Another season of America’s most popular sport is coming to its frost-bitten postseason climax. All across the country, people are calling up their friends, heating up their chili pots, and finding new recipes for nacho dip in preparation for the big game.
It will be a little bit of a wait before that sacred Sunday night actually comes, but we do have the individual awards to keep us satisfied in the meantime. Before the official NFL results, the NFL Pro Writers Association always gives out its own awards, but I’m actually giving out some much more coveted trophies: The Carolinian NFL Awards.
The first award to give out is Coach of the Year, and as a trophy, he will be rewarded with UNCG’s statue of Minerva—Roman goddess of wisdom. (Note: I’m not actually taking the statue, if it actually disappears this week I swear I didn’t do it).
It is with a heavy heart that I award this flagship UNCG monument to Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots.
Belichick managed to pull three wins out of their four games without the suspended Tom Brady, and then coached another well-oiled machine through the next twelve. They are the Super Bowl favorites for a reason.
Of course I know that Belichick is as pleasant as a porcupine quill, and no, I don’t really want to give him this award, but it works: Minerva is a Roman Goddess, and the Romans were kind of assholes too. Plus by changing Athena’s name and calling her their own, the Romans totally stole plays from Ancient Greece.
The Defensive Player of the Year has to be the Oakland Raiders’ Khalil Mack, the phenomenal edge rusher who lit up the stat sheets. He had 11 sacks, five forced fumbles, and one interception. With a guy pumping that kind of production from the defensive end position, I can’t deny him a Carolinian Award.
Khalil Mack receives: The Spartan Market Burrito. Like Khalil Mack, once these microwavable burritos get through, there’s just no way of stopping them.
Next is the Rookie of the Year Award, for which The Carolinian Award will be “Quiet Hours,” in honor of the freshmen. The Professional Writer’s Association gave their much less prestigious, less important award to Ezekiel Elliott. While Elliott’s league-leading 1,631 yards may make him a deserving candidate, the Cowboys’ offensive line is so good that DeMarco Murray nearly got to 2,000 a couple of years ago, and then last year Darren McFadden mustered up 1,000 in just ten games as a starter.
That is why I’m giving “Quiet Hours” to Jordan Howard, the rookie running back for the Chicago Bears. He racked up 1,313 yards, despite not being the true starter until Week 5. He did all of that behind an offensive line that suffered through major injuries all year, and that’s more than enough to get him a Carolinian Award.
That leaves just one award to go. The most coveted, and the one you have been waiting for. You might have even flipped to the end of this article and skipped the rest, just to see who my pick for the MVP is.
The Carolinian Award trophy for the MVP, of course, is the fountain. As is Carolinian tradition, the winner of the award will take a late-night dive into the fountain while their friends gather around and take SnapChats until everyone is escorted away by campus police.
And the guy getting soaked will be Aaron Rodgers, leader of the Green Bay Packers. Yes, Matt Ryan has had the better statistical season, but he’s done that with some incredible weapons around him (Jones, Sanu, Freeman). Rodgers has been carrying his team since week one, and he’s been a one man wrecking ball in the play-offs.
That’s why I award the UNCG fountain, the most sought after MVP award, to Aaron Rodgers.
That concludes the 2016-17 Carolinian NFL Awards. It was a season filled with exciting individual performances, and I know a lot of NFL players are upset that they didn’t get this feature in our campus newspaper. But hey, sports can be heart-breaking.