? Classic!
Jeff K: I am about to make a few people very unhappy. Are you ready?... Don Cherry. I have always disliked Don Cherry. He is an idiot, plain and simple. I hate that he is so loved in Canada and is some sort of symbol of hockey. He is a crazy old man. He should be in the grocery store yelling at the cashier, not on TV. I just can't stand him, and I don't even care to go into more detail than that. The very close runners-up would be Chris Walby and Pierre McGuire. Coach of the Year Award: (I added this award for an excuse to link to this clip) The winner is - Rickey Jimmy.
Luke: It's Bryant Gumbel - hands down. He doesn't know the names of the teams, he doesn't know the names of the players, he doesn't even know what night he's calling the games on (on Saturday night he thought it was Thursday). All I need to say is that he's called Todd Collins, Tom Collins and Frank Gore, Al Gore. Next question!
TH: At first, I came up with Emmitt Smith. He is just the worst public speaker that could ever be - and he can't be forgiven for being an amateur because someone was dumb enough to pay him to slaughter the English language. But then I noticed the play-by-play/colour limitation (Ed. Note: originally the award was limited to booth personalities) and thankfully for my sanity Smith doesn't/can't do that (a person who would make me stop watching football altogether). So with that in mind, I would have to nominate the CBC/TSN CFL coverage teams. It doesn't matter which one you choose - they are all terrible. Walby, Suitor, Black... all of them suck so much it isn't funny. Could anyone make the CFL a bigger laughing-stock? YES, the idiots calling the games. There is Rod Black apologizing for everything, Brian Williams seemingly doesn't like football, Walby is a know-it-all loudmouth and Suitor... well, he is just there. K-Jo?!? Need I say more?
Trebor: This should really be like a Top 10, since there are so many to choose from. Emmitt is up there. If I watched TSN, maybe Palmer - TSN says he's an expert... how many snaps did he even take in the NFL? Madden comes close, not for taking an hour to figure out and describe why it's Three Rivers Stadium, not even for talking about Turducken. I go back to the game I watched in Wershington - Indy and San Diego. Peyton is bringing the Colts back on successive drives, completion after completion... to which John says, "It's almost as if Peyton is doing this on purpose"... thanks John. If I had to pick one... Keith Olberman really just annoys me to no limit. He was just doing highlights - "He could go all the... maybe only halfway... no, all the way..." If there was a tackle attempt or something then that's understandable, but the guy was clearly in fact going all the way.

So that's it for the SALUMATCYE Awards for this year. Who knows, we might even be doing this again next year. Feel free to nominate your own award winners in the comments.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Hungry, Hungry Hobos was my favorite board game when I was growing up.