2012 Tank Awards
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The Tank Awards are a sole property of The Sports E-cyclopedia, and are the opinions of Frank Fleming, and are not an official award. Tank award image designed by Liam Scanlan.
Choke of the Year:
Adam Scott hit the home stretch at the British Open looking like a champion as he led by four shots with four holes to play after dominating the 68 holes at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lytham St Annes, England. However, it all unraveled as Ernie Els rallied to force a tiebreak. By the time the tiebreak began Adam Scott had lost his nerve, allowing Els to win his fourth major title.
The Village Idiot Award:
Ozzie Guillen is used to alienating players, but in his first season as manager of the Miami Marlins he alienated the entire fan base when he expressed admiration to Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro. Miami home to many Cuban exiles demanded Guillien's termination. Though not fired in April it set the stage for a disappointing last place season that kept Ozzie from getting a second year in South Florida.
Dictator of the Year:
David Stern longtime NBA Commissioner who will step down in 2014 after 30 year has clearly let power go to his head, as he rules the league with an iron fist. Recently he fined the Spurs $750,000 for resting players, ignoring the fact it was done to keep the veteran team fresh. He has also indicted he will no longer allow teams to foul bad free throw shooters like Dwight Howard. It has long been assumed Stern favors the marquee teams like the Lakers, but now he has begun to tell teams how to use their own players. Mr. Stern should do us all a favor and retire now.
Court Jester Award:
It's not bad enough the New York Jets became a three ring circus surrounding Tim Tebow, and the struggles of Mark Sanchez at quarterback, but on Thanksgiving they joined the blooper Hall of Fame, when Mark Sanchez ran face first into the rear end of teammate Brandon Moore leading to a fumble and a Patriots touchdown, the play earned the name butt fumble.
Mascot of the Year:
He is the cuddly dude with a 'tude with his hat tilted backwards and his sunglasses on even at night. He is Lou Seal the mascot of the World Champion San Francisco Giants. Lou's roots to baseball stretch deep as the San Francisco Seals were a legendary PCL team, which included players like Joe DiMaggio. Lou Seal has been known to work as a vendor, dance and wear a Panda Costume, but his favorite possession is his championship belt.
Worst Team of the Year:
In 2011 the Houston Astros lost a franchise record 105 games, they were even worse in 2012 recording a record of 55-107 as they celebrated their 50th anniversary and prepared to move to the American League. Though with the amount of trades they made in rebuilding they should be downgraded to the minor leagues, as there awful play was comical at times, posting a record of 8-46 in July and August.
Overrated Player of the Year:
Dwight Howard was the prize of the NBA off-season, as he forced the Orlando Magic to trade him after having a fall out with the team's management. Eventually he landed in Los Angeles, but it appears he has only hurt the Lakers in the early part of the season, as his poor free throw shooting and inability to mesh with Kobe Bryant has the Lakers below.500 early in the season.
Bust of the Year:
Bobby Valentine was clearly the wrong choice to manage the Boston Red Sox, as his style clashed with the tea's personality from day one. As the season wore on there was not a single person in Boston who was not alienated by Valentine, as fan favorites like Kevin Youkilis were traded away, as valentine publically criticized everyone from players to coaches as the Red Sox had their worst season in over 40 years and finished dead last in the AL East.
Dejea Vu Award:
New York Giants shocked the world again, beating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. Much like Super Bowl XLII the Giants won on a last minute touchdown drive, and entered the playoffs as a dark horse, holding a mediocre 9-7 record that in most seasons would not even be good enough to make the playoffs.
Rising Stars Award:
2012 will forever be known as the year of the rookie Quarterback as Andrew Luck of the Colts chosen first overall and Robert Griffin III chosen second by the Redskins have been better than expected, with Luck taking the Colts to the playoffs and RGIII having the Skins on the verge of a division title. Honorable mention Russell Wilson of the Seahawks, who has been just as good after being selected in the third round.
Coach of the Year Award:
Brian Kelly has Notre Dame back in the National Championship Game for the first time in 24 years, as the Irish who began the season unranked finished it unbeaten. In his third season in South Bend, Kelly has a chance to join legends Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Lou Holtz as Irish coaches to win a title in his third season.
2012 Sports E-Cylopedia Star of the Year
Has there ever been a more appropriate name for a sprinter than Usain Bolt, because a Lightning Bolt is about the only thing faster than the Jamaican Gold Medalist. Bolt first burst on the scene in the 2008 games as he became the first runner since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win gold medals in both the 100M and 200M race, while also helping Jamaica win the 4x100 relay. In London it was all Bolt all the time again, as Usain Bolt became the first runner to win the 100m and 200m twice, as he went triple gold with Jamaica again winning the relay. Usain Bolt though not a big star in the USA has become one of the world's most recognizable athletes and is a national hero in Jamaica, as some have begun to call Usain Bolt the best sprinter of All-Time. After a double triple it is hard to argue against it.
Most Annoying Person:
Gary Bettman if he is not destroying the NHL on purpose he is the dumbest man on the planet. For the third time in his tenure he has locked out the players and put a season in peril. Without a miracle the NHL would lose an entire season for the second time in eight years. By most estimates the players have tried to negotiate but Bettman insists on crushing the players and does not give a damn about the fans or the health of hockey. Fact is until Gary Bettman is gone the NHL will never be able to succeed.
Lance Armstrong Inspirational
Athlete of the Year:
R.A. Dickey has become the symbol of perseverance, spending more than ten years in the minors, before making the majors to stay in 2010. In 2012 Dickey revealed being sexually abused as a child, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and won the Cy Young, proving if you never give up you can achieve greatness.
Weasel of the Year:
Jeffrey Loria, who has once again angered a fan base by selling off his team's star players. Loria has now done this three times starting with his time in Montreal as owner of the Expos. He did it again after the Marlins won the 2003 World Series. It was not expected to happen again as the Marlins opened a new ballpark. However, after a disappointing season, Loria again sold off all the Marlins top players. Fool Me once shame on you, Fool Me twice shame on me. Fool me three times; get a ballpark paid for by Miami taxpayers.
Best Team of the Year:
After falling just short in 2011 the Miami Heat would not be beat in 2012, winning their second NBA Championship. Of course it was not without its trial and tribulations as the Heat needed to win a Game 6 on the road in Boston, just to get to the finals. However, LeBron James shock off the label of choker and had one of the great games in postseason history as the Heat beat the Thunder in the NBA Finals.
Game of the Year:
The semifinals of the Women's Soccer Tournament at the London Olympics provided more chills than the rest of the games combined. The Canadian women long have been frustrated by team USA and appeared to have the game won on several occasions. However, the Americans continued to comeback, rallying three times to tie the game, before winning the game in 123rd minute of overtime, mere seconds before the game would have went to a shootout.
Screw Job of the Year:
It was not bad enough that the regular officials at times look as blind as a bat, but during a Monday Night Game in Seattle, the replacement refs assured their place in history, as the Seahawks beat the Packers on a Hail Mary that was clearly was caught by M.D. Jennings of the Packers, but Golden Tate wrested it away on the ground and it was mistakenly called a Touchdown. This would end the official's lockout before another game was played.
Old Crown Award:
Miguel Cabrera became the first hitter in 45 years to capture the Triple Crown, as he led the American League in hitting, home runs and RBI. Cabrera was a key part of the Tigers run to the 2012 World Series, as he was named American League MVP.
Hanging Judge Award Award:
Roger Goodell who not only threw the book at the Saints, he threw the entire library suspending Coach Sean Payton for the entire season, and all but banning Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams for life. While his suspensions for players Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita were overturned, the message was heard loud and clear.
While it was not as decorated as his record breaking eight gold medals in 2008, Michael Phelps was golden again at the London games, as he became recongized as the "Best Olympian Ever" by winning six medals, four of which were gold. The records are staggering, 22 overall medals, and 18 gold doubling the old record for most golds.
Money for Nothing Award:
Half way through his ten year $275 million deal with the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez appears to be the biggest waste of money in the history of baseball. Injuries, age, and the lack of steroids have combined to turn the one time superstar into a shell of his former self. In the playoffs alone, A-Rod had just three hits in 25 at bats, with an embarrassing 12 strikeouts, as he was benched and pinch hit for in key games and situations. Making matters worse Alex Rodriguez will likely miss at least half of the 2013 season making him the most expensive worthless player in all of sports.
Underrated Player of the Year:
Marco Scutaro has been one of those nameless utilitymen that bounce from team to team for years, but often he is the type of player that is never appreciated until he is gone. Acquired by the Giants during the season, Scutaro was a key player for the Giants drive to a World Championship, winning the NLCS MVP as he batted .500 against the Cardinals. After the season he got his reward a 3 year $20 million deal with the Giants..
Big Brother Award:
The season for the Saints was over before it began as the repercussions of bountygate came down, and included a yearlong suspension for Coach Sean Payton. The Saints clearly missed Payton, but he was never far away as a picture of Sean Payton hung big brother like at their practice facility, telling the Saints to do their jobs.
Surprise Team of the Year:
If you add regulation losses and overtime losses together the Los Angeles Kings had a losing record in the regular season. However, they still qualified as the eighth seed in the Western Conference and backed by Goalie Jonathan Quick went on a run for the ages capturing their first Stanley Cup as they dominated on the road winning a record ten games on the road along the way.
Some throwbacks remind of classic looks, and other throwbacks should be thrown back into the dumpster, the Pittsburgh Steelers bumble bee striped monstrosities are beyond the pale and perhaps the worst things ever seen. When originally worn in 1934 few watched football and fewer took pictures, because these would have shattered old cameras.
Hello Mary Lou Award:
Nicknamed the flying squirrel, Gabby Douglas became one of the stars of the London Games, as she joined Mary Lou Reaton as the second American to win Gold in the Women's All-Around Individual gymnastics competition. She also captured gold with the rest of her fierce five teammates in the team competition. Following the game's she became an instant celebrity and got her face on the box of Corn Flakes.
Desert Revival Award:
Phoenix Coyotes have no owner and most folks in Glendale could care not less if they stay or go, just as long as the tax payers no longer have to subsidize the team. However, for six weeks this spring the Coyotes made fans believe in miracles as they reached the Western Conference Finals. Sadly the lockout and the continued lack of ownership will make any momentum from their run disappear.
The downfall of Tiger Woods continued in 2012, as his popularity continued to wane. Ever since his public divorce and affairs his career has been in a downward spiral. Once again Tiger Woods failed to win a major championship, but worse he has become Golf's sorest loser. Routinely smashing and throwing clubs like a two year old.
Some teams try to go with flash and style when they unveil new uniforms. The Brooklyn Nets went with simple and classy and hit a home run. Though the lack of a third color besides black and white hurt the logo, on basketball uniform it looks perfect. The Nets new jerseys look like they could have been around for decades, and with any luck it will be around years to come.
Comeback of the Year:
Last year Peyton Manning spent the entire season on the sideline, after a pair of neck surgeries. The Colts who went 2-14 decided to rebuild, allowing Manning to go elsewhere as a Free Agent. Peyton Manning went to the Denver Broncos and looked like he was never injured as he had a MVP type season and led the Broncos to a division championship.
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