First things first: it’s braggin’ time.
Last week, the gray box told you that Allen Iverson would be the MVP of the All-Star game (even though the prediction was worded in a way that it was a dual prediction of MVP for the season and the game). On Sunday, The Answer just decided to play harder than every other great player in the league. The result was 25 points and one dead-on prediction for the column named after His Cross-overness.
In the same column, however, I made some inaccurate comments about our tallest alum, Dikembe Mutombo. He was awesome?a rebounding and defense machine. I was wrong on that one. Of course, Shaq’s injury helped him out.
This week, in honor of the lamest night in sports (The ESPYs), it’s time for a break from predictions. Instead, we’ll present a few awards.
(Side note: No self respecting student of this university saw the ESPYs because they were on at 7 p.m. Monday night, the tip time for the most depressing 48 minutes of basketball in NCAA history.)
Back to award distribution:
We’ll start with an easy one, male athlete of the year. As much as we love Allen Iverson, we have to go with Tiger Woods. Oddly, in what is now approaching 50 columns, I have never written about Woods. There’s just not much to say about him. He’s way better than everyone else. Simple.
Female athlete of the year is a bit more complex. Marion Jones won five Olympic medals and stands above the rest, but she did all her damage in one short period of time. Well, that’s not true, she dominates her sport 52 weeks a year, but her sport has zero visibility when she’s not breaking a record. In comparison to Woods, she’s almost a no name.
The problem for the women is that they don’t get much attention most of the year. Tennis players have the opportunity to pop into the spotlight more than most, but the player that won all the big tournaments, Venus Williams, doesn’t bother to play a full schedule. She even skipped the season ending championship. She’s also a major head case. Next to Jones, she is obviously undeserving.
Professional team of the year: I used to be a Yankees fan. Further in their favor, I almost always root for the big bad wolf. Not this year. So, rather than pick the Ravens or the Lakers or the Devils, I’ll go random and give tennis a nod?Spain’s Davis Cup team. Sure, they only won because of home-field (or in this case home-clay) advantage, but they are a team and they won something big. Most crucially, they never played “Who Let the Dogs Out” in their home stadium.
Play of the year: It’s not even close. Antonio Freeman’s Monday Night Football catch was absolutely sensational. The real gripe I have is that I noticed a few weeks back that ESPN included some baseball plays in the list of choices. My eyes wanted to bleed.
With the exception of the Joe Carter homer to win the ‘93 World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays, baseball plays are not very exciting. Sensational grab in the outfield couldn’t beat out a Braswell to Hunter alley-oop, let alone a Vince Carter dunk or a juggling catch in football. Speaking of Half-Man?Half-Amazing, my runner up was the Carter dunk at last year’s All-Star game, when he got his arm stuck in the basket because his elbow was above the rim.
Worst sport of the year: I am down on baseball this year, but we don’t even need to pay attention to the concept of year in order to pick this one. It’s no contest. The XFL, in the words of a famous WWF wrestler, is 10 pounds of monkey crap in a five-pound bag. If you want to see quality football, you won’t find it here. The XFL is supposed to be new wave, but there are only two possible audiences for such a product: Males who don’t have Internet access and people who don’t watch the local news for their violent fix.