2018 Tank Awards
Visit Our Sponsors
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:
Georgia put the ugh in UGA twice this year as they blew a lead in the National Championship Game against Alabama and did it again in the SEC Championship. Making matters worse they are upset they were excluded from the College Football Playoff. Forgetting that the SEC Championship essentially was a playoff game.
Face Plant Award:
Kris Dunn of the Chicago Bulls survived one of the scariest moments of the year when he fell face first into the hardwood after a slam dunk in January. Dunn land so hard his teeth left a mark in the floor, but he did not lose any teeth nor, did he suffer much damage to his face.
Empty Suit Award:
Just because he continues to be a blight on the NFL. He has not killed the Golden Goose yet, but he has given the goose cancer, and it is 50/50 whether it will survive Goodell's tenure. The true test for the Golden Goose's survival will come when the NFL faces its next labor deal because both sides are lining up for war.
Worst Team of the Year:
A once proud franchise hit rock bottom, as the Baltimore Orioles went 47-115 in 2018. This as they traded their star shortstop Manny Machado at the All-Star Break. Things look bleak in the near future also for Baltimore as there are not a bunch of prospects on the horizon.
Overrated Player of the Year:
The New York Yankees were already designing their championship rings after acquiring the 2017 NL MVP. However, once Giancarlo Stanton got into games the truth was learned that he has no clue what to do in clutch situations as he had bad at-bat after bad at-bat with the game on the line while hitting most of his monster home runs when the game was already decided.
Bust of the Year:
US Figure Skaters
In most Winter Olympics, the United States is at least a contender for gold in figure skating. However, in this year's games in Pyeong-Chang, the United States was only in contention for best fall, as were not even a factor with our biggest stars like Nathan Chen suffering disastrous performances in the short program.
Rising Stars Award:
When Tom Brady finally retires there is a list of great young quarterbacks to take over, one of them was the Kansas City Chiefs second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes at the age of 23 became the youngest player to throw for 50 touchdowns in an NFL season.
2017 Sports E-Cylopedia Star of the Year
After years of frustration, the Washington Capitals have finally won the Stanley Cup, as their superstar Alex Ovechkin finally fulfilled his promise of carrying Washington to the promised land. Along the way, the Capitals had to slay multiple dragons. In the first round, the Capitals lost the first two games at home and needed a 3-2 win in double overtime to avoid falling behind 3-0 against the Blue Jackets. The Capitals would go on to win the series in six games. Next up was the Penguins, whom Washington beat for just the second time in 11 playoff meetings as Evgeny Kuznetsov got the game-winner in overtime in Game 6. In the Eastern Conference Finals Washington won Game 7 on the road, with Braden Holtby getting shutouts in the last two games. They then went on to beat the Vegas Golden Knights in five games as Alex Ovechkin won the Conn Smythe with 15 goals in the postseason.
Worst Call of the Year:
MLB has some explaining to do as in how does this man still have a job after more than two decades of demonstrating he is a terrible umpire. That was never more clear than in the ALDS when he made several bad calls, that were overturned by replay.
Inspirational Athlete of the Year:
In the tradition of Jim Abbott, Shaquem Griffin has always defied the odds, first playing division 1 football despite losing his hand when he was just four. This year he joined his twin brother Shaquill on the Seattle Seahawks and played solid defense at the linebacker position.
Best Team of the Year:
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox have become the jewel franchise in MLB. After 86 years of waiting they have now won the World Series four times since 2004. This year's Red Sox team may have been the best team yet, winning 108 games than beating the 100-win Yankees defending champion Astros and dominating the Dodgers in the World Series.
Game of the Year:
World Series Game 3
It was a marathon for the ages, as the Los Angeles Dodgers facing a must-win beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 in 18 innings on a walk-off home run by Max Muncy ending the longest game in the history of the Fall Classic.
Bonehead Play of the Year:
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway appeared in over his head on many occasion as the Mets saw an 11-1 start blow up with a June swoon for the ages. Along the way, he had his team bat out of order in a move that would be embarrassing for little league let alone MLB.
Divine Help Award:
Loyola-Chicago became the darlings of the dance, this year making a run to the Final Four after their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 33 years. Along for the ride was their biggest fan, a retired teacher and spiritual advisor named Sister Jean, who at 98 became the most popular fan in the NCAA.
Always Hurting Award:
It was another season full of injuries for the New York Mets high-priced outfielder as he missed most of the year again and after returning from the DL, played one game and underwent surgery that will likely cost him most of 2019 too.
Underrated Player of the Year:
He does not get the headlines or endorsements of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Speith or Rory McIlroy, but in 2018 Brooks Koepka had a year that Tigers Woods would be envy of in his prime, winning the US Open and the PGA Championship, while winning Player of the Year. All this while missing the Masters with a wrist injury.
Surprise Team of the Year:
Vegas Golden Knights
They were the expansion team that took the NHL by storm, the Vegas Golden Knights showed everyone that Sin City could support big-time sports and the NHL as they went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season smashing all expansion records on the way.
Notre Dame Yankees
The New York Yankees uniforms are special in baseball they just fit the team right. Notre Dame with their gold helmets have the same tradition in the NCAA, but for one Saturday the Irish tried to look like the Yankees and it just did not look right. Notre Dame is not Notre Dame without those beautiful gold helmets.
Of all the city uniforms, none are better than the Miami Heat who are paying tribute to the classic show Miami Vice. The uniforms are so good, they should become the full-time Heat uniforms.
Comeback of the Year:
After missing the entire 2017 season and a good chunk of 2016, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts reminded everyone that he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. All of this while the Indianapolis Colts became the second team to make the playoffs after starting 1-5.
Visit our Sponsors
Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties
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
2018 Alex Ovechkin
Troll of the Year:
Sacramento Kings to Stephen Curry
Days after saying he did not believe the moon landing was real, and after trying to backtrack, Stephen Curry was trolled by the Kings during pre-game introductions with footage of the moon, with the song "Zoom, Zoom, Zoom we are going to the Moon" playing.
Mascot of the Year:
In a just few months, the Philadelphia Flyers new mascot was everywhere. With wild crazy eyes and even crazier hair the orange blob was knocking over fans, Santa, and making an appearance at Barstool headquarters and at the Tonight Show, while being used on protest banners.
Maude Flanders Award:
Hot Dog Cannon
In a case of life imitating art, Kathy McVay a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies was injured when she was struck in the face by a hot fired from the Phanatic's hot dog cannon. At least she did not end up like poor old Maude Flanders who was killed by a T-Shirt Cannon on the Simpsons.
Coach of the Year:
Nobody knows the struggles of a backup quarterback more than Doug Pederson who in his career stood behind Dan Marino and Brett Favre. So when the Eagles lost Carson Wentz he did not panic as Nick Foles led the team to win its first Lombardi Trophy including an upset of the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Summer Rerun Award:
Golden State Warriors
It was the same matchup for the fourth straight year as the Golden State Warriors swept the Cleveland Cavaliers winning for the third time in four years as the Cavs crumbled after J.R. Smith's vapor lock in Game 1.
What Could Have Been Award:
He could have been a Hall of Famer, he could have been the greatest New York Mets player ever, but instead, he went out quietly playing five innings after missing two years due to spinal stenosis which robbed him of the chance for greatness.
Most Annoying Person Award:
Over a course of a few days, LeBron James accused NFL Owners of being slave owners, made Anti-Semitic comments, and walked into an NBA arena on he was not playing, this on top of joining the Los Angeles Lakers and openly tampering with Anthony Davis of the Pelicans after speaking out against superteams.
Can We Get a Refund Award:
It took just 11 games for the Houston Rockets to realize they made a big mistake signing Carmelo Anthony as they told him to go home while they worked out a trade. Right away the Rockets the second best team in the NBA struggled with Melo on the floor starting 4-7. Meanwhile, they have still not found any takers as Melo is chilling at home and getting paid.
Eager Beaver Award:
Oregon State Baseball
Oregon State has developed into quite the powerhouse in baseball, winning their third College World Series since 2006 by beating up Arkansas.
Super Mario Award:
US Curling Team
Of all the moments to galvanize American sports fan, this year's events was an overnight Curling match, that saw the American Men take home a surprise Gold Medal with a skip who looked like Mario from the famous video game.
Full Closet Award:
$pecial Edition Uniforms
To quote Susan Powder STOP THE INSANITY. From the NCAA Football to MLB and the NBA, there are more and more uniforms being worn. Whether it be for mother's day, the fourth or July or Player's Weekend or in the NBA throwbacks, and city edition or earned editions it seems teams will soon have a different jersey for every game.
Play of the Year:
To beat the New England Patriots you need to go big or go home, and the Philadelphia Eagles did that near the end of the first half in the Super Bowl as Nick Foles caught a touchdown pass on fourth down from Trey Burton.
Super Nova Award:
The first quarter of the year was special for Philadelphia as Villanova followed up the Eagles Super Bowl Championship by winning the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament for the second time in three years.
Moron of the Award:
Not only did Mark Davis give Jon Gruden a ten-year contract, part ownership and $100 million, but he has also essentially given him full control something that has been nothing short of disastrous trading the Raiders two top players. Gruden for his part helped the Bears and Cowboys each win their division with the trades.
Life is a Soap Oprea Award:
From non-stop bickering to bad calls, chirping in the press and the holdout of Le'Veon Bell the Steelers had one distraction after another in 2018. In the past, they have somehow overcome it, but this year they did not as they missed the playoffs with Antonio Brown getting benched and leaving the final game at the half.
Blame My Wife Award:
The former Philadelphia 76ers General Manager blamed his wife Barbara Bottini after he was linked to a burner account on Twitter being critical of his players. Blaming his wife did not save his job and likely coast the Sixers any chance of landing LeBron James or any other big star this offseason.
Ageless Wonder Award:
Another season, another pro bowl selection, another division title and hoping to make a trip to a mind-blowing ninth Super Bowl in 18 years, that is what is at stake in the next month for Tom Brady of the New England Patriots who is better at 41 than he was at 25.