Thursday, December 4, 2008

Aggregated Assault: The Avon Barksdale Award

The Jeff Albertson Award for Detestable Appearance and Personality 2008 was a despicable display of angst and fury, although well-documented and masterfully scribed. Brent Musburger seems to be the clear winner, as more ink (well, pixels...) was spent on him than on anyone else. And while Dick Vitale made a strong comeback, from the comment section no less, the Jeff Albertson must go to the chief douche himself, Musburger. His prize will be a swift kick to the gooch from Icehouse's boot.

You've gotta wonder how he'll feel about that.

The Ghost is a big ole gravy train with biscuit-capped wheels, and we'll keep on keepin' on. The Avon Barksdale Award for Management goes annually to the best coach, manager, or even agent for the year.
Avon embodied all the great things of leadership. He was loyal to his family, but also expected loyalty. He gave back to the community when he had the opportunity. He put careful thought into when, and how, to snatch a life. He had a good sense of humor, he enjoyed his downtime, and tried as hard as possible not to take his business too seriously. That said, he built one of the most profitable organizations to grace the city by the bay, and at the time of his most recent incarceration, held quite a bit of downtown real estate. Even on the inside, though, his word was his bond. Something of an authority figure, he is trusted with problems and advice.

He is a born leader. An executive. He runs this shit.

That being said, the nominees in this category are as compelling as they are competitive. And they are:

Icehouse's Pick:

Jerry Buss, owner, Los Angeles Lakers: So yeah, dude is a septuagenarian, doesn't really do a whole lot anymore with the team, but he still pimps out when need be. Kobe is a cantankerous sort, and when he gets fed up with Phil Jackson, Mitch Kupchak, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, etc., he calls Jerry. And Jerry makes all things right in the world.

This year, Buss had a hand in getting the Grizzlies to trade Gasols with the Lakers, sending Pau to Los Angeles and Marc to Memphis. That is straight dirty pimping, as Pau is much better than Marc.

Buss pimped his own daughter, first to Playboy (where she was a centerfold), and secondly to Phil Jackson (with whom she is currently romantically involved).

Buss is also a famed poker player, continuously taking part in extremely high-stakes poker games. Sometimes they're televised, sometimes people lose fingers (I think).

Last summer, Buss was arrested for DUI along with a 23-year-old female accomplice. He is a well-known partier that can regularly be seen at the Playboy Mansion (where he had been the night of the arrest), and counts among his drinking buddies the late Wilt Chamberlain (nobody more baller), Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, and Jerry Jones. Yes, that Jerry Jones.

I understand that much of this is bland, and without commentary, but just look at that rap sheet. If I played for anybody, anybody, I'd hope it'd be someone like Jerry Buss.

Dude is untouchable.

HONORABLE MENTION: Sir Alec Ferguson, Manager, Manchester United. He loves his players. They win championships. Fuck the rest.

Lattimer's Pick:

Paul Johnson, coach, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Ah yes, the Avon Barksdale award. After many years of watching this wonderful show I have learned many things about Avon. He is a complex character. However, the one constant with Avon is he gives credit where credit is due. Heaven and Here put it best stating: "Gangster recognizes Gangster". With that in mind, I think Avon would be proud to have Paul Johnson win the award with his namesake.

Johnson is not a Gangster in the traditional sense, that much I realize, however Johnson is most certainly a gangster in the football world. Prior to this season, I read article upon article stating that Johnson needed to change his offensive attack against BCS defenses and, dare I say, SEC SPEEEEED!!!!! OMG OMG OMG.

Johnson quietly pushed the doubters aside and stuck to his guns. What resulted was a 9-3 record, barely missing out on an ACC championship game appearance (They lost to VT in a tiebreaker) and flexboned interstate rival UGA to the tune of 45 points and 409 on the ground. The thing you have to understand about Johnson is that this is his first year with Tech, running a radically different offense, with players who were recruited for a pro style attack. Furthermore, look at some other first year coaches, such as this guy, this guy, and of course this guy.
I'll stop now or else I'll go on forever.

HONORABLE MENTION: Saban's season, the Entire Tampa Bay Rays organization and Coach ARRRRRRRRRRRR.

Don Delaware's Pick:

Barry Melrose, coach/analyst, Numerous Hockey Teams: Barry Melrose wins my award for best coach. It's not because he is the best coach, but because he is the best coach to ever cross-over into the sports analyst role. Not only did Melrose lead Gretzky's L.A. Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals in '93, but he lead me to pay attention to hockey highlights on Sportscenter. Melrose's tone and demeanor demanded you to at least acknowledge the NHL playoffs. Not to mention he has a bad-ass haircut. He recognized that the rest of the sports world does not give a shit about hockey (especially during football season), so he broke his analysis down in a way so that everyone could understand what the fuck was going on. And in turn, I gave a shit. Here's my thanks to you Coach Melrose, the Avon Barksdale Award for best coach, owner, or agent.

  • Jerry "The Shark" Tarkanian: Won 1990 Nat'l Title by the widest margin of victory in NCAA history at UNLV with the best, dirtiest team ever
  • Temple Hoops Coach John Chaney: Threatened to kill and assaulted then UMASS Coach John Calipari in 1994, and in 1995 "I'm going to send in what we used to do years ago, send in the goons." Chaney sent in Forward Nehemiah Ingram to "ruff up" a St. Josephs player. Ingram fracture the kids arm in one of the greatest college hoops plays ever.
  • Browns-Raven Owner Art Modell: Moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore after promising to never move the team as he felt betrayed as a Brooklynite when the Dodgers moved to L.A.

Stovall's Pick:

Lane Kiffin, coach, Oakland Raiders: In my opinion, this guy's name has to come into the conversation at some point for the 2008 season. Anybody who can get out of the worthless, Godless, hopeless black hole that is the Oakland Raider organization gets props in my book.

His tenure was less than a year and a half, amassing an impressive (for Oakland) record of 5-15. But one stat that isn't as well known is Old Codger Wrangling, and he was locking it up with one of the wiliest coots in the Northern Hemisphere in owner Al Davis. Davis' strength lies in his slickness and senility. His shirtless windsuits, combined with his Dapper Dan and FOP'ed hairpiece, would make any foe cumbersome. But match that with the plain old vanilla craziness that is the psyche of Al "Father Time" Davis, and you've got yourself an achin' for a breakin'. Then try to coach a bunch of professional egomaniacs who are chemically-induced giants. That'll show 'em.

But Kiffin was run out on a rail, as they say, in a very up-yours sort of way that was very reminiscent of the good old Mike Shannahan days. Now Kiffin will coach the Tennessee Volunteers, a once prominent football program in arguably the best conference in college football. But this isn't necessarily the dream job that many thought it was during the heyday. You're too far north to recruit the talent that your state has never and likely will never provide. You're stuck in one of the most vicious and cut-throat conferences in the country and let's just say the cupboard might be a little sparse upon your arrival.

Kiffin may very well be in the running of my "best" coach of the year in 2009.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jolly Charlie Weiss and his Band of Merry Gingers.

Old Booker Pogue's Pick:

Tommy Tuberville, coach, Auburn University: Clearly the winner here is Tommy Tuberville. The Man with the Golden Ears is a walking tribute to battered wives throughout history, being forced to resign last night. The man wins 8.85 games over a trailing 10yr period. He goes undefeated in 2004, and should have played for a national championship. Does he get shafted? Yes. How many other SEC coaches won successfully over a 10 yr. period? I don't know; it's not worth arguing, but it's not many.

Auburn fans, he was your rock. He may not have had a quarterback, but he had heart. He may not have charisma, but he coached the dumbest animals on earth - 18 y.o. males - to excellence (or near excellence) almost every year.

Sure, he knew you were pissy about his offensive production. Hell, how couldn't he? You went and flew in an old hooker to interview for his job - Bobby Petrino, of course - while the ole' Riverboat Gambler was still winning games. Then that blew up on ESPN. You might as well fuck your call girls in the guest room during Grey's Anatomy; Tommy'll never notice, right? But, ungrateful though you were, he soldiered on.

You kept whining, and he went for the Viagra - which is of course the spread offense. Ask Rich Rodriguez how well that works in a place built on vertical running. Every guy has a hard time getting it up every once in a while. Right? All he wants is for you to be happy. Beside, this happens to everybody. Remember the good times? The six years of domination over your unquestionably superior cousin? Bama? That ring a bell?

No? Well sure then. Kick the old bastard down the stairs and send him to the unemployment line. Tommy Tuberville, next round is on Roy Hobbs. But please, for the love of all that is holy, remember your pride: DON'T TAKE THE CLEMSON JOB. You deserve better than a lifetime of the Bowden Boys' sloppy seconds.

Who do you think deserves The Avon Barksdale Award for Management? Vote now in the comment section and let your voice be heard. God speed.

The Ghost of Roy Hobbs


  1. Drew Rosenhaus almost got a nod based solely on this Cheddar Plax incident. He's been somewhat successfully defending that it's okay for NFL players to handle guns.



  2. I guess we could give Jerry Jones a mention for building the place where God is going to go to watch football.

  3. I'm also surprised that we have no mention of Marlo.

  4. Marlo Stanfield is not a man for this town.

    -Omar Little

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