A taste of our 2008 Awards Show to come

Coming next week, Ed and I return on the Fighting Talk Podcast to give out some of the bests and worsts of the 2008 year in soccer. As a preview, let me now present my awards for the some of the best and worst in soccer journalism.

Rather like those “technical Oscars,” these were awarded last night at a separate ceremony.

Let’s start the presentation with something simple and positive – the Will Leitch Memorial Award for Achievements in Blogging. Your nominees…

… and the winner is Dan Loney. Yes, I’ve already sucked up to him earlier this year, but I figured I’d better at least be consistent about this one. No one else combines humor and actual discourse better than he does.

The next award is the Skip Bayless Award for Stirring “Stuff” Up for No Particular Reason. Your nominees…

… and the winner is all those crazy folks at MLS Rumors. No one has created more enemies for itself this year than MLS Rumors. Now, I’ve always liked MLS Rumors, just like I liked Jeff Bradley… cough, cough, I mean “Mr. Rumor” back in the day. Yes, I know they’ve done some stupid stuff in the past, but yet with their constant stream of barely-sourced gossip and scuttlebutt, I cannot turn away. They are like that little puppy that keeps peeing on the parquet floor but is just so adorable otherwise (too gay?) that you just can’t really get that mad at it.

We move on to one of my favorite awards, the Billy Packer Award for Continued and Constant Negativity. Your nominees…

It’s typically hard to pry this award out of Gardner’s cold, dead hands; but this year Bill Archer, a.k.a. the “Bard of His Basement,” “the Jeff the Comic Book Guy of American Soccer,” and “the Small-Penised One, (Did I say that out loud?) has truly made the award his own, turning entire fanbases and even countries (Canada does count, I guess) against him. Nothing can pass by his underground, surely mildewy lair in post-industrial rust-belt Ohio that doesn’t then elicit a spittle and bile-covered response. It doesn’t matter if the story turns out to be true, or was witnessed by the author’s own eyes, Archer will surely take time to accuse the author various crimes against journalism, writing, or even humanity – all this as he never appears to leave the cozy cocoon of nerd comfort in Uniontown. Nobody comes out swinging more and thinking less than Bill Archer. Well done, my friend. Well done.

Finally, we go to the Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. Award for Sudden and Disappointing Disappearance. Your nominees…

This goes to my good friend Dave Lifton, whose recent move to Chicago appears to have not only broken up the best DC double act since Hunt and Liddy, but has also quieted his normally thought-provoking blogging over at Booked for Dissent. Seriously though, Dave, I wish you all the best out there, but like Jerry without Dean, I am not sure the United pressbox will be the same without having you around for me to bounce opinions off of, compare religious stereotypes that we epitomize, and criticize my (and everyone else’s) musical taste.

Thanks a bunch for tuning in to these, the first installment of the 2008 Fighting Talker Awards. Be sure to tune back in later this week as Ed and I turn loose on the sport itself on the Fighting Talker Podcast.

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