Every January since this blog was created, we here at Dubsism have given an award for achievements during the previous year in some under-recognized categories in the world of sports. In prior years, the nominations for the awards were done exclusively by an internal committee, but we’ve had so much success allowing nominations from the general public that we had no choice but to continue that. .
Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use. Thank you so much for that. When we received an outstanding nomination that proved to be a winner, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it. However, we did also receive nominations on multiple ballots that proved to be winners. If you see a winner that you nominated, and you weren’t credited, just know that you weren’t the only one who had the same idea.
With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the Fifth Amnnual Dubsy awards.
The Mickey Klutts Award for Unfortunate Naming
- Winner: Luca Cunti, Swiss Hockey Player
- Honorable Mention: Cornell University softball coach Dick Blood
Luca Cunti is a Swiss professional ice hockey player who is currently playing for the ZSC Lions in the Swiss-A League. He was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 3rd round (75th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. That only proves my point that the Lightning are the Cunti-est team in the league.
As for Blood…well, that just sounds like something you should see a doctor for.
Previous Winner: Dong Dong, Chinese Olympic Trampolinist
The Bobby Knight Award for Achievements in Dramatic Public Meltdowns
- Winner: Barry Hinson, head basketball coach, Southern Illinois University
- Honorable Mention: Éric Veilleux, head coach of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar
Hinson’s “My Wife” rant is vaguely reminiscent of Mike Gundy’s classic “I’m a Man” tirade, and it is clearly a timeless classic in it’s own right. As for Veilleux, this is pretty much what you would expect if Lou Piniella were a hockey coach. It is understandable in Veilleux’s case; how would you like to be the coach of a team named after a cologne that hasn’t gotten a guy laid since the Clinton administration?
Previous Winner: Morgan Uceny, USA Track and Field
- Winner: The Raider Rusher
- Honorable Mention: Pierre the Pelican
There’s far too much noise being made over mascots a few limp-wristed do-gooders consider offensive, and there are really missing what is wrong with sports mascots. Here’s two perfect examples.
First, there is the Raider Rusher.
There’s a Raiders’ blog out there that sums it up nicely.
The Raiders imagery, full of pirates, spikes and skulls, is commonly of the scary variety, but this is a whole different kind of scary. It is scary bad. I fully understand that the mascot is for a kids show on Nickelodeon, and yet I do not care. This is not an image that should be associated with the Raiders. This is something that Al Davis never would have approved of.
And don’t get me wrong, I am all for the indoctrination of our kids. My nephew is frequently seen dressed in Silver and Black, but since when do little kids not like pirates? There simply had to have been a design available that wasn’t quite so… goofy.
At the end of the day, there is a significantly good chance I never even see the “Raider Rusher” again since I am not one to spend much time watching Nickelodeon, but it still does not feel right. There is a new regime running the Raiders, but that does not mean all of the Raiders ways need to go by the wayside.
Though it is not a very big deal, it is still one of the times when many will wish Al Davis was still running things for the Silver and Black.
Let that sink in for a moment. This mascot actually makes Raider fans long for the return of Al Davis…not the Al Davis who was a crucial figure in the formation of what we know now as the NFL. They want the bat-shit crazy Al Davis who turned the Raiders into the NFL version of North Korea.
Then’s there’s Pierre the Pelican.
Say what you will about a pelican as a major league sports mascot; that’s a debate for another time. Rather, look at this goddamn thing:
I’m not sure if you know what a pelican looks like, but sure as shit doesn’t look like a love child borne of the San Diego Chicken and Jack Nicholson as “The Joker.”
Previous Winner: Bailey, The Los Angeles Kings’ Mascot
The Budd Dwyer Award for Excellence in Career Suicide
- Winner: Former USC head football coach Lane Kiffin
- Honorable Mention: Former New England Patriots Tight end Aaron Hernandez
It’s one thing to get fired, but it is an entirely different thing to get whacked at 2:30 a.m. in a remote corner of an airport. The way USC athletic director Pat Haden fired Lane Kiffin was done as a classic bit of “message sending.” It was a lot like the end of the movie “Casino.” When the boss (Haden) finally had enough of Nicky (Kiffin), he had him driven to a remote part of the airport (the cornfield) where the deed was done (beaten to death with baseball bats).
Make no mistake, this was done for a reason. Guys at a certain level of management have a way of doing things so they never have to say anything. By whacking Kiffin at 2:30 in the morning at the airport, he was telling every other athletic director out there not to hire this guy…and they won’t.
The reason Hernandez didn’t win: the award is for career suicide, not homicide.
Previous Winner: Former St Louis Rams Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams
The Ed Hochuli Award for the Best Call
- Winner: Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee
- Honorable Mention: Former college football head coach Rick Neuheisel
This year, one in which we’ve seen officiating become an exercise in myopic idiocy, finds us having to take the award in a previously untouched direction. This year, it’s time to recognize calls to sports radio, and there’s really not two better examples that the following two calls to the Dan Patrick show.
The first comes from the Monday after the regular season Colts-Broncos game, during which McAfee blew up Denver punt returner Trindon Holliday. During the call to the Dan Patrick show, McAfee revealed that morning he had need ordered to report for drug-testing, the thinking being any punter who can destroy a regular player like that must be on ‘roids.
The second comes from Rick Neuheisel, who is rapidly becoming the “Weird Al” Yankovic of sports, as his rendition of the Marty Robbins country classic which he reworked to tell the tale of Johnny Manziel proves.
Previous Winner: Dan McCarney, head football coach, University of North Texas
The Jason Sehorn Award for Being Completely Overrated
- Winner: The Washington Nationals (nominated by Mrs. Dubsism)
- Honorable Mention: Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin
Let’s be honest, what really needs to be said about a team that was everybody’s sweetheart to contend for the World Series, and finished far out of the running? Probably the same kind of things you can say about an NBA star who can’t hit a jump shot.
Previous Winner: Manti T’eo, Notre Dame Linebacker
The Clinton-Nixon Award for Cover-Up Futility
- Winner: Lance Armstrong (on multiple nominations)
- Honorable Mention: The Tallahassee Police Department
Raise your hand if you thought Armstrong was going down to the bitter end with his denials about doping? Eventually, the smoke got too thick for anymore pretending there wasn’t a fire. In contrast, we may never know what actually happened withe Jameis Winston sexual assault case, and the Tallahassee Police Department did their best to make sure we never will. The only problem is the alleged victim is going to haul Winston, the TPD, and possibly even Florida State into civil court, where there will be plenty of mud-slinging for everybody.
Previous Winner: Former Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton
The Charles O. Finley Award for Achievements in Cheap
- Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars (nominated by Ryan Meehan of Sports Blog Movement)
- Honorable Mention: Dan Snyder, owner Washington Redskins
One of the cardinal symptoms of stupidity is the inability to learn anything from wisdom already acquired by others. If the Jaguars could do so, they would have known that the Cleveland Indians already learned what can happen with cheap beer giveaways. In 1974, the Indians held a promotion called “Ten Cent Beer Night.” It might as well have been called “Solo Cup-Fueled Riot.”
So, because they are the Jaguars, they not only repeated a stupid bit of history, they doubled-down on it. Welcome to the Jacksonville Jaguars free beer promotion. Fortunately, Jaguars football is about as popular as toothaches and ingrown toenails combined, so the odds of a riot at a Jaguars game are about the same as Ellen DeGeneres entering into a legally-sanctioned marriage in Kentucky.
But, all that isn’t even the dumbest part of all this. As the esteemed Mr. Meehan pointed out, “anybody who knows how inexpensive tap beer is knows that for a professional sports team to give away drink vouchers for Old Style and make as big of a deal out of it like the Jaguars did is the definition of pretentious assholery.”
That’s a first-class act in cheap, which is exactly what it took to out-do billionaire Dan Snyder who gave out apples to team employees as a Christmas bonus.
Previous Winner: Matt Shaner, Owner, Pittsburgh Power
The Joe Kapp Award for Being Run Out of Town
- Winner: Former Texas head football coach Mack Brown
- Honorable Mention: Former Cleveland Browns’ head coach Rob Chudzinski
If we could put this year’s winner together with the honorable mention, and if Charles Dickens were a sports writer today, we just might have teh makings of a Dubsism version of “A Tale of Two Cities.” After all, we’re the ones who brought you classics such as “A Star Is Born” and “Oxford-alypse Now.”
The dichotomy is is just too classic. Brown is getting fired because he restored the glory to Longhorn football in the 20 years after the departure of the sainted Darrell Royal. The people who wanted Brown gone forgot about the Fred Akers, David McWilliams, and John Mackovic eras. They also forget that there’s only two coaches who have brought national championships to Texas; Brown and the aforementioned Royal. What this comes down to is the Texas fan base has a “win everything every time” mentality despite Brown’s overall success. Look at Brown’s overall track record.
- 1998 9–3–0
- 1999 9–5–0
- 2000 9–3–0
- 2001 11–2–0
- 2002 11–2–0
- 2003 10–3–0
- 2004 11–1–0
- 2005 13–0–0
- 2006 10–3–0
- 2007 10–3–0
- 2008 12–1–0
- 2009 13–1–0
- 2010 5-7-0
- 2011 8-5-0
- 2012 9–4–0
- 2013 9-4-0
Essentially, Brown got fired for a losing season four years ago because he couldn’t win a national championship in an era when nobody who isn’t in the SEC could. Burnt Orange Nation will regret this firing (and make no mistake, Brown’s resignation was about as voluntary as the push-ups at U.S. Marine boot camp).
In the other city, what do the Browns want? Chudzinski is the third coach in a row they’ve fired after only a season or less. This defines unrealistic expectations even more so that the win-whores at Texas. This is more like the owner of a convenience store who thinks there is an endless supply of people without criminal records willing to work overnights at a glorified gas station.
Previous Winner: Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey
The Bobby Layne Award for Best Performance While Drunk
- Winner: TBS sideline clothes-hangar Craig Sager
- Honorable Mention: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft
Judging from the picture, the man’s taste in clothes is not impeded when inebriated. I just wish I could have been there when he allegedly almost got into a fist-fight with Dan Patrick over a Heisman vote.
Is there anybody Robert Kraft won’t get hammered with? Not to mention, there’s a track record now of people who show up in chummy pics with Kraft becoming murderers…I’m just saying.
Previous Winner: British Olympic Cyclist Bradley Wiggins
The Artis Gilmore Award for Achievements in Hair Boldness
- Winner: Soon-to-be former NBA player Andrew Bynum
- Honorable Mention: Soon-to-be-former New York Jets quarterback Marc Sanchez
Chia jokes aside, all you have to do to see the wacky world that is Andrew Bynum’s hair choices is to do a web search. Enough said
As far as Sanchez is concerned, let’s just say not everybody can pull off cornrows.
Previous Winner: New England Patriots Defensive Back Tiquan Underwood
The Kyle Orton Award for Achievements in Partying
- Winner: Johhny Manziel
- Honorable Mention: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davone Bess
It takes huge balls to walk into a party to which you were not invited. It takes even bigger balls when it is a fraternity party. It takes even bigger balls than that when you are the star quarterback for that schjool’s main in-state rival. That’s exactly what Johnny Football did when he strolled his football-sized ones into a frat party at the University of Texas. Sure, he got kicked out once they figured out who he was. The video is hilarious, but it doesn’t give enough credit to what gutsy move this was.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the case of Davone Bess, those words are printed on a Zig-Zag.
But to be fair, if I had to play for the Cleveland Browns, I’d probably be main-lining bleach by now.
Previous Winner: James Harden of the Houston Rockets for paying that escort $20,000 for her “companionship”
The Vasily Alexseyev Award for Plus-Sized Achievment
- Winner: New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon
- Honorable Mention: New York Jets Defensive Lineman Sheldon Richardson
Colon’s last two years are nothing short of miraculous. Here’s a guy who gets a 50-game suspension for steroids, makes a comeback from that, rips off an 18-win season and get the Mets to give him a 2-year, $20 million dollar contract past the age of 40 and over 300 pounds.
As for Richardson, he became the first defensive lineman to rush for two touchdown in a season since William “The Refrigerator” Perry in 1985.
Previous Winner: ESPN Sideline Reporter Holly Rowe
The Vinko Bogotaj Award For Epic Failure
- Winner: The Houston Texans (nominated by Chris Humpherys of SportsChump)
- Honorable Mention: New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski
The Texans are another team which was everybody’s darling in terms of being a pre-season Super Bowl favorite, but two white-knuckle wins followed by fourteen straight losses put a stop to that.
As for Gronk, the delicate but not-too-bright tight end began the year getting caught on camera wrestling his brother on a Las Vegas stage. Which might not have been the worst thing, except that he had a still broken, surgically-repaired arm at the time. Gronk sat out training camp and the first six games of the season recovering from back surgery. He was cleared to play in week 7 against the Jets, but his comeback lasted just seven games before a season-ending knee injury. At this point, Gronkowski’s medical bills are probably bigger than his contract.
Previous Winner: Los Angeles Kings Forward Dustin Penner
The Joe Theismann Award For Gruesome Injuries
- Winner: Louisville guard Kevin Ware (on too many nominations to count)
- Honorable Mention: Canadian minor-league hockey player Sébastien Courcelles
We all saw Ware snap his shin like a Sunday chicken wish-bone, and let’s be honest…there a reason why the word “Theismann” is synonymous with snapping your leg mid-calf. But there’s also something to be said about getting a new mouth created at the blade of an ice skate.
Previous Winner: Tennessee Titans wide receiver/kick returner Marc Mariani
The Gene Mauch Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley
This award is given annually to somebody who has been around forever, but never won anything as a head coach or player. Simply put, Charles Barkley is the best player of his generation to have never won a championship. From NBA.com
There are four players in NBA history who have compiled at least 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley. But when the conversation turns to the exploits of Barkley, many people think first of the always entertaining, sometimes outrageous running commentary on basketball and life he provided throughout his celebrated 16-year NBA career.
However, as a player he was the greatest anomaly in basketball history. Listed at 6-6, but probably actually closer to 6-4, he played power forward as well as anyone, often dominating players half a foot taller.
Barkley brought vitality, attitude and a host of skills to professional basketball. He was viewed as an oddity — an undersized power forward with rebounding as his only discernible basketball skill — when he entered the league with the nickname “Round Mound of Rebound.”
Undeterred, Barkley quickly buried that backhanded compliment once he began playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. It was not rare to see the neophyte Barkley grab a rebound among a crowd, then rumble downcourt with the ball and finish with a monster slam. In a half-court offense, he could fill the basket from the paint or the perimeter. And on the defensive end, he would play the passing lane for a steal or block a center’s shot.
His awe-inspiring play demanded full respect and earned him a new nickname: Sir Charles.
Previous Winner: Rick Majerus