Well, first of all, I want to wish everyone at Camelclutchblog.com, and all contributors and especially you readers a Happy New Year!! I hope that 2012 will be a great new year for everyone.
Now, that I have gotten that out of the way, I admit that I am in a little bit of mourning. The NFL regular season of the 2011-12 season ended on January 1, 2012, and what a season it was. It was a season that a lot of the so called “experts,” and many fans did not think would happen because of the NFL Lockout for much of the calendar year of 2011. Mini camps, and most of the off season activities were wiped out, and even the first pre season game, the Hall of Fame Game were wiped out. However, thanks to the hard work of men like New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, Player rep and Indianapolis Colts Center, Jeff Saturday, and many others, a CBA lasting for ten years was reached and we had a season and no games that “counted” were missed.
What a season it was. We NFL fans saw lots of highlights like the defending World Champion Green Bay Packers attempting to go undefeated, but falling to the Kansas City Chiefs. We saw Dan Marino’s 27 year old record of 5087 passing yards in a season fall to a man who is not only a great QB, but a great person in Saints QB Drew Brees who finished the season with 5,476 passing yards. We saw two other QBs throw for over 5,000 yards, Patriots QB Tom Brady (5,235 yards, second to Brees), and the Lions’ Matthew Stafford (5,039 yards). We saw the San Fransisco 49ers being raised from the dead by new coach Jim Harbaugh, and getting the second seed in the NFC playoff seeding, and the resurgence of the Detroit Lions who made the playoffs for the first time since 1999, plus many more highlights.
[adinserter block=”2″]On the flipside, we saw the low lights. Indianapolis Colts’ QB Peyton Manning underwent a third neck surgery in 19 months right before the season opener, and unfortunately , had to have a one level fusion surgery, leaving a lot of questions about his future. The team finished with a 2-14 record, and are on the clock. Will they pick the highly touted Andrew Luck? We will see. We saw the so called “Dream Team” Philadelphia Eagle just have a wacky year that can be described as disappointing to say the least. We saw the tough talking New York Jets crash and burn, and evidently they can dish it out, but can’t take it, according to this link: http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jets/post/_/id/10171/scott-jets-stars-cant-wait-to-get-away. Of course, we had the usual discussions of which team’s coach is on the “hot seat?” routine, and right after the season ends, is the dreaded “Black Monday.” That day is living up to it’s reputation. Gone from their jobs are: Raheem Morris from Tampa Bay, Steve Spagnola and the Rams GM Bill Devaney, and a shocker: Bill Polian (Vice Chairman), and his son Chris (GM) are gone from the Indianapolis Colts as of this writing.
Well, as the end of the NFL season has occurred, it is time for awards. The Associated Press gives out their awards. and all. Well, I will be giving my awards. I will be using the usual categories, and some of my own, just to make this fun. Enjoy
NFL MVP : Well, the players I am considering are Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Saints’ Drew Brees, and Patriots’ Tom Brady. One can make an argument for just about all three of them. Rodgers had the best season of the three, and unlike the other two, did not have a multiple interception game. Like Brady, Rodgers is playing with a horrid defense. The Patriots’ defense finished ranked 31st in the NFL , and Packers finished ranked 32nd according to this article from the Boston Herald, http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/rap_sheet/?p=16226&srvc=sports&position=recent_bullet .Therefore, both guys are being depended on to be perfect, and keep on scoring, and pull their teams out of the fire so to speak. Rodgers beat Brees head to head in the first game of the season, but Brees came on late with his amazing feat of breaking Dan Marino’s record. Brees finished as the leader, even though Tom Brady also surpassed Marino as well.
MVP: Since in the AP voting you can split your vote: Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady Honorable Mention: Drew Brees.
Offensive Player Of the Year: The candidates are Victor Cruz, WR for the Giants, Brees, Brady, Patriots WR. Wes Welker, Patriots TE, Rob Gronkowski. We saw Cruz become a star , and a huge target for Eli Manning. Gronkowski broke Kellen Winslow Sr’s record for yards, and Wes Welker had a sensation season. Brady threw for 39 TD for the second season in a row, as well for passing Marino’s passing mark. Of course, the record holder for passing yards is Drew Brees.
Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Brees Honorable Mention: Rob Gronkowski
Defensive Player of the Year: There are a few guys I like for this award: Steelers’ Troy Polamalu, Ravens’ Terrell Suggs, 49ers Aldon Smith, Denver Bronco’s Von Miller, Viking’s Jared Allen. . Jared Allen was within half a sack to take over former Giant great Michael Strahan’s sack record. Polamalu has been lights out this year, and nearly unstoppable. He keeps that Steeler defense going, and is very valuable to them that the defense struggles without him. Suggs has been a holy terror for the Baltimore Ravens as a sack master. Broncos’ Von Miller and 49er’s Aldon Smith have been awesome in their rookie year for their respective teams.
Defensive Player of the Year: Troy Polamalu Honorable Mention: Terrell Suggs
Offensive Rookie of the Year: To me, this is a match race between two rookie quarterbacks: Cincinnati Bengals’ Andy Dalton, and Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton. As most fans know, there was a lot of attention in college, and into the draft concerning Cam Newton. There was a lot of controversy concerning his father and the NCAA , and all that garbage. Of course, a lot of people in the media immediately said he was too stupid to learn an NFL offense, and was going to be a bust. Funny, no one ever said that (pre draft) about Tim Couch from the University of Kentucky, but I am not surprised. Anyway, I digress. Well, with a shortened offseason, and right out of the gate. Cam Newton was dazzling. Newton threw for 422 yards, the most for a debuting QB, and never looked back. Yes, he threw picks. Yes, he had bad games. Yes, Andy Dalton “lead” his team to the playoffs (the Bengals backed in thanks to losses by other teams). However, Newton destroyed many rookie records, one of which held by Peyton Manning as a rookie (http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/12/cam_newton_breaks_peyton_manni.html ). The team needs to get their defense better, and healthier. Imagine Newton with a complete offseason? Newton showed a lot of poise in the pocket. He wasn’t a run first QB like Vick. He also helped WR Steve Smith re-energize his career as well. Newton does not seem intimidated. Newton carries himself like a star, and hates losing which I like. He hasn’t said anything stupid in the press either, and seems to understand that the NFL is a business. I know his recent comments about his critics and Vince Young have caused some controversy, but I am a bit undecided about them.
Dalton did a great job as well. He also played with a lot of poise. He and fellow rookie, A.J. Green have great chemistry already. They are going to be scary in the AFC North for years to come. The game does not seem too big for him. He did pretty well against the mediocre teams, but Pittsburgh and Baltimore gave him fits thought. As he gains experience, I think he will be able to compete with them.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Cam Newton Honorable Mention: Andy Dalton
Defensive Rookie of the Year: This is between Von Miller and Aldon Smith for me. Miller has been a beast. He has especially been helpful during Tim Tebow’s Magic Carpet ride on defense, helping out veterans like Elvis Dumervil, and Champ Bailey. He is a great tackler as well. The 49ers have an excellent LB besides their star LB Patrick Willis, and his name is Aldon Smith. He is an awesome sack master. I have been impressed with him.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aldon Smith Honorable Mention: Von Miller
Coach of the Year: There are several coaches who are well deserving: Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy, 49ers’ Jim Harbaugh, Patriots’ Bill Bellichick, Bengals’ Marvin Lewis, and Texans’ Gary Kubiak, Coach McCarthy obviously is leading a Green Bay team that is just a machine pretty much. Coach Harbaugh brought the 49ers, a once proud franchise that recently fell into the abyss, back into existence, and helped Alex Smith become a decent QB. Coach Bellichick, well, he does what he does. Coach Lewis got his team to a 9-7 record, and into the playoffs. Lewis accomplished all this without all the drama: the situation with Carson Palmer, Ocho Cinqo, T.O, and Houshmenzada. Lewis got the team focused, and they just played football. Great job. Coach Kubiak FINALLY got the Texans their first AFC South title, and a trip to the playoffs.
Coach of the Year: Jim Harbaugh Honorable Mention: Gary Kubiak
Well, those are the NORMAL awards, well, here are the awards that of my own choosing (and suggested by my editor). There will be some wrestling themes to these to make this fun.
Game of the Year: Wow, there has been so many great games, but I think the game of the year had to be the Week 15 Match Up on Dec 4, 2011 between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants. The end saw Giants QB Eli Manning lead the Giants Offense to score the go ahead score and get the 2 point conversion to D. Ware. With time left on the clock, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers lead the Packers to victory by going down the field , and GB kicker Mason Crosby kicked the winning field goal, and the Packers left the Meadowlands with a 38-35 victory. Rating: 5 stars.
Honorable Mention: Week 4 Detroit Lions defeating the Dallas Cowboys 34 -31. Great job by Lions taking advantage of turnovers by the Cowboys. Rating: 4 stars
Best Touch Down Celebration: There are a couple of guys that could win this. You have Patriots’ TE Rob Gronkowski’s spike, andJets’ WR Santonio Holmes’ Jet Plane ride thing he does. Patriots’ TE Aaron Hernandez has that “Make it Rain” routine after scoring. Even Patriots’ Tom Brady spikes the ball when he scores every blue moon. You have Ravens’ RB Ray Rice making a muscle after he scores. Ever since the NFL inserted the politically correct “celebration penalty,” it is hard to pick a good example for a celebration. The real good one is Giants WR Victor Cruz’ salsa dance. That is awesome.
Even though I like a lot of the ones I mentioned, it was this one by Patriots’ WR Deion Branch that took the prize:
Co winner: Victor Cruz’ Salsa Dance
Honorable Mention: Rob Gronkowski’s Spike
Best TD Score: There were some cool ways of players scoring. There was that Tyler Palko of the Kansas City Chiefs throwing that Hail Mary against the Chicago Bears in Week 13 only to have Bears LB bat the ball down in the endzone into the Chiefs receiver’s hands. We had Tim Tebow making Houdini like escapes and scoring.
However, this one by Jerome Simpson of the Cincinnati Bengals is awesome. When I saw it, I just said, to quote retired WWE wrestler Ron Simmons, “DAMN!”
Here’s the winner:
Honorable Mention: The Tyler Palko Hail Mary
Well, it is time to “go home” as they say in the wrestling business, so I have three final awards:
The “Know Your Role And Shut Your Mouth” Award or for the Jerichohalics, the “Please, Shut The Hell Up” Award:
This award is for the most obnoxious players, coaches or executives who just love to run their mouths , and don’t even back up their verbal diarrhea. If I could, I would be here all day listing them. I mean, these players don’t know the meaning of ‘put up , or shut up.” Some of the nominees are Cowboys Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan, his twin brother , Rex Ryan, the head coach of the NY Jets, the Jets’ WR Santonio Holmes, Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, and Terrell Suggs.
Rex Ryan is just plain annoying. Sure, he is confident. However, when he starts disrespecting coaches like Tom Coughlin saying that Coach Coughlin and his Giants “have never done anything,” I am sorry, but Ryan is bordering on Jerry Glanville territory. Coughlin’s never done anything? Didn’t he lead the G Men to a shocking Super Bowl victory over the then undefeated 2007 Patriots? Rob Ryan should just shut up about his team having the best defense. They could not stop the Giants the two times they met this season. Terrell Suggs is a punk, and Holmes is a cry baby, and a quitter. Jackson needs to grow up fast.
Winner of this award: Rex Ryan takes this. Hands down.
Honorable Mention: Rob Ryan
A message for the winner:
The Rated R Superstar ESPN and other sports media were ” WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.” (pause) WRONG….award.
Boy, one reason I can not stand a lot of sports media, especially ESPN, is because ESPN loves to be a hype machine, rather than be a credible source of information about sports. There are certain “experts,” if you can call them that who just mark for certain teams, and a lot of times they are so stubborn that despite a team’s history, they will stick with them no matter what. A lot of times, they show a lot of hypocrisy as well.
This award will be going to the team or the story that ESPN has stuck with that in my opinion they were wrong about all along. There are a few candidates. In other words, I was ready to give those teams The Miz’ Reality Check (which is now the Skull Crushing Finale).
Candidates: ESPN jumped on the Bills’ 5-1 start, especially after the Bills beat the Patriots, and Tom Brady just had a terrible game with 4 picks. ESPN went NUTS. A viewer would get the impression Brady , one of the best QBs ever mind you, throws 4 INTs every game. Well, I knew all along by looking at the Bills team, and looking at their schedule, and their history, I just knew that the Bills while a nice story for the start of the year, they would revert back to reeking of suckitude, and not even making the playoffs, and the Patriots would be the beast of the AFC East. ESPN was saying stuff about how the Bills could go to the Super Bowl and such. As Edge would say: WRONG.
Burial of the Patriots Defense while giving the Packers Defense a pass: All year long, the Patriots’ troublesome defense has been maligned by ESPN and their experts. Now, if you watch the defense, they certainly are terrible, and even the Boston press is all over them. Even ESPN’s “expert QB” Trent Dilfer (the only SB winning QB to ever be dismissed by his team) says he doesn’t see this team making the Super Bowl, and blames Brady for the slow starts. Again, the Patriots Defense is horrid. However, the fact is, and I have watched just about all the Packers’ games, the Packers’ defense is just as equally horrible, and Aaron Rodgers , much like Brady has had to bail them out all season (along with his high powered offense which Brady doesn’t have (I don’t see any deep threats on the Patriots in other words despite the TEs, and Welker’s performances.)). Does ESPN and Dilfer bang on the Packers’ defense? Do they bang on the fact that even though the Patriots’ defense was ranked 32nd in the NFL, the Packers’ defense was ranked 31st? A huge NO. I mean, ESPN would be a lot more credible if they were a bit more fair. The Hypocrisy is amazing.
The other candidates were Tebowmania, and Shouldergate. I knew once the rest of the teams got video of Tebow, they would figure him out. I knew all along he wasn’t all that as a QB. Unfortunately, 7 weeks of the NFL coverage were wasted on Tim Tebow and that was a shame. I knew just all along that the guy wasn’t all that as a QB. So once again, like Edge said: “Wrong!”
[adinserter block=”1″]Shouldergate is referring to the drama over a minor shoulder injury to Patriot’s QB Tom Brady’s left (non throwing shoulder) that Brady suffered in Week 16 against the Miami Dolphins. Adam Schefter reported he would not practice on Thursday as Brady missed practice on Wednesday (non injury related per the team). Well, when Brady showed up at practice in a limited capacity, ESPN made such a huge fuss as if Brady had this huge issue. I was amazed. I read reports in the Boston media, and reports on NFL.com, and it was not a big deal. It was just a low grade sprain. It wasn’t a big deal. It didn’t affect him much, if at all in the game against the Bills. I was amazed that ESPN made such a fuss over his non throwing shoulder and ignored his tennis elbow he had earlier in the season on his throwing arm when he was wearing a black band. As Edge says again, “Wrong.”
Winner: The Buffalo Bills mishap. I mean, how ESPN allowed themselves to be fooled by the Bills, I have no idea.
Honorable Mention: Tebow Mania
Here is a message for ESPN:
The final award is Moment of the 2011 Season:
The moment of the 2011 is a no brainer. It was the kick off of the 2011 Season in the first full weekend on September 11, 2011. It was ten years after the tragedy in both New York City , and in Washington, D.C. Teams saluted the victims at the games. There were huge flags held by the teams. There were moments of silence for those who died. It was a reminder of the fact that even though we NFL fans may cheer for different teams, we are all one people as Americans and should not take our freedom for granted.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead