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Ameche/Abitz League – 2002 Post-Season Awards


All-Value Team (Starters in Bold)

Quarterbacks: Michael Vick (Co-Captain), Chad Pennington, Tom Brady, Tommy Maddox.

Running Backs: Deuce McAllister (Captain), Clinton Portis (Co-Captain), Marcel Shipp, Charlie Garner, Jamal Lewis, Travis Henry, Fred Taylor

Wide Receivers: Hines Ward (Co-Captain), Donald Driver, Koren Robinson, Todd Pinkston, Dennis Northcutt, Quincy Morgan, Corey Bradford.

Tight End: Jeremy Shockey, Todd Heap

Kicker: Martin Grammatica, David Akers

Defense: Oakland, Tampa Bay


All-Dunce Team

Quarterbacks: Kurt Warner (Captain), Vinny Testaverde, Trent Dilfer, Kordell Stewart

Running Backs: Stephen Davis (Co-Captain), Edgerrin James, Corey Dillon, Marshall Faulk, William Green, Terrell Fletcher, Anthony Thomas.

Wide Receivers: Torry Holt (Co-Captain), Tim Brown, Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter, Issac Bruce, Randy Moss.

Tight End: Freddie Jones, Dave Moore

Kicker: James Tuthill, Jose Cortez

Defense: Washington, Denver



Additional Points of Consideration:

When reviewing the All-Value Teams, keep the following in mind:  Priority with the value team are players drafted or picked up out of the pool this year, or returning players who made an unexpected and/or dramatic leap forward.

The reason why: The All-Value Team is about emerging players, and unexpected and suprising value.  Otherwise, you could draw up at least half the team before the first regular season game.  For example, we all know Jeff Garcia is a great value at $20; he puts up $75 numbers.  The first year he did it, it was a great surprise and he was recognized.  However, he’s done it for years now, and it’s come to be expected.  So when he puts up the $75 numbers, it’s not the surprise and shock that it once was.  On the other hand, although it looks obvious in retrospect, Michael Vick’s runaway success wasn’t nearly as assured, and he didn’t have the NFL track record that Garcia had.  This is why Michael Vick is named a Starter and Co-Captain of the All-Value team, and Garcia isn’t recognized.  

Why the same rule doesn’t apply to the All-Dunce team: Because a player underachieving hurts an owner, whether he was drafted or retained, at a bargain price or market value.  It hurts in different ways.  Ask Tom McDonald what having an effective (and $5) Kordell Stewart would have meant to his team, both as a starter and as possible trade bait to one of the also-rans looking for a cornerstone.  Or how an ineffective and injury-prone Edgerrin James hamstrung the Phil and TONY experience (no pun intended), both in contending and what they could get for James from one of the contenders.

Perhaps the only instance where playing yourself out of the starting lineup is a good thing: William Green

Speaking of which, can’t you just see this guy in Peteriot blue right now: Carson Palmer

Why Randy Moss made the All-Dunce team: As an e-mailer to the Rome show put it: “If that crossing guard really wanted to stop Randy Moss, she should have put on a Carolina Panthers jersey and played Cover-2.  It worked last Sunday.”

No, he didn’t make All-Value, but it wasn’t because he didn’t deserve to: Drew Bledsoe

Not that there should be any question, but: The Patriots going with Tom Brady over Drew Bledsoe was absolutely the right call.

The Patriots’ real problem this year: The complete lack of a running game.

And this doesn’t help either: Dogshit performance on 3rd down all year (offense AND defense.)

Proof that even a blind squirrel (or, in this case, squirrels) can find an acorn every now and then: Hines Ward.

Don’t worry, people throwing rotten tomatoes and water balloons and shouting “You Bastard!!!!” is actually a sign of affection: Orenthal returning to his alma mater (USC) as they prepare for the Orange Bowl.

Speaking of which, what is the first thing you think of whenever you hear the year 2003 referenced: Same here.

Taking nothing for granted award: The subject line of Craig’s e-mail to send in his lineup this week, was simply “Coin Tossers 17.”  Quite different from 1995, when, after using the subject line “Coin Tossers Championship” in submitting his Week 17 lineup, he was promptly smoked by Bob JR for the win.

How a Bengal fan counts to 10: 0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4….

Trade of the Year: P-Gia getting Eddie George from P-Gar for the “inconvenience” of having to playing Plaxico Burress (73 points) instead of Corey Dillon (41 points) for 6 weeks. 

Sometimes, when you lose, you really win: Week 4, the Phil and TONY Experience bid 18 for Andre Davis, same as Bob JR, and won him on a tiebreaker.  The player that Bob JR was set to throw back if he got Davis was Corey Bradford, who wound up with a 21-point day that day, his best of the season.  At $5, it’s likely that Bradford will be kept.  (BTW Davis’s line that day: 2 catches, 36 yards, 1 point.)

If I could give Ben Affleck one word of advice, it would be this: As Eddie Murphy said in the movie ‘Raw’, “I don’t care if it has a blue cape with a big “S” on the back: no p***y is worth Half.”

Hey, it’s not like I haven’t been wrong before: Jerome Bettis.  (He’s still a fat ass, however, and I still don’t think there’s that much left in the tank.)

More proof that drafting defenses is an absolute crapshoot: 1. Atlanta 2. Carolina 3. Kansas City

Safe to say he would have started ahead of Darrell Jackson, Mushin Muhammad and Eddie Kennison most weeks: Bob JR’s draft-day dismissal of Todd Pinkston: “I had him last year, and he stunk.”

Not as good as when Dennis Rodman had 2 points and 24 rebounds one night but, a good stat nonetheless: Through Week 16, Patriots TE Christian Fauria had 26 catches all year.  7 were for touchdowns.

No matter what Derek may have told you, I don’t think Shaun Alexander was worried: Mo Morris.

I don’t think Trent Dilfer and Matt Hasselbeck are worried either: Jeff George.

I think this is a first: Week 17, Greg Fida called in Rich Gannon as his starting Quarterback for Saturday’s game.  Normally, I would have put this through, but, seeing as how he’s been on Bob SR’s team for the past two years I figured that Bob would probably get fairly pissed off if I did this.

Now, if he aspired to be like Rosie O’Donnell or Star Jones, that might be worrisome: Jeremy Shockey’s handlers earlier this season announced their intention to market Shockey to be the “Anna Kournikova of the NFL.” 

Where the hell were you guys?: P-Gia claiming Kordell Stewart.  He won’t be starting in Pittsburgh in 03, but he will be starting somewhere.  And probably bringing in a lot more than $10.

Not that much of a stretch, when you think about it: In February, ABC will revive “Dragnet” with Ed O’Neill in the role of Joe Friday.  Promos have only hinted at O’Neill’s best-known role as Al Bundy (and, for that matter, his abortive career in feature films such as “Dutch”) saying that this role will present O’Neill “as you haven’t seen him.”  However, it is the role of Bundy that actually was against type for O’Neill, who initially made his name in police dramas.  In fact, to take it a step further this is not the first time he’s assumed a police role that someone else established and made famous; just before he started on “Married….With Children” O’Neill did a sequel to “The French Connection” where he took over Gene Hackman’s role as Popeye Doyle. 

And, to answer your next question: Over/Under, Number of episodes before David Faustino appears as a small-time drug dealer who Friday shakes down and calls “Bud” derisively at least once: 15½.

It was something I was wondering too: At no point will Joe Friday be eating any toothpaste sandwiches.

At least he didn’t do it during the baseball draft in my family room:  Green Bay (and Bushwackers) RB Najeh Davenport received community service for breaking into a woman’s dormitory while she was sleeping and defacating in her closet. 

Announcing the Milli Vanilli 2002 Free Agent Awards (so called because, whereas Milli Vanilli were Rob and Fab, these guys just rob your FAAB): 1. Jamie Martin 2. Cris Carter 3. Terrell Fletcher 4. Koy Detmer 5. Deion Branch.

Speaking of which: Wasn’t it not that long ago that Cris Carter was one of the best guys in the NFL – a recovering drug addict that turned his life around through hard-work and selflessness….a guy determined and committed to win and always play his best, a beacon in the community, and a role model for up-and-coming superstars like Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper?

And while we’re on the subject: Wasn’t it not that long ago that Dennis Green was considered one of the NFL’s finest coaches – a player’s coach who commanded his players undying respect, who could get the most out of high-risk players like Randy Moss and the aforementioned Carter, perennially contending for the playoffs with a steady and ever-changing parade of starting QBs?  And say what you want about the 98 Championship game collapse,  but it wasn’t like they lost to the 62 Mets (or for that matter, the 79 Rams) – the Falcons were 14-2 and a dominating and deserving powerhouse in their own right.  Which brings us to….

Fearless Prediction, Part I: If Cincinnati or Dallas hires Dennis Green, they will be in the playoffs in 2004. 

Fearless Prediction, Part II: If Detroit hires Dennis Green, they’ll be in the playoffs next year.  Whether or not Joey Harrington comes back.  Which I think he will.

What might have been: 1. Joey Harrington 2. Deshaun Foster 3. (tie) Az-zahir Hakim & Bill Schroeder 4. Marc Bulger 5. Priest Holmes

At least this year the odds of picking the “right” two quarterbacks were better than one-in-six: Bob SR having to choose between Rich Gannon, Kerry Collins, Matt Hasselbeck and Chris Redman.

To give you an idea of where this league is won: Even Brett Favre and Drew Bledsoe can’t overcome a running back corps where Mike Alstott, Mike Anderson, Dorsey Levens and Tyrone Wheatley fill (at least) two spots every week.  Right, Bruce and Walt?

And finally, being as the League was originally named in his honor I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this: December 28 marked the 44th anniversary of the Colts-Giants NFL Championship, “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” where the winning TD was scored by none other than Alan Ameche, 1955 Heisman Trophy winner out of the University of Wisconsin.  It was this game and this moment more than anything else that launched the NFL into what it is today – arguably, the strongest and most powerful sports league in the world today, with billions of fans worldwide.  More than anyone or anything else, that game, and Ameche specifically, embodies the bridge between what the NFL was – the old-school, blood and guts NFL, that was founded in a car dealership in Decatur, Illinois in 1920, and the ever-growing phenomenon that the NFL is today - which is why I originally named our league after him 8 years ago.  (Of course, for all his achievements Ameche is now best known for having this fantasy league originally named after him - much in the same way that Orson Welles in his later years was best known for doing voiceovers for Paul Masson wine ads and doing card tricks on the Merv Griffin Show.)


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