TIGHTWAD HILL'S PAC-10 AWARDS SHOWWelcome to the 1st annual Tightwad Hill Pac-10 Awards Show. We're coming to you live from Bertola's on Telegraph, which of course no longer exists but this is the Internet so we make the rules. Bertola's - home of mediocre pasta dishes and $1 well drinks - your only choice for 11:00 am cocktails, and an official sponsor of Tightwad Hill.
Our MC for the afternoon, Petros Papadakis, would love to welcome you, but he's currently in Zed's basement with a ball-gag stuffed in his mouth. (See, it's the Internet. Fantasy!) So we'll pinch hit for Petros, and hope that these three dollar triples don't prevent us from getting through the show. Let's hand out some hardware!
John Mackovic Award for Esprit de Corps: A close race between Ty Willingham and Walt Harris, but Willingham wins it by a nose. After all, everyone knows Walt is a dick, and he simply lived down to expectations by calling out players in public for daring to get injured. Willingham, however, talks the talk of being all about togetherness, but then throws several redshirt juniors under the bus in public. The result? A lifeless 20-3 home loss to Stanford, and a player rebellion on Facebook. Accepting the award on behalf of Coach Willingham is ESPN's John Saunders and Jason Whitlock.
Don James Award for Institutional Control: Dirk Koetter in an absolute landslide. It's not every year that a coach allows his players to overrule him on something as trivial as his choice of starting QB, and then becomes the last person in Tempe to discover that said QB didn't attend class and partied like Keith Richards before his first blood transfusion. In fact, we might rename this award, right after we refill our drink. Is it noon yet?
And now, the Nathan Villegas/Geoff MacArthur Iron Man Award. This award is jointly named in honor of Oregon kicker Villegas, who blew out his ACL when Joey Harrington jumped on him after a last-second kick, and MacArthur, who was TKO'd by a plate glass window after a loss to Illinois in 2001. And this year it goes not to a player, but to an inanimate object (of which there are many on campus) - the Funky Stanford Couch. The Couch, of course, was responsible for spreading disease through the Stanford locker room more efficiently than a Dollie with a tray full of Jell-O shots. Accepting on behalf of the Couch is Stanford team physician Dr. Gary Fanton.
Joe Kapp Award for Outstanding Game Management - This award goes to USC Coach Pete Carroll. Coach Carroll is recognized here for leaving his superego in South Central when his Trojans battled UCLA. Petey went for it twice in bad situations against the Bruins - once in the 1st half, eschewing a difficult but doable 48 yard FG attempt, and once on 4th and 6 in the 3rd quarter, giving the Bruins a short field that resulted in another Medlock FG.
Bob Toledo/Scout.com Award for Underachievement - Mike Bellotti, whose four-star laden Ducks gave up after Cal pasted them in Memorial Stadium. All the comic books and PlayStations in the world don't matter when your team is soft as a baby's bottom (or maybe they're the problem). Oregon's performance against Arizona at home was so lacking in energy or interest it should be put in a time capsule as a cautionary tale for future generations of coaches.
Frank Kush Award for Sideline Deportment - We have a repeat winner! Pete Carroll, come on down for letting a national TV audience know what you think of Coach Pornstar and his Oregon Ducks:
Casey Moore Award for Endless Bear Nightmares - Syndric Steptoe. Let's move on.
Chuck Cecil Hit of the Year - As much as we'd like to honor Thomas DeCoud for his slobber-knocker on punt return v UCLA, this has to go to Rey Maualuga, for obvious reasons:
Play of the Year/Catch of the Year - The winners are Carl Bonnell and Marlon Wood, for their desperation Hail Mary at the end of regulation that tied Cal in Berkeley. Bastards.
Pac-10 Blog of the Year - Bruins Nation, the dyspeptic gathering of Bruins fans who made it their mission to bludgeon Karl Dorrell into early retirement. Mission not accomplished, fellas, but nice win against the Trojans.
Pac-10 Hall of Merit - The following players are hereby inducted in the Tightwad Hill Pac-10 Hall of Merit. The Hall exists to honor those players good enough to be remembered four years after they leave campus (or longer, depending on your history of chemical abuse). It's like Potter Stewart's definition of p0rn: You know a Hall of Merit guy when you see him:
Antoine Cason, Arizona/Daymeion Hughes, California/Brandon Mebane, California/Marshawn Lynch, California/DeSean Jackson, California/Enoka Lucas, Oregon/Sabby Piscatelli, Oregon State/Alexis Serna, Oregon State/Michael Okwo, Stanford/Justin Hickman, UCLA/John David Booty, USC/Sedrick Ellis, USC/Ryan Kalil, USC/Dwayne Jarrett, USC/Steve Smith, USC/M'Kristo Bruce, Washington State
OK, we're officially toasted. Our thanks to the staff at Bertola's, to Petros Papadakis, to Petros' grief counselor, and to all the award winners for another wild and unpredictable season of Pac-10 football. See you in San Diego!