Awards season always brings a sense of accomplishment to the year’s happenings; a confirmation of the good, bad, and ugly that we’ve all witnessed. Sometimes this results in the acknowledgement of incredible performances (J.K. Simmons in Whiplash still gives me chilling nightmares) a lifetime of achievement (The Bus rolled into Canton this year), or discovery of the quirky and new (I don’t care if I said it last year – I still hate Arcade Fire). Mostly though, it is a celebration of greatness, highlighting the best of the best and the most worthy of holding a tiny, genitalia-less statue.
This is not that kind of awards article.
Each year, I hand out my awards, the MJs, if you will (I will), and they tend to go to a motley crew of NFL players, coaches, and sometimes, fans that got my attention this year. Typically, this is not a good thing. But, as luck would have it, I am doing pretty well this year, had a couple big wins this past weekend, and I am in a good mood. Does this mean I will be all sunshine and rainbows today? Of course not. But maybe there is a slightly less amount of vitriol than normal.
So without further ado, let’s once again roll out that soiled remnant carpet square, a weathered member of the Joan Rivers family tree, and begin.
Darwin Award for Most Creative Way to End Your Season – Wes Welker (preemptive)
What in the name of all that is holy are you doing Wes? When I saw the news last night, I cringed. Remember those ads back in the day with a scrambled egg and the ominous “this is your brain on drugs” message? Yeah, that’s the kind of commercial that needed to be playing in the Welker household before he sat down to sign papers to enter back into the NFL. Perhaps the most concussion-prone wide-receiver in the past decade, going to a team that plays mostly indoors, with a QB who has no problems being just inaccurate enough over the middle to hang out his receivers to dry. Need more? Your new city is being sued after Reggie Bush tore his ACL on the concrete track that surrounds your playing field.
I refuse to watch any St. Louis games from here on out, because frankly, I don’t want to see someone’s head explode in live action.
Thankfully, I don’t think anyone even brings cameras to Rams games anymore.
The Kicking, Screaming, and Drooling Your Way to the Retirement Village Award –
Once upon a time, these two fogies were top picks of the fantasy draft and guaranteed to help you win a championship. If they are on your squad this year however, they have guaranteed you a lifetime of split pea soup and soiled bed linens. Much has been written about Peyton’s decline, and we’ve all at some point this year witnessed his wounded goose throws to no one. But have you actually tried to watch Roddy White play? He has been saying he is frustrated with his role in the offense, and if you have watched him, so are you. Because he doesn’t even deserve the looks he gets and somehow, because of the grandfather clause, he is still suiting up every week.
These two geriatrics have given us enough performances this year to fill up a colostomy bag. Flush ‘em if you got ‘em.
The “I Promise I Won’t Get Hurt If You Draft Me” Award – Arian Foster
The nominations were long for this category, as Tony Romo, Jamaal Charles, and Carlos Hyde all presented convincing arguments to take home the MJ award. But it has to go to Foster. Look, if you drafted him at the beginning of the year, when he was hurt, you knew you were taking a risk. But you also figured, “hey, what are the chances he gets healthy and then hurts himself again” right? Then, when you answered yourself with “a pretty high chance, MJ” you started drinking heavily right? And then, when the draft snaked it’s way back around to you, and Arian Foster was still on the board, you figured: “I mean really…he won’t hurt himself a second time. He’s tough” and took another swig or twenty from the bottle and somehow convinced yourself that your scouting coach, Mr. Jamesons, was astute and forward-thinking and good life choices were made as a result.
Unlimited Potential, Limited Achievement Award – Matt Jones
I develop crushes. It’s always been a problem for me ever since I realized that it was possible for someone to have a crush on me in return. Way back in middle school, there was a girl that I really liked, and, much to the surprise of pretty much anyone who had ever met my nerdy self, she liked me back. But see, her parents didn’t want her to have a boyfriend, and truly, I didn’t even know what it was like to have a girlfriend, so we kind of nixed the whole idea before it ever got off the ground. But she always held a special place in my heart, and, years later, she met and married one of my best friends, who happened to be the guitarist in my band. While I was happy for them both, I spent many years wondering what might have been.
This is my current relationship with Matt Jones. I am not going to let him get away. Yes, apparently Jay Gruden doesn’t trust Jones to be out on the field, or to date anyone without his supervision. But I am sticking by patiently and waiting until next year, when he extends Jones’ curfew and gives him a bit more freedom. You aren’t stealing my crush this time, Jason Copsey.
The Boom-or-Bust Lifetime Achievement Award – Tavon Austin
Can you get a lifetime achievement award with only a few years in the league? Of course you can; this is my awards show and I do what I want. Austin has become the exact player I never want to own in any league: unbelievably explosive at times and an unbelievable pain the tookus the rest of the time. Do you have any clue when he is going to break a 70-yard end around? Me either. It’s like trying to predict when the next Tyler Perry movie will come out. You know it has to be in the works, but you’ve heard nothing about it, and as soon as you forget about it, BOOM! Madea is all up in your face swinging a broom. Or whatever happens in those movies.
The “He Is Dead To Me” Award – Matt Ryan
This is also an incredibly large category, filled with great candidates all around. I cannot even count the amount of emails, texts, and conversations I have had with fantasy players who have uttered this phrase to me this year, usually referring to a player that they KNEW not to trust, picked up anyways, and were greeted with the exact same shameful performance that they had expected to begin with. Since Peyton Manning already has one award this year, and I have no interest in discussing Jimmy Graham here, it looks like the default winner is Matt Ryan, who has frustrated owners for years now. Listen, when you lose to Blaine Gabbert and the 52 junior varsity players that wear San Francisco jerseys, you deserve to get some sort of crappy acknowledgment in my column. Here it is Matty Ice. Enjoy.
The “I Am Buying His Jersey Today” Award – Jeremy Langford
A favorite of this column, Langford came in last night, replaced the injured Matt Forte, and won a lot of games for a lot of fantasy players last night. He won me $ in DFS. He let one of my loyal readers, Dan, beat the reigning champion of his league last night by ½ a point, and looks like a surefire, top-ten keeper prospect for 2016. Before this week, I will guess there weren’t a lot of Jeremy Langford jerseys sold outside of the Chicago area. Today, the orders are lining up.
The Midseason All-Injury Team
QB – Tony Romo
RB – Le’Veon Bell
RB – Jamaal Charles
WR – Keenan Allen
WR – Steve Smith
TE – Julius Thomas
Flex – Arian Foster
K – Nick Folk
And in my league of record, I’ve owned five of them this year. Nick Folk, you are lucky I pulled out a win this week without your help. Things were going to get ugly if not.