It's been more than two weeks since the 2007 FIU football season ended with a bang as the Golden Panthers closed out the Orange Bowl and their season with a resounding win over North Texas.
Been talking about the 1st Annual GPP Football Awards on the last few blogs, but some blog housekeeping and a little Dolphins work (yours truly broke the news of the possible Dolphins sale last Tuesday and covered El Monstruo in his return to Miami) has delayed our first FIU football awards show until now. So without further ado, please welcome our lovely awards presenter Miss Catherine Zeta-Jones as we dole out the GPP's Football Awards. . .
The Cheers Award....and the winner is Lionell Singleton. Like the great sitcom Cheers, LS had a rough start, but finished strong. We didn't know if a half-hour show about a bar was going to make it. After four fumbles in the season opener at Penn State, LS gave us the same doubts, but he recovered to return two kicks for touchdowns -- the last, an 84-yard kickoff return in the final game of the season and of LS's college career.
The "Hey I Can See the Orange Bowl from Up Here" Award....and the winner is Chris Cook. The FIU punter had a 66-yarder against Maryland, but hit the heavens with a 71-yard punt against Troy.
The Mahi-Mahi Award....and the winner is Greg Ellingson. Be honest when you go to most restaurants isn't the catch of the day always Mahi-Mahi. Well, here (left) against Troy, Ellingson pulled down this 49-yard pass for the catch of the year.
The Sunrise/Sunset Award....and the winner is The fake double reverse/fullback or tight end pass play. Just like we can count on the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, FIU quarterbacks could count on this play. Tight end Moses Hinton scored the first touchdown on this play against Maryland and fullback Trenard Turner made it an art form scoring on it against the Hurricanes and North Texas.
The Jessica Simpson Award....and the winner is Ashlyn Parker. The honor is named after a knockout and it honors the knockout of the year. Parker delivered the hit against Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick. AP obliterated CD on a sack and gave the QB a concussion and broken ribs. Now, Jess, let go of the award and hand it over to Ashlyn.
The Coast of Utopia Award....and the winner is Wayne Younger. I had to look up the Broadway play of the year (The Coast of Utopia). I didn't have to look up the FIU play of the year. That goes to Younger's Houdini-like escape of 3 Arkansas State defenders on a 2-point pass play to Moses Hinton to tie the game at 24.
The Idaho Potato Farmer Award....and the winner is Audric Adger. AA started the season with a sack against Penn State and finished it with four sacks against North Texas. Next up for AA is a TV spot plugging Idaho's finest.
Best Impersonation of a Little-Regarded Former Michigan QB That Becomes a Future Hall of Famer....and the winner is Paul McCall. Yes, it took the engraver a lot of time to get this title on the award, but it was well worth the wait sort of like McCall's performances in FIU's final two games. While the storyline is eerily similar to Tom Brady's debut back in 2001 (Drew Bledsoe gets knocked out, Brady enters and plays like an All-Pro from the get-go), let's not anoint PM as TB just yet. Even though his FIU teammates serenaded him with chants of "Brady, Brady, Brady" when PM entered the Orange Bowl locker room after the North Texas win. Still, the sophomore had a dazzling finish to 2007: 34 of 54 for 409 yards and 5 TDs in just six quarters of football.
The Superman II Hologram Image Game Award....and the winner is Michael Dominguez. Like in Superman II when the Man of Steel produced several images of himself to fool the Krypton villains in the Fortress of Solitude, the ULL Ragin' Cajuns must have thought the same when MD posted 19 tackles in the game.
The Stockbroker Award....and the winner is Audric Adger. We all hope our stockbrokers give us the best possible quote. AA did so after the North Texas win: "It was the last game and you got to let it hang loose. It was awesome to win the last game here. It's something other teams couldn't do so we're proud to close this building the right way."
The Peyton Manning Has Got Nothing On Us Award....and the winners are Scott Bryant and Greg Ellingson. Yeah, Peyton does all the ads on TV nowadays, but SB and GE made a splash (just ask MC) with their inaugural Gatorade shower.
The Winemaker Award....and the winners are all FIU fans. You people displayed the patience of a winemaker of fine Italian merlots by riding out the 23-game losing streak and enjoying the fruits of the 38-19 win. Raise a glass to yourselves and toast a new era of FIU football.
The "I'd Say Thank You If I Could Speak" Award....and the winner is the Orange Bowl. The OB says: Don Shula visited me one last time in the FAU/FIU game this season and a college team from Miami closed me out the right way.
For Catherine and Jessica, I'd like thank you for the attending the 1st Annual GPP Football Awards. We'll get to your questions from the previous blog in our next GPP blog. The GPP sat down and interviewed El Monstruo after Sunday's game against the Dolphins and we'll post that interview on here in the coming days.