The NFL closed the door on its regular season this past Sunday, with the New York Giants defeating the Dallas Cowboys on national television to secure the last available playoff spot. It was a wild season that saw the revival of football in places like Cincinnati and Detroit. We saw the meteoric rise and inevitable unraveling of Tim Tebow in a span of eight games. Carson Palmer is on the Raiders now. Santonio Holmes hates Mark Sanchez. Ndamukong Suh decided to Nstomp a guy on Thanksgiving. The Packers almost went unbeaten, and the Colts almost lost them all. (Not to mention both streaks ended the same week.) This was the first full season without either Terrell Owens or Randy Moss since 1995. What the hell is going on? Instead of giving awards based on the normal guard (MVP, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, etc) I am going to make some of my own up, and award them as I see fit. I would like to also accept all of these awards on behalf of whoever I decide to give them to. Thank you so much, me.
Most Times Responsible for a Play Ending in My Audible Laughter – Mark Sanchez, QB (NYJ)
Let me be the first to tell you, I do not like the Jets. I would never allow that to cloud my journalistic integrity though, and simply want to let you know I find the way Sanchez plays quarterback hilarious. It’s like he’s blindfolded, or at least not wearing his contacts. He throws a football like how Jackson Pollack threw paint, which is to say completely reckless. He is on the cutting edge of new and innovative ways to be intercepted. I actually felt bad for the Jets fans this weekend after watching them lay an egg against Miami, and that’s saying quite a bit. Can’t have it all, Mark. No one that pretty can be good at football.
Best Crossover between Player and Candy Company – Marshawn Lynch, RB (SEA) and Skittles
The story goes that when Lynch was younger, his mother would give him Skittles when he scored a touchdown. They’ve proven to be worthy motivation for Lynch, author of some of the burliest touchdown runs you will ever see in your life, and owner of a breakout season for an otherwise punchless Seahawk offense. He even had a pair of custom Skittles themed cleats made, for which he was promptly fined $10,000 for violating the leagues uniform policy. I imagine Skittles would be willing to pick up the tab given that they’ve gotten far more than $10,000 worth of exposure over the stunt, but I’m sure Lynch can afford it himself. When reached for comment, the snarky Red M&M scoffed and muttered “Skittles are such attention whores.”
The hahahahahahaha jk Award for Surprise Fast Starts Leading to Epic Free Falls – The Buffalo Bills
It’s no secret I’m a Bills fan. I have to admit if you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention. The season started well enough, going 4-2 before the Bye week and following with an exclamation 23-0 win over the Washington Redskins. They proceeded to lose their next seven games. This included four divisional loses to Miami and New York, and an absolute ass-whippings from Dallas and San Diego. Ryan Fitzpatrick overthrows receivers like it’s his job (it’s not), Fred Jackson got hurt (bummer), and the defense survived on big play interceptions and rarely made stops when it counted. Oh by the way, all the hand wringing about the team relocating to Toronto or possibly Los Angeles continues to haunt the good fans of Western New York.
How Do You Call A Guy A Cancer Without Actually Saying He’s A Cancer Award – Albert Haynesworth, DE (NE/TB)
I’ll let the statistics speak for themselves on this one. Tampa Bay was 4-4 with wins over divisional rivals Atlanta and New Orleans under their belt when they signed Haynesworth. They finished the season with eight straight losses to finish 4-12, ultimately leading to the firing of head coach Raheem Morris. Tampa was looked at as a young team on the rise, but expectations following a fluky 10 win season proved to be too great. They gambled on a player known to have a reputation for dogging it, and it’s hard not to say the young roster followed suit.
What Ancient God Did You Piss Off Award for Bad Luck – Gary Kubiak, Head Coach (HOU)
Imagine you’re Gary Kubiak, and you’re the head coach of the Houston Texans. There’s a lot of hype surrounding your football team, and you’re trying to save your job and qualify for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Season starts, but NO your starting star running back Arian Foster is hurt. Ok, well weather that storm, back up Ben Tate does well enough. Then your franchise quarterback Matt Schaub goes down for the season with an injury. Then his back up, party boy Matty Leinart goes down almost immediately with a broken collar bone. Oh, and your star wide receiver, Andre Johnson, he’ll only appear in seven games. But that’s ok, third string QB TJ Yates isn’t half bad! Except that he appeared to injure himself in the season finale, and we saw the corpse of Jake Delhomme under center. The Texans wrapped up the division early, and almost needed to the way they finished the season. Makes you wonder what kind of Native American artifact Kubiak might have unknowingly dug up and now displays on his desk.
Bro of the Year – Rob Gronkowski, TE (NE)
DUDEBRO, my man Rob was hella clutch this season! First of all, he was like totally hanging out with this porno chick all showin’ off his killer six pack. Oh man, check him out! YEAH GRONK! SWAG OUT BRAH! But like on a serious note bro, he was bustin’ heads all over the football field setting a record for touchdowns by a tight end! People we all like “Noooo!” but my man Gronk was all like “YEAAAHHH,” and shit.
Troll Move of the Year – Stephen Tulloch, LB (DET)
So 2011 saw the advent of what Gawker has dubbed “position crazes.” You know, planking, horse-manning, owling, Batmaning, and other ways for 20 somethings to waste time between rounds of Pabst and their latest cloak of irony. Tim Tebow decided to kneel down in prayer following a touchdown run and spawned an immediate sensation dubbed Tebowing. Of course, the problem with playing QB in the NFL is that defensive players sign contracts stating they more or less intend to remove your head so given the opportunity. Since they can’t *actually* do that, you can imagine a good bit of trollin’ would certainly go in its place. Leave it to Stephen Tulloch to actually sack Tebow, and then strike a Tebow next to him as he writhes on the ground. Honorable mention to Stevie Johnson of the Buffalo Bills, who trolled Plaxico Burress by scoring a touchdown and pretending to shoot himself in the leg ala Plax in da club.
Muliplicity Clones of the Year Award – Matt Cassell/Jay Cutler/Matt Schaub
Which one is a brown haired caucasian quarterback for a Midwestern franchise that was having an OK year before his team lost him to a season ending injury? Cassell, Cutler, and Schaub are that person. Hell two of them are named Matt! Kyle Orton is excluded from this list because of…
The FUCK YOU! of the Year! – Kyle Orton defeating Tim Tebow and the Broncos in Week 17
Earlier this season, the Denver Broncos were faced with a dillema. Orton was named the starter over Tim Tebow under the presumption that Orton gave them the best chance to win. After a slow start the team refocused, and decided that they would rather give Tebow a shot and cut Kyle Orton. Orton asked for his release, hoping to reunite with the Chicago Bears, who drafted Orton after their starter Jay Cutler was lost for the year. The Kansas City Chiefs claimed Orton instead, and was brought in to replace THEIR injured starter Matt Cassell. (See what I mean about the Clones award?) Anyways, the Chiefs played Tebow’s Broncos in the final week of the season, and won. Orton won the game, and he did it the only way he knew how: by playing really shitty and lucking out to win 7-3. It must have been the hardest game of offensive football to watch since they began wearing modern helmets.
That concludes our awards this season. I’ll be back at the end of the basketball season to make up some more awards and make fun of Darko Milicic.