The 2014 BUCPOWER.COM awards
There are two traditional articles that need to be written at this time of the year (sorry I am not including the Oakland Raiders' annual coaching replacement this time). One involves asking who is better, Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston and then sitting back to watch the flak fly as the Seminole fans defend their prospect. And this is the other.
So without employing the likes of Ricky Gervais (too annoying) or Russell Brand (just a twat) to host the awards ceremony, can I ask everyone to cram inside Mrs Miggins' pie shop for the black tie and casual loafers attendance for the nominations and awards to be handed out?
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - MIKE EVANS
The only possible alternative for this award is Vincent Jackson for also going over 1,000 yards on the season and once again being named the Buccaneers' Man of the Year for the annual Walter Payton Award. But Evans beat V-Jax 12-2 in the touchdown stakes which makes it a no-brainer.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - GERALD McCOY
Another award for G-Mac and the only Buccaneer to be selected to the Pro Bowl 8.5 sacks from the tackle position facing constant double-teaming and he missed games through injury too. McCoy is now the undisputed leader of the team and received a huge contract extension in 2014 ensuring he will remain a Buccaneer for many years to come.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR - PATRICK MURRAY
OK so how many people were up in arms when the news came through that Connor Barth had been released and the Bucs were going with an undrafted rookie as their kicker? Murray delivered all season and was money from long distance. He made his final 10 kicks in a row and had five successes from over 50 yards. And he was on minimum salary whilst Barth would made over $3M.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR - MIKE EVANS
I am not going to go overboard as claim he should be the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year as I do think both Odell Beckham Jr and Teddy Bridgewater had a greater impact on their respective teams in 2014. But Evans was the real deal from Day One with huge receiving numbers beating the rookie records of Michael Clayton and Mike Williams in the process. A real draft success.
BUCCANEER OF THE YEAR - MATT MAY
Now there will be many people here who will not know who Matt is but will actually be aware of his work. Matt is the Bucs' official team photographer and has gone out of his way during practice sessions to make sure that BUCPOWER.COM has action pictures of every player on the roster, even the guys who were there for the proverbial cup of coffee.
NFL PLAYER OF THE YEAR - JJ WATT
This came down to a two-horse race, Aaron Rodgers for the offense and JJ Watt for the defense. Well OK defense and offense as well. Tony Romo made a brief claim simply for not collapsing during December but Rodgers v Watt was the only choice. And outside of the arguments over what defines a Most Valuable Player, you simply cannot take away from the impact Watt had all season long.
WRITER OF THE YEAR - BILL SIMMONS
Heading up the Grantland Network, Simmons wins once again for some superb writing and podcast work for ESPN in spite of incurring a three week suspension from the network for calling Roger Goodell "an ******* lying *****" on air over the Ray Rice incident. Simmons is just so talented at integrating off-the-wall reader comments and suggestions into his work, this award is becoming a one-horse race.
DICKHEAD OF THE YEAR - ROGER GOODELL
You might have tried to take a back seat in the last couple of months, but Roger Goodell, this one's for you. So many choices to present the award too from Ray Rice to Ndamukong Suh or Adrian Peterson. As Bill Simmons wrote last week, "NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman could have driven a Zamboni through the player introductions at the Winter Classic, maimed or killed half the players and he still would have had a better year than Goodell".