Friday, March 30, 2007

Otto Award #13: Biggest Villain/Rival of the Year (The True S.O.B. Award)

Alright kids, back to work. It's now time to kick off the third glorious day of the First Annual Syracuse Orange Blogger Awards, aka the SOB's, or the Otto's, take your pick...

The first award presented today will be for Biggest Villain, Nemesis, or Rival of the Year. There were many teams, reporters, committees that gave us all pains due to our hatred of them this year. UConn gave us fits through all three games, showing that no matter how young they are they can still show up for a rivalry. Georgetown re-emerged as a legitimate team in the Big East, and vaulted back to premier rivalry status. We got absolutely hosed by the group of no-talent ass-clowns known as the NCAA selection committee. Reporters the likes of Doug Gottleib have been on our butts all year regarding everything from a soft OOC Schedule, to a lack of quality win to pin on our resume. Those are the three main competitors. You know its an odd year when UConn barely makes this list.

I digress, on to the award:

The SOB for Most Hated Villain/Nemesis/Rival of the Year:
This award is presented to a deserving dissenter, rival, or just plain idiot who has demonstrated an innate ability to piss of as many Syracuse Orange fans as possible at any given moment during the season.

The Nominees:
Nominations came down to a very tight race. In the end there were two... Doug Gottleib and Gary Walters. Gottleib, as noted in a phenomenal rant by Sean at TNIAAM, has had a long and storied history of disdain for our team and league. Also now this has escalated to include directly Jimmy B, and Devo after his comment earlier this year.

Gary Walters, as you all probably know is the NCAA Selection Committee Chairman. He helped spearhead the "World's Worst Snub" of the Cuse from the NCAA tournament, yet somehow anticipated that he would still be personal friends with Boeheim...

The Ballots:
Voting as follows:
TNIAAM: Tie - Gottleib and Selection Committee
Cuse Country: Tim - Gottleib, Josh - Selection Committee
SNWHM: UConn/Calhoun
OrangeHoops: Gary Walters
Getting Back to '03: Walters, (Rival: Georgetown)
Orange44: Walters

In the end Walters wins the vote (Selection Committee counts towards him) in a rout: 4-2-1-1
The inclusion of UConn in the vote was rational, as an under performing and young team could have cost us a lot, showing they are still on our radar.
It doesn't matter how bad they are, they still found a way to beat Syracuse once and could have cost the Orange a better seed in the Big East Tournament.
-Howie, SNWHM
Gottleib took second due to his history with us, being on us all season and his lack of desire to include us in the field even after beating the #10 team in the nation for our "token win."
Some would say the selection committee, but I've only held a grudge against them for a few weeks. Gottlieb's been on my bad side since November.
-Tim, Cuse Country
And of course our good friend Gary Walters. Somehow he found rationale to deny this team its right to play in March with the big guns, and was able to skirt the question through the rest of the time it was in the media. He had no basis for what he and his cronies did, yet was somehow able to get away with it.
This man somehow left Syracuse out of the NCAA's. He should be lynched and may his children marry unwashed heathens...
-Matt, Orange44

In a rarity, Gary Walters is able to trump all on-court action this year, and become the season’s biggest Villain (and also its most notable idiot).
-Ray, OrangeHoops
Overall it was a season of villainy rivalry and downright pillaging of the Syracuse way of life. UConn remained at the front of our rivalries, while Georgetown decided to jump out to the front of the pack by coming back into prominence. While there were many on-court issues occurring, the off-court idiocy of the talking heads and the powers that be were able to take the thunder away from a fantastic season. In hindsight, the NIT run may have unified our fan-base and given us a touch of hope (look back to the '02 NIT to '03 NCAA turnaround), but I think we have been royally jerked around by the committee, and I fully agree that Gary Walters and the Selection Committee fully deserve this aptly named SOB award.

Next tune in to Howie, over at Sports Night with Howie Mansfield, for the presentation of Best Junior at 1pm. It should be an interesting award...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Otto Award #9: Best Non-Boeheim Syracuse Orange Quote of the Year

Well friends, we all know that our favorite Hall of Fame coach has had numerous quotable quotes throughout the years. In this section of our awards presentation, it's time to look beyond the shroud of Jimmy B's sarcastic wit, and deeper into the minds of our players.

The SOBA for Best Non-Boeheim Syracuse Orange Quote of the Year:

And the winner is.... No Consensus...

The finalists for this award covered a very narrow area of topics, and all occurred over a two week span, from the Georgetown win, to the San Diego State win. Lets do this chronologically.
"(This win) is going to shut Doug Gottlieb up and that's all I'm worried about.”
-Eric Devendorf, Feb. 26th, on the Georgetown win
Submitted by Sean at TNIAAM, supported by myself.
This one seems to show that we fans aren't the only ones who hate Doug Gottleib. He is despised by the players as well. It seems like Devo wants to join in on the ongoing feud between Mr. Credit Card and our fearless leader. Also leading into the stretch run, the fire from the team that was fanned by people like Gottleib helped contribute to a great win in SU Hoops this year.
"Syracuse is in."
-Various TV and Online College Hoops analysts, Doug Gottleib included, leading up to March 11th.
Submitted by Josh at Cuse Country
Well, I think this quick and to the point quote says it all. All the talking heads in the country declared Cuse in, 29/30 "expert" polls had us in, and somehow we were snubbed. The world works in mysterious ways my friends.
"I think Syracuse should have been in the tournament. They play well in the tournament. They’re like Louisville. They know what to do, and they’re very well coached. They’re just too good to leave out of this tournament. I was glad that Arkansas got in. But I didn’t understand why Syracuse and Florida State couldn’t get in."
-President Bill Clinton, March 15th, on "The Snub"
Submitted by Matt at Orange44.
When our own former President supports the Cuse to get into the tournament, we need to recall the selection committee. I mean, its Bill... come on, take some of what he has to say to heart...
"We can't guarantee that we're going to win the tournament, we CAN guarantee that we'll be ready for every game."
-Demetris Nichols, March 15th, South Alabama Post-game
Submitted by Ray from OrangeHoops.
After the snub, and the initial comeback win, Demetris came back with this quote. The Cuse truly rallied around the snub, when others could have laid down to it. In the S. Alabama game they showed a great deal of heart and were helped along by 16,000+ screaming fans in the Dome.
"During the Notre Dame game, we didn't play up to our ability. They ended up booing us. Today they came back cheering us. We know the reason why we got booed so we didn't want that to happen again. We've been playing up to our ability and playing hard every minute of every game."
-Darryl (Mookie) Watkins, March 20th, San Diego State Post-game
Submitted by Howie at SNWHM.
Mookie's reaction to the SDSU record setting attendance crowd, and how much the Orange faithful were behind them. I like to see that, as you can kind of take it to heart that we as fans DO have an impact on the players, whether with them or behind them (Though I don't condone the booing of our own team).

Well without a clear winner, I guess you readers can pick your own. I find that this run of quotes tends to sum up the SU season in a nutshell, from disappointment to determination and everything in between.

Don't forget to stop by Cuse Country around 3 to catch the next installment of the SOBA's, awarding the Otto for Favorite Game of the Year.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Otto Award #5: Best Senior

Thank you Howie. If you didn't catch the last award, Howie (SNWHM) has just awarded the SOB-A for Best Syracuse Related Photo to Jim Boeheim for his piece entitled "Channeling the Feelings of the Orange Nation."

After reading the post title, I'm assuming all of you readers will know where this is going. Award description may or may not read as follows: Award for the exemplary performance of a senior athlete on the Basketball team of Syracuse University. The recipient will have shown leadership, skill and all around integrity on the court throughout the season.

If you read that inscription, there is only one option on our roster that can fit the bill. Drum roll please...

The unanimous winner of the Syracuse Orange Blogger Award for Best Senior goes to Demetris Nichols.

Ok, It's probably not much of a shock, but he definitely deserved every bit of the recognition he received, and possibly a bit more. On to the rationale. Though some felt compelled to write on their thoughts of why our recipient should be the best senior, it seems that others were able to sum it up in a single word... "Nichols."
Both of the Cuse Country guys, as well as myself opted for the single word, quick and to the point answer.

Demetrius picked up his scoring and played better defense. He make himself more of a game changer, and a leader.
~Howie from Sports Night with Howie Mansfield

Ray from OrangeHoops decided that one word wasn't enough, going for the massive four word answer: "Demetris Nichols... by far."

Sean over at TNIAAM summed it up as such:
However Harris played and Devendorf ran the point, we knew it would be up to the senior frontcourt to define this season. And we certainly did live and die with their play, none more so than Demetris Nichols. He stepped up and became a leader on the stat sheet as well as on the court. He leaves us wishing we had one more season with him.
Similarly Matt from Orange44:
As a member of a senior class that underwhelmed from the word "go," Nichols clearly realized much of the potential that many claimed he had during his recruitment. He will go down in Syracuse history as one of the more under-appreciated players in the Boeheim era -- a sad fact considering the number of Orange players that many recognize as "great" -- but the fact remains that he was the primary reason Syracuse won the number of games it did this season.
Though all the seniors will be missed dearly, and their heart will be tough to replace, this award belongs far and away to Demetris. All in all Nichols has undoubtedly stepped his game up a huge notch from his Junior campaign, was mere votes away from a Big East POY award and was voted First Team All Big East, and Honorable Mention All America.
There was no person during any point in this season that did as much to step up and rise to the occasion as much as Demetris did, save maybe Devendorf down the stretch. (He's not a senior, therefore not eligible for this one, check out the Sophmore awards though, he might make a showing...) I would say that qualifies him as the Best Senior and a worthy recipient.

Check out Ray over at OrangeHoops for the final presentation of the day, and be sure to tune in at noon tomorrow with Howie for the start to the 2nd day of festivities.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Syracuse Orange Blogger Awards

After the ups and downs of this hoops season, it seems that the powers that be (read: Those of us with enough spare time to write about Cuse Hoops too many times this year) have had a meeting of the minds. The collective of blogs contributing to the first annual Syracuse Orange Blogger Awards have come to a consensus. Over the next three days you can find the results of the voting between the likes of Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician (from here on out TNIAAM), Orange44, Cuse Country, SportsNight with Howie Mansfeld, Orange Hoops and yours truly starting at 12EST on TNIAAM.