2017 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:
28-3 need I say more?
New York Mets
It was a nightmare season from the word go, as the Mets experienced a non-ending rash of injuries, thanks to an incompetent medical staff led by trainer Ray Ramirez. Of the 25 men that began the season only two were not either injured, demoted or traded as the Mets posted a disappointing record of 70-92.
Empty Suit Award:
When the anthem protests started with Colin Kaepernick last season, Commissioner Roger Goodell sat by silently. When the protests spread, and began to effect television ratings Goodell tried to bring an end to it. This is just the latest failure as he continued to have random inconsistent suspensions, as the NFL continued cracking at the seams.
Worst Team of the Year:
For the second straight season the Cleveland Browns put the dumpster in the dumpster fire. With one game left they are 0-15 after going 1-15 in 2016. A feat never before accomplished. Since Thanksgiving of 2014 the Browns are 4-48 and stretch unmatched in awfulness. Add in their continued missing on quarterbacks and the botching of the A.J. McCarron trade and you can see why the team is the laughingstock of all professional sports.
Overrated Player of the Year:
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a solid 2016 were expected to be a Super Bowl contender in 2017. However, in his third season quarterback Jameis Winston who was targeted for stardom regressed badly. Making matters worse he often displayed bizarre behavior such as his pregame speech in New Orleans. If Winston is to become a winner he must prove 2017 was a bump in his development and not who he is in 2018.
Bust of the Year:
You can stop those stories about how the U.S. Men's soccer team is on the verge of being a World Cup contender as the stars and stripes will not be in Russia in 2018. After the women won the World Cup for a third time in 2015, the USMNT played uninspired soccer in world cup qualifying and needing just a tie to keep hope alive they delivered a terrible performance and were eliminated by Trinidad and Tobago.
Rising Stars Award:
It was all rise in the Bronx, as Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees became the first rookie in MLB history to hit 50 home runs, with many of his blasts landing over 400 feet away from home. Judge finished with 52 dingers, as he was won the Rookie of the Year guiding the Yankees to Game 7 of the ALCS.
2017 Sports E-Cylopedia Star of the Year
As the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 19 years, Sidney Crosby became just the third player in NHL history to win two straight Conn Smythe Trophies, as playoff MVP. The previous two were Bernie Parent of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1974 and 1975, and Mario Lemieux who won two with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992. Ever since the Penguins drafted Crosby after the lockout, he has delivered as the savior of hockey in Pittsburgh. Before his arrival the Penguins playing in an old arena were in bankruptcy and on the verge of moving. Since his arrival the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup three times, as Crosby who turned 30 in August has already topped 1000 career points.
Worst Call of the Year:
Austin Seferian Jenkins
New York Jets receiver Austin Seferian-Jenkins had a touchdown taken away as the New England Patriots got the ball after replay ruled he lost control of the ball and hit the pilon despite the ball never touching the ground. The Patriots 24-17.
Inspirational Athlete of the Year:
The NHL has been fighting cancer for decades, but now it has one player that its personal and that is Brian Boyle. Shortly after signing with the New Jersey Devils, Boyle was diagnosed with leukemia. After receiving treatments, Boyle has come back on the ice and big reason behind the young Devils early success, scoring with ten goals and six assists in 27 games.
Best Team of the Year:
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors with the addition of Kevin Durant won their second NBA Championship in three years, posting perhaps the most dominant run in the history of the NBA Playoffs. The Warriors winning nearly every game by double digits, swept their way to the NBA Finals and won the first three games against the Cavaliers. After their Game 4, loss the Warriors won the series in five games, completing a 16-1 overall postseason record.
Game of the Year:
NCAA FBS Championship Game
In a rematch of the 2016 National Championship defending champion Alabama faced Clemson in Tampa taking an early 14-0 lead. However, the Tigers kept fighting back as the two teams exchanged the lead in the fourth quarter. Finally, with one second left, Clemson won the game as Deshaun Watson connected with Hunter Renfrow on two-yard touchdown pass.
Bonehead Play of the Year:
The Washington Nationals once again were one and done in the postseason, losing the NLDS to the Chicago Cubs in five games. In Game 5, the Nationals lost 9-8 a big part of the loss came when a run scored after Jayson Werth misjudged a fly ball by diving and allowing the ball to roll all the way to the wall.
In his stewardship, he has turned ESPN from the total sports network, into a total joke. Ratings falling, and massive layoffs have seen some their best talent leave the airwaves. Add in the fact they cancelled Barstool Van Talk after one show and ESPN was rudderless, yet John Skipper was given an extension as President. However, a short time later he resigned, citing a substance abuse problem. It's like watching the Titanic slam in the iceberg every day.
Money for Nothing Award:
Is there a worse contract in sports than the one the New York Knicks gave to Joakim Noah worth $72 million over four years? The former Defensive Player of the Year is a shell of his former self, and hurting the Knicks plans of moving forward. So far in the 2017/18 season Noah is averaging 1.5 ppg as the Knicks are better when he does not dress.
Underrated Player of the Year:
After the departure of Paul George, most expected the Indiana Pacers to go through a rebuilding year. However, the Pacers have played well in the first half of the NBA season a big reason has been the play of Victor Oladipo. Acquired in the George trade, Oladipo is in the midst of a breakout season for the Pacers, averaging 24.9 points per game in the first half of the season.
Surprise Team of the Year:
Any team other than UConn winning the Women's Basketball Tournament would be a surprise. South Carolina can thank Mississippi State whom they beat in the final as the Bulldogs knocked off the Huskies in the semifinals, ending their 111-game winning streak.
NBA Ads on Jersey
It was only a matter of time before it happened, but that does not mean we have to like. Sponsorship on jerseys came to the NBA in 2017 with ads in the upper right corner. This trend sadly will grow as one-day ads will be on NHL, NFL and MLB uniforms. Let's just hope it never turns into soccer uniforms where ads dominate the uniform and the team logo is secondary.
Vegas Golden Knights
There were not many great uniform unveilings in 2017, but just seeing a team in Las Vegas is good enough to get bonus points. The colors could be better, but the logo works great and seeing the expansion Golden Knights exhibit great success in the first half is good enough to say that this is a winning combination.
Comeback of the Year:
At the age of 36 Roger Federer had a season of rejuvenation in 2017. After not winning a major since 2012, Federer turned back the clock and won twice, taking the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Roger Federer's championship at Wimbledon was his eighth as he extended his record to 19 Grand Slam titles.
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Star of the Year
2002 Lance Armstrong
2003 Roger Clemens
2004 Boston Red Sox
2005 Peyton Manning
2006 LaDainian Tomlinson
2007 Tom Brady
2008 Michael Phelps
2009 Jimmie Johnson
2010 Drew Brees
2011 Dirk Nowitzki
2012 Usain Bolt
2013 Peyton Manning
2014 Gregg Popovich
2015 American Pharoah
2016 LeBron James
2017 Sidney Crosby
Falt Earth Award:
NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics and plays with a ground ball. However, despite evidence to the contrary believes the Earth is flat. I guess he missed his science classes in his one year at Duke.
Mascot of the Year:
There is only one Mr. Met, the best mascot in the history of sports. This year was a rough one for a walking bobble head, as the Mets seemingly lost a star player every day. Things got so bad, that Mr. Met out of frustration gave the finger to a group of heckling fans. In addition, he feuded with pitcher Noah Syndergaard who continued to make plays at Mrs. Met.
Ghost Buster Award:
After a legacy of final round meltdowns, Sergio Garcia who first gained attention with his PGA showdown with Tiger Woods finally won a major, capturing the Green Jacket at Augusta. Garcia won the Masters after beating Justin Rose by two strokes in a playoff.
Coach of the Year:
One of the reasons why the New England Patriots are so successful is they are so much better prepared than any other team they play. There is just one person to thank for that and that's their coach Bill Belichick who has now won a record five rings as head coach add to two as a defensive coordinator and you get the man with the most Super Bowl rings.
Twice on Ice Award:
The Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team in 19 years to successful defend the Stanley Cup, beating the Nashville Predators in six games after surviving a pair of seven game battles against the Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators.
Out a Winner Award:
Even though he was just along for the ride by the time the World Series arrived, Carlos Beltran provided a great deal of leadership to his younger teammates. The probable Hall of Famer had come close before only to watch his chance of winning float by, but after the Astros win Beltran called it a career.
Most Annoying Person Award:
In the acting world there is not much worse than a stage parent who rides the coat tail of a child actor. The sports world got the ultimate stage dad in 2017 with LaVar Ball a failed basketball player who lives of the exploits of his three sons, one a high NBA pick, one a UCLA dropout who created an international incident and a high schooler whose career he has now hijacked.
Bad Investment Award:
It's the dream of every big sports star to one day become an owner. It has been accomplished by Mario Lemieux, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Derek Jeter brought the Miami Marlins this year and found he did not have any money left and was forced to deal Giancarlo Stanton, getting nothing in return. Later he showed no knowledge of his team when he was confronted by Super Fan Marlins Man.
Chomp Down Award:
After having one of the best baseball programs in the nation, the University of Florida finally won the College World Series in 2017. The Gators joined UCLA, Ohio State and Michigan as the only schools to have won a National Championship in Basketball, Baseball and Football.
Nostraldamous Prophecy Award:
Three years ago, when the Houston Astros were just emerging from three straight 100-loss seasons, Sports Illustrated predicted they would win the 2017 World Series. In a year the city was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, the Astros made good on the prediction beating the Dodgers in seven-game classic. With George Springer who was on the cover of the prediction issue winning World Series MVP.
It don't mean a thing if you dont get the ring award:
The Cleveland Indians appeared to be a locomotive heading towards the postseason, as they ran off the longest winning streak in a century at 22 straight games. However, when the ALDS arrived the Tribe were stunned by the Yankees in five games, blowing a 2-0 lead as Cy Young winner Corey Kluber was clobbered twice.
Play of the Year:
Julian Edelman Catch
The New England Patriots Incredible Super Bowl comeback would likely not have happened if not for Julian Edelman who fought off three Atlanta Falcons and made a catch an inch off the ground for a key first down on the game tying drive. It was almost as big as the David Tyree catch that led to their loss nine years earlier.
Tobbocco Road Award:
The path to the NCAA Championship went down Tobacco Road as North Carolina won its sixth Men's Basketball Tournament, beating sentimental favorite Gonzaga in the final. This a year after their heartbreaking buzzer beating loss against Villanova.
Moron of the Award:
Not only the New York Giants suffer the worst season in franchise history, but the damage done by second year coach Ben McAdoo may take years to overcome. He alienated stars and former players with his handling of Eli Manning and came off as an asshat when having any press conference. It was clear all year he was in over his head, especially with those stupid sunglasses and slicked back hair.
Land of Confusion Award:
What's a Catch
NFL replay has overall helped the league, but a confusing catch rule and frame by frame high definition replay has turned it into hair splitting. Take the Jesse James catch that would have led the Steelers over the Patriots James made a catch but lost the ball after crossing the goal line in what appeared to be a secondary move.
Ship of Fools Award:
After clinching a playoff spot on the final day of the regular season last year, the New York Giants receiving corps celebrated aboard Justin Bieber's boat unaware they had six days to prepare for the Wild Card game in Green Bay. The Giants had several bad drops and lost the game 38-13.
Ageless Wonder Award:
At the age of 40, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is the best quarterback in the NFL. After leading a record comeback in Super Bowl LI for his fifth Lombardi Trophy, Brady has the Patriots in position for yet another Super Bowl run and it appears there is no end in sight as he is better now than he was ten years ago.