2006 Tank Awards
GOLDEN TANK
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.

GOLDEN TANK
Caught Red Handed Award:
Floyd Landis call him Fraud Landis he won the Tour de France but his urine registered levels of testosterone which were inhuman after his superhuman performance in the finals days of cycling's most grueling event.
Must Read of the Year:
San Francisco Chronicle Reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada, and Lance Williams forced MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to open an investigation on steroids use, that though going nowhere showed Selig's embarrassment as the book in detail described Barry Bonds who is soon to be the all-time HR leader steroids use. IF anybody were to doubt its accuracy the federal government confirmed its authenticity by slapping a subpoena on the writer's to reveal who their source was. The writers has thus far refused and face jail time, while sadly Bonds can tarnish forever baseball's most hallowed recorded. 
Bill Buckneer Choke of the Year:
Phil Mickelson in the US Open with a chance to win three straight major reverted back to the old Phil at the wrong time as he drove his first shot well off course and went down hill from there before carding a double bogey 6, had he gotten a par and played it safe he would have won, had he bogeyed he would have had a playoff instead he gave viewers one of the worst 72nd holes in Major history.
The Village Idiot Award:
Knicks GM & Coach Isiah Thomas who has turned a once proud franchise in the New York Knicks into the laughing stocks of the NBA, while demonstrating the old adage that true insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results as he continued to acquire overpriced underachieving players tying up the Knicks Salary Cap for years to come, while dealing away top prospects and draft players that could be used to improve the team.
The OZ Cellblock B
Team of the Year:

To the Cincinnati Bengals who seemingly every week had a different player in trouble with the law this year, things gotten so bad that new NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called for a meeting with the team to discuss their off field behavior.
America's Most Wanted Athlete of the Year:
Tank Johnson who was already on probation for illegal firearms when police raided his home and arrested him with 6 guns, not only that, but a judge ruled he can not leave Illinois possibly hurting his chance of playing in the Super Bowl if the Bears get there. That is if he's not sentenced to a Prison for Violation of Probation already.
Coward of the Year:
Denver Nuggets Star Carmelo Anthony whose new nickname should be Melo Yellow as in cowardly, as he punched Mardy Collins then backed away out of the fray like a sneaky six year old. Only the camera caught him and he was given a 15-game suspension.
The Money for Nothing Award :
Larry Brown who signed a 5-year $50 Million deal just a year earlier and was fired by the Knicks after an awful 23-59 record, then given a $17 million buy out of the rest of his contract by the Knicks who despite the NBA's highest payroll continue to remain in dire straits at the bottom rung of the NBA ladder.
Worst Dressed:
Oregon they have been ugly for a few years now, but what was that in the Las Vegas Bowl? The helmet was the color of puke, and the uniforms were to match, anybody who thinks this looks good must be high, colorblind, or blind, or all of the above. They should be given NCAA sanctions banning them from TV until they change their look.
Mascot of the Year:
Albert E. Gator earlier in the year he wrestled with the now departed Crocodile Hunter on a ESPN elevator then celebrated the Gator's first Basketball National Championship, but the fun ride didn't end there as the Gators are slated to play for the football title in January's 8th BCS Championship against Ohio State.
Best Dressed:
Milwaukee Bucks who went back to their traditional Green and Red Colors getting rid of the unpopular purple.
Worst Team of the Year:
The Oakland Raiders, one time they were sonorous with winning as they challenged for the AFC Championship almost every year. A dry spell in the 90's seemed all but forgotten as they remerged as top contenders in 2000. However, since going to Super Bowl XXXVII, where they lost to former Coach Jon Gruden they are an awful 15-48, while scoring just 165 points in 15 games this year, as fans in the Black Hole groan and wish for a return to the glory days.
Overrated Player of the Year:
There is no doubt that by numbers alone Alex Rodriguez is one of the best players in baseball, but on closer examination once can see its all a big fraud, as a bulk of A-Rod's HR and RBI come in blow outs, and when the pressure is on the spotlight is the brightest he shows truly how overrated he is as his 1 for 14 ALDS gave more fuel to fans who have begun to regularly boo him.
Tony Mandirich Bust of the Year:
In College Robert Gallery dominated the Big Ten at Ohio State much the same Tony Mandirich did at Michigan State, heading into the 2004 draft some suggested he may be the best player as he was chosen number two overall by the Raiders just like Mandirich, and just like Tony Mandirich his NFL career has been an utter failure, as defenders get past Gallery easier then an illegal crossing the Southern US border. 
The Pleeeeeeease Comeback Award:
The New York Yankees who gave Andy Pettite $16 million for a one year deal 3 years after he left the Bronx for his hometown Houston. In addition Pettite is allowed a 1 year player option for 2008 and many incentives including the ability to fly home when not pitching, the Yankees are also hopefully he is ale to convince Roger Clemens to return in 2007 as well.
How is HE Still Here? Award:
Matt Millen GM Detroit Lions whose team is a NFL worst 22-72 since taking over late in 2000. While firing three coaches, drafting mega bust QB Joey Harrington, and using 3 high first round picks on receivers, one who is out of football and another is  also on the road to bustville, all while frustrated Lions fans call for his job with an annual now end of the year walkout. Though further examination he must be black mailing the Ford Family to keep his job, at this point, how else could he be keeping his job?
Encore of the Year &
One for the road award:

Jerome Bettis ended his 13-year NFL career in style as he returned to his hometown of Detroit and won the Super Bowl ring he had always desired. Though his best years were behind him he still was a vital short yardage runner for the Steelers as he became their inspirational leader for their improbable Super Bowl run.
Rising Star Award:
Sidney Crosby his rookie season may have been slightly overshadowed by the dazzling play of Alexander Ovechkin, but at the age of 18 Crosby certainly did not disappoint as his numbers were good enough to win the Calder in almost every other season. So what happens in year two, he's already an established star leading the NHL in scoring, and still amazing is the fact he is just 19 years old.
Ironman of the Year:
Green Bay Packers QB Breet Favre who continued his amazing 14-year streak of starting at Quarterback, while keeping his Packers in the middle of the playoff hunt until the end of the season, which may also be his swan song as he once again will think hard about retiring at the end of the year.
Coach of the Year:
Jim Leyland the Detroit Tigers had been as down as a team could possibly be just three years ago they lost an American League record 119 games, they had not had a winning season in 13 years, as the stands of Comerica Park sat empty on most nights. Leyland who was away from the game for 7 years suddenly revived them as they were in first place almost all year, and although a late season slump saw them settle for the Wild Card, they caught fire in on the way to an American League Pennant. 

Lance Armstrong Inspirational
Athlete of the Year:

Jason McElwain  In the tradition of Rudy, this New York High School Senior reminded us what sports is truly about. Born with autism Jason McElwain has worked hard to fit and found his niche as his schools manager for basketball. On senior night they gave him a chance to play, and he shined brighter then anyone could imagine becoming a  3 point assassin that would make Larry Bird proud, as he scored 20 points in just 4 minutes of play and was carried the conquering hero off the court. 
2006 Sports E-Cyclopedia Star of the Year:
LaDainian Tomlinson 31 Touchdowns and counting with 1 game to go, that's more then two TDs a game, and that's not including two touchdown passes, while his San Diego Chargers are enjoying the best season in franchise history. It's as amazing and as dominant as it sounds. His Coach Marty Schottenheimer, has suggested that he may already be the greatest running back in NFL history. While the edge still goes to Jim Brown, and Walter Payton, the notion LT may be the best ever is not a crazy one. He has amassed 100 career Touchdowns faster then anyone else in NFL history. He is consistently among the leagues leading rushers, and he's a reliable pass catcher out of the backfield, and that's not mentioning his strong ability to pass the ball on certain occasions. While the debate over weather LaDianian Tomlinson is the best ever is far from decided, there's one thing for sure his 2006 season, may be the best individual season in NFL history. Week after week nobody has been able to stop LT, he's had 3 TDs or more 3 different times, and that includes 4 games in a row at one point where he had 3 TDs or more in a game. As this season winds down it may be even greater still as the Chargers have to be considered the favorites to win the Super Bowl.     
Most Painful TV Moment of the Year:
Bryant Gumble NFL Network, at one time he was a giant in the industry the face of the Today Show on NBC, before moving to CBS where he tried to start his own morning show, to rival his old network. That did not work out and the losing streak continues on the NFL Network as he may be the worst play by play man ever. Its not like Gumble does not know sports he hosted the NFL on NBC studio show at one time, and he does a capable job on HBO's real sports. However he is lost in game action as he is monotone and dull and full of factual errors, none more embarrassing then calling the NFL Play Clock a shot clock. 
Leon team player Award:
Terrell Owens who Continues to demonstrate how he's a team player by falling asleep in team meetings, showing up late, not practice in training camp and dropping more passes then any other receiver in the NFL. 
Most Annoying Person: (Tie)
Tim McCarver, that laugh, that voice and the statements like David Eckstein is like you and me he has 10 fingers and 10 toes, or when it rains the ground tends to get a little wet. Where would we be without such analysis, along with his partner Joe Buck who loves to shill and is the King of Nepotism and loves the King of Beers with a voice that is annoying and face too match. 
Game of the Year:
The Rose Bowl was the championship game last January and it was as good as advertised as it matched unbeaten Texas and unbeaten USC. The game was one for the ages as it went back and forth with neither side giving an inch. It had costly fumbles and feats of heroics, it had a classic comeback and a dramatic ending as Longhorns QB Vince Young scored the game winning TD with just 18 seconds left on a dazzling scramble. Although it was played on January 4th no game in the next 361 days could possibly match it.
Surprise Team of the Year:
Carolina Hurricanes, before a one year lockout the Hurricanes were NHL bottom dwellers, who had not quite gotten past their losing ways when they were in Hartford. However, they won their division and showed they were for real by bringing the Stanley Cup to NASCAR Country, all the while opening a new fan base that for a decade largely ignored hockey.
Trip Down Memory Lane Award:
Andre Agassi's best years may have been behind him, but that did not stop him from getting the love and devotion from the fans at the US Open this year as he made his final curtain call.

Stayed too long award:
Randy Johnson was once the most intimidating pitcher in baseball now he's a weak link in the Yankees rotation, with an ERA of 5.00 and a record of 17-11 was boosted by the run support he had playing on the top scoring team in baseball. However, looking closely you can see how poor of season he truly had, for against teams like the Mets which also had good offense he would be no match.
Save of the Year:
To the doctors who worked tirelessly to save the life of Kentucky Derby Winner Barbaro after he broke his leg in the Preakness Stakes, never before had a horse survived such serious injuries as the long road to recovery included many moments that were touch and go.
Classiest Athlete:
US Speedskater Jeoy Cheek who showed what the Olympics were all about when he donated all of his winnings to Right to Play an athlete-driven international humanitarian organization formed by former Olympic champion Johann Olav Koss of Norway.
Success at last award:
Bill Cowher, who has got the most of the Pittsburgh Steelers almost every year of his 15-year coaching career, finally got all he can as the Steelers became road warriors and became the first every 6th seed to win a Super Bowl, upsetting the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts along the way.
Bart Simpson Underachiever Award:
Bode Miller the leader of the much hyped US ski team not only went home empty handed, but was an embarrassment to any one dressed in Red, White and Blue for his partying off the slopes, which included an obscene gesture to reporters, and a genuine attitude of not caring, that's the old Olympic Spirit way to go.
Butthead of the year :
Zinedine Zidane of France for his now infamous head but of Italy's Marco Materazzi, after some trash talking, during extra time of the World Cup's Championship Game. Zidane who was France's best player was given a red card and was not available for the shoot out which Italy won taking the cup.
New Coke Bad Product of the Year:
The New NBA Basketball which like an itchy wool sweater will be returned to the shelves  on January 1st as players hated the synthetic ball which cut their fingers and left orange paint on everything they touched, as the NBA goes back the traditional leather ball.
Comeback of the Year:
Down 13 with 6 minutes to go and facing an 0-3 deficit in a series in which they were being dominated by the Dallas Mavericks, the Miami Heat suddenly caught fire and never looked back as they rallied to win the game and would take the next 4 to win their first ever NBA Title.
Arliss Snake of the Year:
Scott Boras, like Drew Rosenhauss in the NFL no agent slithers more talent up in MLB like Scott Boras, who is not beyond leaking fake information to drive the price up for his players. He is also not beyond putting his clients in places that would be bad for their careers for a few dollars more. Never mind the fact that playing for a winner in a ballpark better designed for pitching may lead to more money and better stats in the future.
The Winning When it Counts award:
In September the St. Louis Cardinals appeared heading for a historic collapse as they nearly blew an 8-game lead with just 10 games to go, while posting a mediocre 83-78 record. However, come October they got strong pitching and ended up winning their first World Series in 24 years.
Best Team of the Year:
Italia Soccer who won their 4th World Cup in Germany this summer, while having to deal with a soccer scandal that could turn their professional league upside down. They did it by beating the host Germans with a dramatic overtime goal as time wound down in the extra session, and by Penalty Kicks in the Championship against France.
Break up of the Year:
Allen Iverson and the 76ers after a tumultuous ten years in the city of brotherly love, it was not showing up at a Holliday Party for charity that was the final straw, as the rebuilding Sixers sent their face of the franchise home until a deal to the Denver Nuggets was worked out two weeks later.