Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Freddie Award for Excellence in Athletic Self-Delusion

Vinny and the Hornless Rhino proudly announces the establishment of the Freddie Award for Excellence in Athletic Self-Delusion. The award will be bestowed periodically upon a professional athlete whose on-field performance contrasts most sharply and humorously with his off-field trash talking. Nominations for the Freddie Award from readers are welcome.

The Freddie Award is named after "The People's Champ," former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell. After four years as an underachieving first round pick, Freddie gained notoriety during last year's NFL playoffs and Super Bowl by making wildly outrageous claims about his own ability and what he was going to do to the Patriots' secondary. As events transpired, Mitchell was not a factor in the game, seeing limited playing time and catching only a single 11 yard pass. That didn't slow his mouth down a bit, however, as he criticized the Patriots for reacting to his earlier comments, and then contended that the Eagles would have beaten New England eight out of 10 times. Mitchell was released by the Eagles and later the Chiefs, and is currently out of football.

It is a real pleasure to announce that the inaugural Freddie Award goes to a Cleveland athlete: Damon Jones of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jones, in a recent interview published on, staked his claim to being "the best shooter in the World." Jones also asserted that he was not only the best three-point shooter on the planet, but that younger versions of himself were the planet's second, third and fourth best three-point shooters. Teammate Donyell Marshall finished fifth in Jones' list.

Jones is currently 7 for his last 39 three point attempts, and ranks 67th in the NBA in three point percentage. Befitting his status as the world's best three point shooter, the fact that you could build a skyscraper out of the bricks he throws up hasn't deterred Damon from launching from long range: Jones currently ranks 12th in the league in three point attempts, despite ranking 132nd in minutes played. In the Cavs' most recent loss to the Knicks, Jones went 1-5 in three point attempts, while Jamal Crawford lit him up for 26 points. In the five games played since his comments to, Jones is 4 for 30 from the field, and is averaging less than three points per game.

In short, Damon Jones embodies everything that the Freddie Award is about, and he is truly a worthy first recipient.

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