November 05, 2007

Welcome to this week's Monday Awards, dedicated to the memory of the late, great Fabulous Moolah. Man, could she bring down the house with that signature "hair pull snapmare." God help Pierce Brosnan if he ever tried to sucker punch this lady.

We're going to start this ceremony off by honoring those who serve our country. The Team of the Week goes to Navy, which beat Notre Dame -- 46-44 in three overtimes -- for the first time in 44 years. To put that in perspective, the last time Navy beat the Irish was in 1963, when Roger Staubach was the Midshipman quarterback and zip codes were first introduced to the U.S. Oh, and I almost forgot, Brian Boitano was also born in '63.

Traditionally, the Player of the Week goes to a single athlete who out performed the rest of the weekend competition. The obvious winner would be Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, who ran for an SEC-record 323 yards in a 48-36 Razorback victory over South Carolina. But everybody already knows that he's a stud. Instead, we're going to give this honor to Jerome Freeman. The Southern Connecticut State running back ran for 413 yards in the Owls' 56-28 win over Bryant. That, my friends, is a D-II record.

I don't know if you all were informed, but the Virginia Tech University Bass Club recently won a national championship, and if there is one thing we all know, it's championships equal Monday Awards. The Here Fishy Fishy Award goes to VTech's Scott Wiley and Brett Thompson, who caught a bag of four fish that weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces, to take home the Under Armour College Bass National Championship. Impressive, especially, since it was only six months ago that Wiley and Thompson created the Bass Club. For the tournament, they didn't even have their own boat; they had to borrow one from a local Virginia dealership. This all leads to one very important question: What does Under Armour have to do with fishing?

We here at the Monday Awards understand that after playing a tough football game there's really nothing less appealing than having to clean your own stadium. So we're going to give the Mr. (Not So) Messy Pants Award to the Penn State football team, which recently received a reprieve from coach Joe Paterno and no longer have to show up at Beaver Stadium on Sunday mornings to clean up the student section. The team couldn't really complain either. JoePa and the coaching staff picked up trash right alongside his players. That guy is so old school; he practically invented the pencil.

Most average 14-year-olds are probably into reading comic books and playing paper football. Then there's Maiscei Grier; he's into college. The Baby Baller Award goes to Grier, a 5-foot-8, 125-pound high school freshman in Las Vegas who, last week, committed to play basketball for Rutgers after visiting the college's campus. So what does a 14-year-old do when he visits college? He's too young to party. Do you think he chose Rutgers because of the dining hall's soft-serve machine? Or maybe he just liked the school's pretty colors.

You know what I love about Harvard football players? Not a whole lot. But if I had to choose something, I'd say that they're kind of smart. On this note, the Using Your Head Award goes to Vin R. Ferrera, a former Crimson quarterback who, along with his start-up company, Xenith LLC, recently developed a football helmet that reflects the biggest advancement in helmet technology in years. The X1 aims to minimize the risk of a concussion by improving on the foam lining in a standard helmet. It will be used by a limited number of college teams, including Harvard, this spring or next fall. I hope it also comes fully equipped with koozies and earphones that blast Eye of the Tiger non-stop. That would be awesome.

Hey, listen, we all have bad days, but some are worse than others. The Really Bad Day Award goes to former Nevada basketball player Tyrone Hanson. After being specifically told not to go out by his coach, Hanson snuck out to a Halloween party. That would turn out to be a very bad decision. A party crasher bumped into Hanson on the dance floor and then proceeded to severely beat and rob the 6-foot-6 forward. By the end of the night three people at the party had been shot to death. Hanson survived, but upon returning from the hospital, he found out that he'd been kicked off the basketball squad by his coach for violating team rules. I guess, looking at the big picture, Hanson's day could've been worse.

Three days ago, we believed that college basketball exhibition games were about as fun as a minor case of gonorrhea. Now, we stand corrected. The Most Important Unimportant Victory Award goes to Grand Valley State, which upset Michigan State 85-82 in an exhibition contest that went to double overtime. It will never show up on the regular season record books, but the Lakers held MSU to 37.1 percent from the floor and out-rebounded their Big Ten opponent. After the game, the GVSU coach worried that his team would overlook its next opponent, Columbus State. Come on, Coach. Of course, you're going to overlook Columbus State. You just beat Michigan State! You're probably going to overlook the rest of the season.

There's a reason that golfers shouldn't play football. With their pleated khakis and their collar shirts, they're just not cut out for it. Take, for example, Alabama golfer Michael Thompson, the recipient of the Finger Licking Good Award. Thompson is the number one amateur golfer in the nation, but apparently, he also likes to play football. A few weeks ago, he was out tossing the pigskin around when he broke his left ring finger going for a catch. Now, Thompson can't hit the links for two months. Plus, his country club probably has a strict "no cast" policy so he's in big trouble.

When a doctor hits your knee with one of those triangle hammer thingies, you kick your leg. When you stare at the sun, you sneeze. For certain actions, there is a very simple cause and effect. On that note, we'd like to present the What Did You Think Would Happen Award to the two Ohio State fans who showed up at a fraternity party in State College before the big OSU-PSU game and promptly were showered in beer cans and boos and maybe a few insults. Someone posted a video of the event online and now Penn State University officials are "expressing regret" and "sadness." Sadness? Really? If a man walks into a lion cage covered in red meat and the lion attacks, whose fault is it?

Experienced coaches know how to handle certain situations, that's why they've been around for so long. The winner of the Cagey Coach Award goes to South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier. Asked what he would've done if he'd been coaching Florida when Georgia's players had a team celebration in the end zone, Spurrier said that he would've sent his third-string players out on the field to get in a fight. So smart, this Spurrier guy. If the Bulldog players had gotten into a fight, massive ejections and suspensions would've followed. But would it have worked? No way. When was the last time you saw a fight between two teams where only one team left the bench? Much like Spurrier's pro football coaching career, the results would've been disappointing.

That's all, folks. Thanks for tuning in this week and remember, if Katie Holmes can run a marathon, anything is possible.

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