The Keith Jackson Circa 1995 AwardFOR: The best prose. The best, most consistently appealing sentences, phrases, and paragraphs.
In my mind, this is the big one. The blogosphere is often characterized as a domain of slack-jawed internet yokels, each attempting to cram in as much erroneous punctuation and horrid diction as possible.
This is not so true in my experience. The persons who float to the top of the blogging world are unconstrained by the strictures placed upon mainstream journalists. They can write what they want about who they want, and they can make it as long or short as it warrants. They are not bound by the pretense of objectivity and can relate the intensely personal feelings of crazed fandom to fellow sufferers. They can swear like sailors. And most importantly, the very reason they've floated to the top of the blogging world is that they have an abiding passion for college football unsated by mere consumption. The end result often far outstrips the tepid, lowest-common-demoninator approach necessitated by mass media. (No assertions about the blogosphere's reliability, timeliness, or sanity will be proffered here, in case anyone out there is worried about an unfortunate outbreak of Blog Triumphalism.)
The end result is that the very best writing done about college football this year, in my opinion, has been done in the blogosphere. And to win this award, in my opinion, is to be named the best person writing about college football anywhere. (Damn. Unmistakable Blog Triumphalism. Sorry.) So, yeah, I wanted to win.
RUNNER UP: Dawg Sports. If we had decided to hand out an award for "Most Prolific," Dawg Sport's Kyle King would have run away with the award like he was Phil Fulmer with a purloined Krispy Kreme. Every day -- every day -- Kyle throws up two or three posts of prodigious, intimidating length. In my day-to-day life I'm occasionally quizzed as to where I get the time to do things like UFR (answer: "I steal it from children with lukemia"), but good lord Kyle's word count is an order of magnitude greater than mine. And since he's a lawyer in real life, said posts tend to be definitively persuasive last words on the subject.
WINNAH: Every Day Should Be Saturday. I warned you about the Orson Swindle award bukkake, didn't I? Well... Orson Swindle Award bukkake! To reveal why, let's pick a paragraph nearly at random from the front page of EDSBS:
We’ve said it before and wish to repeat the official stance of EDSBS vis-a-vis college football recruiting: it’s really, really creepy. For months–sometimes, years at a time, huge monied institutions buck their noses into the lives of 17 and 18 year old boys and woo them with everything except cash in an attempt to get them to sacrifice three or four years of their lives to play football and mum through a university education simultaneously. It’s a bit like watching a live-action re-enactment of Death In Venice, with universities playing the part of the aging pederast and the recruit being the young object of affection, but minus all the plague and effete homoeroticism. ( This is Amurrica, dammit. Even our homoeroticism needs to look like a Dodge Ram commercial. Heh: Ram.)So there you go. Orson manages to be funny and convincing all in one go. When he sets his mind to doing something other than be improbably hilarious, he is both improbably hilarious and whatever else he was trying to do.