Some corporate entities and clubs that seem to exist for no reason outside of doling out trophies at lavish dinners his morning, the Downtown Athletic Club of SMQ introduces an ongoing feature of the next couple weeks: the prestigious SMQ Readers' Choice Awards for excellence in whatever quirky field crosses his mind, with winners selected by you. Results will be announced sometime later this month, whenever clever categories run dry. Everyone who stops by is encouraged to participate by clicking the appropriate circle in the "Poll" section of the righthand sidebar.
If you have any award ideas for SMQ, please leave them in the comment section. Spam-deflection means you'll have to register, but it couldn't be easier.
The Edwards-Fitzgerald Award
Presented to the best player at whom to throw the ball as high as possible as often as possible
In the tradition of the most eye-opening of the new breed of big play receiver as acrobatic, boxing out, rebounding power forward, the winner of the venerable Edwards-Fitzgerald is one whose hands and lank in traffic mark him as uncoverable highlight reel out of defensive coordinators' nightmares.
The nominees are:
Marcus Monk Arkansas
Averaged just shy of 20 yards per catch and scored 11 touchdowns in an offense designed specifically to hide its junior college quarterbacking and that eventually decided it was just as well off letting the running backs and whoever chuck it around. All gravy to Monk: he had a catch of at least 15 yards in every game and of 35 or more in eight. Even teams who limited him - hello, Auburn - were burned at some point.
Calvin Johnson Georgia Tech
Mutant talent shattered career bests in catches, yards and touchdowns, in only slightly more conventional fashion than his first two seasons. Occasionally slowed - Clemson, North Carolina, Georgia - but even when his offense forgot about him, or his quarterback couldn't put the ball in a catchable position for even the borderline suprnatural, everybody freaked about his not touching it. That's something in itself. Lowest yards per catch on this list.
Greg Carr Florida State
Well, Jeff Bowden thought so, at least. Six-six leaper's 11 touchdowns on 30 catches must be among the best touch/score ratios anywhere.
Adarius Bowman Oklahoma State
Didn't see him play, but had one game with 13 catches for 300 yards and four touchdowns, against a team playing in a bowl contest this month. Six-four sophomore had seven touchdowns otherwise on about 20 per catch.
Dwayne Jarrett USC
Missed parts of the year, everyone forgot about him, before he eats Notre Dame alive and everybody checks to see if his injury-deflated stats justify another all-America bid. In terms of a talent for "boxing out" for the ball, remember his second touchdown at Notre Dame, and moments like this:
Pete Carroll studies closely for his Edwards-Fitzgerald vote
Maurice Purify Nebraska
Raw junior college behemoth terrorized every Big XII foe in one fashion or another: six touchdowns on 29 catches in-conference, few of them sizzling lopes into the open field. SMQ is certain Texas and Missouri can vouch for him.
Those are the candidates. SMQ has the first vote, and casts it in favor of Monk. The rest is up to you.