Welcome to Part 2 of the 2012 Sammy Awards. If you have not already done so please check out Part 1.
After another brief & entertaining tirade by our curmudgeonly yet loveable host Clint Eastwood it is time for our next award. The Manofesto is proud to introduce a man who not only captured our hearts at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal by winning a gold medal for the decathlon, but who also knows a whole lot about intellectually vacant, narcissistic, completely useless morons since he is related to a bunch of them. Please welcome to the stage Bruce Jenner. And the nominees are:
Assclown of the Year
I’ve never liked Roseanne Barr. Her comedy act was grating, and her 1990’s sitcom was low rent rubbish. However, in 2012 she took her antics to a whole new level. When she announced on The Tonight Show that she was running for President of the United States I assumed it was a joke. Unfortunately it wasn’t. She ran, and sadly received over 61,000 votes. During the course of her “campaign” Barr said several outlandish things, including tweeting that anyone who eats at Chick-Fil-A deserves to get cancer. She also used Twitter to publish the home address of the parents of George Zimmerman, the alleged shooter in the Trayvon Martin case, and accused billionaires of being pedophiles & cocaine addicts. In addition, Barr is apparently an anti-Semitic Jew, which is like being a homophobic lesbian or an African-American white supremacist.
Yes, that’s right…the entire network. Look, I don’t care that they make no effort to hide their bias. Fox News obviously caters to a decidedly conservative audience, so I have no problem with a channel aimed at liberals. But what I do have an issue with is stupidity. Almost the entire lineup of “personalities” on this cancer of cable TV are histrionic blowhards who accuse their opponents of racism at every turn. With a roster of guys like Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Rev. Al Sharpton, and Ed Schultz it’s no wonder that MSNBC’s ratings lag far behind Fox News.
On April 4th the Miami Marlins christened a brand new ball park with a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The loss didn’t matter all that much though, as this was a fresh start for the beleaguered Marlins…new name, new ballpark, and a brand new manager – the always colorful Ozzie Guillen. Unfortunately that same week, in an interview for Time Magazine, Guillen pronounced his love, admiration, & respect for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. That’s right…the manager of the Miami Marlins said that he loves Fidel Castro. Let that sink in for a minute. It certainly isn’t the first nutty thing that the man has said or done, but as it turns out it was career suicide…atleast for now. The rocky start to the season never quite corrected itself and after finishing in last place with a 69-93 record the Marlins’ brass relieved Guillen of his duties. I strongly suspect that without that singularly stupid remark he would have atleast been given another year to right the ship. As it stands Guillen is currently unemployed and somewhere out there a certain Mr. Osbourne is relieved to no longer be the wackiest Ozzy in the world.
VP Joe Biden
Do I really need to go into detail?? It’s freakin’ Joe Biden. He’s been proving himself to be a jackass for many years. I am firmly convinced that one reason Obama chose Biden as a running mate 4 years ago was so that he’d look intelligent by comparison.
Citizens of The Manoverse know of my abiding affection for ESPN’s slate of sports talk shows. The one exception over the years has been their 10am-Noon program First Take. The usual source of my contempt is pompous windbag Skip Bayless, but he has escaped my wrath this time. The honor this year goes to fill-in guest debater Rob Parker from Detroit. Parker can be controversial & abrasive, and is one of those “reverse racists” whose contempt for white folks can barely be contained. Just a few weeks ago, while discussing Washington Redskins’ QB Robert Griffin III (First Take’s other favorite son after the nearly played out Tim Tebow), Parker called into question the authenticity of RGIII’s blackness, calling him “kind of black” & a “cornball brother” and saying he wasn’t “down with the cause” and “not one of us” because he has a white girlfriend and might be a Republican. Here’s my question – what cause?? It’s 2012, not 1952. I am just an ol’ country boy from the hills of West Virginia, so I am not one who can offer expert commentary on race relations in modern American society. I treat people how they treat me, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or favorite sports teams. So even if you love Notre Dame, the NY Yankees, or the Baltimore Ravens I’m still cool with you if you’re cool with me. Isn’t that the way all grown-ups should treat one another?? Parker’s comments make it clear that he is the racist in this particular situation.
Ms. Fluke is the Georgetown University law student who testified before a Congressional committee that the tab for her birth control during law school ran about $3000. This statement was lampooned by The Godfather of Conservatism and the King of Talk Radio Rush Limbaugh, who opined that if Ms. Fluke was spending that much on birth control she must be a slut. I want to make it clear that I am well aware that there are women who need contraceptive medications for legitimate female health issues, but it is also my understanding that Ms. Fluke never said directly that she needed them for that purpose. Therefore Mr. Limbaugh’s supposition is logical, even if it could have been stated in a more gallant & gracious fashion. The bottom line is that so many people in America these days wallow in the victim mentality & spend their lives with their hand out looking for somebody else to pay their freight that a person going before Congress…a body that seems like it’d have some rather vital issues to tackle…and implying that taxpayers should bear the financial burden of her “private” activities just seemed wrong on multiple levels.
Rahm Emanuel & Thomas Menino
In the wake of the Chick-Fil-A controversy Menino, the mayor of Boston, publically stated that he was going to prevent any of their restaurants from opening in his city. I guess his liberal agenda means more to him than job growth & the economic well-being of his city. Meanwhile in Chicago, Emanuel…President Obama’s former Chief of Staff and now Mayor of The Windy City…echoed the sentiment and said that Chick-Fil-A “did not represent Chicago values”. What exactly does that mean?? If it means that Chick-Fil-A doesn’t engage in mafia style tactics or lie, cheat, & steal to accomplish its goals then maybe it was a compliment, but I doubt if that’s what he meant.
One of the most indelible images of 2012 is Petrino, after having been in a motorcycle accident, participating in a post-practice press conference wearing a neck brace with his face all ruddy & stoved up. Shortly thereafter it would come to light that he’d had a woman on the bike with him, that he was having an affair with her, and that she worked for the University of Arkansas’s athletic department because Petrino had gotten her the gig. So here is a man who cheated on his wife, used his influence to get his mistress a job, and then had the whole mess exposed in just about the dumbest way possible. Arkansas fired Petrino, who has had past run-ins with idiocy. This is the guy who ditched the Louisville Cardinals in 2006…just six months after signing a 10 year contract…to jump to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons only to abruptly leave them before the end of his first season to take the job at Arkansas. Sadly Petrino is a good football coach so he is getting another opportunity, this time at Western Kentucky. If he wins enough games his complete lack of judgment and disrespect for the bond of holy matrimony will be forgotten by most everyone…probably even his wife.
DNC Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Really Democrat Party?? You couldn’t find a better person to lead & represent your organization than this embarrassment?? I have always said that I may not agree with a person’s opinion but am more than happy to have a philosophical discussion with someone as long as they present a thoughtful & intelligent defense of their beliefs. This is not a person that seems to be capable of accomplishing that ideal. She was on television a-l-o-t this past year, and every time I see her I have to convince myself that it’s not some ill-conceived, unfunny SNL sketch.
Bob Costas & Jason Whitlock
Earlier this month tragedy struck the NFL as Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend then drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility and shot himself in front of team coaches & executives. It’s a very sad story the likes of which have become all too familiar in 21st century America. However, what makes these types of stories worse is when the media use such a tragedy to pontificate about their own beliefs and promote their particular sociopolitical agenda. Whitlock is a sports writer for FoxSports.com, with a resume that includes previous gigs with ESPN and various newspapers & radio stations. Following the Belcher murder-suicide he penned an article saying that if Belcher didn’t own a gun both he & his girlfriend would still be alive and also called the NRA the new KKK. I guess Mr. Whitlock has never heard of knives, poison, a baseball bat, killing a person with your bare hands, or any of the other numerous ways one can commit murder if one is hellbent on doing so. Making matters worse was the normally more cerebral Bob Costas, who quoted Whitlock’s article during a halftime commentary on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. I understand that the talking heads cannot completely ignore a big story, and these police blotter situations have become more common in the past decade or two. However, when I am watching a ball game or reading the sports page I really just want to know about the scores, the highlights, and the players. If these guys want to do “hard news” then they need to get a gig doing just that, and then they can bloviate to their heart’s content. But as long as they are supposedly doing sports they need to keep their asinine opinions to themselves.
General David Petraeus
Having an affair is never right. But it’s doubly stupid when you are in a high profile position like Director of the CIA. I have the utmost respect for our military, and it’s a shame that this guy had to cast a shadow on the whole institution because he couldn’t keep his little soldier in its barracks.
I’d say they need to recalculate their calendar, but they’re all dead and we’re still here.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
No one has illustrated the difference between a Republican and a conservative in recent years more that NY City mayor Michael Bloomberg, an out-of-touch billionaire (the 10th wealthiest person in the country as a matter of fact) now in his 3rd term in office. Even Bloomberg recognized that his party affiliation was a joke and switched to the wishy-washy independent status a couple of years ago (this after having been a Democrat before he ran for mayor). Basically he’s a political prostitute. At any rate, Mayor Bloomberg apparently skipped each & every day in his school years when they taught about The Constitution. He has taken it upon himself to limit freedoms on everything from smoking to eating to circumcision, and in 2012 caught the attention of the nation by prohibiting restaurants, clubs, and movie theaters from selling sugary drinks in anything larger than a 16 ounce container. I am sure the citizens of The Big Apple are happy that there aren’t bigger issues to tackle than their consumption of supersized milkshakes & caramel macchiatos.
You’ve heard the phrase “America…Love it or Leave it.”?? This is one person who needs to decide which way he leans. Surprisingly he is not employed by MSNBC, where his idiotic hyperbole would be right at home. Instead Mr. Morgan, who hails from merry old England, plies his trade at CNN (where he replaced Larry King), meaning even less people watch him than if he did actually work for MSNBC. At any rate he is another anti-gun nut who has really stepped up his rhetoric after the heartbreaking rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. I’ll say this much…atleast he isn’t a sports journalist and his talk show is a more appropriate forum for such a discussion, but I still find it disgusting when these liberals try to paint conservatives as bad people yet it is usually them who politicizes tragedy for their own benefit. To my knowledge Morgan has not taken steps to become an American citizen, so he is a guest in our country. Therefore he should respect our rules and our laws. If he wants to live in a nation where guns have been banned then maybe he should go back to Britain. There is currently a petition calling for Piers Morgan to be deported and it has almost 90,000 signatures…far more than the 25k which, by law, requires a response from The White House. Then on Christmas Eve Morgan attacked Christianity, saying that The Bible is “inherently flawed” and needs amended, ostensibly to make the whole same sex marriage thing okay. I guess Piers Morgan doesn’t believe that The Bible is the inerrant Word of God. I wonder if he’ll finally admit he’s wrong when he’s burning in Hell.
The Houston Family
I was legitimately sad when Whitney Houston died. She had been such a beautiful woman with a voice to match. I am deeply disappointed that her family has chosen to capitalize on her death by doing a stupid reality show. Whitney’s daughter Bobbi Christina is obviously a very troubled young lady, and God knows she’s got trainwreck written all over both sides of her gene pool, so it is pathetic that her relatives would agree to exploit her grief.
And the Sammy goes to…..
Piers Morgan. It was an extremely tight race and each nominee was a worthy contender, but two things clinched it for Morgan. First of all, anytime someone is such a jackass that darn near 100,000 people sign a petition to have him DEPORTED that cannot be ignored. Secondly, when a person manages to spit on both The Bible and The Constitution it’s kind of a daily double worthy of robust scorn. Kick around Mr. Morgan while you still can folks…I have a feeling he’ll slink into the scrap heap of forgotten pop culture hogwash relatively soon.
Biggest Sports Story
NY Knicks Sensation Jeremy Lin
Back in February, after a lockout that had shortened the NBA season, the NY Knicks were riddled with injuries and forced to start undrafted free agent point guard Jeremy Lin. The young man quickly proved himself worthy and led the Knicks on a 9-3 tear thru the league, average nearly 23 points & 9 assists per game in the process. It didn’t take long for him to become a star in New York, and Linsanity was born. A coaching change and a knee injury ended the excitement almost as quickly as it began, and in the off season Lin signed a free agent contract with the Houston Rockets, but for a very brief moment in time the story of the young man who went from the end of the bench to being the toast of the town in The Big Apple dominated the headlines.
New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal
Football is an inherently violent sport, and always will be unless Commissioner Fidel Goodell really does end up destroying the game as a whole in his bleeding heart liberal effort to water it down in the name of player safety. However, there is an assumption of fair play and good, clean competition. When the league announced last spring that it was suspending several New Orleans Saints players, coaches, & suits due to them putting out bounties on opposing players that notion was shattered in a way that it’d never been previously. Allegedly starting in 2009 (the year they defeated Peyton Manning’s Colts in The Super Bowl) Saints defensive players could earn extra cash for injuring certain opposing players and forcing their exit from the game. Goodell layed the hammer down on the Saints, including a full season ban for head coach Sean Payton & linebacker Jonathan Vilma as well as shorter suspensions for other players & coaches. Even general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for a half season. Almost all involved vehemently denied the existence of any bounty program or their participation in anything unseemly. This month a special investigation headed by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue overturned all of the players’ penalties but upheld those inflicted upon coaches & Saints management.
2011 was a lost season for Peyton Manning, one of the top 2 or 3 NFL quarterbacks of the last few decades. A neck injury forced him out of action all of last season, which started an interesting chain of events. Mostly due to Manning’s absence the Indianapolis Colts finished 2-14. Head coach Jim Caldwell was fired. Armed with the #1 overall pick in the draft and the prospect of grabbing can’t miss QB prospect Andrew Luck the Colts decided that a 35 year old signal caller trying to come back from neck surgery wasn’t worth the money, so Manning became a free agent. Several teams expressed interest, but ultimately the Denver Broncos, led by team president and legendary quarterback in his own right John Elway, successfully wooed Peyton Manning. The Elway/Manning combo was an intriguing story, but no one really knew if it would actually work. Manning is in his mid-30’s, and an effective comeback not only from a sensitive injury but also a year-long layoff was a risky proposition at best. As it turn out everyone got their happy ending. The Colts drafted Luck and he’s already brought them back to being a playoff team. And Manning is a strong contender for not only Comeback Player of the Year but also NFL MVP, as he has led the Broncos to double digit victories and a division title. It’s nice to see positive news on the sports page occasionally.
Lance Armstrong Doping Controversy
Once upon a time Lance Armstrong was one of the most popular athletes in the world. He not only won 7 consecutive Tour de France titles, but had also successfully battled cancer. We Americans LOVE a story like that!! We have no problems putting sports heroes up on a pedestal for simply winning trophies, and when they overcome a life threatening disease we’re ready to knight them, canonize them, and build a freakin’ monument. Armstrong had been fighting allegations of doping for years, but we’d always given him the benefit of the doubt and believed his constant denials because that’s how we roll with guys with only one testicle. But in 2012 an investigation seemed to finally confirm that Armstrong is not only a cheater but also a big fat liar. He was stripped of all 7 of his Tour de France titles and by deciding not to challenge the ruling tacitly admitted…in most peoples’ eyes anyway…the veracity of the accusations despite public protestations to the contrary. I don’t give a rat’s petoot about cycling but am always disappointed to see another supposed hero be knocked off their lofty perch.
Sexual Abuse at Penn St.
This is a story that just continued from last year into this one. However there were some significant developments in 2012. The man at the center of the scandal…pedophile Jerry Sandusky…went to trial, was found guilty of 45 counts of sexual abuse, and was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison. The report of an independent investigation of the situation issued a scathing rebuke of Penn St. and its institutional failures. This report was utilized by the NCAA in handing down harsh penalties on the football program, including a $60 million fine, a 4 year post-season ban, 5 years of probation, and the loss of 20 scholarships per year for four years. Disgraced former coach Joe Paterno died in January and six months later was stripped of 111 of his career wins, knocking him from the all time winningest NCAA football coach to 12th on the list. The university moved quickly to eradicate most indicators that Paterno had ever existed, including the removal of a statue that had been on campus for over a decade. The 2012 Nittany Lions, under the leadership of new head coach Bill O’Brien, finished with a surprisingly good 8-4 record, and O’Brien was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year as well as national Coach of the Year.
The Summer Olympics in London
Every couple of years we go thru this cycle. Atleast the summer games are more fun than the winter games. Gymnastics is always entertaining and of course basketball is cool. The United States dominated the medal count, including gold for the men’s basketball team, all around team gold for the ladies’ gymnastics team & an individual all-around gold for Gabby Douglas, 4 golds for swimmer Missy Franklin, and multiple medals for swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.
Yeah…the NHL season hasn’t started yet. I don’t especially love hockey so I really don’t care.
College Football Playoff
The 14 year old BCS has admittedly worked rather well for the most part, with advocates pointing out that it makes the regular season matter and more often than not really does manage to put together what most consider the top two teams in the nation. Still, there are times when one or two other teams left on the outside looking in have a legitimate gripe. No one without a PhD in mathematics can seem to figure out the formulas that the computers use to rank teams and I think people are getting just a little tired of seeing the SEC being fellatiated like President Obama at a birthday party for Chris Matthews. However, in June of this year the NCAA finally gave fans what we’ve been demanding for years. Beginning after the 2014 season we will have a 4 team playoff. It’s not exactly how I would have done it, but it’ll be much better than what we have now.
Lebron Wins A Championship
Well The Whore of Akron finally did it. After throwing his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers under the bus two years ago and “taking his talents to South Beach” Lebron James won an NBA title with the Miami Heat. I still don’t know how he is able to look at himself in a mirror each day, although I am sure large piles of cash help tremendously.
Replacement NFL Referees
We are used to strikes & lockouts in pro sports, but they usually involve the players. However this year it was the NFL referees that were locked out for the entire pre-season and the first few weeks of the regular season. Arrogant owners thought that the regular refs could be easily replaced with scrubs, but it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t the case. The ineptitude of the replacements was epic. They were clueless about the rules, made horrifically bad calls, and were a complete embarrassment. Things came to a head on a Monday night in Seattle when the Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers on a controversial last second Hail Mary touchdown in which Seattle should have been called for offensive pass interference and the ball was seemingly intercepted by the Packers but awarded to the Seahawks due to alleged “simultaneous possession”. Lots of screwy things happen in the NFL, but when a sacred cow like the Green Bay Packers get screwed over it’s a big freakin’ deal, and so two days later a deal was suddenly struck and the real referees came back to work. Interestingly enough that one game still might end up deciding a division title and screwing with playoff seeding & home field advantage.
Augusta National Admits First Female Members
Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia was founded in 1933 by legendary golfer Bobby Jones, who also created The Masters tournament in 1934 that is still held there each spring. Until 1990 it was an exclusive club for white men, but then caught up with the times (admittedly a few decades late) by finally admitting black members. But in 2012 it was still just a club for men. Personally I didn’t see that as a real issue. Whereas everyone knows that racism is wrong, I see no problem with organizations that are strictly for women or strictly for men. However, I guess I am in the minority, and in August Augusta National finally bowed to decades of public pressure by admitting two ladies…former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and South Carolina investment banker Darla Moore.
And the Sammy goes to…..
Bountygate. It was the story that we just couldn’t get away from in 2012. Every time we turned around there was some new twist to the story, some new evidence or charges of a lack of evidence. Where there is smoke there is usually fire, but it is rare to encounter anyone so passionate in defending themselves against wrongdoing as the alleged offenders in this case. The 2009 Saints were the group that everyone had cheered for so heartily because it’d brought joy & redemption to the city of New Orleans in the wake of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, so to see that heroic season have a shadow cast over it was unpleasant. Also, Goodell’s continuing efforts to sanitize, water down, and wussify the game of football became a tentacle of the discussion, as it was noted that none of the key hits focused on in the scandal, especially against the likes of now retired quarterbacks Kurt Warner & Bret Favre, had generated penalties or been thought of as anything unusual at the time they occurred. At the end of the day no one comes out looking particular good in all of this, and it’s too bad that so many hours of coverage had to be dedicated to a story when all we fans really want to do is watch the game, have some fun, and escape from our own prosaic & excruciatingly mundane reality.
This seems like the appropriate place to take a break. Please join us tomorrow for Part I3 of the 2012 Sammy Awards!!
- Ozzie Guillen shockingly had “not much to say” after being fired by Marlins (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- The Miami Marlins Are A Hilarious Disgrace (deadspin.com)
- Ozzie Guillen’s comments about Fidel Castro proved watershed for Miami Marlins in the season-Part 4 (blogs.bettor.com)