I decided to break out the awards from the rest of the report to make it so that you don’t have to take a ‘potty’ break to read the whole thing.
THE HALLOWEEN SPICE DROP AWARD OF AMAZING ACHIEVEMENT AND UPSTANDING PERSONAL HYGIENE
There is really only one person that can get this and that is Ty Zimmerman. Two interceptions are huge but he was also a second half warrior cutting down passing lanes and covering like a boss. Zimmerman was under fire a lot last year, and I think with the way the front seven were playing, you saw him be able to scan the field and position himself to make big plays. It wasn’t just that he got the picks, it was that he was able to play them. Both of his interceptions were a great example of not falling for fakes and biting on play action or even a half back pass, hanging in position and then breaking on the ball to make the play. This is a huge difference from last year when he had to basically honor all run fakes because they needed him to support the run.
So well played Ty, well played!
THE JUJIFRUIT AWARD OF IMPROVEMENT AND EXCEPTIONAL ABS
This award was pretty easy. Storm Woods took a noticeable step back last year after his concussion and it led to speculation that they needed to bring in other players. Like a true competitor and best friend of the ultimate work horse in Brandin Cooks, Storm worked his ankles off to prepare for this season. He looks leaner while heavier and ran with a purpose. I noticed a huge difference in the way he was finishing during spring practices. He, Steven Nelson and Caleb Smith all looked very focused and very aggressive. It was nice to see that work and change in approach pay off for Storm so well. He made decisive cuts, got into players when he needed to, tried to split tackles and worked on making the first guy miss all game long. There is always more you can do, but Storm came out and was just flat out effective all game long.
Great work man, great work!
THE CRAPPY DAPPY LAME ANKLE GOOD N’ PLENTY AWARD OF SUCKING
As if it came from on heaven, with angels singing and trumpets blowing, the Pac 12 officials not only competed to win this award, but really did what anyone wants in a competition. They took it, ran with it and owned it so that no one else could even come close.
My first thought this weekend during the OSU game was that “Man, these Big Sky refs are terrible!” Of course that would be rude to the Big Sky and I later had to apologize. My next thought was that maybe the Pac-12 was paying the refs per flag thrown. That was a perfectly reasonable conclusion seeing as how the floor looked like an orangutang cage following a banana binge and ensuing orangutang intervention. You know, for the sake of the animal.
But alas, it was just in competence. In true public figure form, rather than take the blame for the poor officiating, they pointed out how the replay crew were making their job harder by replaying the calls in question. I can see how that would be upsetting. I know that i work a little less efficiently when I am being watched by my boss. This would explain the lack of calls on a certain pass interference, or missing a few holding penalties, even though the offensive lineman was basically reenacting the Luke Skywalker/Yoda training scene from Empire Strikes back. The Jedi Backpack was being portrayed by the PSU lineman.
Of course, these events are only egregious to Beaver fans, and as history has shown us, the conference doesn’t give a crap. Fortunately, there were some important teams that felt the same angst. While the ducks were able to drag defenders to the ground in usual no call fashion, ASU, WSU and even mighty Stanford were subject to some head scratchers.
My personal theory is that Jay Strickertz, ‘Glasses Ref’, cast a curse on the conference as he retired to ensure that he would not be the only ref who was so bad, even casual fans knew his name.
Bravo Pac-12 Referees, you have outdone yourself!