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. This was the first year we allowed nominations from the general public. Between our committee and our valued readers, we had more quality nominations than we could ever possibly use. However, in cases where we received an outstanding nomination, we made sure to recognize those who submitted it.
With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners for the 2011 Dubsy awards.
The Mickey Klutts Award for Unfortunate Naming
Winner: Chicago Bears fullback Tyler Clutts
We really had no choice but to go with a guy so closely named as the award’s namesake. After all, whether you are an infielder – or in Tyler’s case, a fullback – you still have to handle the ball, and being named for a ten-thumbed oaf just can’t help.
Honorable Mention: St. John’s forward God’sgift Achiuwa
This may be my favorite college basketball name since God Shammgod played for Providence back in the 90′s. Its gets better when you consider Gods’gift has three brothers named Promise, Precious, and God’swill; and two sisters named Grace and Peace.
How is this unfortunate? Because you just know there is some English Lit major working at the St. John’s campus newspaper dying to make all sorts of poet-geeky John Milton/Paradise Lost jokes the minute the Red Storm lose.
We also have to give a shout out to the many of you who nominated both Doug Fister and Charlie Furbush. If only this had been the “Beavis and Butthead” award…
Previous Winner: Gregor Fucka
The Bobby Knight Award for Achievements in Dramatic Public Meltdowns
Winner: UTEP basketball head coach Tim Floyd
Floyd exemplifies the type of rage that was shown by the award’s namesake. The February loss by UTEP to C-USA foe East Carolina would normally have been unremarkable except for Floyd’s award winning performance, in which UTEP racked up five…count ‘em, five… technical fouls.. Two coaches were ejected and Floyd himself had to be escorted off the court by the cops. The video is priceless; things get fun at the 1:23 mark…
Honorable Mention: Coastal Carolina Head Football Coach David Bennett
The ability offer this kind of wisdom explains why Bennett is the reigning Big South Coach of the Year. In an attempt to get his team jacked up for an upcoming game against rival Catawba College, Bennett uncorked a wonderfully deranged theory on the relationship between cats and dogs.
Previous Winner: Former Cubs’ manager Lou Piniella
The Bevo and Ralphie Award for Mascot Buffoonery
Winner: Scorch, mascot for the Boston Blazers
I had no idea wearing a big, fuzzy head while cheering on an indoor lacrosse team made one a
chick skank magnet. Apparently, its the prime way to get lap dances during an intermission. Who knew?
By the way, you can’t tell me the expression on the mascot’s face isn’t completely perfect…you can tell inside that suit there’s a Blazer Boner.
Honorable Mention: The University of Minnesota’s Goldy Gopher
Honestly, who amongst us hasn’t wanted to shit-hammer a mascot? Since I can’t really improve on the oddities of this story, I’ll just give you the raw details from from the Minnesota Daily:
An irritated fan punched Goldy Gopher in the face during a men’s gymnastics meet Saturday night at the Sports Pavilion.
During the meet, the University of Minnesota mascot sat behind Douglas Dokken, 60, and started “messing with him,” witness Barry Colthorpe said. Goldy tapped Dokken on the shoulder and ruffled his hair.
First of all, why is a mascot hanging out at a gymnastics event? Secondly, who knew anybody showed up at gymnastic meets? Thirdly, who knew the gymnastics crowd were such ass-kickers?
Colthorpe said Dokken was ignoring Goldy’s antics, but within a couple of minutes, he snapped, turned around and punched Goldy in the face.
Goldy froze, but within moments of the first punch, Dokken wailed another, forcing Goldy to leave the area…Goldy immediately talked to his supervisor and the police officer who was already stationed at the event. He is not reported to have been hurt, but the mask was damaged.
So, it seems somebody did know how dangerous the gymnastics crowd can be since there was already a cop there. But who knew mascots had supervisors? How does one become a mascot supervisor? Don’t you think maybe the mascot supervisor should have stepped in when it became clear his mascot was clearly pissing off somebody’s grandfather?
Security personnel arrested Dokken as soon as the meet finished. Dokken was issued a citation for disorderly conduct and a trespass warning banning him from the Sports Pavilion and Williams Arena for a year, University police Lt. Troy Buhta said.
They should have given him a medal. I hate that freakin’ Gopher.
Previous Winner: Alphie the Wolf (University of Nevada)
The Budd Dwyer Award for Excellence in Career Suicide
Winner: Former Washington Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman
Jim Riggleman felt he deserved better. Perhaps he did; that’s open for debate. But no matter the reason, giving your boss an an ultimatum is never a good idea.
Rigs wanted a contract extension from the Nationals, and general manager Mike Rizzo remained very stand-offish about discussing it, so much so that Riggleman demanded a meeting to finalize such an agreement minutes before they club was leaving for a series in Chicago.
That was bad decision number one.
Riggleman compounded that by forcing Rizzo’s hand – “either schedule a meeting with me or I quit right now.” He may as well just shot himself in the face.
Granted, Rizzo didn’t help matters any, after all Rizzo didn’t even have the stones to tell him “you’re not our guy” to his face. Not to mention, from an organizational leadership perspective, sending a message to your people that you don’t care about them is far worse than anything Riggleman did. Despite that, Riggleman is the one who brought things to a head at an incredibly inappropriate time, did so in a manner that really didn’t allow his boss any choice other than to be extorted, and placed his own concerns above those of a team with which he was engaged in contractual obligation.
That was bad decision number two; the fatal one.
As badly as Mike Rizzo handled the situation, Riggleman committed career suicide inasmuch as it bodes badly for a man in a leadership role to walk away from a commitment to his team over over what is essentially a disagreement with his boss. This is why Riggleman will never manage in the major leagues again.
Honorable Mention: Former Chicago Bears Wide Receiver Sam Hurd
This guy screwed up two careers because one of them happens to be rather illegal.
In mid-December, Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd was taken into federal custody after he tried to set up a huge drug deal with an undercover agent, buying a pound of cocaine from the agent. The 26-year-old Hurd allegedly was interested in buying 20 pounds of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana a week to distribute in the Chicago area. Hurd was cut from the Bears after his arrest, and then was released from federal custody after posting a $100,000 bond. Hurd faces up to 40 years years in prison if he is convicted and receives the maximum penalty for the alleged crimes.
Previous Winner: Former Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins
The Ed Hochuli Award for the Best Call
Winner: The Signs of the #OccupyGameDay Movement
ESPN sucks. The Dan Patrick Show rules. The signs are awesome.
Honorable Mention: Leslie Frazier, Minnesota Vikings head coach (submitted by Ryan Meehan, who is so freaking funny he writes for more blogs than we can mention)
Frazier gets this Dubsy simply because he was the first credible guy to confirm what the evil little troll known as Mike Shanahan figured out one trade too late. Donovan McNabb is washed up (Andy Reid doesn’t count because he was too wrapped up in the Kevin Kolb/Michael Vick wet dream).
Previous Winner: A guy holding a sign at a hockey game which said “Are you pregnant, Ref? Because You’ve missed two periods!”
The Jason Sehorn Award for Being Completely Overrated
Winner: Kim Kardashian
Kardashian, shown here in a rare instance of only cupping one ball.
If it weren’t for the fact she keeps notching her lipstick case with B-list jocks, we’d have no need to pay attention to her. We’d have no reason to care about those who think she is the hottest thing on two legs.
Forget for a minute that she’s had more athlete meat than every sorority in the SEC combined. If she really were the hottest woman on the planet, what’s she doing marrying some D-list hump like Kris “I Wish I Were The SportsChumphries, Not The HumpDashian” Humphries? Not to mention, if we are to believe the rumor mill, she left that 7-week marriage because she had an itch only Reggie Bush can scratch.
For a C-list guy, Reggie Bush must have some serious trouser magic. After all, so far he’s dicked an entire university, two NFL franchises, and the biggest butt this side of Jennifer Lopez.
But, I digress. Honestly, it’s not like she’s hideous; give Joe Namath a few drinks and he’d probably want to kiss her too. But let’s be even more honest – I could easily name at least 50 women I’d rather know in the biblical sense than anybody named Kardashian.
Honorable Mention: Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo
There’s two ways to look at this. You can either believe it took a sham of a marriage to keep a Dubsy out of Romo’s hands, or you can believe this is just another example of Romo not being able to win at ANYTHING. Either way, you can’t be surprised that Romo’s name pops up here, considering he’s “waiting to live up to his potential” for eight years now. Face it, the guy is 31 years old, which statistically places him the back half of his career. It also means we’ve seen his potential. He’s mediocre at best, he’s not going to get any better. Deal with it.
Previous Co-Winners: Tim Tebow and LeBron James
The Clinton-Nixon Award for Cover-Up Futility
Winner: Former Penn State President Graham Spanier
Spanier with one of this awards namesakes at Penn State landmark The Creamery.
I’ll be honest, there were a ton of nominations for the Penn State and Syracuse sex abuse scandals in some other categories for Dubsy awards. This meant the awards committee had some hard choices to make.
First of all, J-Dub recused himself since he is a Penn State alum. Then it became a question of whose behavior was really award-worthy. Besides, his views on this matter are already on record.
Secondly, the only award child-raping monsters like Jerry Sandusky and Bernie Fine deserve are heavy, blunt ones which are swung into their skulls leaving fatal wounds.
Then it became a question of people who lost their jobs as a result of these situations. The Budd Dwyer Award for Excellence in Career Suicide is really about sticking the gun in your own mouth, not getting fired for the actions of others, even if you covered up those actions. Besides, if you are a dinosaur like Joe Paterno or Jim Boeheim, it doesn’t matter how your job ends; you aren’t getting hired anywhere else because you are OLD.
The Penn State situation unfolded as it did because of two key components. First, there was the prerequisite for this category; the cover-up. Even if you don’t believe the grand jury testimony which led to the filing of the charges, the Sandusky trial eventually will draw out the details of who knew what and when they knew it; a trail which ultimately ends at Spanier.
Moreover, it is the manner in which Spanier handled this situation when the news broke about the charges being filed against former assistant Jerry Sandusky, athletic director Tim Curley, and vice president Gary Schultz. Simply stated, it was the worst handling of a crisis I’ve ever seen.
If you recall, the news broke about the indictments on a Saturday afternoon. At this point, none of the heinous details were readily known and the news cycle wasn’t really going to pick up any traction with this until the following Monday. That’s the key to all of this; the reason why the Penn State story blew out of the sports section and onto the front page and the story at Syracuse didn’t.
Spanier called a press conference on Sunday afternoon. This was stupid move #1, because it sent up a big, red flare there was a panic breaking out amongst the Penn State administration. Stupid move #2 came during that presser; the moment when Spanier offered the table-pounding defense of Sandusky, Curley, and Schultz, going so far as to use the now-fatal phrase “unconditional support.” Those two words allowed every news commentator on the planet to portray everybody at Penn State as having not a single interest in the well-being of the victims. Once that genie was out of the bottle, it was never going back, and an entire university now bears a mark of shame due to the actions of a few stupid self-preservationists.
Honorable Mention: Former Ohio State Head coach Jim Tressel
I hope the irony isn't lost on you, Jim.
The whole reason why this award is named for the two most recent presidents who are arguably most remembered for their cover-ups, because nobody seemed to learn the lesson about the cover-up being worse than the crime. To mix metaphors, the bottom line is that the shit always hits the fan when the cat gets out of the bag.
Don’t forget, this whole thing at Ohio State started over some tattoos and memorabilia. If Tressel had come clean at first, he’d still be wearing red sweatervests. After all, the NCAA didn’t even kick him or the players out of the Sugar Bowl last year when this story first broke. In fact, they only imposed a sanction which didn’t kick in until the following season.
That can only mean that the punishment wasn’t going to be that severe, so Tressel might as well have just bitten the bullet. Even after the fact, Ohio State only loses a handful of scholarships and one year of post-season suspension. He would have never…repeat NEVER…been fired if he had just told the truth.
Previous Winner: Former USC athletic director Mike Garrett
The Charles O. Finley Award for Achievements in Cheap
Winner: The Tampa Bay Rays (submitted by Chris “Don’t Call Me Kris” Humphries from SportsChump, one of the best sports blogs out there that isn’t this one. In fact, it just won one of those Salvadoran-style web elections).
This one really doesn’t take long to explain. The Rays have been been a contender for the last four season without spending any money. In fact they were the catalyst for the collapse of the big-money Boston Red Sox despite having the 29th payroll in baseball.
Honorable Mention: Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling
If you ever needed a poster-child for the fact the evidence the NBA Lockout was a screw-job designed to benefit about 10 owners and the top 5% of players in terms of income, Donald Sterling is your poster child.
Sterling bought the Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million, and today that team is worth somewhere in the $400 million dollar neighborhood. That waaaay outstrips the value indexed against inflation, so Sterling has made a ton of money on a team that has been little more than a league bottom-feeder for three decades.
My favorite example of what a cheap bastard Sterling is: When then-Clippers’ head coach Kim Hughes needed surgery for prostate cancer in 2004, Sterling refused to pay for an out-of-network procedure, leading Yahoo! Sports blogger Kelly Dwyer to brand him the “worst person in the world.” The bill of $70,000 was paid by some current and former Clippers players, including Corey Maggette, Marko Jaric, Chris Kaman, and Elton Brand.
Previous Winner: The Pittsburgh Pirates
The Joe Kapp Award for Being Run Out of Town
Winner: Former Boston Red Sox Manager Terry Francona
Terry Francona is the perfect example of why Boston sucks not only as a sports city, but as a collection of human beings. Instead of running him out of town over some bullshit about guys misbehaving in the clubhouse, they should have built a statue of him. After all, this guy did something twice in a few years that NOBODY had done in 86; bring a championship to one of the most undeserving franchises in all of sports.
Never marry a Bostonian. The minute you do, you open your world to a never-ending litany of excuses, not to mention you can spend years providing a lifestyle better than they had before your arrival, then the minute the ebbs flow, you are yesterday’s newspaper. Every single Boston-born sports fan out there has an “ex” they dumped because they got sick, lost a job, or generally did anything that didn’t work to some Bostonian piece-of-crap’s advantage.
Honorable Mention: Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley (submitted by Bobby Charts, a member of the Sports Blog Movement and a blogger whose work I highly recommend).
Here’s another case of a guy who inherited a team that was a dog-initiated steaming coil on a winter sidewalk, and with veritably no support from management took that coil into the playoffs. The collapse that followed this year had nothing to do with Haley. How did anybody expect this guy to win with this team living through the “digging out from under Charlie Weis” effect, especially after Matt Cassel got hurt?
Previous Winner: Former Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen
The Bobby Layne Award for Best Performance While Drunk
Winner: Former U.S. Ski Team Member Robert “Sandy” Vietze
“Former” is the key word here. After all, who knew getting drunk on a flight and peeing on somebody’s kid would get you A) punched in the face, B) arrested, and C) kicked off the ski team?
Cue “quote gold” in 3…2…1…
“I was drunk, and I did not realize I was pissing on her leg,” he is quoted as saying.
Time for more honesty…who amongst us hasn’t gotten bombed and peed on somebody?
Honorable Mention: The Unnamed Eustis High School football player
Why do these stories always happen in Florida? From the Orlando Sentinel:
Several Lake County school employees including two coaches are under investigation as to whether or not they allowed a Eustis High School football student to play when he was drunk.
The district would not confirm whether the student was in fact drunk, but said a student was disciplined after a preliminary investigation.
The word is that this unnamed player drank beer before the game, so much so that he was visibly intoxicated, complete with slurred speech and even a barf or two. Despite that, it is alleged that the coaching staff knew he was drunk but put him in the game anyway.
Previous Winner: Indianapolis Colts’ punter Pat McAfee
The Artis Gilmore Award for Achievements in Hair Boldness
Winner: Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasly
Uhh, Mike, I don’t care if you are 6’10″ and 240 pounds…headbands and braids are for CHICKS. Now, either go get a MAN’S haircut, or get your kibbles clipped and play for the Minnesota Lynx.
Honorable Mention: Oakland A’s Outfielder Coco Crisp
There’s something special about the power of the afro, but we do have to appreciate the sense of tradition in baseball with Crisp’s straight-up shout out to Oscar Gamble.
Previous Winner: Troy Polamalu
The Kyle Orton Award for Achievements in Partying
Winner: Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki
Forget that Nowitzki is about two dribbles from passing out. Forget that he is wearing a woman’s earring. It’s more important what she’s wearing…his t-shirt. Let’s be honest, women don’t wear the clothes of men from which they haven’t a sampling of his “low post” moves…
Honorable Mention: New England Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett
It’s called dedication. Forget that you have a reputation for being a party animal. Forget the fact that reputation cost you some serious money when you plummeted in the draft. A man has to stick by his principles, even if that means getting piss-drunk during your rookie orientation. According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, Mallett stayed up “all-night partying” during the NFLPA Rookie Symposium in July.
Previous Winner: San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum
The Vasily Alexseyev Award for Plus-Sized Achievment
Winner: New England Partriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork
This is a new award named for the recently-departed greatest superheavyweight weightlifter the world has ever seen. While many of his records have since been broken, he remains the only competitor to set 80 of them. Despite his 50-inch waistline and proclivity for 36-egg omelettes, Alezseyev is one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen, and this award will be given annually to another big guy whose done big things.
Wilfork not only did a big thing for a big guy to do, he did it twice within two weeks of each other. First, he gets an interception and returns it 30 yards against the Chargers, then two weeks later does literally the same thing, just with a slightly shorter return. It is a feat for a defensive lineman to get one interception in his career, let alone two in two weeks. But the fact that Wilfork actually piled up close to fifty total return yards without consuming the contents of every oxygen tank in the stadium in nothing short of miraculous.
Honorable Mention: Fox Sports’ Tony Siragusa
Let’s be honest, we have to give props to anybody who breaks down the blow-dried, make-up wearing barriers in sports broadcasting, especially when that guy gets close to four full scale spins and looks so much like an extra from The Sopranos he actually was one.
The Vinko Bogotaj Award For Epic Failure
Winner: The NBA Owners and the Player’s Union
Seriously, a pox on both their houses. This became an epic failure the minute the league started canceling games. Make no mistake, both sides were responsible for this train-wreck.
The owners plotted this for two years. Now, you have to give them credit for devising and carrying out an effective strategy, but the fact they were out to recoup the store they so stupidly gave away the last time speaks to their collective idiocy.
Meanwhile, the players spent so much time sitting around with their thumbs up their asses they never bothered to prepare themselves for what was coming. Nobody from the players side seemed to understand they were going to have the weak position in the negotiations, and nobody did anything to fix that. They had more than one opportunity to win the PR war, but they never realized it.
I could go on all day about how both sides acted stupidly on their own, but that takes a lot of delving into details about a war that already over. Instead, lets’ look at how they acted stupidly together.
First of all, there was the Jonestown-like Kool-Aid march into a stand-off. For two sides quibbling about money, don’t you think that strangling the sole revenue source (games people pay to see) is about the dumbest thing they could do?
Then, there’s the complete screw-job both sides laid on the fans. If you got lost in picking sides, you got suckered. Did you ever once hear anybody that mattered in that whole debate say anything about the impact on the fans?
Honorable Mention: The Boston Red Sox (submitted by Lauren from Too Soxy for My Shirt, a wonderful blog for all the angst that comes with being a Red Sox fan)
How can you not mention blowing a nine-game lead in September? This team, which was supposed to be to be-all, end-all for American League baseball, ultimately couldn’t even beat the sorry-ass Orioles with their playoff lives on the line.
Previous Winner: Xavier guard Dee Dee Jernigan
The Gene Mauch Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan
This award is given annually to somebody who has been around forever, but never won anything.
Jerry Sloan resigned as the head coach of the Utah Jazz on February 10, 2011. Before then, he was the longest-tenured head coach in American major league sports with their current franchise once Tom Kelly stepped down as manager of the Minnesota Twins in Major League Baseball in 2001.
Sloan has one of the all-time great resumes for a guy who never won a ring. Sloan is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. NBA commissioner David Stern called him “one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history.” Sloan had a career regular-season win–loss record of 1,221–803, placing him third all-time amongst NBA coaches. He was only the fifth coach in NBA history to reach the 1,000 victory milestone, and he is the only coach in NBA history to record 1,000 wins with one club; the Utah Jazz. He also coached for one team longer than anyone in NBA history, having manned the Jazz bench for 22 seasons.
In all that time, Sloan led the Jazz to 15 consecutive playoff appearances from 1989 to 2003. That makes him one of only three coaches in NBA history with at least 15 consecutive seasons with a winning record; Pat Riley and Phil Jackson being the other two. He led Utah to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, but lost to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls both times. After all that, it isn’t as astonishing that he never won an NBA Championship as it is that he never once won a Coach of the Year award.
Previous Winner: Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant