It’s that time of year again. On Wednesday, the NFL season will be on us once again. Not only will games be played on football fields all across the country, they’ll actually matter! I did a poll of the Footbawl Blog office, and I am pleased to report that 100% of our staff said that they were happier than a pig in shit to get started on this season.
So, in what will soon be a tradition here, we are going to start off with our Preseason Awards! My co-editor and I are ready to give fake awards that we made on paper plates to the players and coaches based on predicted performance (or more accurately, bullshit we make up.)
Most Controversial Player of 2012/13
Nate: This award goes to the player who will be central to the biggest scandal or controversy of the football season. Last year’s winner was probably James Harrison, because the NFL waited until after the season to reveal that Gregg Williams was actually a recently shaved Adolf Hitler. But this year, I think that it’s going to be the preseason favorite Dez Bryant who gets this award. It makes sense, because Jerry Jones is sparing no expense on this investment. He is having Bryant surrounded by security 24/7 with a plan that seems so foolproof that it has to fail. Bryant will end up shaking security, killing a hooker, and using her blood to stain a nearby chapel before he is found using a rosary to hang her entrails from the ceiling. Either that or something less disgusting!
Ben: After his chip shot field goal sailed wide left against the Patriots, and he had effectively lost the AFC championship game for the Ravens, kicker Billy Cundiff lost a bit of his sanity as well. He has been practicing kicking rigorously this offseason. With human heads! AAAAAAH! Okay so that’s not my actual pick. I’m going to go with another wide receiver in Brandon Marshall whose biological clock is telling him that it’s about time to punch another lady in the face.
The Joe Flacco Memorial Facial Hair of Doom Award
Nate: Some people probably think we have probably focused on Joe Flacco’s facial hair too much on this blog. Those people are probably Ravens fans who have no friends. But the real reason we talk about it is we are in awe of it; it took us completely by surprise. And that’s what this award is about. It’s not simply about good facial hair. It’s about facial hair that comes out of nowhere. And this year, I think the Flacco Memorial Facial Hair of Doom Award will go to Matt Stafford. I think most of the nominees for this will be quarterbacks because their faces are so prominent. And Stafford fits the bill because you can totally see him growing a thin mustache that makes him look like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite.
Ben: If Aaron Rodgers would keep his various preseason mustaches intact for some of the regular season he would be a shoe-in for this award. But alas, it is not to be. After under achieving for most of his career, Tony Romo needs to make a change. He will try to go from talented guy who doesn’t win shit to mediocre quarterback who guts out gritty victories. His current back-up, Kyle Orton, will show him the way…with a completely hideous and ridiculous neck beard!
The Jack Del Rio Coach Who Gets Fired Stupidly Early Award
Nate: It’s going to happen, and even though it probably won’t happen before the regular season begins, someone is going to lose their job this year. It will most likely be someone who has been with his team a few years, and if there is a God in this universe, the award will go to Norv Turner. Hopefully the Chargers start off 1-6 (LIKE THEY NEVER HAVE BEFORE AMIRITE) and AJ Smith burns the compromising photos Norv has of him and then finally gets rid of him forever.
Ben: Even though Pat Shurmur has barely any talent to speak of and we have no idea if his program is going to work long term, the Browns have new ownership. New owners are famous for pushing for early firings that don’t really make any sense. So after starting out 2-6 and losing to the Ravens and Steelers by a combined score of 87 to 9, Pat is going to be called into someone’s office and be relieved to learn that he no longer has to coach the most hopeless franchise in pro sports.
Preseason Super Bowl Contender Who Will Shit the Bed
Nate: Part of me wants to say the Giants, and I really do think they’ll take a step back this year, but I’m going with the San Francisco 49ers. This is probably still bitterness because of last year’s playoff game, but I also don’t think they’ll run to a 13-3 record like last year, and I think Alex Smith returns to his normal, mediocre self. They’ll probably still win the division, but I don’t think they’ll sniff the Super Bowl. Feel free to bring this up later if I’m wrong!
Ben: Let’s stick with the bitterness theme, shall we? Unlike Nate, I will go with the New York Giants for this one. This is a team that under Tom Coughlin seems to always play well when their backs are against the wall, and they also under preform when much is expected of them. The Giants are already beating the “nobody respects us!” drum to try to convince themselves that they are under dogs, but deep down they know it isn’t true. They are the defending Super Bowl Champs and despite Coughlin’s attempt to make them forget that fact, they will come into the season fat and happy. This is a very talented NFC, and I don’t think they will even make the playoffs.
And now, some boring awards!
The Offensive Rookie of the Year (If RG3 and Luck are both injured all year long)
Nate: One of them will win it, assuming they put up good numbers and help their team win more games than last year which, like, isn’t that hard. If neither of them win it, I think it’s going to go to Justin Blackmon. It’s apparent that Blaine Gabbert thinks he’s the only wide receiver on the team (and considering it’s the Jaguars, he probably isn’t wrong.) Blackmon will probably post decent numbers, nothing in the AJ Green range but enough to make others take notice. And if Luck and RG3 aren’t performing, he could emerge as a favorite for the award.
Ben: I will go with Doug Martin. He was drafted in the hopes that he would outperform the notoriously out of shape LaGarrette Blount and start at half back, and that’s exactly what he did. Doug is a tough smart runner that I think will rush for a thousand yards this season
Nate: There’s no way to make this topic interesting. It will probably be a quarterback, and it will probably be someone who is expected to win it. Either Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. But because I haven’t been a homer in a long time, I’m going with Drew Brees, who will garner attention if his team actually plays well without a head coach.
Ben: The last time a non QB won this award was in 2006, and I don’t see that changing this season. For the first time during these awards I’m going to have to agree with Nate on this one. While Drew Brees might not be in a perfect position to go to the Super Bowl, he is well positioned to win this award. With the entire team in turmoil, and their head coach away from the team for a year, anything close to last year’s output will put in perspective exactly how special of a player Drew really is.
Surprise Super Bowl Champion
Nate: J-E-T-S JETS JETS…HAHAHAHAHAH no, really. I actually kind of like the Bears. They could’ve been a playoff team if Cutler and Forte hadn’t gotten owies in successive weeks. Their defense is still stout, and Brandon Marshall will help the offense a lot. Also, don’t sleep on Michael Bush making that running attack even stronger. A rested Forte is a talented Forte.
Ben: People have been whispering about the Houston Texans being a surprise contender for a while now, but I don’t think anyone actually believes it. But last year they won their division with their two best quarterbacks and their best pash rusher on Injured Reserve. Their best running back and wide receiver, both of which are probably in the top three in the league at their positions, missed multiple games during the year. If their core offensive group is able to stay healthy this year, their balance is almost unmatched. And even though Wade Phillips has no idea what the fuck he’s doing when he becomes a head coach, the minute he becomes a defensive coordinator again he looks like a genius.
Have some more award categories you want Nate and Ben to kick around? Do you find their predictions ludicrous? Let us know in the comments section.