Last Saturday night the National Football League handed out a majority of its end of the season awards. Honors like MVP, rookie of the year, and coach of the year were given out. Unlike the NFL, our awards are not burdened with things like “integrity” or “sense”. We also hand out awards for negative stuff, because the internet is mean! You won’t see any hardware for offensive player of the year, but you might see the editors honor someone for their facial hair. These are the Footbawl Blog’s end of the year alternative awards!
TD Celebration of the Year!
Ben: You know why there’s an exclamation point there? Because TD dances are freakin’ awesome! Look there’s a been a lot of amazing celebrations this season, but it’s hard to top this one. Stevie Johnson mocking Plaxico Burress might have bothered a lot of the wet blankets on television, but I for one had a good chuckle. If we are allowed to take potshots at every other kind of celebrity with skits and whatnot, why is Plaxico’s prison time out of bounds?
Nate: That’s a really good one, and I think there’s going to be a trend of you taking all the good answers. Oh well, I guess that leaves me with Michael Boley‘s headhunting TD celebration. It wasn’t actually a dance or celebration, but who doesn’t love celebrating a score by nearly taking off a cameraman’s head?
Best Appearance by an NFL Player in a Commercial
Ben: I’d love to use this Ray Lewis Old Spice commercial but it turns out it aired last season. I’d love even more to go with a homer pick and say Aaron Rodgers here, but I think we all know his performance in the Discount Double Check commercials left some to be desired. But I’m still a homer so instead I’ll go with B.J. Raji in one of those same commercials, because seriously…look at this fat man dance!
Nate: Like I said, this is going to be a trend. NO ONE loves fat man dancing as much as I do. No one. I’d like to be a homer and pick one of the Drew Brees commercials, but they weren’t great, so I’m going to pick a former NFL Player – or players. The Gramatica brothers’ appearance in this Bud Light commercial made me laugh because they make fun of themselves, and also because the guy gets pelted with hot dogs. I think the best way you can belittle a person might be to throw hot dogs at them.
Ben: Look, it’s pretty standard for lineman on either side of the ball to have some wicked beards. But at the quarterback position? That doesn’t happen too often. And when it does the results aren’t exactly thrilling. Kyle Orton has a neck beard that could best be described as “disgusting” and Jake Plummer always looked like the kind of guy you might see digging through a Hardees dumpster at four in the morning. But Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard is an inspiration. It is thick, but still manages to stay out of hobo territory. Instead he looks like a dignified alcoholic writer!
Nate: I’m going to be honest, my genetic code makes me detest beards out of sheer jealousy. I can’t grow one to save my life, so for ego preservation my mind has me dead set against facial hair. So with that in mind, I’m going to pick Todd Haley. His beard was so offensive that he lost his job over it. Either that or he was a terrible offensive mind and even worse motivator. I’m sticking with the former!
Best Announce Team
Ben: I’m going to ruffle some feathers amongst my friends and take Joe Buck/Troy Aikman here. These guys get hatred from every angle in the blogosphere and I can’t figure it out. I grew up hating the Cowboys as much as any team in the league and I find Aikman to be as solid and unbiased as any color commentator in the game. Joe Buck doesn’t blow my mind but as a play-by-play guy he doesn’t have to. He calls the game with professionalism and an understated sense of humor. Sure he seems a tad smug, but it’s better than being a robot. The one strike against him is the bizarre manner that he stares at Aikman during the pre-game dialogue. It looks like he might go in for a kiss or bite his neck, but I’m not going to hold that against him. So yeah, feel free to dump all your hate in the comments section!
Nate: The problem with that team isn’t Aikman. It’s that Buck is an unflappable douche. He doesn’t get excited. He doesn’t inspire anything in me. And my philosophy is that as a play-by-play guy, you have to have the voice and the passion. Buck only has one. (Related note: Gus Johnson is your God.) My pick for best announce team, however, has very little to do with the PBP guy. Thom Brennaman is fine, but it’s the discerning eye of Brian Billick that makes this commentating team great. In fact, it doesn’t matter who Billick is with. Ron Pitts, Sam Rosen, whoever. Just let Billick talk about football, and I’m there.
Worst Announce Team
Ben: My gut reaction was to put Kenny Albert, Moose, and Goose just because of how much Siragusa weighs down the proceedings. But that really doesn’t seem fair to Albert and Johnston who are professionals in every sense of the word. Instead I have to go with Dick Stockton and John Lynch. Lynch isn’t terrible, but it’s pretty obvious that this is a new gig for him and he doesn’t add as much as he could. I’m not sure if he’s being tentative or just honestly doesn’t have that much to say. Dick Stockton, on the other hand, sounds like my Grandpa after he wakes up from a nap. He isn’t entirely sure where he is or what he’s looking at. My favorite Stockton moment of the year was after Adrian Peterson scored a touchdown he actually said, “he reminded me of Adrian Peterson on that run”. Lynch was most likely staring at his shoes.
Nate: This is easy and hard at the same time: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. It’s hard because Jim Nantz has a great voice, and I love his enthusiasm. But it’s easy because Phil Simms is that bad. I’m not sure if it’s a thing where he had too many concussions in his playing days, or if he never understood the game at all. But he says the most boneheaded things on a consistent basis. Here’s a post from another blog pointing out the stupid things he said during the Denver/Pittsburgh playoff game. And that’s only one game. Poor Jim Nantz. Even an awesome How I Met Your Mother cameo (best line from that episode: “You don’t open an e-mail from Phil Simms in front of your kids) can’t save Nantz from being dragged down with this dubious honor.
Most Awesome Religious Dude Who is Also a QB
Ben: I hear Matt Hasselbeck loves Jesus! Can’t think of anyone else.
Nate: Well, only because Donovan McNabb was forced into retirement. I heard him say “Jesus” once.
Best Head Coach Firing
Ben: Usually I want coaches to get more than one year regardless of the situation, but Hue Jackson helped orchestrate one of the worst trades I’ve ever seen in pro sports, let a division lead slip away, and then threw all of his players under the bus after a season ending loss in San Diego. Congrats Raiders management, you finally did something right! Come get your fictional award!
Nate: It’s got to be Steve Spagnuolo. He somehow made Sam Bradford look like the worst quarterback in the NFC West, and the defense clearly wasn’t playing like a Spags D should. It was time for them to get rid of him and move onto better things. The thing that isn’t really talked about is how talented the Rams are, and how much better they should be than they are. Hopefully for them, Jeff Fisher can bring it out of them.
Weirdest Play of the Year
Ben: A lot of bizarre plays happen during the course of an NFL season, but there probably isn’t any of them that I have a harder time explaining than this. In an early season showdown between the Eagles and 49ers, Ronnie Brown inexplicably laterals the ball backwards while falling down near the goal line. I’m certain there was some kind of trick play called here, but why on earth wouldn’t Brown just give up on it at this point? And why are you trying to run a gadget play this close to the end zone with the lead and one of the best rushing attacks in football? Also is this somehow Juan Castillo’s fault?
Nate: Clearly! My pick is from a late season matchup between the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons. In this play, TJ Yates is hit while throwing what looks to be an incomplete pass. Everyone – the cameraman, the announcers, even most of the players – treated it like an incomplete pass and were ready for the next play. The only player who didn’t was James Sanders, who picked it up and started running. And the refs hadn’t blown the whistle, so at first it was ruled a fumble recovery for a touchdown. But THEN, the referees decided for some reason that the ball should be called dead in Falcons territory. My memory is hazy, but I’m pretty sure the Falcons didn’t score on that drive, and the game was close at the end. So that weird play may have cost the Falcons the game (which as a Falcons hater I’m totally cool with).
Least Valuable Player
Ben: Chad Ochocinco couldn’t learn a playbook that Gronk mastered. *drops mic*
Nate: *picks up mic, dusts it off, blows into it to make sure it’s working* At least he got a job in the NFL and caught, like, 7 passes. T.O. couldn’t even get a job so he had to join the nFL, with “n” representing a random letter that I couldn’t remember because it isn’t the NFL or AFL. Yeah, Ochocinco was bad, but at least he almost won a ring.
What did we get wrong? Let us know in the comments section!