For the last 2 years, I've sent off the year with awards to honor (or dishonor) the accomplishments of many and the failures of many more. And now, for the 3rd year running, I present the Year-End Awards in hope that they will continue to rise in prestige (even though awards don't mean much anymore).
The "George Steinbrenner Award for Ownership Excellence": Vincent Tan and Dan Snyder
Until the Boss finally broke the Yankees hoo-doo in 1996, the stories about his ownership made Yankees fans wonder "why us?" Tan and Snyder have made the fans of their respective clubs have the same thoughts. With his shirt tucked in and sunglasses over his eyes so no one could read his blank expression, Tan has become a symbol of the pitfalls with English football's growing acceptance of foreign ownership, and has made the Bluebirds a sickly red color. Dan Snyder has owned the Washington Redskins for a long time now, but business acumen doesn't always mean a good sports owner, and this season was another that blew up in Dan Snyder's face, as it seems to always happen. His prized QB benched, his prized team name under assault from all angles, and his prized ego thrown into the same approval rating as Congress; it's all gone wrong for Snyder again this season. 2 different continents and leagues, and the same ownership excellence.
The "Rich Kotite Award for Coaching Excellence": Jason Kidd
Fresh off a great NBA career, Mikhail Prokhorov decided to hand the keys to his Ferrari to Jason Kidd, who in this analogy has just passed his driving test. Complete with a roster of aging stars and overpriced veterans that only the Yankees and Redskins could love, Kidd has made a mockery of a franchise that used to only muster 3,000 fans to Brendan Byrne Arena in the past. And the best part: They have no first round picks until the end of the decade! I must assume this Ferrari is one of the F50's that turned out to be massive flops.
The "Narrative is a B****" Award: Tony Romo
He plays "heroic" in a game against Washington that his Cowboys needed to win to keep their playoff hopes alive after a collapse for the ages against the Packers that only fanned the flames more... and then it's revealed that he needs season-ending surgery on his back forcing him to miss the Cowboys 3rd straight NFC East Title game. If Kyle Orton does somehow win this game against Philadelphia, Romo will never have to give this award back. It's a perfect size for his mantle, too.
The "M. Night Shymalan Award for 'New Ideas' that are actually tired tropes by now' in Sports": The Boston Red Sox Playoff Beards
Playoff beards were all the rage in Boston this October, as was the phrase "Boston Strong". While the latter was a rallying cry for a city recovering from a horrible tragedy, the former was just something that every hockey fan on the planet laughed at. "Oh wow look at their beards, they're so huge" cried everyone who has not watched a Stanley Cup playoff game in the last 30 yards. And Shea Weber still has you beat Mike Napoli.
The "Chivas Award for absolute incompetence in running a sports franchise": Chivas de Guadalajara and Chivas USA
Giving this award to one of the namesake franchises is bad enough, but for the longest time at least one of them was somewhat competent. The Guadalajara outfit has now become as bad if not worse than the one in LA with approximately 2 fans. Chivas USA's insistence on "returning to their Mexican roots" not only got them lawsuits and a scathing piece on HBO's "Real Sports", it got them this award. Jorge Vergara's reluctance to spend actual money while his main rivals from Mexico City became not only the dominant force in club football, but the saviors of the Mexican National Team has Vergara being criticized from all sides, including me.
The "I can't even think of a namesake for this award honoring boredom": The Detroit Red Wings in 24/7
In a segment of the fantastic HBO Show 24/7, the Detroit Red Wings were eating at a restaurant and talking about their great player in Pavel Datsyuk. Well... it sounded kind of... forced. The Red Wings have been tagged as a boring team, and this segment certainly didn't help matters.
The "Money Can't Buy You Happiness" Award: New York Knicks
James Dolan... That's all that really needs to be said.
"The ButtFumble Award for most hilarious moment of the year": Mike Smith and the ButtGoal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88FwDoxgsao Enjoy the madness for yourself.
So those are the awards for 2013. No one tries to win them, but they should be honored that they're honored at all. I hope no one tries to win them next year.