Thursday, July 07, 2005

Nil Indigne

At long last the definitive sports awards show you’ve all been waiting for. The ESPYS are but mere table scraps compared to the sublime awards show known simply as Wolf’s Nipple Chips. And now our host, Thine Holy Hand Grenade *queue thunderous applause*

Oops, I broke it again…over the years far too many athletes have had potentially brilliant careers marred by injuries. Sadly, some of the unfortunates are also some of the most decent human beings in sports. So, in order to honor the shining stars that bore crutches instead of records here’s the best of the gimps. Terrell Davis, Grant Hill, Ken Griffey Jr.
The Golden Wheel Chair goes to…Jr. was on pace to break Hank Aaron’s 745 home run mark but injuries started derailing Griffey in ’99 and he hasn’t been the same player since. Once the unquestioned best player in baseball, Junior played with an abandon that ultimately led to a fractured wrist, bad knees, and shoulder problems.

Dammmmnnnnnn…I was innocently watching Monday Night Football in 1985 when I saw Joe Theisman’s leg snap like a dry twig. It was one of the most horrific injuries in sports history. But it’s not the worst. The nominees are…Clint Malarchuk, Hasim Rahman, Gerald Wilhite.
The Bloody Crutch goes to…with all due respect to Theisman; Clint Malarchuk had a skate open his jugular vein in a hockey game in ’89. Blood jetted out onto the ice and several players actually threw up. Yes Wilhite’s leg spun 270 degrees and Rahman had a lump on his head that looked like a pulsating alien cocoon but Malarchuk nearly bled to death in front of 17,000 people.

Bet you can’t eat just one…Evander Holyfield still has the chunk missing from his ear courtesy of Mike Tyson. Who can forget Holyfield recoiling as Tyson chomped down on the cartilage, tearing a not-so-small piece out of the ear, and spitting it out onto the canvas? I guess we should feel lucky Tyson didn’t chew and swallow. This category is Tyson’s alone and as such he receives the Pile o’ Raw Meat awarded to such luminaries as Alfred Packer, Jeffrey Dahmer, and the Donner party.

My head won’t fit through the door…there are egos and then there are egos. Professional sports athletes naturally have to possess a lot of confidence but some go beyond the pale. This is a salute to the egomaniac in all of us. The nominees are…Terrell Owens, Barry Bonds, Kobe Bryant.
The Globe of World Dominance goes to…Barry Bonds has always fancied himself the next Willie Mays and Kobe did single-handedly orchestrate the departure of Shaq and Phil Jackson but Terrell Owens had the balls to call out his own quarterback after he was on the receiving end of nine catches for 132 yards in the Super Bowl. Now Owens is demanding a pay increase even though he stands to make over $7 million next season and is one of the highest paid receivers in football. When a man who plays the most dependant position in sports disses the man responsible for getting him the ball (as he did with Jeff Garcia & Donavan McNabb) you almost have to stand in admiration of the hubris necessary to bite the hand that feeds.

Delusions of adequacy…how many times have we seen over-hyped athletes burn out or not live up to the lofty heights predicted by others and themselves. So, to honor those who are woefully overrated we present the nominees…Derek Coleman, Keyshawn Johnson, Ryan Leaf.
The Fickle Finger of Fate goes to…Charles Barkley once said that Coleman was the most physically gifted basketball player he’d ever seen. The only thing that stood between Coleman and legendary status was that abscess that resides atop his neck.

Where’s the love?…some athletes fly under the radar yet have brilliant careers. Here’s to the underrated and forgotten…Curtis Martin, Steve McNair, Joe Sakic.
The Golden Thumbs Up, Way Up goes to…he’s compiled ten straight seasons of 1000+ yards and sits at forth all-time on the NFL rushing list. Only Emmett Smith, Barry Sanders, and Walter Payton have more career rushing yards than Curtis Martin. He is the ultimate warrior who’s been the most consistent back in football for ten years. All hale Curtis Martin and remember him for such unassuming athletes are rare indeed.

I’m Velvet Jones…athletes have been notorious for their off-the-field exploits and have hooked up more often than Warren Beatty and Benjamin Franklin combined. Only rock stars can match the carousing of professional athletes. The nominees for the biggest slut puppies are…Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Mike Tyson.
The Red Light goes to…Mike Tyson and Wilt are narrowly edged out by the Magic man. According to his team mates Magic got more ass than a driver’s seat in a rental car and nobody really believes Wilt shagged 10,000 women in his lifetime. Sadly Magic, as a result of his nefarious ways, contracted HIV and retired far too soon. The best ambassador the NBA ever had will always be remembered for his style on the court and his deeds of it as well. A melancholy salute to Magic…may he always have that electric smile.

Nonsense, it’s just a flesh wound…I dislocated a finger, broke two toes, and had torn rib cartilage playing rugby in high school. One night I got up to pee and kicked the corner of my dresser with the afore mentioned broken toes. Stars filled my head and I just sat there and whimpered for fifteen minutes cradling my throbbing foot with both hands and rocking back and forth. At that moment I developed deep respect for those that can suck it up and play through pain. The nominees for the most oblivious to pain are…Steve McNair, Ronnie Lott, Emmett Smith.
The Black Knight Statuette goes to…all you gotta know about the winner of this award is that when faced between the choice of having season ending surgery or having his pinky amputated Ronnie Lott chose to live life with nine fingers rather than miss playing time.

Push me shove you, oh yeah says who…sometimes a bench clearing brawl can be cathartic. We now honor the best sports brawl of all time…Pistons-Pacers ’04, Avalanche-Red Wings ’98 & ’99, Rangers-Bruins ’79.
The game was lopsided and things started getting chippy. As the clock wound down Rangers’ fans showered the ice with debris and started assaulting Boston’s Stan Jonathan. After that Jonathan’s teammates charged into the stands pummeling the Ranger faithful. The melee went on for nearly fifteen minutes and four fans were sent to jail. This little disagreement earns the Silver Spittoon.

Mind if we dance with your dates…there are just some men you shouldn’t trifle with. Since this award is so coveted we’ve expanded the field. The nominees are…Dick Butkus, Ty Domi, Lawrence Taylor, Ronnie Lott, Greg Lloyd, Steve Atwater, Ray Nitschke, Lyle Alzado.
Since this man is so bad he doesn’t get a trophy because he’d probably eat it. Lawrence Taylor was maybe the most feared athlete ever. In an interview John Elway said the only player he was genuinely afraid of was LT. More so than any defender ever offenses had to know where Taylor was at all times. His intensity bordered on maniacal and he’s the only player ever to need rabies shots at half time.

Butter fingers…sometimes watching a supposedly gifted athlete try to control the ball is like watching an epileptic eat Jell-O with chop sticks. In other words it’s just painful. The nominees for worst hands are…Mark Eaton, Danny Shayes, Garo Yepremian.
The Stone Hands Award goes to…as a life long Nuggets fan Danny Shayes was the bane of my existence throughout the 80’s. He shot lay-ups like he was throwing a shot put. His free throws were decent but the man’s hands were seemingly made out of granite.

Idiot sans savant…player interviews are generally the only opportunity for the athlete to put a face to the game. While most present themselves quite well others should NEVER open their big dumb mouths. The top dumbasses are…Mike Tyson, John Rocker, Freddie Mitchell.
The Village Idiot is, make your way to the podium, if you can find it…not only did Mitchell talk smack about the Patriots before the Super Bowl he then proceeded to diss Jacksonville, his own quarterback, Terrell Owens, and the Patriots (AGAIN) after having one catch for thirteen yards. His career stats-5 years, 90 catches, 1263 yards, 5 TD’s. News flash Freddie, Terrell gets those kinds of numbers in one season…in his sleep.

How did that happen?...while Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was by no means ugly her temper wins this award for Worst Sports Wife hands down. Lopes burned down Andre Rison’s house in a fit of rage. Tragically the enigmatic Lopes died in a 2002 car wreck in Honduras. Rest in peace Left Eye.

Must be the money…with all that testosterone flowing through their veins you’d expect professional athletes to hook up with uber hotties. But some butt ass ugly guys have drop dead gorgeous better halves. Here’s the pick of the litter of fine women with freakin sasquatch-looking mates…Bridgette Wilson (Pete Sampras), Elsa Benitez (Ronnie Seikaly), Carmen Electra (Denis Rodman’s ex).
This is a flat-footed tie. All three nominees will receive the coveted Bronze Yeti for their devotion to the ugly man in their lives.

You need the Heimlich…we’ve all seen the mind numbing collapse of many an athlete. So here are the nominees who’ve gagged when the pressure is on…Greg Norman, New York Yankees, Jean Van De Velde.
The Fist to the Sternum goes to…this is a team award. The Yankees were up 3-0 in the ALCS. They had just won Game 3 by a score of 19-8. The Sox were all but finished. Then the unthinkable happened. Boston won Game 4 to prolong the inevitable. Then they won Game 5 and the series stood 3-2. You could see the look on the Yankees’ faces as David Ortiz ended the 14 inning marathon that was Game 5. Then the Yankees dropped Game 6 as Boston’s Curt Schilling bled and dazzled. At this point the Yankees looked as if they were in the midst of an out-of-body experience. Game 7 saw the Red Sox exorcise 86 years worth of demons. This was a choke job for the ages. You have to go back to biblical days when Goliath gagged against David to find a collapse this epic in proportion.

Oh shit!...ever been caught with your hand in the cookie jar? It happens to the best of us so it stands to reason even athletes have the occasional lapse in judgment. The nominees for biggest brain fart are…Carmelo Anthony, Eugene Robinson, Ray Lewis.
The Golden Queef goes to…not only did he get busted soliciting a prostitute he did it the night before the Super Bowl. To compound matters he was playing the very team he called “not that good” in the previous Super Bowl. By the way, Eugene Robinson was on the losing side two years in a row. Oops.

Bring us a shrubbery…there’s really only one worthy candidate in this award. Just for future reference all you sports officials, if you’re going to strike at least come to the table with one bargaining chip. I laughed my ass off when the umpires from MLB and the refs from the NBA actually went on strike. They bellied up to the table with no chips, a pair of twos, and egg on their collective faces then they proceeded to demand better pay & working conditions. All the observers issued a collective “Huh?” This is truly the most ridiculous demand in sports history.

Hatfield vs. McCoy…face it, we all love a good blood bath and nothing produces the unmitigated carnage of a heated rivalry. The nominees for best rivalry are…Alabama-Auburn, Michigan-Ohio State, Army-Navy.
The Bloody Band-Aid goes to…college football has spawned arguably the five best rivalries in sports and the annual grudge matches that are Miami-Florida State and Texas-Oklahoma aren’t even nominated. For sheer hatred and animosity Alabama-Auburn is the nastiest rivalry ever. Only the acrimony between France & Germany can compare. Fights between the respective schools’ pep squads are common and both teams have an insane loathing of one another.
Honorable mention to the Pakistan-India cricket matches. Both countries literally shut down when this series is played. The political tension just ads fuel to the fire of the ugliest international rivalry in the world.

Two men enter, one man leaves…when there is ill will on a personal level it just ads spice to the mix. Here are the nominees for best personal rivalry…Ali-Frazier, Borg-McEnroe, Kobe-Shaq.
The Golden Middle Finger goes to…these two men genuinely despise each other and have since the Diesel went to LA. Kobe has leveled vicious smears towards Shaq and Shaq has responded in kind. The fact they won three NBA titles is a testament to their talent, not their team work.

The show’s running over so good night.