2005 Tank Awards
The Tank Awards are a sole property of The Sports E-cyclopedia, and are the opinions of Frank Fleming, and are not an official award. Tank award image designed by Liam Scanlan.
Cheech & Chong
Athlete of the Year:
Onterrio Smith for sneaking through an airport with the whizzinator a prosthetic penis used for cheating drug test, earning a 1-year suspension.
Caught Red Handed Award:
Rafael Palmeiro who after testifying before congress he never used steroids with a wagging finger tested positive for steroids, destroying the game's integrity as the league covered up the result as he collected his 3,000 hit and his Hall of Fame chances.
Charmin Toilet Paper of the Year:
To Jose Canseco and his book "Juiced" we all knew he used steroids but when he tried to out former teammates he alienated himself from the sport and ended up landing at the bottom of the celebrity outhouse when he was a cast member on VH-1's "The Surreal Life."
Bill Buckneer Choke of the Year:
Darius Washington of Memphis with his team needing to beat Louisville in the Conference USA Title game to make the NCAA Tournament had 3 Free Throws with no time on the clock needing to hit 3 to win and 2 to tie. After hitting the first one Washing missed the next two as the Tigers had to settle for the NIT.
The Village Idiot Award:
Former NHLPA Bob Goodenow who lost an entire season by refusing to accept the NHL's final proposal in February, eventually the sides would settle and the players would get a worse deal.
Stark Lesson of the Year:
Former Oakland Raiders Defensive End Darrell Russell whose drug problems led to him being kicked out of the NFL died in a December Car Accident and was hardly mourned.
The OZ Cellblock B
Team of the Year:
To the Minnesota Vikings, who along with Smith's Whizenator had Coach Mike Tice caught illegal scalping tickets, and 4 players indicted for various misdemeanor crimes after the Love Boat affair.
America's Most Wanted Athlete of the Year:
Former Dwight Gooden who after being pulled over for a traffic violation took off and a was a fugitive for several days before turning himself in, coincidently his son was also serving a jail sentence for drugs at the same time.
Most Breakable Player of the Year:
Juan Gonzalez who coming off an injury plagued season with the Royals returned to the Indians only to miss the first two months with a hurt hamstring. Upon returning Gonzalez would re-injure himself in his first at bat and would not play again.
Lunatic of the Year:
Kenny Rogers possibly sick of one too many joke about him being a Country singer attacked a camera man unprovoked allowing him to star in the Fox Primetime special when athletes attack.
The Money for Nothing Award :
Alonzo Mourning who forced the Toronto Raptors to buy out his contract for $8 Million after refusing to play for them after a midseason trade, after the buyout Zo would become a Free Agent and returned to the Miami Heat.
Miami Hurricanes who as part of the new Nike design future jersey wore uniforms with different colored arms and stripes going each way during a loss to Georgia Tech that cost them a shot at a BCS Bowl, perhaps they were so ugly they could not concentrate.
Mascot of the Year:
The San Diego Chicken the Gorilla and the Phillie Phanatic who were all part of the first class inducted into the Sports Mascot Hall of Fame in Philadelphia.
Washington Nationals, baseballs DC return also saw a return of nice looking uniforms as the Nationals had a clean traditional look with a stylish hat and simple but nice jerseys.
Worst Team of the Year:
The Kansas City Royals who lost more then 100 games for the second straight year which included a horrendous August in which they lost 19 straight games, for the worst losing streak in MLB in nearly 20 years.
The Quiet Efficiency Award:
im Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs who without allot of flash won their 2nd NBA Title in 3 years by outlasting the Detroit Pistons in 7 games. The title which was the 3rd for the Spurs since 1999 clearly established themselves as the best current franchise in the NBA while Duncan assumed the mantle of the best player in the NBA.
Best Team of the Year:
USC Trojans 2 straight National Championships and 1 win away from becoming the first team to win 3 in a row. The team that has the last 2 Heisman winners, and has won 34 straight may be remembered as the best College Football Team ever if they beat Texas on January 4th.
Overrated Player of the Year:
Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick, all hype. If you hear people talk about Vick you would think he was the best ever, he's not even among the 10 best now. By now he should have been an elite QB on merit and not just his name, sure he is a great runner, but QBs need to pass well too and he just is not that good of passer, he has never even passed for 3,000 yards or had 20 TD passes.
Hit the Road Jack Award:
Terrell Owens who after his non stop defiance of Coach Andy Reid and Eagles Management was suspended for 4 games and deactivated the bulk of the season, as the Eagles prepare to release him following the season.
Back Where it Belongs Award:
The Washington Nationals who played before large crowds and led the NL East for much of the first half of the season before fading as Major League Baseball returned to the Nation's Capital for the first time in 34 years as President George W. Bush revived a tradition that went from Taft to Nixon by throwing out the first pitch on opening day.
The Pleeeeeeease Comeback Award:
The Los Angeles Lakers who 1 year after dismissing Phil Jackson gave him $10 Million a year while forming a truce between him and star Kobe Bryant.
How is HE Still Here? Award:
Matt Milen GM Detroit Lions whose team is a NFL worst 20-59 since taking over late in 2001. While firing two coaches, drafting mega bust QB Joey Harrington, and using 3 high first round picks on receivers, two of which also appear on the road to bustville, all while frustrated Lions fans call for his job. Though further examination may be need could he be black mailing the Ford Family to keep his job, at this pint it may the only thing that makes sense.
Gone too soon award:
Jason Collier of the Atlanta Hawks who died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 28 in October just as the Hawks were starting training camp. & Thomas Herrion 23 who while trying to make the San Francisco 49ers roster died suddenly after a preseason game in Denver.
Encore of the Year &
One more for the road award:
Lance Armstrong who made it a heavenly 7 straight Tour de France Titles in the most grueling bike race in the world, before retiring and marrying singer Cheryl Crowe.
Rising Star Award:
Reggie Bush USC RB the Heisman Trophy winner for USC is easily the most exciting player in college football and with him anticipated to turn pro he could become the most sought after first overall pick in years.
Ironman of the Year:
New England Patriots LB Teddy Bruschi who after suffering a stroke in February went through heart surgery to repair a small hole, returned in November and played like he never been gone returning to Pro Bowl form a s the Patriots win the AFC East.
Coach of the Year:
Joe Paterno 79 year old Coach for Penn State who a year ago may have been considered a candidate for staying too long showed he still had some magic left as he led the Nittany Lions to a 10-1 record , a Big 10 Championship and a berth in the BCS Orange Bowl against Florida State in a match up of the two winningest D-1A Coaches of all time.
Lance Armstrong Inspirational
Athlete of the Year:
He came he saw he won again all the while as jealous French reporters tried shifting through his garbage and using old blood to besmirch his accomplishments, but it could not stop him he won his 7th Tour de France in a row.
2005 Sports E-Cyclopedia Star of the Year:
Peyton Manning what does the 2-time NFL MVP do for an encore after setting a record for Touchdowns in a season? By nearly leading the Indianapolis Colts to an undefeated season as the he put up MVP numbers again while the Colts won their first 13 games and established home field advantage throughout the coming playoffs. Peyton Manning has become the new face of the NFL as the Colts gallop towards what they hope is a trip to Super Bowl XL, a second generation NFL All-Pro his father Archie Manning was a star QB for the New Orleans Saints in the 70s, while younger brother Eli began making a name of his own leading the New York Giants to the postseason in his first full season as a starter. All 3 Mannings were also high first round picks, but Peyton has emerged as the best of them all, at the age of 29 there's even more great things in the future.
Most Painful TV Moment of the Year:
ESPN mock Hot stove News conferences with former Mets GM Steve Phillips playing that role again for various teams while mapping out their off season plans as real journalist threw staged questions and snapped pictures.
Leon team player Award:
Terrell Owens who besides pestering Donovan McNabb and Coach Andy Reid while trying to get a new contract parked his a car in a handicapped spot reserved for injured players forcing teammate Paul Grasmanis recovering from an Achilles injury to park from the training facility.
Most Annoying Person:
Super Agent Drew Rosenhauss who put himself front and center and reportedly encouraged Terrell Owens defiance while trying to the the Eagles to renegotiate his contract. When TO apologized Drew stepped in and ruined it by portraying TO as a victim, and yelling next question please at every tough question asked by the assembled media.
To the National League West won by the San Diego Padres with a mediocre 82-80, making them the worst team in MLB history to reach the postseason where there were summarily swept in 4 straight games by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Game of the Year:
NLDS Game 4 Houston Astros beat Atlanta Braves in 18 innings on Jason Lane's walk off home run. The Braves jumped out to an early 5-0 lead only to see the Astros rally ad tie the game on a Brad Asmaus HR in the 9th inning,
Surprise Team of the Year:
Chicago White Sox who were hardly on anyone's radar at the start of the season led the AL Central Wire to Wire then went on to win their first World Series in 88 years by winning 11 of 12 postseason games, sweeping the defending champion Boston Red Sox, and Houston Astros along the way.
The Nothing Can be finer award:
North Carolina Tar Heels who won the NCAA Tournament in just Roy Williams second season as coach, erasing recent bad memories of the failed Matt Doherty era in which the Tar Heels finished with a losing record and failed to even reach the big dance 2 straight years.
Trip Down Memory Lane Award:
Jack Nicklaus retired from the PGA and active tournament golf amidst adoring cheers from the gallery playing his final tournament at the British Open held this year at Royal and Ancient St. Andrew's in Scotland.
Stayed too long award:
Mike Tyson's fall from greatest boxer ever to utter joke was finally completed when he was knocked out in the 6th Round by a mediocre Irish Heavyweight named Kevin McBride in the 6th Round of June Fight in Washington DC.
Ryan Leaf Bust of the Year:
Detroit Lions QB Joey Harrington who in year 4 is not any better then he was in year 1, as the Lions trying everything to make it work drafted Wide Receivers in the first round 3 straight years, all while fans groaned and teammates moaned before he was benched in November.
Warrick Dunn Atlanta Falcons, the son of a single mother police officer shot on duty who was forced to then raise his 5 younger siblings on his own got to the NFL in 1997 and has never stopped giving back. He has given homes away to over 50 single mothers and is always heavily involved in charitable donations including challenging all other NFL players to donate at least $5,000 to Hurricane Katrina Relief.
The Twice is nice Award:
New England Patriots who won their 2nd straight Super Bowl and 3rd in4 years by beating the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, establishing themselves as a true NFL dynasty.
Success at last award:
To the Washington Wizards who won their first playoff series in 23 years beating the Chicago Bull sin 6 games, a feat celebrated by first round t-shirts, too bad they were swept by the Heat in the second round.
Unknown Accomplishment of the Year:
Roger Federer of Switzerland the best tennis player in the year rarely loss this year losing just 4 total matches as he took 2 of the 4 Grand Slam Titles in dominant fashion highlighting a summer in which he won 35-straight matches. However with the popularity of tennis lagging he is still not well known in the United States.