In a few weeks, the NFL will release their annual awards to recognize brilliant performances by players and coaches. It’s like the Pro Bowl but less boring! We here at the Footbawl Blog wanted to get in on the fun, so we present the Second Annual End of Season Awards! Note that the awards from this year will probably have very few of last year’s categories, because we’re nothing if not wildly inconsistent!
We’re going to get the boring categories out of the way first.
Offensive Player of the Year Award
Nate: The reason these awards are boring is because the media at large has decided these awards by Week 8, and unless the narrative dramatically changes, it’s pretty much unanimous by the end. Well this year, we had one of those dramatic changes, and it was STILL annoyingly boring. It started out as Manning, but Adrian Peterson almost made history, and that makes it nearly automatic for me. Ho hum.
Ben: I tried to formulate an argument against Nate’s choice, but I simply couldn’t. Vikings QB Christian Ponder was bad this year, so bad that going 8 for 17 for 58 yards with one TD and two picks against Arizona didn’t even sound any alarms with that fanbase. When a quarterback puts up brain breaking stats without the support of a running game we hand that player the MVP, so why can’t it work the other way? The Vikings won ten games this year, and that is absolutely incredible. There is hardly anyone to thank other than Adrian Peterson, who deserves this award.
Defensive Player of the Year Award
Nate: This race was between two long, athletic, scary defenders who wear number 99. And I pretty much believed all season long that, as long as both teams kept winning, the player with the most sacks would get the nod. As it turns out, J.J. Watt ended up with one more sack than Aldon Smith, making him the favorite for this award. In other news, if I hear “J.J. Swat” one more time, I’ll give myself a fire poker enema!
Ben: I’m going to go with my second anti-homer pick by selecting a player from my other least favorite NFL team, Charles Tillman of the Bears. While I appreciate J.J. Watt’s domination of several games this year, “Peanut” forced TEN FUMBLES (yes, you read that right) and all three passes he intercepted were taken to the house. He is a great tackler for a defensive back, and frequently changed the course of games this season. My apologies to Charles if in the same package that he received this award he also got a note that just said, “LOL NICE 7-1 START BRO”. These things happen.
Rookie of the Year
Look assholes, we’ve already been through this!
Coach of the Year
Nate: Because we’re so reactionary as a society, it’s hard to remember the job that Bruce Arians did in Chuck Pagano’s stead for the Colts. After all, they’ve already lost this year and are yesterday’s news. But that doesn’t take away the fact that no one expected the Colts to be where they are, and even after they compiled 10 wins on the season, no one really had a clue how they got there. In cases like that, the coach is probably the answer.
Ben: For the second time in this post I have to agree with Nate. Partly because he’s right, and partly because I put it in writing earlier this week than I wouldn’t even hear an argument for anyone else so I kind of backed myself into a corner there. Look, on paper these Colts are average at best; too old in many positions, and too young in others. The fact that a team had this dramatic of a turn around, with the added adversity of their head coach’s bout with leukemia, cannot be credited solely to the quarterback. This was a masterful job by Arians.
Now on to the fun awards!
The Nelson Muntz Memorial “HAHA” Award
Nate: This awards goes to the moment that just makes you happy enough to laugh at someone else. It could be called the Schadenfreude award, but we’re not nearly that cultured. For me, this award belongs to Mark Sanchez for the forever-infamous Buttfumble. What’s great about this moment is not only that it’s hilarious and humiliating, it inspires creativity! TFB reader Matt K has already taken to calling it the more delightful sounding Fumblebum, and I’ve heard other interesting variations such as Ass Sack and the Stupid Sanchez Surprise. It’s wonderful when a football moment makes every asshole a poet!
Ben: When the Arizona Cardinals took the field against the Seattle Seahawks in week fourteen, they saw a team they had beaten in week one of the season. They probably scoffed at the rest of the league for being frightened of a rookie quarterback. And after all, they were the more iconic bird. But then the game happened. Arizona quarterbacks John Skelton and Ryan Lindley combined to go 19 for 39 for 133 yards, no touchdowns, and four interceptions. The final score that day was 58-0, and Ken Whisenhunt most likely starting thinking about his next job opportunity sometime in the middle of the second quarter.
The “Maybe He Wasn’t As Big A Dick As I Thought” Award
Nate: This award goes to the guy who changed my opinion of him as the season went on. It feels like halfway through the season, we had buried Cam Newton as having a sophomore slump, and people were bringing up his sulking as part of the reason the Panthers were playing so poorly. But then he started picking up his play, stopped sulking, and started winning games. That probably makes sense, since he wouldn’t be sulking if he were winning, but to be honest we were too busy loosening up our arms to notice. Yeah, most of all he gets this award for the best commercial of the year.
Ben: There really aren’t a lot of candidates for this award, as my black heart makes it hard for me to change my mind about anyone. But if I had to choose a man it would be Jonathan Vilma. When the bounty allegations first surfaced it sounded like the NFL had an open and shut case against the Saints, and Vilma specifically. As a Packer fan I have not been very pro-Favre the last few years, but I still didn’t appreciate the idea of someone putting money up to encourage an entire defensive unit to cripple a man. At first I thought the Saints linebacker deserved every bit of his suspension, but by the time the dust had settled what we were left with was a grainy video of someone yelling something about money, and egg all over Roger Goodell’s face. More on this later!
The Fantasy Football Where Did He Come From Award
Nate: Doug Martin is a decent choice, but I feel like most people knew he was going to get the bulk of the carries this year. My choice is Alfred Morris, which is painful because he’s the reason I didn’t win money in our fantasy football league. You suck, Ben!
Ben: Upon further reflection, Nate losing to me in the fantasy playoffs should have been my Nelson Muntz award. Alfred Morris is my choice for this category as well. When the season started he wasn’t even the starter, and by the time the year ended he had broken the Redskins single season rushing record. Unlike Doug Martin, or almost anyone else you could bring up for this prestigious honor, I will almost guarantee he wasn’t drafted in your league. In your face, Raby!
The Fantasy Football Where Did He Go Award
Nate: There were a lot of disappointments this year, but I think the biggest disappointment that I saw with relation to his draft stock was Mike Vick. He was drafted in the first couple of rounds by a couple of people I played with, and he gave nothing but pain both to his fantasy owners and himself. He was injured for some of the season, but when you get benched for 6-TD-in-6-weeks Nick Foles, how can you not be labeled an extreme disappointment?
Ben: Unfortunately you don’t get any extra fantasy points for making stupid faces, which makes Philip Rivers my biggest disappointment of the year. Rivers was drafted highly in basically every league on earth, and while his numbers were better than Vick’s he was so wildly inconsistent that in some ways he hurt fantasy owners more than players who were downright terrible the entire year – at least those players stayed on the bench. In the modern day NFL, a quarterback of his stature (whose team has that little of a running game) has no excuse for not putting up four thousand yards.
Suckwad of the Year
Nate: The moment we’ve all waited for. This award goes to the person who has exemplified suckwadness all year long. He’s embarrassed himself. He’s embarrassed the league. He has pissed off the entire fanbases of several teams, and he has never once put himself in a position to show weakness or accept responsibility. Ladies and gentlemen, my one homer pick of the night, Roger Fucking Goodell! Seriously, name me a bigger suckwad, Ben.
Ben: I would like to break the trophy apart and send a tiny piece to every single replacement referee that we had to deal with for the first few weeks of the season. Yes, I realize it wasn’t their fault that they were put in that position…but between asking players for autographs mid game, not knowing what down it was, awarding too many timeouts, marking off penalties incorrectly, AND NOT KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INTERCEPTION AND A TOUCHDOWN FOR FUCK SAKE (okay so maybe this is a homer pick for me too), these officials didn’t do themselves any favors. It was a reminder that no matter how much we complain about our current referees, it could always be worse. It could always be a lot worse.
Anymore categories you want the boys to hand out awards for? Let us know in the comments section.