The Fourth Annual Davey Awards

November 6, 2003
The Fourth Annual Davey Awards

by Dave Sabo

Boy, has it been a tough year for handing out awards! Between the parity, the injuries and the roller coaster ride that the 2003 season has become, I spent nearly an hour on this year’s Daveys!

Midseason MVP, Offense
Nominees: Priest Holmes, Jamal Lewis, Peyton Manning, Steve McNair

And the Davey Award goes to: Dante Hall! And he wasn’t even nominated! Well, he’s not an “offensive” player, but since there’s no award for “Midseason MVP, Special Teams” and I pretty much hate all the nominees, Dante’s your winner. Hey, he won two games for the best team in the NFL single-handedly and he is, literally, a threat to go all the way on every kick. His Strat-O-Matic specialist card is gonna be sick for 2003! To appease all the crybaby “Oiler” fans that I’m sure to hear from for dissing their hero, I will concede that he’s finally become the quarterback they’ve been pretending he’s been for the last five years. Too bad driving around with a dozen hurricanes sloshing around inside him and a loaded handgun taints it somewhat. I also appreciate Corky Manning’s work in those “Sunday Ticket” promos (“X Cross, Y Post, F Trail…pffft!). I have no use for Lewis and the Ravens now that they’ve given up ruining the “Oilers” season for a living. And Priest Holmes dresses funny.

Midseason MVP, Defense
Nominees: Nick Barnett, Corey Chavous, Shaun Ellis, Michael Strahan

And the Davey Award goes to: Michael Strahan. I’m giving it to Strahan in a tight race, mainly because he’s making a huge comeback after I’d written him off after last season’s lackadaisical effort following his breaking the sack record in 2001.

Rookie of the Half Season, Offense
Nominees: Anquan Boldin, Domanick Davis, Arlen Harris, Andre Johnson

And the Davey Award goes to: Anquan Boldin. Stop throwing stuff and let me explain. I had originally planned on only having to nominate two guys, Johnson and Detroit’s Charles Rogers. Unfortunately, Rogers is done for the year and, as the Lions are the new Bengals, his career will be nothing but an injury-plagued disappointment. Johnson started off like a house a-fire, but his production has tailed off as of late. Davis was a lock until his injury on Sunday (does anybody doubt he would have been the first rookie to rush for 100 yards in his first three starts?) and Harris hasn’t put in the time (plus, he’ll be riding the pine once Faulk is healthy. Or Lamar Gordon, for that matter.) Anquan Boldin has come up HUGE for the pathetic Cardinals and, as the Cardinals are the same old sorry Cardinals, he’ll bolt for a winner when his rookie contract is up. If not sooner. I really wanted to give this to “D Squared”, but two and a half games just wasn’t enough work, stellar though that work has been.

Rookie of the Half Season, Defense
Nominees: Nick Barnett, Nick Barnett, Nick Barnett, Nick Barnett

And the Davey Award goes to: Nick Barnett. To anybody wanting to debate this one, you’re wrong.

Coach of the Half Season
Nominees: Dom Capers, John Fox, Bill Parcells, Mike Tice

And the Davey Award goes to: Bill Parcells. Despite the fact that he’s a pompous ass (and his press conference “witticisms lack, uh… whaddaya call it? Oh yeah. “Wit”.), anybody that can make chicken salad with the chicken sh!t he’s been given in dallas gets the nod. Dom DOES win “Largest Balls, Head Coach” for going for it when it counts and, after watching the loss to the good guys on Sunday, I’m mighty impressed with the work John Fox has done with the smoke and the mirrors this year. Mike Tice and the Vikes are my pick to be crushed by whichever of the 4 or 5 possible teams the AFC might send to Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Best Team
Nominees: Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots

And the Davey Award goes to: The Kansas City Chiefs. Man, at some point you KNOW Vermeil is gonna cry. New England got the nomination over Tennessee based on the gutsy Monday Night Football win. Which reminds me, how useless and arbitrary are “Power Rankings”? Pete Prisco has the Titans ranked higher than the Pats although New England’s better record is due to the Pats win over Tennessee in Foxboro.

Biggest Surprise
Nominees: Anquan Boldin, Domanick Davis, The AFC North, Danny Wuerffel’s rejection

And the Davey Award goes to: Domanick Davis. Homer pick? Maybe, but the man deserves SOMEthing for the magnificent effort he’s put forth. He’s been a pleasure to watch; the patience, the burst, the ability to break tackles, the tenacity. I’m glad I decided to keep the tape of his first start. Okay, I’m starting to gush.

Worst Team
Nominees: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins

And the Davey Award goes to: The Pittsburgh Steelers. Actually, at this very moment, it’s the Deadskins, but I’m loading up on those suckholes a little further down. How did it get so bad so fast in Steel Town? Who knew Tommy Maddox was actually WORSE than Kordell? Which head coach will have the longest tenure with his current team once Cowher gets the ax at the end of the season? And, even though they’re no longer division rivals, don’t you really kind of enjoy watching the Steelers suck?

Biggest Disappointment
Nominees: New Soldier Field, The Loss to the Jets, Texans Injuries, The Real World: Paris

And the Davey Award goes to: Texans Injuries. Most notable, in my opinion, are those of Seth Payne and Gary Walker. Would the Texans record be any better if everyone were healthy? Possibly, but they certainly would be ranked higher than 30th in Total Defense and they’d be getting after the quarterback, too.

Worst Game
Nominees: Cleveland at New England, Week 8; Houston at New Orleans, Week2; San Diego at Jacksonville, Week 5; Jacksonville at Atlanta, Week 17

And the Davey Award goes to: Jacksonville at Atlanta, Week 17. I know, it hasn’t even been played yet, but you can already smell the stink coming off this game. Think about it. There’s a realistic shot at both teams coming into this game 1 and 14. Michael Vick will have re-injured his leg trying to come back too early. The Jags will be still mourning the freak beheading of Jimmy Redmond during punt coverage in Week 13. Arthur Blank will be paying Falcon fans to accept tickets. These are two awful teams. Neither will win.

Gratuitous shots at the Deadskins
Nominees: No nominees, just gales of laughter

Oh, friends and neighbors. Have you noticed what’s going on up here in DC? Just when you thought Li’l Danny Snyder and his train wreck were as a big a laughingstock as possible, they get bigger. It’s almost too much to take in. Let’s start with the Ol’ Ballcoach. It’s gotten to the point where you can watch him on television and actually SEE him getting dumber. Never have I seen an NFL head coach so overmatched. He, literally, doesn’t know what to do anymore. And he’s just DYING to throw in the towel. You can see and hear it after every game, now. For those of you still wondering if his “system” can work in the NFL, that’s a great big “Nope”. I found out this morning during an interview with former ‘Skins WR, Chris Doering, that Ballcoach’s scheme has no “hot reads”. Knowing this, Bill Parcells rushed 8 and 9 men at times last Sunday. He was leaving Deadskin receivers COMPLETELY UNCOVERED!! And Joe College couldn’t make adjustments. And he makes $5 million a year.

Patrick Ramsey is just getting murdered out there. At one point, it’s believed that his throwing arm was actually torn off below the elbow on Sunday. Of course, he had to stay in because, during the bye week, they canned their back up QB, Rob Johnson, because HE DIDN’T KNOW THE SYSTEM!! He’d been with the team for a year and a half!! Ramsey was looking pretty iffy and when they realized that Johnson couldn’t do the job, they nixed him and hired Elizabeth Filarski’s (“Survivor: Outback”) husband. In the salary cap era, how do you justify keeping a guy on your roster for a year and a half if he can’t pick up the system. Mind-boggling.

To add insult to injury, they were rejected by Danny Wuerffel. That was their fall back, Ballcoach’s son, Wuerffel. The man, who when cut by the ‘Skins in camp, got exactly as many workouts from other teams as I did. And HE rejected THEM! What a burn!

Offensive (and, oh, are they offensive) line coach Kim Helton may have been fired during the bye week. Or not. Or he was and was rehired. Regardless, Foge Fazio and Joe Bugel have been called in as “consultants”.

Remember the legendary “Waiting List”? Second only Green Bay’s, I remember hearing about how long the waiting list for ‘Skins tickets was in elementary school. A guy in my office has been on the list since 1995. When he put his name on the list he was number 49,000 and change. By the start of the 2001 season, he’d moved up 20,000 spaces. Prior to last season, they offered him Club seats. This year he was offered regular seats. He sent them a letter saying he’d never set foot in that stadium as long as Snyder owned it or the team. He’s been a fan for over 30 years. That’s how badly Li’l Danny has alienated his fan base. He’s gone from have a waiting list numbering in the tens of thousands to not being able to sell season tickets to life-long fans in less than 5 seasons.

I could go on and on, but my sides already hurt from laughing.

Lamest Fans
Nominees: Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cryboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

And the Davey Award goes to: The Dallas Cryboys. See? See how I told you how you shouldn’t feel sorry for these losers and their misfortunes? A schedule bereft of teams with winning records and a few games playing above their heads and the front-runners come crawling out from under their rocks…the same place they’ll crawl back to once their team comes plummeting back to earth.

The Deion Sanders “Way Past His ‘Primetime’” Award
Nominees: The Oakland Raiders, Eddie George, Bruce Smith, Emmitt Smith

And the Davey Award goes to: Eddie George. Like Bruce Matthews last year, the Smith boys apparently never got last season’s nominations and came back. Guys, it’s over. Stop embarrassing yourselves. Eddie George was actually done before the 2001 season, one of the few sports related predictions I’ve ever nailed and parlayed into a straight up trade for Corey Dillon in my fantasy league. Corey Dillon, who at the rate he’s going, will be receiving a nomination next year.

The Deion Sanders “’Excellence’ in Broadcasting Award”
Nominees: Rush Limbaugh, Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Criqui/Tasker

And the Davey Award goes to: Rush Limbaugh. Save your e-mails, ditto-heads. Cuz I’m just gonna delete ‘em. To his credit, it was a good effort at trying to deflect attention from the impending revelation of his drug addiction.

For those about to rock, Dave Sabo salutes you.