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The 2007 CFB Blogger Awards: Best Recurring Feature

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The College Football Blogger Awards are an annual effort to honor the best and brightest of the year in the CFB `sphere. Because it doesn't count if a small number of people can't vote on its superiority. Most of last year's winners have been assigned to present this year's awards in their victorious categories, and EDSBS, Rocky Top Talk, Burnt Orange Nation, MGoBlog and Fire Mark May have been dishing out the honors all day. Check out the full list of nominees.
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I'm in a little bit of a unique position as the presenter of "Best Recurring Feature," because the ban on repeat winners means I'm the only returning winner-turned-presenter in this year's CFBAs up for the award he's announcing. Last year, I was lucky enough to win the "Recurring Feature" award for "Friday Morning Quarterback," the labor of love that regularly draws zero comments. It was, to say the least, an upset.

"FMQ" cannot win again, but the top secret cabal of CFBA organizers put up another SMQ feature for this year's award, the in-season Monday mainstay "Life on the Margins." And, yeah, since they would never let me write adulatory things about my own blog, you can guess how "LOTM" fared here. No wonder, considering the competition:

Voting Style Popular Nomination/Elite Blogger Cabal
Reigning Champ (Ineligible) Friday Morning Quarterback (SMQ)
This year's nominees...
Blog Feature
Rocky Top Talk Animated Blog Poll
Every Day Should Be Saturday The Fulmer Cup
Sunday Morning Quarterback Life On the Margins
Snarkastic The Weekly Top 10
Brian Cook (FanHouse) This Week In Schadenfreude
MGoBlog Upon Further Review

And das veiner est...

Every Day Should Be Saturday for the "Fulmer Cup." Phil must be so, so proud.

Of all the great things that titilate me and deepen my inferiority complex every day at EDSBS, Orson's Cup of Ill Repute is the item I respect the most, because I know how hard it is. I did a thing for a long time I called "The Rap Sheet," pre-dating the Fulmer Cup, wherein I tried to do basically the same thing, minus the point system: chronicle the legal and eligibility-threatening shortcomings of the fine young men our attention and subsequent dollars mold into sheltered, entitled, testosterone-driven princes with the campus at their feet. With the Fulmer Cup, Orson has succeeded spectaculary where I always failed on two fronts:

Consistency. Keeping up with every story regarding an arrest, court date, dropped charges, etc. is a bitch, especially when you institute a running tally: you can't miss anything. Swindle and his unruly horde of RSS watchers are unstoppable vacuums for stories on the most insignificant criminal activity. They relish their rivals' shame and blissfully blow every scuffle out of proportion in fine Internet fashion - they're all Thug U. in the comments, and the weekly board shows it in lights: yeah, they really are. I'm certain from my own experience that Orson could never keep the board up to date as efficiently as he does without constant feeding from his audience, the unmatched expanse and activity of which is a direct result of his staggering...

Creativity. The "Rap Sheet" was killed foremost by my inability to come up with anything interesting to say about yet another underage drinking or resisting arrest charge. I do not care much about these activites and couldn't bring myself to disingenuous snark or fingerwagging. This is no game for timidity or perspective; it's the offseason, and if you're not balls to the wall with whatever fluff you're spinning into a post, you're one doomed blogger. The main mark of Swindle's evil genius from where I sit is his ability to churn every dry, five-paragraph, "just the facts" report into a showstopping scene from some combination of Cops, Pulp Fiction,  and the Marx Brothers. He attacks the seedy criminal underworld of the sport with the knowing je ne se qua of a man who, if he hasn't been arrested at some point, probably should have been. At the least, certainly he's found himself on multiple occasions either consoling, fighting, kicking out, bailing out, hooking up with or running away from acquaintances who have known the inside of a holding tank as intimately as they know the contours of their own gravity bong.

It's not conceivable he could write a paragraph like this otherwise:

Hill got hit with felony controlled substance possession, which is three points there, plus a slew of driving citations, including the shame of having no seat belt on at the time of the arrest. Ever heard the oft-cited rule that drunks survive crashes because they're so much more relaxed than sober people? Stoned people rolling on X must have an even higher rate of survival, especially me, since their erect penises break the windshield glass on impact like one of those spikes you can buy in case you find yourself trapped underwater in your car.
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Or this:
When we hear "misdemeanor charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and third-degree assault," we usually think of one word: Dad. We remain confounded that Arkansas defensive end Donnell Sanders managed to pull off the Papa Swindle trifecta in such convincing fashion this weekend in Fayetteville, but we done seen it on the internet, so it must have happened.
[...]
We're sure this all seemed logical at the time. Keep in mind that the arrest was made at four in the morning, a time when the only real positive steps being taken by mankind are either opting to vomit up excess liquor, the purchasing of additional condoms for the night's festivities, or deciding NOT to approach a slizzrd Pac Man Jones and his crew for an autograph at the Waffle House.

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Those aren't exceptional entries; they're routine, in fact, selected basically at random, which is the entire point: week after week, month after month, DUI after DUI, assault after assault, the Fulmer Cup is the best recurring feature about college football anywhere on the Internet. Or in the fucking universe. One billion cocktails to Señor Swindle.

Your runner-up in this race is at the exact opposite end of the envy-inducing brilliance scale: MGoBlog's terriffic "Upon Further Review," weekly analysis that shames the rest of the sports blogosphere into Fark-filled afternoons drooling into our keyboards. Brian Cook says "people are way more impressed" with his play-by-play breakdowns of every Michigan game than they should be, but the only evidence anyone should need to confirm the devotion and smarts it takes to pull off such an undertaking on a consistent basis is the complete absence of anyone else - mainstream, blogger or otherwise - who even tries. And if someone with the same freakish obsession and attention to detail about their team is out there, they're not doing it with remotely the zest of MGoBlog. I feel like I know more about Michigan than any other program in the country because of Brian's all-encompassing, endlessly readable insight, whether he's impressed or not.

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Speaking of which, check out MGoBlog at 7 p.m. EST for the presentation of the "Best Analysis" award.