The final hour is drawing nigh for this columnist. With the month of April now well underway and my thesis due date approaching all too rapidly, my ever-dwindling career at The Cavalier Daily has been reduced to a mere three columns.
Keeping that in mind, I've taken some time this week to reflect on the past year. As part of that reflection - and because the current glut of awards and award shows doesn't seem ridiculous enough - I've come up with a set of awards for the less admirable aspects of sports. These awards are for the Marty McSorleys of the world, the Richard Williamses or for the people who go to a car race just hoping someone will crash.
Ladies and Gentlemen, for the first and last time ever, I give you ... the Moorehouses.
May I have the envelope, please?
Statistical Discrepancy Moorehouse
For the most misleading statistic of the year, the Statistical Discrepancy Moorehouse goes to Dan Ellis and his 145.0 passing efficiency rating that ranked eighth best in the nation. The catch to this ranking, however, is that Ellis threw 258 passes. Of the other QBs in the top 10, only Michael Vick and UTEP's Jay Stuckey made fewer attempts.
In addition, no other quarterback in the top 10 had a running back like Thomas Jones in the backfield. Maybe Ellis will prove me wrong and post similar efficiency numbers in 2000 with Tyree Foreman and Arlen Harris at back. But I doubt it.
Gag Order Moorehouse
This award goes to that rare breed of athlete who can't stay away from the microphones and always ends up putting his foot in his mouth. No one better embodied the spirit of the Gag Order Moorehouse than Virginia Tech defensive end Corey Moore.
Already established as the Shetland pony of the defensive line set, Moore spent about as much time making a fool of himself in the media as he did darting his Lilliputian body between slow-footed offensive linemen. Moore earns special kudos for his constant self-contradictions, first blasting media types for underrating the Hokies and then ripping them again for always bothering his Moore-ness.
Wojciechowski Memorial Moorehouse
In memory of former Duke point guard and current assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski, this award goes to that one unique athlete who embodies the ubiquitous "overrated" chant at basketball games. This year's honoree is Blue Devil forward Shane Battier, who clinched the title during a late-season telecast. After Battier had fallen to the court to draw yet another charge, color commentator Dick Vitale gleefully proclaimed that Battier "owned that call."
Flopping to draw a foul that did not occur should not be celebrated, much less commended. But Battier has shown such dramatic flair in his uncoordinated collapses to the hardwood that he seemingly has the ability to goad even the most hardened referee into whistling an opponent, whether or not actual contact is made.
Furthermore, Battier frequently is referred to as one of the best all-around players in the game. But take away his flop-reliant defense and his three-point shot, and what's left? I'm not sure, but I think it rhymes with Taymon Domzalski. Congratulations, Shane, for bringing the "Wojo" back to Durham where it belongs.
This special award goes to a fellow University publication, The Declaration. I'd like to salute The Dec for its parody of my weekly column. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This award must come with a correction, though: I never said Thomas Jones should win the Heisman.
But he still got screwed out of going to the final ceremonies.