Heisman 2009 Live (Well, as I write it…)

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Heisman 2009 Live (Well, as I write it…)

Ok, this is a live writing of my thoughts on sports as the 2009 Heisman Trophy is presented.  Currently it’s 5:40 p.m. EST and we’ve got about 2 hours and 20 minutes until the broadcast begins (and those bastards make us wait about 45 minutes after that to see who the winner is.)  We aren’t just talking about the Heisman contenders, or college football, or football today because we’ve got alot to cover and much of it centers around the idea “Who is the best?”

I got up early with a small child this morning and we were watching “Phineas and Ferb” (love that show…and I tweeted yesterday when I found #menshouldnever “#menshouldnever be afraid to admit they love cartoons.”)  So, we’re chilling and then this highlight package just for kids comes across from the 4-letter network and they’re showing Kobe drilling a bankshot against the Heat to win the game at the buzzer.  In the process of presenting the highlight the commentator says “LeBron is the King, but Kobe sure looked like one tonight” or something like that.  {Ok, let me get this straight.  Kobe has won an MVP AND 4 rings.  LeBron won an MVP he didn’t deserve and has NO rings (and is a bad sport) and he gets referenced during the highlight of a player who is better than him?  Ok, when did LeBron become the best player in league and when did everyone decide he owns the freaking NBA?  I can live with the constant references to JJ (I don’t call him MJ because he’a a jerk…so I go with Jerk Jordan (or JJ)) but I CANNOT live with the constant references to someone who can’t even shake his opponent’s hand when he loses, hasn’t won anything important (I was the first person to say Kobe’s 2008 MVP was worthless if they didn’t win a title), and looks more and more like the Bills or the Braves every season.  Here’s better copy for a highlight featuring a 4-time champion banking home a game-winner:


“Kobe’s already been the Most Valuable Player and for the Heat tonight he was the Most Vexing Player as he takes this outlet and….banks home the game-winner.. in Duane Wade’s face!  I think that’s how you do that folks!”

How hard was that?  You know, LeBron can be the best player in the league when he wins something.  People held off on JJ for years until he won a title (and rightfully so) so I think we ought to do the same with LeBron.  He’s leaving Cleveland at the end of the year anyways.  Why would we laud someone who claimed to love Cleveland so much and blah, blah, blah and then just up and leave at the drop of a hat?  Cleveland fans I think you need to hear this warning from someone who doesn’t pull for an Eastern Conference team and from someone whose team actually HAS the best player in the league on it (The Lakers).  LeBron is GONE at the end of this season and there is nothing you can do about it.  Having Shaq didn’t save you…if anything it will be stronger motivation for him to leave.  He’s a Yankees fan (and we know how the Yankees and their ilk are.)  Did you really think you could keep an egomaniac/baby/child/underachiever in Cleveland?  Come one people, let’s get real.  LeBron’s in it for the money.  It should have been apparent when his mama bought him a Hummer while he was still in High School with a loan based solely on his earning potential.  Didn’t like him then and I’m back to not liking him now.  He ain’t the best…and we all know it.  (On a side note…Magic is still better than JJ and I think most people KNOW that too, but they aren’t willing to admit it.  Actually, I’d say Kareem, Wilt, Bill Russell, and Jerry West were all better than JJ, but no one wants to admit that either.)

What about who’s the best in College Basketball right now?  Have you noticed something about Kentucky?  I mean, I know John Calipari probably did some stuff that wasn’t above-board, but you have to admit that they are living up to that high preseason ranking.  And that Wall kid that he brought with him to Kentucky?  He’s an animal!  John Calipari is clearly one of the best coaches in College Basketball right now.  We can say all day that Derrick Rose never took the SAT and that he stole this Wall kid from Memphis when he left for Kentucky, but he still has to coach these kids because they’re kids.  They’re children!  Someone has to tell them what to do, and he’s damn good at it.  Then again, so is Bill Self (who has nothing left form his title team and has Kansas soaring), Coach K (who continues to reload), Rick Barnes (who’s always right there at Texas), Thad Matta (who is doing very well for himself without Greg Oden and Mike Conley at Ohio State), Jamie Dixon (who is succeeding at a place like Pitt) and Rick Pitino (who ROCKS the white suit in Louisville.)  All of these guys have ups and downs, but they can clearly coach.

One person I left out was Billy Donovan.  He once ruled College Basketball with an iron fist and won 2 consecutive national titles.  Then Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Al Horford, Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey (he was the honky who could shoot) all left.  Now where is Florida?  Haven’t heard from them in a while have we?  That doesn’t mean Billy’s a bad coach, but it does mean that he got carried by an AMAZING starting line-up for two straight seasons.  Sometimes we overlook that.

You know something else we overlook?  How much trust we put in certain teams in the NFL…

The Steelers are the defending champs and when I was writing my picks for this week I barely even mentioned their Thursday game with the Browns because well, they were playing the Browns and the Browns suck.  I mean they’re the Steelers for Pete’s Sake!!!  How can they lose to the Browns?  Yet, they lost to the Browns anyways.  I wrote a couple weeks ago that the Bengals, Ravens, AND Steelers COULD all make the playoffs based on their schedules.  Then the Ravens go out and lay down and the Steelers lose a game to the Browns and both teams pretty much folded up their seasons right after I said that.  I trusted the two teams that played in the AFC Title Game SO much that I figured anything was possible and then they go and crap out on me.  Damn!

This brings up another point that goes to how we evaluate coaching in sports.  Has Mike Tomlin “lost” this team or are they just having a bad season?

Down here in the South people like to call for a coach’s head as soon as he gives up a touchback, but in reality it’s much smarter to give a coach a little time.  Mike Tomlin won a Super Bowl last year and this year he’s lost Troy Polamalu, the running game hasn’t really been there, Big Ben has been pretty banged up, and their OLine is iffy.  They ran into a bad year…that’s all.  I can guarantee you that the folks in Pittsburgh are mad that the title defense isn’t going that well, but I don’t think they’re calling for Mike Tomlin to be fired, for assistants to be fired, or for a myriad of players to be cut or traded.  He’s still one of the best, but he had a bad year.  He certainly isn’t going to win Coach of the Year, but we all acknowledge that he’s still one of the best coaches in the league.

That brings me to the event at hand…awarding the 2009 Heisman Trophy.  I’ll be back when the ceremony comes up and we’ll get started because this year’s Heisman campaign raises alot of questions that relate quite well to what we’ve already discussed……..

Here we go:

I love how they bring in the Gameday crew and they’ve got Lee Corso there and he’s holding a pencil like he’s going to take notes or something. Actually, I think he just uses it to point at people, but that’s just me.

Now they’ve got Bo Pellini and Jim Harbaugh there to stump for their guys. It’s nice that they’re there, but with a Pac-10 player in this era and a Defensive player there’s basically no chance of either one winning so it was nice that they gave their coaches a place to say “Hey, we’re here too!” Honestly, I’m most proud of Bo Pellini for not jumping up on his chair (Tom Cruise style) and screaming “They screwed us with that one second and you know it!!!” (That would’ve been entertainment!)

As Harbaugh talks and he’s referring to the final 4 games of their season that were basically won be Gerhart he mentions that you could look at any 4 game stretch over the past 2 years and say that Toby Gerhart had a great 4 games.  This raises the question…”Is this a yearly award or is it a lifetime-achievement award?”

Now they’ve got Ndamukong Suh up there and I love the fact that his name means “House of Spears”.  (I mean, isn’t that a cool meaning for your name?  Mine probably means “donkey trough” and this kid’s means “House of Spears”.  Damn!)  As he’s being questioned he just totally lied about the 1-second at the end of the Big 12 Title Game to be nice.  He even just said that they didn’t make a play to win.  Listen buddy, I want to hear your answer to that question when you’re in the NFL because I hope the truth comes out (i.e. “We were screwed by the NCAA!”)  Nevertheless, good for him for being nice.  He looks like a good kid.

Next up is Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow heading to lunch and eating sandwiches that even Suh couldn’t finish.  (It was a nice little segment though.)  I appreciate Tebow’s honesty in saying “I can’t tell you who I voted for even though I want to.”  You see, I don’t hate Tebow, I just don’t think he deserves the Heisman this year.  He deserved it in ’07 because he was THE MAN, but this year Mark Ingram is the man in my opinion.

So, they run a video package for Colt McCoy and I love how they are saying “W after W” and that makes me ask another question “Do wins matter?”  Like, if you are THE MAN but your team never wins does that make a difference?

For me, it does.  If you’re the best player in the ENTIRE COUNTRY then your team should be winning.  Now, your team doesn’t have to go undefeated, but you figure that if you’re the best then your team is winning and you are playing a pivotal role in those wins.  (This is why it’s hard for Defensive players to win and why I think Suh can’t win.  There aren’t enough stats for defense and the only ones we all know are Sacks and Interceptions.  That isn’t the whole picture in defense, but the other stats just aren’t sexy.)

Now they’re highlighting Tebow and what are they talking about?  Career stats.  Listen folks, I know this makes him sound great and he is a great player, but this is NOT a career award…it’s a yearly award.  It was cooler when you could only run his ’07 stats and say “Look how good this kid is.”  Now, it looks like you’re trying to justify the fact that he’s there.  Remember, I love Tebow, but he shouldn’t even be in New York this year.  (You know it, don’t you?)

Then how do they close with his interview?  ”Congrats on a great career.”  (I rest my case. )

Now they get to Ingram and since he’s a Sophomore guess what?  They’re talking single-season stats!  YAY!!  Then what do they talk about…his instincts.  I love how he can’t tell you yet how he hits the whole, but he just does it.  He’s all raw talent.  No wonder he broke the 66 yarder that sealed the SEC Title.  Now that’s what I’m talking about in a Heisman winner.  He’s good…period.  We don’t have to pump him up with stuff he did last year or the year before that.

Now Toby Gerhart is up and thankfully they are, once again, talking about skills and single-season stats.  Oh this is a kicker…he’s a Baseball star too?  Stanford baseball is GOOD!!!  I mean like they go to the CWS every year.  Ok, see that’s what I’m talking about.  No superficial stat crap…just “This kid is good, right?”

(And I think it’s funny that he talks like Rob Morrow [from my favorite show “NUMB3RS”.]  I mean, how can I not like him now?)

Please pause for this boring Heisman trustee speech…………………..


Ok, we’re back.

And the winner is…

Mark Ingram!  HOT DAMN!  Finally, I got one right…and the voters go it right too.  I don’t care that it was the closest vote in history.  The right guy won.  Now he’s crying and I don’t think he’ll be able to get it together (which is ok…#menshouldnever be afraid to cry like Mark Ingram just did because he’s so happy and overwhelmed.)

Congrats Mark Ingram.  Based on your response to winning and your willingness to wear your emotions on your sleeve I have decided that you will ANNIHILATE Texas.  Before I thought it would be bad, but now I know it’s going to be REALLY BAD for Texas.  Sorry Horns.  Ingram’s taking home the Heisman and a Championship this year…


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