Awards Time Already?
The Bengals announced today that linebacker Rashad Jeanty has won the team’s Ed Block Courage Award, presented annually to “NFL players who demonstrate commitment to the values of sportsmanship and courage.”
Stripe Hype congratulates Jeanty, who has indeed weathered some tough times on the field and off. But if it’s awards time already, then it should be noted that some of his teammates, coaches and management deserve some (ahem) honors as well. So, without further ado, here’s some recognition for the rest.
The Kim Wood Memorial Medicine Ball
Named for the former Bengals strength coach whose attachment to such high-tech training technology as the medicine ball was legendary, and whose innovative methods included locking players out of the weight room, the Kim Wood Memorial Medicine Ball is given to the Bengals coach who has done the most to make the season what it is.
And the winner is: offensive line coach Paul Alexander. Through 13 games, the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line has surrendered 48 sacks while also completely failing to run-block. The Bengals’ running game currently ranks 29th in the league in total yards, 31st in yards per attempt (3.4) and 32nd in rushing touchdowns (4).
Hon. mention: offensive coordinator Sideshow Bob Bratkowski.
The Silver Spatula
Presented every year by former Bengals malcontent Corey Dillon, the Silver Spatula goes to the player who would have helped the team most if he had chosen to flip burgers instead of play football this year.
And the winner is: wide receiver Chris Henry. Last summer, Henry was cut following an arrest over allegations he broke a car window with a beer bottle during a late-night altercation. Despite categorical statements by head coach Marvin Lewis that Henry was not welcome to return to the locker room, owner Mike Brown re-signed him after charges were dropped, destroying his head coach’s authority and credibility heading into the season. In return, through 13 games Henry has a whopping 12 receptions for 127 yards.
Hon. mention: wide receiver Chad Johnson, running back Chris Perry.
The Klingler Roadkill Grill
Named for its first winner, the bronze Klingler Grill is awarded to the QB who ends the season most resembling roadkill. It is traditional for the winner to use the grill to prepare actual roadkill for his offensive line at the post-award-ceremony party.
And the winner is: Ryan Fitzpatrick. “Thanks” to his “offensive line,” Fitzpatrick has been dumped an astonishing 10.3% of the times he has dropped back to pass. In nine games, he has been sacked 35 times, an average of more than four sacks a game. Despite this, he has the highest completion percentage of any Bengals quarterback this season (59.9% with three games remaining).
The Ki-Jana Cartier Watch
This inscribed gold (plated) watch is presented every year to the Bengal whose constant injury problems made the most material contribution to the team’s performance.
And the winner is: Carson Palmer. While Palmer, like Fitzgerald, was getting killed behind the Bengals’ “offensive line” (11 sacks in four games) he was showing the ability to generate points despite the rush, leading the team to a combined 45 in his last two starts against the Giants and Cowboys. With three weeks left, the 23 points scored against New York and the 22 against Dallas remain the Bengals’ top two offensive performances this season. To be sure, even with Palmer this is a bad team, but probably more like 3-10 or 4-9 bad, not 1-11-1.
Hon. mention: left tackle Levi Jones, tight end Ben Utecht, defensive end Antwan Odom.
The Akili Smith Marble Bust
Named for the worst draft selection in the history of the Cincinnati franchise, the Akili Smith Marble Bust recognizes the year’s least productive top draft selection.
And the winner is: wide receiver Jerome Simpson. Taken in the second round ahead of many more highly ranked wideouts, the former Coastal Carolina Chanticleer has to date appeared in six games with one start. He has one reception for two yards. His highlight moment so far this season has been getting blamed by Lewis for allowing a pass intended for him to be picked.
This iron pyrite (a.k.a. “fool’s gold”) statuette is given to the front office executive most responsible for the miserable state of the team and its fans. For the 18th straight year, we are proud to award The Mikey to…
…Bengals president and owner Mike Brown.