2003 Tank Awards

Gift of the Year-

Fiesta Bowl Referees who gave the Ohio State Buckeyes a tainted National Championship on a phantom pass interference call.

Payback is a Bitch Award-

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Jon Gruden who got the ultimate revenge on his old boss Al Davis as the Bucs beat the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Many Happy Returns Award-

Kansas City Chiefs KR Dante Hall who returned a kick for a TD in 4 straight games.

Mandaubaum Man of the Year (Seinfled Reference)-

New York Yankees Bench Coach Don Zimmer who at 73 tried to take on Boston Red Sox Pitcher Pedro Martinez.

Blonde Ambition Award-

Tampa Bay Devil Rays Manager Lou Piniella who dyes his hair blonde after his team won 4 straight.

Relay of the Year-

To the 6 Houston Astros pitchers who combined to no hit the New York Yankees.

Ironman of the Year -

Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre for playing with both physical injuries and emotional heartbreak to have another stellar season without missing a game.

Most Breakable Player of the Year-

Cincinnati Reds OF Ken Griffey Jr. who for the second straight season played less then half of his teams games.

Inspirational Athlete of the Year-

San Jose State Special Teamer Chris Parry for returning to the field just 3 years after an injury cost him his leg.

The Animal House Coach of the Year Award-

Former Iowa State Basketball Coach Larry Eustachy for embarrassing his school, his family, and himself by attending a co-ed kegger which would later coast his job.

The You Bet Your Life Award-

Former Washington Football Coach Rick Neuhisal who was fired for participating in a high stakes NCAA Tournament Pool.

The Ignorance is Bliss Award-

Former Baylor Basketball Coach Dave Bliss for telling his team to lie about the missing Patrick Dennehy, who was murdered by teammate Carlton Dotson.

The OZ Cellblock B Team of the Year -

To the Portland Trailblazers for continuing to embarrass their city daily with arrests, fines, and suspensions.

Caught Red Handed Award-

Chicago Cubs Star Sammy Sosa who got caught using a corked bat after a broken bat sprayed cork all over the field.

Lock of the Year-

Los Angeles Dodgers Closer Eric Gagne who saved all 55 games he came into save.

The Money for Nothing Award -

To the New York Rangers for mi$$ing the playoffs for the 6th year in a row despite having the league’s highest payroll.

Constellation Gift of the Year-

Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Goalie Jean-Sebasstien Giguere who won the Conn Smythe despite his team falling in 7 games in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Success at Last Award-

Syracuse Orangemen for finally winning the National Basketball Championship.

Worst Pass of the Year-

New York Jets legend Joe Namath whose advances to ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber hit the ground with a sickening thud.

Worst Teams of the Year-

Detroit Tigers for setting a AL record with 119 losses, and the Detroit Lions for a NFL record 24 straight road losses.

Surprise Team of the Year-

Florida Marlins for defying the odds and winning the World Series.

Best Team of the Year-

New Jersey Devils for winning their 3rd Stanley Cup in 9 years.

The Homer Simpson "D'oh!" of the Year -

To Cubs fan Steve Bartman who became the ultimate scapegoat after interfering with a catchable foul ball.

Calling Mr. Stupid Award-

New Orleans Saints WR for his endzone phone call on a cellular phone hidden under the goal post padding after a TD against the New York Giants.

Best Dressed-

Cleveland Cavaliers new look gives a team with a history of bad uniforms a look they can be proud of.

Worst Dressed-

Dallas Stars whose 3rd jerseys stunningly ugly feature a constellation that looks more like a drawing of a uterus in high school textbooks.

Trip Down Memory Lane Award-

The NHL for its Heritage Classic Game between the Oilers and Montreal Canadiens which was played outdoors at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

The Thanks for everything Award-

Nebraska Coach Frank Solich who was fired despite a solid 9-3 record.

The "How is HE Still Here?" Award -

Los Angeles Clippers GM Elgin Baylor, who has been with the Clippers for 15 years and the team, has been the league’s laughing stock almost every year.

Anchors Aweigh Award-

San Antonio Spurs Center David Robinson who rode into the sunset with a NBA Championship.

The Dave Kingman Award -

To Ricky Henderson who was forced to play for the Newark Bears for half of the season after having nobody want to sign him.

Stayed too long award-

Emmitt Smith who has rushed for just 236 yards in a frustrating season with the Arizona Cardinals after being cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Gone too soon award-

Atlanta Thrashers Defenseman Dan Snyder who had finally made it on a NHL roster when he was tragically killed in a single car accident driven by teammate Dany Heatley who faces charges for vehicular homicide.

Never Give Up Award-

Okalahoma QB Jason White who won the Heisman after his previous 2 seasons ended with severe knee injuries.

Mascot of the Year-

Calgary Flames Pooch Harvey the Hound who came back quickly after getting his tongue ripped out by Oilers Coach Craig MacTavish.

History Maker of the Year-

Lace Armstrong who continued to inspire and amaze by winning a record tying 5th straight Tour De France.

Rising Star of the Year-

Florida Marlins Rookie Dontrelle Willis, whose infectious enthusiasm helped, spur his team on to the World Series.

Mark Messier Leadership Moment of the Year-

Florida Marlins Catcher Ivan Rodriguez who seemingly willed his team throughout the postseason, with both his defensive play and ability to come through in the clutch.

Coach of the Year-

Florida Marlins 73-year old skipper Jack McKeon who took over a last place team in May and guided them to a World Championship.

The one more for the road award & Star of the Year-

Roger Clemens who retired after another solid season in which he won his 300th game.

  • Ohio State should save their kisses for the referee who handed them the National Championship with a phantom call.

  • A triumph Coach Jon Gruden after the Tampa Baya Buccaneers beat the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in the Super Bowl.

  • Dante Hall’s big returns were a key to the Kansas City Chiefs franchise best 9-0 start.

  • Tampa Bay Devil Rays Manage Lou Piniella decided to go blonde after his team won 3 straight.

  • Don Zimmer must have forgotten he was 73 when he tried to start a fight with Pedro Martinez.

  • Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Bradley Lidge, Ocatbio Dotel, and Billy Wagner Astros No Hit Relay Team

  • Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers through a broken thumb and a broken heart continues to prove he may be the toughest QB ever.

  • Ken Griffey Jr. has seemingly become a permanent member on the DLwith just 122 games over 2 seasons.

  • Chris Parry of San Jose State with the ultimate comeback with a prosthetic leg.

  • All Larry Eustachy was missing was a toga now he is missing a job too after going to a campus kegger.

  • The only question for Dave Bliss is how can he live with himself after hindering the search for Patrick Denehy.

  • Sammy Sosa becomes uncorked as every Home Run he has hit now gets extra scrutiny.

  • With Eric Gagne in the pen the Los Angeles Dodgers needed just to get the lead in the 9th Inning to win.

  • Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s great postseason run must taste a little sour after the Mighty Ducks lost the Cup.

  • After years of coming close Syracuse was finally able to climb the mountain and win the NCAA Tournament.

  • Nobody symbolized the Detroit Tigers losing more then Mike Maroth who was the first hurler to lose 20 games since 1980.

  • The Detroit Lions are hardly kings of the road with a NFL record 24-straight losses.

  • The Florida Marlins this years ultimate dark horse who went from last place in May to World Champions in October.

  • Just revealed Joe Horn was calling to order playoff tickets, as his Saints are going nowhere again.

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers now have a future with LeBron James, and nice uniform to rack up the merchandise sales.

  • Education meets sports fashion as the Dallas Stars display the female reproductive system on their alternate jerseys.

  • The New Jersey Devils finally got some due after winning their 3rd Stanley Cup in 9 years.

  • Until the Chicago Cubs win the World Series Steve Bartman’s name will have a chilling sound for all Cub fans.

  • The Heritage Classic was simply hockey at its purest form, and back to its earliest stages as the Canadiens and Oilers played

  • Tim Duncan may have been the MVP but the spirit of the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs had to be David Robinson who rode off into the sunset a champ.

  • Eventually Emmitt Smith’s year with the Arizona Cardinals will be forgotten, but until then everyone wishes it never happened.

  • After 2 season-ending knee injuries just staying healthy would have been nice for Oklahoma QB Jason White, but winning the Heisman makes it all the sweeter.

  • Dan Snyder on the verge of finally making it into the NHL was suddenly killed at the young age of 25.

  • Calgary Flames Mascot Harvey the Hound was able to shake off the loss of his tongue and howl again with in days.

  • Lance Armstrong continued to amaze in 2003 by capturing a record tying 5th Tour De France, in his closest and toughest race.

  • In Climbing from last place in May to World Champions the Florida Marlins relied on young and old with 21-year old rookie of the year Dontrelle Willias and 73-year old Manager Jack McKeon.

  • As the calendar hit October Florida Marlins Catcher Ivan Rodriguez was the hungriest player in all of baseball as he carried his teammates into the World Series.

  • With 310 wins and 4,099 career strikeouts to go along with his record 6 Cy Youngs Roger Clemens is clearly the best picther of the last 20 years and that all earns him the 2003 Star of the Year.

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.