What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
It’s oldest tradition we have here at Dubsism…every January since this blog was created, we 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. In fact, in previous years, we would publish these on New Year’s Day. But we received close to 70,000 nominations, and beleive it or not, we read every goddamn one of them. But it means you are reading this blog, and thank you so much for that.
More detailed information on last year’s winners can be found here.
With that, and after careful consideration, here are the winners of the Eighth Annual Dubsy awards.
The Mickey Klutts Award for Unfortunate Naming
Poe was last year’s honorable mention, and there simply was no way we were going to let his career pass without honoring this bit of naming excellence. Poe’s namesake, the famed 19th century writer, was no football player, but he was a cadet at West Point until one morning when he showed up for morning formation in only his dress gloves. We can only hope Poe the wide receiver ends up playing for the Baltimore Ravens, as the end of the jokes would be “nevermore.”
Then there’s matter of Weston Steelhammer. Could there be a better name for a guy with a penchant for completely destroying opposing ball carriers? He’s got the suspensions to prove it.
As for our Honorable Mention…Homer Simpson said it best…
Previous Winner: Guilherme Crabogiale Fuck, Forward, Medicine Hat College Men’s Basketball
The Bobby Knight Award for Achievements in Dramatic Public Meltdowns
God bless Jim Mora. We need to start the “Rant Hall of Fame,” and Mora needs to be in it’s introductory class. Just when you thought you couldn’t top classic meltdown like “Diddly-Poo” and “Play-offs?!“, we get this bit of televised treasure.
There’s a bit of importance in this rant. It takes the confrontational feel of Herm Edwards’ prototypical “You play to win the game!“rant and sharpens it’s point for dick-wacks like this blow-dried talking head. By even asking such a question, it’s clear this guy does not understand the fundamental component behind competitive sports…WINNING.
Let me put it another way. Athletes at levels beyond high-school don’t get scholarships or get paid to play. They get paid to prepare. You could find no shortage of guys who would love to play on Sundays, and the thrill of playing would be enough for them. But when you tell those same guys they have to spend hours in the weight room, running wind sprints, and sticking to strict nutritional guidelines, and that they wouldn’t get paid to do it, you’re suddenly going to come up short on bodies.
That’s why winning matters; it’s the pay-off for all the hard work and time spent preparing. That’s why I’ve always said that I can tell the difference between somebody who played sports and fans and/or media types who didn’t within seconds of listening to them. They almost always give themselves away with statements which make it clear they don’t get it.
That brings us to our Honorable Mention…Nick Kyrgios’ display illustrates what Edwards and Mora meant.
The worst thing you can do is sports isn’t losing. It’s quitting.
Previous Winner: “Phyllis From Mulga”
They’re all winners, but they’re a little something extra in the guy at 0:15 who goes full-on “Karate Kid” on the kid he just blew the fuck up.
Previous Winner: Jaxson De Ville, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Budd Dwyer Award for Excellence in Career Suicide
Literally, as we were counting the nominations, Trent Baalke got fired… and for good reason. Now that he’s done in San Francisco, we’re willing to bet he’ll never get another top-level management job in the NFL. Just look at his key “accomplishments:”
That’s the resume of a guy who will be selling washing machines at Sears by this time next year.
As for Lochte, he showed us a special kind of stupid. It’s bad enough to lie about a criminal act, it’s unforgivable to do it in front of a security camera which will instantly disprove your story. Lochte fired the figurative shotgun into his own mouth when falsely claiming that he and three other American swimmers had been pulled over and robbed at gunpoint by assailants carrying police badges in Rio during the Olympics.
But then, surveillance video and a police report emerged which told a significantly different story. Instead of being “robbed,” Lochte and his compatriots were actually being detained at gunpoint by security personnel for vandalizing a gas station bathroom. Having been exposed as little more than a lying, two-bit punk, Lochte lost sponsorships and endorsement deals, and considering the fact Americans only care about swimming once every four years, it’s a safe bet his proverbial “fifteen minutes” are over.
Previous Winner: Jeffrey Sirois, former Girls Soccer Coach, E.O. Smith High School
The Ed Hochuli Award for the Best Call
While Cubs fans across America were busy auto-eroticizing themselves during the run-up to, and subsequent victory in this year’s World Series, Chicagoland native, life-long White Sox fan, and Dubsism favorite Frank Kaminsky reminded us all with this fine bit of trolling.
When it comes to trolling, there’s really no such thing as “too soon;” this being exemplified by this sign displayed at Virginia Tech in advance of October’s match against Miami.
Miami Marlins’ pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident just a month before this, which is why it deserves mention. It pissed off a lot of limp-wristed social jtice “I’m offended at everything” types, which was exactly what it was intended to do. I hope all the “do-gooders” in the world never figure out that it is their electronic hand-wringing which makes shit like this go viral.
Previous Winner: John Elway, head dude with the Denver Broncos for finally benching Peyton Manning
The Jason Sehorn Award for Being Completely Overrated
It’s about time somebody said it. LeBron James IS NOT the best player in the NBA anymore. Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying he isna’t a great palyer, Casual fans who don’t watch the NBA on a daily basis are the ones keeping that myth alive. No matter how you slice the Most Valuable Player debate, there’s no denying that if one were building an NBA franchise from scratch, there’s a pretty damn good list of players real NBA fans would take over James (in alphabetical order):
You can try to make an argument with me about James, but there’s one thing you can’t deny. He’s in his 15th NBA season; his prime years are behind him. Every guy on that list is either in his prime or has yet to hit it.
Then, there’s the matter of Ronda Rousey. It was so nice to see 2016 end with this woman getting her come-uppance, and by that I mean the beat-down that sends her back to obscurity. For purposes of full disclosure, I’m not a MMA fan; I simply can’t watch it because it’s little more than human cock-fighting. But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand it. I have a significant background in both judo and tae kwon do, and I was huge boxing fan until it’s death a few years back. That means while I’m no expert on MMA, I can tell who can fight and who can’t. Ronda Rousey always struck me as little more than a media creation, a bully, and an idiot.
In the ring, her fights always looked to me like the old “bum of the month” club; a old boxing practice where a fighter was matched up against opponents they knew weren’t very good in order to make another fighter look better. It was pretty clear there were multiple parties involved that were interested in the development of Ronda Rousey, Inc.®, from Dana White and his organization to the media outlets for starters. He wanted a bankable female star, and as the myth grew, her fights fetched a pretty penny on pay-per-view. I’ll bet you the good people at Buffalo Wild wings loved the sales on nights she was knocking out yet another club fighter.
As far being a bully, not only did she make her bones on those goofy stare-downs at weigh-ins, she also threatened to beat up Justin Bieber…yeah, that really happened. Top it off with the fact that she was a Bernie Sanders supporter…politics aside, you have to be seriously uninformed to think his socialist nonsense had any merit considering how many places in the world where it’s already failed. In any event, it matters not since we’ve seen the last of her.
Previous Winner: Rob Gronkowski, Tight End, New England Patriots
The Clinton-Nixon Award for Cover-Up Futility
While the incident at Hillsborough happened over 25 years ago, it was not until April of this year that the true nature of the cover-up was exposed.
In 1989, Liverpool faced Nottingham Forest in the semi-final of the FA Cup in a match held at a neutral site; Hillsborough, the home ground of Sheffield Wednesday’ in South Yorkshire. That day, 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death when stadium officials and police charged with event security allowed an uncontrolled flood of supporters into one end without any control measures. People were trapped against fences intended to separate fans of opposing teams as “hooliganism” was a big problem in European football in the 1980’s.
This event was clearly a result of police negligence, but they were able to construct a narrative which blamed Liverpool fans for creating the stampede which caused the deaths. This was easy to do at the time as the Heysel Riot, started by Liverpool fans, was only four year past at this point. The best depiction of this tragedy comes in the form of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary which outlines the incident, the cover-up, and probably will leave you with a genuine sens of pissed-off at outlining how victims families have had to fight for decades in the courts to clear the names of their dead.
Those families were vindicated in their quarter-century by the findings handed down in April of the Goldring coroner’s inquest. It returned a verdict that “the supporters were unlawfully killed due to grossly negligent failures by police and ambulance services to fulfill their duty of care to the supporters.” The inquest also found that the design of the stadium contributed to the crush, and that supporters were not to blame for the dangerous conditions. Several police official were suspended in the wake of this verdict, and many civil lawsuits are now pending.
Now, for a cover-up more like what we would expect in sports. This year saw Maria Sharapova go from talented role model to disgraced athlete after her use of a banned substance and her weak excuse for doing so, which ironically could have used a performance enhancement. The fact she tested positive for meldonium at this year’s Australian Open completely obliterated the Russian star’s public perception. What made it worse is she tried to explain that it was to fight the possibility of diabetes. Yeah, whatever.
The sports community called “bullshit” on that as well. Former World Anti-Doping Agency president Dick Pound called her “reckless.” Former tennis pro Capriati called her an outright “cheat.”
Previous Winner: Sepp Blatter, former FIFA president
The Charles O. Finley Award for Achievements in Cheap
At first, the story about the Florida Panthers firing head coach Gerrard Gallant centered on how they wouldn’t even give him a ride to the airport. It turns out that story was not exactly correct; the Panthers did in fact offer to get a car service for Gallant, but he didn’t want to wait for it to arrive, and hailed a cab outside the arena. Now, when you stop and think about it, if the Panthers knew they were going to fire the guy, why not have the ride to the airport waiting so you can avoid this while situation in the first place?
Because they probably didn’t want to pay the nickel per minute for waiting time. How cheap is that?
The Doug Whaley situation was most accurately covered by our contributor The Unknown Blogger:
Just look at how he’s [Doug Whaley] handled the Tyrod Taylor situation. At first, Whaley says that Taylor isn’t playing this Sunday because the team wants to avoid a clause in his contract which guarantees Taylor $30 million if he suffers a “significant injury.” Then we discover that Taylor is actually injured, and is headed to Philadelphia today to see a specialist for what is being described as a “groin/sports hernia issue.” Here’s the thing. Whaley could have just put the guy on injured reserve for the final, meaningless game of the season and nobody would have said a word about it. But no, Whaley had to make himself, his organization, and his owner look like of bunch of cheapskate dickweeds. That kind of incompetence should tell you all you need to know about Doug Whaley.
Previous Winner: AFC Bournemouth, English Premier League
The Joe Kapp Award for Being Run Out of Town
Just as in the previous award, the situation of both these gentlemen was described in a collaboration piece between J-Dub and The Unknown Blogger. The difference is if the rumors are true that the Swansea players nick-named the American Bradley “Ronald Reagan”…well, that’s just seriously awesome.
Previous Winner: Pep Hamilton, former Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator
The Bobby Layne Award for Best Performance While Drunk
Normally, we wouldn’t touch a story like Miller’s but this guy is such a nuclear-powered piece of shit, we thought he makes the best non-Kaepernick example of what a bunch of fucktards the San Fraancisco 49ers are. From Bay Area NBC:
San Francisco 49ers tight end Bruce Miller was arrested on assault and battery charges on Monday after police say he punched a 70-year-old hotel guest in Fisherman’s Wharf, which later resulted in the organization cutting ties with the five-year veteran.
The 49ers tweeted Miller’s departure at noon, just about 30 minutes after he was booked at the San Francisco County Jail.
San Francisco Police Officer Grace Gatapandan said a drunk Miller went to the Fisherman’s Wharf Marriott on Columbus Avenue about 2:45 a.m. Monday and tried getting into a hotel room that wasn’t his.
A 70-year-old man opened the door and told Miller he was in the wrong room, Gatapandan said. The elderly man’s son, who was staying next door, also came out to tell Miller he was in the wrong place, which is when the 248-pound, 6-foot-2 player rushed at the 29-year-old son, police said.
The 70-year-old father came to his son’s defense, Gatapandan said, and Miller punched him.
Both father and son were taken to the hospital, she said.
Miller was found across the street at a Travelodge, where front desk manager Dinesh Shrestha told NBC Bay Area he found the former fullback in jogging pants and a tank top, alone, vomiting and bleeding from the head outside the hotel in a stairwell. Miller was alone at the time and told Shrestha that “he was good.” But Shrestha called 911 anyway.
At the time, Shrestha didn’t know that Miller was an NFL player.
“He was drunk, really drunk, and he was bleeding,” Shrestha said. “I took him a paper towel, but he said, ‘No, I don’t need that.'”
Online records show Miller was arrested on charges including assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of making criminal threats and battery. His bail was set at $178,000 and, as of Monday afternoon around 2 p.m., the former 49er was allowed to leave the jail through the back exit.
As long as we are showing examples which explain what train-wrecks some franchises are, if you had to a name a football team which wouldn’t surprise you to find out they have booze on team flight, would the Cleveland Brown be high on your llist? Yeah, ours too…
From Fox 8 Cleveland:
Browns offensive lineman Alvin Bailey was arrested on several charges including drug abuse and operating a vehicle under the influence of liquor early Monday, and he told police he started drinking alcohol on the team plane ride back from Miami Sunday evening.
North Royalton police said an officer clocked Bailey driving 50 miles per hour in a 35 miles per hour zone on W. 130th Street near Valley Parkway just before 1 a.m. Monday.
According to a police incident report, Bailey pulled his pickup truck into the Metroparks Paw Paw picnic area, where he parked diagonally across two spaces and got out to work on his truck’s lift kit suspension system.
According to the report, Bailey appeared not to notice the police officer and cruiser with flashing lights because he “ignored commands” to return to his truck, appeared surprised when he finally saw the officer and stated, “I didn’t see you.”
The report states Bailey, who lives in North Royalton, slurred his words and “his eyes appeared to be bloodshot and glassy.”
Officers found marijuana inside the truck along with flakes and residue in several containers including a lock box, according to the report.
Police said Bailey failed several field sobriety tests and registered a blood alcohol level of .147, nearly twice the legal limit of .08.
According to the report, Bailey told officers he “consumed several whiskey drinks on the plane ride home from the game in Miami.”
After the plane landed around 8:45 p.m., Bailey said he continued drinking for several hours at the Strongsville Panini’s before leaving to go home.
It is against team and league rules for players to drink alcohol on the team plane and it is subject to discipline. The Browns made the NFL aware of the incident, and Bailey will be subject to the personal conduct policy.
The Browns organization did not yet address specific questions from Fox 8 News about how alcohol would be obtained on the team flight.
Question#1: Who gets drunk and decides they need to work on their truck in the dark in a parking lot?
Question #2: How much says this guy has Johnny Maziel’s digits in his phone?
Previous Winner: Steven Anderson, Drunk Zamboni Driver
The Artis Gilmore Award for Achievements in Hair Boldness
Since I don’t know anything about high-jumping, I can’t say if maybe there isn’t some sort of aerodynamic advantage to the half-beard. But, I do watch a lot of soccer, and I can tell you, there’s no benefit in the “Ferris Bueller In The Shower” mohawk.
Previous Winner: The kids shown in this video from last year’s Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament
The Kyle Orton Award for Achievements in Partying
You’ve probably heard of party buses. You’ve probably heard of party boats. But this past winter , Rob Gronkowski took that to a new level…the party ship.
Fans could buy tickets for a four-day long party cruise with Gronkowski and friends. The ship featured live music, and booze included with the price. The Gronk party ship featured 13 bars, 12 restaurants, multiple spas, a casino, and a bowling alley.
While Sebastian Janikowski has mellowed with age, there’s really no way we can’t acknowledge what the guy has accomplished. When a porn star calls you a world class party animal, it time to tip you cap and acknowledge greateness.
“We were driving one time in the Navigator, I was driving, and he was smoking a cigarette outside the window or something,” she explained. “He was hanging out singing Nelly, and all of a sudden the next thing you know the inside of the car’s on fire. He dropped the cigarette down into the side panel of the door and all these papers are on fire. He takes them, throws them all out the window and says, ‘Fuck it. Keep going.’ And that was it.”
This woman partied with a bunch of guys known to go hard; John Daly, Michael Irvin, this year’s winner Gronk, and even the award’s namesake Kyle Orton. But Brooke Haven made it clear Janikowski was an absolute maniac.
Previous Winner: Former Major League outfielder Pat Burrell
The Vasily Alexseyev Award for Plus-Sized Achievement
Football players would give no end of ribbing to a guy who got trucked by a kicker, but what if that kicker outweighed most linebackers?
OK, my fellow plus-size guys. Raise your hand if you ever snapped a belt. Now, raise your hand if you ever did it trying to crush a knuckleball.
Previous Winner:Ben Ancheff, Pitcher, St. Thomas University (Florida)
The Jamie Moyer Award for Excellence in Geriatrics
What else can you say about a guy who becomes the National Hockey League’s second all-time leading scorer at age 44? As of this writing, he’s played for 8 teams, skated in 1,668 games, notched 756 goals, 1,136 assists for a total of 1,892 career points, behind only the “Great One” Wayne Gretzky himself.
Not many people get to know what winning a World Series is like. Even fewer know what it is like to do it twice. But how cool would it be to win a World Series by being the oldest player to hit a home run in not just any Game 7, but the one that clinched the Cubs first championship since 1908?
Previous Winner: Bartolo Colon, Pitcher, New York Mets
The Vinko Bogotaj Award For Epic Failure
If it weren’t for the NFL, the NHL would be the most-tone deaf league out there when it comes to it’s fans. John Scott’s path to the 2016 NHL All-Star game was the shining example of that. For one weekend in February, the NHL’s All-Star Weekend became the John Scott Show…and the NHL wasn’t smart enough to embrace it.
If you don’t know, John Scott was the definition of “journeyman NHL player;” and he got that far largely on the fact that he had fists like bone and flesh sledgehammers. Little more than a designated goon, Scott became the focus of a fan effort to vote a less-than-talented player into the All-Star Game as a joke at the league’s expense. What started as a harmless prank quickly became a tale of assholery overcome by the power of the common man.
The fans do their part by voting Scott into the All-Star Game. Then the tone-deaf NHL ignores the fans by trying to force Scott out on the bullshit excuse that his presence “would ruin the sanctity of the All-Star game.”
Puh-leeze. It’s an exhibition game FOR THE FANS! And it was those very fans who created such a backlash, which set the stage for Scott to become the story of the entire NHL season. It became clear once Scott arrived in Nashville for the All-Star weekend who was the main attraction. Scott was continually showered with cheers and ovations during the skills competition. The entire experience would have been an incredible one if it stopped there, but it didn’t.
As the leading vote-getter, Scott served as the captain of the Pacific Division All-Star team. Scott was clearly enjoying every second of it, and the journeyman enforcer rose to the occasion. He earned the respect of the fans by being the star of the show. From laughing at Patrick Kane getting booed, to staging a mock fight with Kane during the game, to taking a shot in at Jeremy Roenick who criticized Scott’s inclusion in the game, and topping it off by scoring a pair of goals, that’s what pushed the raucous cheers for Scott all weekend long.
It’s what caused the near-riot when, after his two-goal performance in the game, the NHL picked Roberto Luongo, Taylor Hall, and Johnny Gaudreau as the three finalists for the game’s MVP. Scott’s Pacific team went on to win the tournament to take home the $1 million grand prize. His performance was nothing short of miraculous when you consider Scott had a single multi-goal game in his entire career. That’s why the NHL had to do a quick “about face” and name Scott the MVP even though they didn’t name him as a finalist.
Another part of the problem was part of the process was a fan vote on Twitter. Somehow, the NHL seemed surprised that an internet-based campaign designed to get Scott into the game in the first fucking place might result in another to get him the MVP award he deserved. Naturally, the Twitter votes became a John Scott landslide, one aided by the fact that a number of NHL teams got into the act by flooding the internet flooding support, just as they had done get him in the game initially.
When we talk about our Honorable Mention, this year’s runner-up is really an example in stupid. What other way can you describe what Jeremy Sprinkle did? Arkansas gets invited to a bowl game sponsored by a big department store chain. As a player, Sprinkle got a “swag bag” filled with almost $500 worth of department store goodies, then he got caught in one of the sponsor’s stores stealing exactly the same kind of stuff he just got el free-bo.
Sprinkle is a senior, and he has certainly NFL-level talent, which begs the question. Is it possible to be dumb enough to get a negative score on the Wonderlic test?
Previous Winner: Purdue University
The Joe Theismann Award For Gruesome Injuries
Brian McGrattan is the classic hockey enforcer; a slugger who makes his living with his fists. As the old adage goes, he who lives by the fist dies by the fist, and when I first saw this video, it sure looked like Daniel Maggio of the San Antonio Rampage killed McGrattan in this fight.
This was a year for people who look like they died live on camera. I watched this poor woman’s accident live during the Olympics, and this short video doesn’t really do justice to how awful this looked in real time.
There’s longer videos on Youtube where you can see how long Van Vlueten lies face-down and motionless in that gutter. Feel free to go watch them on your own if you like squirming.
Previous Co-Winners: Canadian Curler Brad Gushue and Saudi Arabian Soccer Player Emad Sahabi
The Gene Mauch Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Marv Levy, Former Head Coach, Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills fired Rex Ryan last week. At age 91, former head coach Marv Levy said “he might consider taking the job.”
His sense of humor is one of the reasons we love Marv Levy. Most people remember him for losing four straight Super Bowls, but we here at Dubsism will always remember Levy’s acerbic wit. For some reason, hearing somebody being told to “shut up” sounds so much more astute coming from a guy with an M.A. in English History from Harvard.
Levy’s first NFL job came in 1969 with the Philadelphia Eagles. The next year, he moved across the country to join George Allen’s Los Angeles Rams staff as the special teams coach, and he followed Allen when he left the Rams for the Washington Redskins the next season.
Levy’s first head coaching gig came in 1973 when Levy became coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. He led them to three Grey Cup appearances and two championships in five seasons, but since the CFL doesn’t count for our purposes, he still qualified for this award.
Levy returned to the NFL in 1978, this time as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City never reached the playoffs under Levy, but they improved in each of his first four seasons. They peaked at 9-7 in 1981 before falling to 3-6 in the strike-shortened 1982 season, after which Levy was fired.
After this, Levy chilled for two season before coaching the USFL’s Chicago Blitz in 1985; that league’s last year of existence. The following year, the Buffalo Bills hired Levy as head coach midway through the season. The Bills were in their another of their “dumpster fire cycles,” slogging through consecutive 2-14 marks in 1984 and 1985. But 1986 would prove to be a fortune changing year in western New York, because there would be a fortuitous meeting in Buffalo between Levy and another ex-USFLer; future Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly.
The rest as they say…was history. The “up” cycle in Buffalo began.
Within two seasons, the Bills reached the AFC Championship Game in what would be the first of six consecutive playoff trips, a streak that was capped by four straight Super Bowl appearances. We all know about the Maxwell Smart “missed it by that much” moment with the just-wide Scott Norwood 47-yard field goal attempt against the New York Giants. Had that kick not missed, not only would Levy not be eligible for this award, but the entire history of the Bills franchise might be very different.
Jim Kelly hung up the spikes in 1996, and the following year Levy did the same, having taken the Bills to the playoffs 8 times in his 11 full seasons. When he retired, Levy was 10th on the list of career coaching victories with a record of 143-112, complete with the aforementioned four consecutive AFC Championships.
Previous Winner: Frank Beamer