Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Villains and dubious sports moments in 2012: The 7th Annual Brewskies

An enemy of the people: Ronni Noervig cost Denmark a game and perhaps a title.
This appears in the Tuesday, January 1 2012 edition of the Business Mirror.
The 7th Annual Brewskies
by rick olivares

At the end of every year, Bleachers’ Brew hands out the Brewskie Awards to people, athletes, and teams that have made the world of sports even more interesting if not controversial. Here are the 2012 winners.

The Football Hooligan of the Year Award - Ronni Noervig
Drinking and driving sure don’t mix. It’s about time people realized that alcohol does not belong in a football match either. A Danish appeals court ordered a Danish fan Ronni Noervig to pay the country's soccer federation nearly $320,000 in damages for trying to attack the referee during a European Championship qualifier between Denmark and Sweden in 2007.

Noervig stormed the field in Copenhagen on June 2, 2007, and tried to punch the referee after he awarded a penalty to Sweden. The match was abandoned with Sweden awarded a 3-nil win. Noervig appealed the fine saying he couldn’t pay the amount. But instead of lowering the amount, the appeals court more than doubled it after the Danish federation raised its claims.

Said the dumb fan: "It was a moment of idiocy." You got that right.

The Col. Nathan Jessep Truth Award - Lance Armstrong
Jack Nicholson’s character in A Few Good Men delivered one of filmdom’s timeless lines when he blurted out, “You can’t handle the truth!” as he was being grilled by a military attorney regarding ordering a beating on a US Marine.

This award goes to disgraced icon Lance Armstrong after he was stripped of all his Tour de France titles and sued for taking money under the pretence of being a champion. For so long Armstrong denied the use of performance enhancing drugs and fought his critics and the USADA regarding this. Then in a stunning turn of events, he gave up the fight citing that he got tired of fighting as former teammates began to spill the beans on him.

Charles Barkley is once more proven right.

The Mercy Award - the US NCAA
The US NCAA handed out the ‘death penalty’ to Penn State after former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of sexually abusing players while former and late head coach Joe Paterno looked the other way. The NCAA levied a four-year Bowl ban, a $60 million fine, and stripping the Nittany Lions’ wins all the way back to 1998. But hope springs eternal. Penn State finished the football season with an 8-4 record under first year head coach Bill O’Brien.

The Gratefulness Award - Roman Avramovich, owner of Chelsea.
After Roberto Di Matteo, a former Chelsea player, guided the Blues to a FA Cup and a Champions League title in the same season, he was unceremoniously fired a few weeks into the new season when the Blues stumbled.

Honorable mention: Mikhail Prokhorov, owner Brooklyn Nets. Less than a month after Nets head coach Avery Johnson is awarded NBA Coach of the Month for November, he is sacked after his team goes 14-14 and star guard Deron Williams sounds off his displeasure about the offense.

Oh, incidentally, both Avramovich and Prokhorov are rich Russian owners.

The Coach Killer Award - Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
Once more Deron Williams threw his coach under the bus following a trying time for his basketball team. Williams admitted that he wasn’t playing well yet his comments about not liking the offense of the now-fired Nets head coach Avery Johnson sure gave team ownership a sacrificial lamb.

Williams also had a contentious relationship with former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan who left his long time club after a spat with Williams a couple of years ago.

But karma’s a bitch because should Williams play well under interim head coach PJ Carlesimo, he’ll be thought of deliberately not playing to his level for Johnson. If he doesn’t then, it’s still on him now that Johnson isn’t around.

Reality TV Series of the Year goes to the Boston Red Sox
Season Two of their Season from Hell series proved to be a worthy follow up to the previous year that was best characterized by beer, fried chicken, and video games.

This past season, they hired Bobby Valentine that guaranteed some spice and tension inside the clubhouse. Josh Beckett and a few players played uninspired ball and were traded midway to the LA Dodgers. Coaches feuded with Valentine. Slugger David Ortiz railed about his contract when he was injured. And Valentine threatened a radio host and bemoaned about having the weakest roster in baseball when his team had the second highest payroll after the New York Yankees. The Red Sox went 69-93 and finished last in the AL East for their season finale.

Wonder what they have in store for all in Season Three.

The Pursuit of Happyness Award goes to Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid
Ronaldo refused to celebrate a pair of goals scored against Granada citing “sadness” and “professional” reasons. Was it because Andres Iniesta was named Europe’s Best Player at that time? Was it because he felt that his salary of £300,000 a week is “a pittance”?

He should watch the Will Smith tearjerker so he can snap to his senses.

The Boba Fett Award goes to the New Orleans Saints
Named for Star Wars’ infamous bounty hunter (who got swallowed up by the Sarlacc Pit). For operating a slush fund to inflict injuries on opponents, the Saints were hit by the harshest penalties even levied on a team in the entire history of the NFL.

Saints this team sure isn’t. If there was a team that should have been hit by a death penalty it should have been New Orleans. That or getting swallowed up in a Sarlacc Pit.

The Dennis Rodman loves Eugene Amos Award goes to Michael Koncz and Buboy Fernandez
In 1997, Rodman, then with the Chicago Bulls, while battling for a rebound against a Minnesota Timberwolves player, tripped over a photographer’s camera on the baseline. The Bulls forward kicked Eugene Amos in the family jewels earning him an 11-game suspension, a $1 million fine, and a $200,000 settlement with the photographer.

After Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao in their fourth outing, an irate Koncz and Fernandez kicked at photographer Al Bello who was taking pictures of the fallen Pacman.

Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, later said he would review the incident and would consider potential penalties against Koncz and Fernandez. Expounded Kizer, "What I find interesting is that neither of these gentlemen, nor anyone else on Team Pacquiao, had any problems when the photographers were doing their jobs and shooting pictures of Ricky Hatton after Manny knocked Hatton out.”

The case is still pending and is headed for litigation.

Let’s all learn to lose gracefully shall we?

Here are the past Brewskies:

Here is a column I wrote several years ago regarding some Christmas carols that are sports related

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