The "Punters are People Too" Award: Michigan Punter Blake O'Neill
Rich Eisen popularized the phrase "punters are people too", in order to give some love to the nonathletic and foreign on the football field: the punter. The punter is a unique species of athlete and character, particularly if you're Australian or a 3rd round draft pick from Cal. Blake O'Neill during the game against Michigan State had the highest of highs (????) and lowest of lows: an 80 yard punt, and then muffing a snap that lead to one of the craziest finishes in college football history as well as a slightly more epic Sean McDonough voice crack. The good news is, you didn't become an internet meme like shocked Michigan fan guy did. Speaking of memes:
The "Arthur Fonzarelli Award for Shark Jumping Excellence": The Crying Jordan Meme
Once the internet at-large latches on to something, good luck stopping that runaway freight train. The origin of this inane meme isn't even from 2015, but you sure as hell wouldn't know it for all of the times you've seen it. He's been photoshopped on the head of basically everyone, including animals for some reason. At least it was funny... until October. Then, the meme became enshrined on a cake. Even Fonzie is trying to dust off his old jet-ski now. Then again, he probably wouldn't totally screw up how memes is pronounced like Bryce Harper did. (What the hell is a Mehme? Ottoman? Turkish? Drunk?)
The "Is Paul Wall Still Relevant" Award: Tom Herman
As I'm writing this piece out, Herman's Houston Cougars are boatracing the Florida State Seminoles in the Peach Bowl. He promised his team that if they won the American Conference this season, he'd get fitted for a grill. Which he did. Apparently it's 2004 again and I've been transported back in time. Does this mean the Jaguars are somewhat decent again? I'd take that. Not so sure about the 2004 Presidential Race though.
The "What does Hubris mean" Award: Chip Kelly
After his "famous" power-struggle with then Eagles GM Howie Roseman, Kelly won total control of the Eagles franchise on the football side, including player personnel decisions. And he promptly took a team that won the NFC East in 2013 and was close to doing so in 2014 to a dumpster fire in 2015, and he's fallen on his sword because of it. Turns out giving megalomaniacs total control and power isn't a wise idea, Jeff.
The "Subtly Racist Faux Controversies" Award: Jose Bautista's Bat Flip and Cam Newton's Dabbing
If you are old, impressionable, sheltered and white, you may just want to skip over this award. Jose Bautista's bat flip and Cam Newton's dabbing both became faux controversies because apparently in sports you aren't allowed to celebrate doing well. Even the notoriously buttoned up Canadian fans were going bonkers over Jose Bautista's bat flip which probably landed in Mimico. EVEN DON CHERRY APPROVED OF IT. And on the subject of Cam's TD dances, I've already eviscerated Nashville's finest already, so go take a look at that if you haven't already. That lady is probably ringing in the New Year with Owl City, a prayer circle and O'Douls. Avoid that party like the plague.
The "Rich Kotite Award for Coaching Excellence": Jose Mourinho
I guess he got sick of being serenaded with "you're getting sacked in the morning" at every ground he traveled to. Or, he really wanted to have his name misspelled by an overzealous and overeager Manchester United fan on a bootleg scarf. Either way, from champion of England to the butt of jokes across the globe, Jose Mourinho won't be celebrating the New Year on Roman's yacht just outside of Monaco, I'd guess. How do you think that conversation over a glass of champagne would go?
The "Strange Brew" Award: Jake Anderson, UVA Club Hockey Goalie
"Strange Brew" is a film for die-hard hockey fans, wannabee Canadians and Canadians who have absolutely no shame. Jake Anderson is not Canadian (at least that I know of). But, he certainly acted like it here:
Rivalry game, unruly frat bros and a Keystone Light. The perfect combination.
The "NFL has too much Power and Influence" Award: Luke McCown's Verizon Commercial
Since when did backup QB's not named Tebow get commercial time? Apparently Luke McCown earned it because... he's not Josh and playing in Cleveland? He's not Cade McNown? He won a game starting for the Jaguars once that nobody outside of me remembers happening? Verizon is really desperate? An ad executive was drunk?
The "Uniform Promotions Gone Badly Wrong" Award: The Bakersfield Condors "50 Shades of Grey" Uniforms
Let nothing more need be said.
Your trophies are in the mail. No refunds.