published Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

5-at-10: Award, award everywhere and not a flop to think

We talked some about the Poor Sportsman of the Year on Tuesday, and dang if sportsfan didn't go ahead and play the Rook on the first hand with Jerry Sandusky. OK, game's over, Werner dropped the big one.

What? Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Heck no. And it ain't over now.

From the "Talks too much" studios, let's try to avoid going to the mental award.

NFL awards

This will be a supremely interesting NFL award season.

Think about this: Even the most ho-hum of NFL awards like NFL executive of the year will be hotly contested.

With two weeks left in the regular season, let's look at the candidates:

  • photo
    Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs a 19-yard touchdown during the first quarter of the NFC Championship NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

MVP: There are strong candidates abound, but there are two that stand out the most. Adrian Peterson is on the cusp of setting the all-time rushing record. He needs a few feet short of 300 yards in his last two games to pass Eric Dickerson's NFL record of 2,105. Peyton Manning has returned and looks as good as ever. His excellent play has turned the Broncos into a Super Bowl favorite. We believe this is Manning's to lose since the word "valuable" is the cornerstone of this award.

Offensive player of the year: We think Peterson wins this one. Did you know that since Week 6 of the season, Peterson has rushed for 1,313 yards, a total that would lead the NFL right now? That's amazing.

Defensive player of the year: J.J. Watt. The Texans defensive lineman is a monster. That is all.

Comeback player of the year: We thought this was Manning's for sure in September. Then Peterson goes crazy and is approaching one of the great seasons in NFL history, and he's doing it less than a year removed from shredding his knee. We normally loathe splitting awards, but this one seems right to have Co-Comeback Players of the Year.

Executive of the Year: This one also is going to be tight. And we're sure no one in the New York Jets front office will be considered. Look at the smart moves that were pulled off this year just involving the Manning decision:

• Denver's John Elway landed the only player (Manning) out there that allowed his team to get out from the dead-end street that was the Tim Tebow era without any backlash.

• Indy owner Jim Irsay allowed Manning to walk, and letting your best player and the franchise's face leave as a free agent is always dicey. Sure, Andrew Luck's potential and presence at the top of the draft made that decision somewhat easier, but cutting a first-ballot Hall of Famer is never easy. By doing it, Irsay's club will likely have excellence at quarterback for three consecutive decades.

Basically, this was the year of Manning. And somehow, after the preseason build-up and offseason spin cycles that titled toward over-the-top, Manning's season and success (dude is completing 68 percent of his throws, has topped 4,000 yards and is in the top five in QB rating) have been somewhat overlooked.

————

Award nominations

In this Sunday's paper, the TFP will have a really cool Year in Review that is 32, full-color pages and is pretty outstanding.

Let's open the nominations for local sports awards to the group. And by local we mean stuff in the 150-mile radius from the heart of the 423 — Nashville, Atlanta, Knoxville, most of the SEC, etc.

Let's discuss:

The overall story of the year —

The high school sports story of the year —

What storyline surprised you the most —

What storyline did you nail —

Local sportsman of the year —

Local high school sportsman of the year —

The section is already printed, but the 5-at-10 year-ender, sports bender is still on the horizon. Stay thirsty.

————

Overall amazing sports year

Looking at the award winners from all the major sports, let's take a look at the award craziness/ground work for excellence that was 2012.

In baseball, we had a triple-crown winner, and unless injury or some unforeseen setback is in front of them, we had the future of the game emerge with Rookies of the Year Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. The NL Cy Young winner was traded. The Chipper Jones era ended and the L.A. Dodgers now have 10 players on their roster that make $11 million a year or more.

  • photo
    Miami Heat forward LeBron James, left, prepares to drive against Boston Celtics forward Mickael Pietrus, right, during the first quarter in Game 6 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Thursday, June 7, 2012, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

In hoops, LeBron was SI's Sportsman of the Year, the MVP, the MVP of the NBA Finals, a gold-medal winner and all-around good dude. In addition to ditching the "will-he-ever-win-a-title" anchor, it seems the backlash form The Decision has started to fade, too.

In college football, we had the first freshman Heisman winner and arguably the best player in college football was sophomore defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

In college hoops, a great season was rewarded with an even better tournament. And the Uniblocker — Anthony Davis — was named player of the year, defensive player of the year and freshman of the year. He also was named best single eye brow in the history of sports.

We talked about the amazing year in the NFL, but here's how over-the-top it's been: Of all the awards we listed, we never mentioned Calvin Johnson, who is on pace to set the single-season receiving record.

(Side note: Johnson and Peterson were each part of the 2007 NFL draft that will forever be remember as the year Jamarcus Russell wrecked the Oakland Raiders. In fact, here's the top 10 of the 2007 NFL draft and the pick each would have made if this draft happened today:

Raiders — Russell (Peterson)

Lions — Johnson (Johnson)

Browns — Joe Thomas (Thomas)

Buccaneers — Gaines Adams (Darrelle Revis)

Cardinals — Levi Brown (Patrick Willis)

Redskins — LaRon Landry (Michael Griffin)

Vikings — Peterson (Marshawn Lynch)

Falcons — Jamaal Anderson (LaMarr Woodley)

Dolphins — Ted Ginn Jr. (Dwayne Bowe)

Texans — Amobi Okoye (Joe Staley)

————

This and that

— Wisconsin reportedly has decided on Gary Andersen, formerly of Utah State, as the Badgers next coach. Mr. Andersen did work with the Aggies, who finished 11-2 this year with one-score losses to BYU and Wisconsin. Almost as importantly, Andersen and the Aggies were 12-1 against the spread this year, and the Fab 4 picks were on board from the start. Thanks for sharing the entertainment Mr. Andersen.

— The work in progress that is the Tennessee Vols basketball team took another positive step by dismantling an overmatched Presbyterian team Tuesday. Tennessee built a 30-plus-point lead before pulling the plug in a 78-62 win. The rest of nonconference schedule will be interesting for Cuonzo "The Conz" Martin's club. Home games against Western Carolina, Xavier and Memphis before Ole Miss comes to Knoxville on Jan. 4.

— What's next for the Tim Tebow era and Tebowmania? Wow, how did it get to this? We went from debating whether he could play — remember he has an NFL playoff win under his belt, to wondering if he could help the Jets in a variety of ways to now watching as Greg McElroy passed him on the depth chart.

————

Today's question

We're flush with questions today, but since we're full-blown in award mode, what's your Rushmore of awards/trophies.

We'll go Green Jacket, Heisman, Olympic gold medal and Stanley Cup.

And one of the really cool things about the first two on our list is that once you've won it, you're forever in the club. Notice at the Heisman ceremony, there's always some of the guys that don't recognize before saying, "Is that Jason White? Did he really win a Heisman? Hey, that's Gino Torretta."

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
ordinaryguy said...

It has indeed been an interesting year...Peterson is the MVP beyond question somehow those that worship at the altar of St. Peyton still think he won the national championship for Tenn...As far as local here goes...The overall story of the year — The T. Rob saga at Chattanooga...The high school sports story of the year — Ridgeland's run to the dome with all the distractions early in the season...What storyline surprised you the most — The Clorox Orange believing that Gruden was actually coming to coach the Vols...What storyline did you nail — Chattanooga agreeing to drop the invocation before football games...Local sportsman of the year — Beth Keylon Randolph...Local high school sportsman of the year — Mark Mariakis

December 19, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.
TennFlyer said...

The Lombardi trophy, simple design, good size, instantly recognizable might warrant the Stanley Cup spot. The Stanley Cup is awesome because of the names and the fact that some the players take it to their hometowns for a while. What if Reggie White had brought the Lombardi back to Chatty. The green jacket, Heisman, and Olympic Medal for anything other than synchronized swimming or curling are great picks.

December 19, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Peterson may be the best player and he may be having the best year, but he's hardly the most valuable. The Vikings could have missed the playoffs with Sloan Peterson running the ball.

The Broncos are the same team that won eight games last year, except now they're Super Bowl contenders because of Peyton. Key word = valuable.

TennFlyer —

Lombardi Trophy is cool and simple. So too is the NBA title trophy (we think it's the O'Brien Trophy).

Getting it for a day/week/whatever is a super cool part of the Stanley Cup. And the name's pretty boss — Lord Stanley's Cup. That's awesome in its awesomeness.

— 5-at-10

— 5-at-10

December 19, 2012 at 10:34 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

jg well played on the Sloan Peterson...now you must have an Ed Rooney reference...btw will be curious if others weigh in on the local sports stories

December 19, 2012 at 10:56 a.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, there were no complaints from anyone who mattered when Coach Davis (pbuh)took Russell with first pick in the 1st round. No need to further run this in the ground except Russell did teach me up on "purple drank."

Robert Gallery, all world left tackle at Iowa drafted 2nd overall was supposed to be the 10 year solution at left tackle. Across the board every praised Coach Davis' restraint and responsibility. After cashing his pay check, Gallery became a guard with so much ink and stringy hair he looks like the Undertaker.

Somewhere during the Gruden run, another bust in the mid-1st round left tackle the time from Georgia, Matt Stinchcomb could not make the grade where he was hired to play becoming a guard then out into the league ending up with the Saints where I last noticed.

Universally acclaimed all these picks.

December 19, 2012 at 11:09 a.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Ed, Ferris Bueller on line 2.

We'll have our ballot in Friday's mailbag. Just looking for other nominations for local sports stories of the year.

FE to the C —

We were never sold on Jamarcus. Never. Not to say we're perfect about the draft, because in that same draft class, we thought Brady Quinn was going to be a good NFL QB.

The Raiders' draft history is worthy of its own mini-series. Seriously, no team whiffs more on first-rounders and hits homers on fourth-plus rounders than the Raiders. Including the best seventh-round pick ever in Bo Jackson.

Starting in 1999 with Stinchcomb, here are Raiders' first rounders:

2000 — Janikowski (yes a first-round kicker)

2001 — Derrick Gibson

2002 — Phillip Buchanan and Napoleon Harris

2003 — Nnamdi Asomugh (great pick) and Tyler Brayton

2004 — Robert Gallery

2005 — Fabian Washington

2006 — Michael Huff

2007 — JaMarcus (who really introduced us all to "Purple Drank")

2008 — Darren McFadden

2009 — Darrius Heyward-Bey

2010 — Rolando McClain

2011 — none

2012 — none

— 5-at-10

Last

December 19, 2012 at 11:23 a.m.
orangeguy said...

The Claret Jug is another great trophy in golf. Something about having your name etched on that trophy and keeping it for a year. Kind of like The Lord Stanley's Cup.

If Al Davis is still alive in today's 2007 draft all entertainments are off on that first pick.

December 19, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.
chas9 said...

OK. It all started when on of our regulars went all Pig Latin on me mentioning Adeste Fdelis when good old American would have worked just fine. I accused him of being Frnch, but that was an inappropriate slur, and I take it back.

Anyway, since then, the verbal processing centers of my brain (using the term loosely) have been all cattywhompus, and I'm seeing words everywhere that I can't make out. Like yesterday, in his brilliant McRib expose, Upton Sinclair Walden used the big word "Jeremiad." Huh?

And Astropig referred to The Vols playing "Cackalacky." Who dat? South Carolina? Open date? And The Pig used the acronym "VFL." Is that a Very Fine Lad? And Mr. Pig, with TN losing all its studs, KY is not a gimme next year.

And Spy--I give up. What are "Los Boros" and "The Jonquil City"?

I'm wonderin'and wonderin' in a winter wonderland.

Tebow's a chump (trademarked).

ROY is Randall Cobb, who was too small to play in Knoxville.

December 19, 2012 at 11:43 a.m.
mcpell3 said...

Chas when I started reading I was hoping for some translations into east tennessean.

5/10 - no word on the big game tonight? The 8-2 Auburn Lady Tigers vs the 8-1 SEC giant killing Lady Mocs? Coach Flo has the Tigers rolling into their best start in years. Who you got?

December 19, 2012 at 11:56 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

chas,

Los Boros is The Boro, also known as Statesboro, home to a still-growing academic power and more than a handful of folks who know how to have a good time.

The Jonquil City is the lovely burg of Smyrna, led effortlessly by Mayor Max Bacon (and I still think that's a cool name). Now, some folks who live in Vinings say they are from Vinings, but as a smart fella once told me, "If you're in trouble in Vinings, do you call the Vinings PD? No. You call the Smyrna 5-0. Because you're in Smyrna!"

December 19, 2012 at 12:03 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, I think we can agree the Raiders are awful and not looking to get appreciably better next year.

To aid in assuaging my long running double barrelled grief from K-Town and Oak Town, might you please post a link to the bowl lines again?

December 19, 2012 at 12:23 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Orange —

The (Maurice) Claret Jug was fifth on our list.

— 5-at-10

December 19, 2012 at 12:53 p.m.
dawg747 said...

Ten Cup: The Sportsman and High School Sportsman of the Year should be Mark Mariakis. As for the High School story of the year the Ridgeland run to the title game was good but the Ringgold Tigers Baseball team made it to the finals without their best player and pitcher Matthew Crownover after he tore up his elbow in the second or third game of the year. The overall sports story of the year for the area should be the Chattanooga State lady Tigers winning the Junior College World Series.

December 19, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

If memory serves Cackalacky is either South Carolina or the rabbit lingo for poop in "Watership Down."

And Spy has handled the geo-nicknames.

Randall Cobb is ROY despite this being his second year in the league?

Sure. It's Christmas.

McPell —

It's going to be tight. We'll take the Lady Mocs, and UTC wins the non-SEC, SEC title.

Spy —

Amen. And pass the biscuits.

FE to the C —

Agreed.

BYU -3.5 vs. SDiego State (like the under 49 here a lot)

Central Florida -7 vs. Ball State

La-Lafayette -5 vs. East Carolina

Boise State -5.5 vs. Washington

Fresno State -12 vs. SMU

Western Kentucky -5.5 vs. Central Michigan

San Jose State -7 vs. Bowling Green

Cincy -7.5 vs. Duke

UCLA -1 vs. Baylor

La.-Monroe -7 vs. Ohio

Va Tech -2.5 vs. Rutgers

Texas Tech -12 vs. Minnesota

Air Force -1 vs. Rice

Arizona State -14 vs. Navy

West Virginia -4 vs. Syracuse

Oregon State -2 vs. Texas

TCU -2.5 vs. Michigan State

Vandy -7 vs. NC State

USC -10.5 vs. Georgia Tech

Iowa State -1 vs. Tulsa

LSU -4 vs. Clemson

Oklahoma State -17 vs. Purdue

Miss State -2 vs. Northwestern

South Carolina -5.5 vs. Michigan

Georgia -10 vs. Nebraska

Stanford -6.5 vs. Wisconsin

FSU -13 vs. Northern Illinois

Florida -14 vs. Louisville

Oregon -9 vs. Kansas State

Texas AM -4.5 vs. Oklahoma

Alabama -9.5 vs. Notre Dame

December 19, 2012 at 1:31 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Dawg —

Concur that the Ringgold baseball team deserves some props for the run without Crownover and all the side effects from the storms and such.

That said, the Chatt State softball story does not outrank than Steven Fox winning the US Am or BJ getting drafted or the implosion that was the Vols or even the Lady Mocs beating the Lady Vols in our view.

— 5-at-10

December 19, 2012 at 1:49 p.m.
chas9 said...

It just takes some guys longer than others. Would you believe SOY?

December 19, 2012 at 2:18 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Agreed with your reasoning behind voting Peyton as MVP. At the very least though, I hope Peterson gets at least Offensive Player of the Year or Comeback Player of the Year especially if he breaks the season rushing record.

Is there a TFP Best of Preps b-ball tourney this year? If so, when is it?

December 19, 2012 at 2:18 p.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

We can see and appreciate that. And yes, Cobb can be our Sophomore of the Year.

Stew-gots —

No doubt Peterson deserves something, and we appreciate the NFL having the MVP and the offensive/defensive players of the year.

Yes, there will be a BoP prep hoops tournament this year. It will be next week, Thursday-Saturday at Chattanooga State after Christmas.

— 5-at-10

December 19, 2012 at 2:34 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Though not a Christmas movie, the original Godfather starts right around Christmas time. And it is a family movie. You know, like Colombo or Bonanno or Genovese ....

I'd say either Ridgeland football or baseball as preps story of the year and Fox winning the U.S. Amateur is hooge. He's in the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open because of his win, no?

I was at the grand viewing party of the Big Break finale last night and dude being 3 down with five to play and winning in regulation was unbelievable. Seems like a good kid, too.

December 19, 2012 at 4:46 p.m.
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