As another chapter in the most storied league of CRFC has come to an almost close, it is time to dish out the regular season awards that all of you have been e-mailing me directly about. This was by far, the best A1 league we have had in a long time and that can be attributed to the great influx of new talent, and the re-emergence of the A1 greats like GP. Each recipient will receive their very own Ceddy the Reffing Teddy bobble head, to commemorate Cedricís inaugural season as an A1 ref. Whistle and Valium are sold separately at the front desk. So without further adieu
MVP: Kareem ìThe Dreamî Benjamin ñ Kareem edged out Stumbling Homeís Jrod, Johhny Cakesís GP, Pimp Handís Al Smooth and CTUís Trevor McAndrew. It was a tough choice, but no single player altered a game as much as Kareem did. The Dream was a stud every game on both sides of the court, distinguishing himself from the rest of the pack with his sensational defensive play, reminding us all of a Bill Russell type player. On offense, he made everyone on his team that much better by passing out of deserved double and triple teams. A case can be made for each of the runners up, but in the end, objectively, Kareem was the most valuable player in the league.
Unsung Player of the Year: Michael Sweeney ñ Sweens came out of no where this year to play phenomenally for Tibbs, unfortunately for us, making Tibbs look like a genius drafting him. Sweens played for the Irate Ambassadors in one of the B leagues at 945 all the time and totally exceeded all doubts that he could ìhack itî in an A league. After his superb play, expect Sweensí draft status to jump up considerably in the winter league. Its never too late to contact Drew Rosenhaus, Mike. John Smith, Chris Adams, and Kip West were all players that had played in B leagues that showed just how silly it is to doubt someoneís game on draft day because of their success in the Beta side of CRFC, but Sweens topped them all.
Most Improved Player from last season: ìShowtimeî Dart Dainer ñ My man Showtime showed me some serious game this season, stepping it up hardcore by going to the rack as good as I have ever seen him before. In one game, Dart single-handedly shut the court down with 2 consecutive AND 1s that were as phenomenal as they were key to the Stumblin Home game plan. Look for Dart to find his way into Ticalís Corner soon because my man has a lot to say as a long time veteran of the A1.
Defensive Player of the Year: Erik Brown, come on Down!!! Phi Slamma Jamma takes home this seasonís defensive player of the year as the leagueís CRFC official hoop bouncer. No one played bouncer to the most exclusive club in CRFC, the rim, better than Erik this year, except statistically Tibbs, but we all know Tibbs took a dive to miss the last few games of the season so his average wouldnít dip. No one spurred more, ìThe Milkís Gone Bad!î chants from me after his swats and Erik was one of the most efficient rebounders. Plus, he never bitched in a game I reffed so he earned more points there. The D-Train, Kareem, and Gary Fisher all received consideration, but Erik was just that much better and didnít win the MVP so he gets the nod.
GM of the Year ñ Jason Tibbetts : Nothing pains me more than to hand over an award to someone who continues to ìforgetî his wallet each time we go out boozing, but my integrity as a CRFC official is always in tact. Tibbs drafted the best team in the league hands down. No other team can miss their top 3 players and still be competitive like the Sex Panthers were for 3 weeks, so for all those captains who think they deserve this honor, just think about that fact. And for those who think Iím favoring my fellow employee, TRUST ME, Iíll see me and the Wolverine nominated as Referees of the Year before I see a free drink from Tibbs. In all seriousness though, Tibbs did his homework and edged out Ramon as GM of the year. Ramon was second in the voting ahead of Turin because Ramon made a great deal to get Kenny Rivera, who has been a great signing for Buddy Lee.
All CRFC 1st team: Trevor McAndrew, Greg Poulos, JRod, Kareem Benjamin, Al Smooth, Josh Piekarski
All CRFC 2nd team: John Mazzone, Ramon Penrose, Gary Fisher, Chris Williams (get better soon Chris!), Tim Deihl, Jay Sartori
All defensive team: Erik Brown, Kareem Benjamin, Gary Fisher, Mike Manning, D-Train, Tibbs
All Star Team: West (BLUE starters) Trevor, Ramon, Kareem, Al Smooth
Bench: Gary Fisher, Mazzone, Josh Piekarski
East (WHITE starters) Chris Williams, GP, JRod, Jay Sar
Bench: Tibbs, Deihl, Erik Brown, Tommy Kahana
Honorable Mention: Mike Manning, Ed Finn, Josh Brown, Jon Fass
Ticalís 4 Leaf Clovers: In arguably one of the best A1 leagues we have ever had, I saw some of the best number 4 starters that I have ever seen and with the depth in the league, these guys may not have gotten the writeup love or hype that they would have gotten in previous seasons so here I go:
#1. Kenny Rivera ñ I have forgiven Kenny for his outright physical abuse he bestowed upon me in our playoff game when he played for Hooded Anger a year ago and have decided that my man has to start getting some serious respect in this league. He is Mr. Energy, always hustling on every play with the potential to drop 25 any night he gets enough looks.
#2. Chris Adams ñ The once CRFC spokesman against drunk driving was instrumental for the undersized Blue Balls team, being the sole big dude for my crew. Much love, Chris, thanks for all the hard work on the glass because we all know my dainty ass hasnít been in the paint since the last time I had to shoot a free throw to get on a team for pick up and even that was because my foot was over the line.
#3 John Smith ñ The Alias baby! Just a rebound under averaging a double double from youíre fourth starter? Not too bad considering Turin got him late in the draft. The Alias would have done a lot better though if Turin didnít manage to steal a few offensive rebounds from him over the season, but despite the adversity, The Alias played great and gets the recognition.
#4 Demetrius Warren ñ The D-Train impressed me more than anyone else this season with his immediate positive impact with the Sex Panthers that is usually unheard of from a first year player. Not only that, the D-Train spared no expense scouting and taking over the reigns when Tibbs was nursing his injured labia. Sensational leadership from a rookie.
#5 Eric Hinton ñ Is there anyone in the league who flies under the radar each season better than Eric? Every game Eric does what is necessary to win for his team and does it with a smile, as quietly as possible. Thatís shady Eric, make some noise when you do youíre thing, no one likes that stuff.
Special Shout Out ñ to the Good King∏ AK-47, Adam Kneeland for helping me out this season. With me having as little spare time as far back as I can remember to cater to this friggin cult (most of you assume I have no life outside of CRFC to do blogs, writeups, previews and awards, which to a certain degree I guess is accurate, but tough to admit), Adam was invaluable, entering stats, filling in, and helping me out with anything that needed to be done so none of you people got your panties in a bunch. Thank him for the playoff preview and know that he was the main man who got things done for you guys! He accepts many forms of beverages as gratuities.