Sunday, January 08, 2006


Ladies and gents, I was on an unexcused vacation from this column for the last 3 weeks...first due to holiday parties saturated with eggnog and brandy, then due to being out of the country, then last week due to truancy.

My apologies for not informing everyone who looked forward (or not) to my Sunday column of mostly useless ramblings about stuff only mildly related to fantasy football. In that context, today's column will be my regular column plus a makeup. Ahh, nostalgia for that English teacher in high school who made me write an extra report just because I put Krazy Glue on his seat.

On to the main event...


I watched "Love Boat" every week becuz I had a crush on Jill Whelan.

Now that the 2005 regular season is in the books, it is time to roll out the inaugural All-Watership Awards. If people care to see how the NFL's players and coaches risked life, limb, and even sanity for these coveted, somewhat-desired awards, then I'll do it again at the end of next season, and hopefully forever.

Winner of the America's Cup: Shaun Alexander.
The Winged Keel Award: Steve Smith, for coming out of nowhere to be one of the top WR's this year. This honors the Australians who stunned the cocky and confident Americans and broke their 150-year winning streak with a top-secret advantage, which was the winged keel.
The Dennis Conner Smart-Ass Award: Terrell Owens, for talking his way into a suspension and sinking the Eagles.

Captain Stubing Award: Zygi Wilf, for making every effort to right the Vikings' ship, including firing Mike Tice one hour after the last game and hiring Brad Childress even before this week was out.
The Gopher Award: Mike Tice. Self-explanatory. Just plain dumb. He even looks like Gopher.
The Isaac Washington Award: Fred Smoot. For throwing a helluva party.
The Doctor Bricker Award: To the doctor who seemed to have fixed up Michael
Bennett, who showed flashes of his first-round pick potential after so many
frustrating seasons. No guarantees, though.

The Captain Hazelwood Award: Andy Reid, for the idiotic decision to bench T.O. Sure, Owens deserved what he got, but you just don't bench the NFL's top WR when your team is TRYING to make the playoffs.
The Tugboat Award: Tiki Barber. An unheralded second- or third-tier RB a few years ago, Tiki burst into the top-tier last year, and became the cream of the crop this season and a MVP candidate. All at the tender age of 30. Despite his age and size, Tiki is superbly conditioned to last at least 3 more years.
Dry Dock Award: Tennessee Titans. They need help upstairs, downstairs, sideways, bottom, top, etc. Put 'em in dry dock, gut the ship, and rebuild all over again.

The Kon-Tiki Award: Nick Saban. For bringing together a sorry-ass Dolphin team and actually carrying them to a WINNING season! He did it with enough material to build a raft, and tried to cross the Pacific Ocean with it.
The Little Ship That Could Award: Willie Parker. Undrafted, he became one of the top 15 running backs this season.
The Leaky Sunfish Award: Norv Turner, for benching a Top 5 fantasy QB. Sir, when your job is on the line, the last thing you do is insult everyone by trying out an inexperienced backup.
The Dirty Dhow Award: San Diego Chargers. True to a Schottenheimer-coached team, the Chargers roared out of the gate, but didn't have enough in the tank to make it to the playoffs.


When I wasn't watching "Love Boat," I dreamed of following in the footsteps of Reggie Jackson.

Looking ahead to the NFL playoffs, I dread the day when the Super Bowl MVP hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy, confetti skitter-skitter-flutters in the background, and the TV host says, "That's a wrap! See you next season!" I am left to twist in the cold February wind until baseball spring training starts. But, I don't care much for baseball -- I even forgot who won the 2005 World Series until my cousin, a Cub fanatic with second-row season tickets at Wrigley Field, smiled with pride at my obvious short-term amnesia. (To whom I responded with two words: "Steve Bartman.")

Not long ago, when I was a kid, I rooted, rooted, rooted for the New York Yankees of Billy Martin, Thurman Munson, and Reggie Jackson. I still remember every detail of that team and even recall the order of the lineup of the 1978 Yankees:

whoever was playing at 2B - usually Stanley

The day Bucky Dent hit the ball off the Green Monster, that was one of the best days of my life. Next year, I cried along with the Yankee faithful when Thurman Munson lost his life in a plane crash in Ohio. I dumped the Yankees at the end of 1981 when The Boss traded Reggie Jackson -- my idol -- to the California Angels. That was the end of my infatuation with the Yankees. I next rooted for the Amazin' Mets, but my cheers were half-hearted, as I could never love any baseball team like the first team I ever loved. Sure, the 1986 World Series, Game 6, was a hoot, I jumped up and down with my college classmates when Mookie Wilson (one of my favorite players, too) smartly jumped out of the way of an errant ball, and the rest was history.

Since 1994, I haven't bothered to pay attention to Major League Baseball. Yeah, now and then I watch a playoff game, but that's about it. That year, I found out I could ACTUALLY enjoy summer without baseball! I realized I didn't care much for the ego-driven mentality of baseball players, and the lack of leadership and structure in the commissioner's office. The lack of a salary cap and the unbelievable focus on money have served to turn me off from the sport I used to love as a kid.

So, what else could I do that summer? Yeah, basketball doesn't cut it for me. I even quit Creek's fantasy basketball league last year before the first week was out (and I wasn't even in last place at the end of the season!). Hockey is a little too Canadian for me.

So when the Super Bowl fades into the background, and I watch the live coverage of the Publishers Clearing House winner opening the door to her home ($50 MILLION? YAY!), I resign myself to 7 months of nothingness...but you will still see me writing more useless columns on LOCKERROOM.

Hell, I might just write about basketball anyway.

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