The idiomatic, football awards, 2001
By Malamute, 4 December 2001

A long time ago my English teacher told me to stop using so many cliché’s and idioms in my writing. “They’re trite, worn out sayings that everyone uses in day-to-day speech,” she told me. “They don’t belong in formal writing.” But occasionally I go for broke and leave in an idiom or two, not being able to let a sleeping dog lie.

So I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone, and use some idioms while presenting my awards for a football season that has been top drawer, a season that has been one for the books. What I mean to say is that after the football season is over, every Tom, Dick and Harry gives out awards to deserving teams, players and fans, so why can’t I? Idiomatically speaking, here are my awards, all of them straight from the horse's mouth.

The top-dawg award: Cody Pickett and the Washington Huskies. They are number one in my book, and now you know where I'm coming from.

The sucker-is-born-every-minute award: A tie between those fans who buy into the BCS scheme of things and boosters from Oregon who shelled out 250K for that infamous billboard championing Joey Harrington for the Heisman Trophy. 'Twas money down the drain.

The in-your-face award: Collectively, the eight computers that picked Nebraska to play in the Rose Bowl.

The Cinderella-team award: A tie between Fresno State (11-2) and BYU (12-1). Is Fresno State better than Nebraska? You know, Fresno State beat Colorado which pounded Nebraska.

The throw-this-dawg-a-bone award: Prince Redoubt, the best mascot in college football. I'm kind of biased though, he sits on the front page of this web site (4malamute.com).

The salt-of-the-earth award: Curtis Williams (God bless him).

The keep-a-stiff-upper-lip award: Willie Hurst during his tryout at slot back during the Spring football game, season 2000.

The he-who-laughs-last-laughs-best award: Willy Hurst after his return to tailback during season 2000.

The saved-by-the-bell award: Washington’s fourth-quarter heroics, for example, at the Cal, Arizona, ASU and USC games.

The on-pins-and-needles award: Washington’s fans as they watched the Dawgs pull some fourth-quarter magic out of their hats this season.

The on-cloud-nine award: Washington fans as they celebrated their victory over Washington State in the Apple Cup. 

The bed-of-roses award: The Miami Hurricanes, who are celebrating an unbeaten season and headed for the Rose Bowl.

The left-high-and-dry award. The UCLA Bruins after DeShaun Foster was declared ineligible by the NCAA.

The quick-on-his-feet award: Willie Hurst, who always shows an amazing burst of speed after taking a handoff.

The turn-over-a-new-leaf award: Ryan Leaf of the Dallas Cowboys.

The green-with-envy award: Joey Harrington as he ponders what could have been: The Heisman Trophy and the Rose Bowl. 

The sitting-duck award: Next season’s Oregon football team?

The keep-something-under-your-hat award: The dawgman.com staff as they wait for a recruit to formally commit to the Huskies.

The nothing-to-sneeze-at award: Washington's 8-3 record. Considering all of the new people on the offensive line, this season was nothing to sneeze at.

The in-the-dawg-house award: Tight-end Kevin Ware, who has been suspended from the team for breaking team rules. He knows what it means to be chewed out.

The smart-as-a-whip award: Husky center Kyle Benn (Sr, 3.24 G.P.A., Business), who made the first team Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic Football Team. 

The burn-the-candle-at both-ends award: Wide receiver Charles Frederick, who plans to play basketball for the Huskies after the football season is over.

The cast-the-first-stone award: In an attempt to rub it in, those fans from the Pac-9 who continually remind Washington of its sanction years.

The raining-cats-and-dawgs award: The Nebraska Cornhuskers, who benefited BCS-wise from all the rain in Eugene on December 1st. Oregon barely beat OSU, 17-14. The inclement conditions kept the score close, and the BCS formula doesn't cotton to close games. 

The turn-the-other-cheek award: Marques Tuiasosopo, who after suffering an injury that was a pain in the butt during the Stanford game in 1999, turned the other cheek. Marques, for ever more, I fear, will most likely hold this award.

The get
-off-your-high-horse award: According to UCLA fans, this award goes to the USC Trojans, who won their last four games after losing to Notre Dame, including their game against UCLA. 

The catch-more-flies-with-honey-than-with-vinegar award: Rick Neuheisel, a players' coach.

The make-hay-while-the-sun-shines award: Coach Neu. Recruiting wise, Rick Neuheisel comes up smelling like a rose. Most other coaches can’t hold a candle to Rick when it comes to matching his recruiting ability, and some may have bought a pig in a poke when it comes to their recruits. Much of Colorado's successes this season can be attributed to Neuheisel, who corralled many of the players who are starting for Colorado. He left Colorado in 1999.

The one-horse-town award: a tie between Pullman and Eugene.

The knee-high-to-a-grasshopper award: Wide receiver Reggie Williams, who set a freshman  pass-catching record for the Huskies. He was named to the Pac-10 second team offense and was co-Freshman of the year in the Pac-10.

The bum rap award: Corner back Chris Massey, who was faulted for his play in the Holiday Bowl by numerous Husky fans. I can think of a number reasons that may have contributed to the loss, but none of them involved Massey--or any other player for that matter.

The unsung-heroes award: The men in the trenches. The bottom line is that thanks to the guys up front, quarterbacks Cody Pickett and Taylor Barton had enough time to throw the ball this season. Washington finished second in the conference in passing. 

The no-spring-chicken award: The youthful looking, glamorous Barbara Hedges, who is the best AD in college football. When is she going to show her age? 

The barking-up-the-wrong-tree award: Those Oregon fans--so taken up with Husky hating--who forgot to make enough noise during the game with the Stanford "Tree," in a game that Oregon lost. 

The get-under-your-skin award: A tie between Taylor Barton and Cody Pickett. Their good-natured teasing might get under someone else's skin, but not theirs. 

The hold-down-the-fort award: Taylor Barton, who assumed the quarterback's role for the Washington Huskies after Cody Pickett went down. His gutsy play against UCLA will always be remembered.

The champ-at-the-bit award: Those Washington Husky football fans who can't wait for next season to begin.

The crammed-in-like-sardines-in-a-can award: Those Miami fans who will be sitting in the theater seats at the Rose Bowl. They're the worst seats in town.

The keep-your-shoulder-to-the-wheel award: Cody Pickett, who suffered a third-degree shoulder separation against USC. He missed one game but finished the season at quarterback for Washington.

The roll-with-the-punches award: those Dawg fans who laughed off the pounding their team took from the 'Canes. Remember, a lot of the same guys played in Seattle last year, in a game that Washington won. 

The kiss-and-make-up award: Sugar daddy Phil Knight and the administrators at Oregon, who have settled their differences.  Money talks. They all turned the other cheek

The looking-for-a needle-in-a-haystack award: After the title game, those Miami fans who won't be able to find their rental cars  parked on the Brookside Golf Course.

The let-a-sleeping-dog-lie award: Lest they feather the nest of the hated Trojans, those investigative journalists at the Los Angeles Times, who are afraid to uncover anymore of the Bruins' transgressions that may have taken place off the football field, circa Foster. Danny Robbins and Elliott Almond, who aggressively "investigated" the Huskies, are no where to be seen.

The fat-and-sassy award: Bob Toledo, who seems untouchable--but up to a point, mind you

The left-out-in-the-cold award: The 7-4 UCLA Bruins. They won't be bowling and getting in all those practices. Bruins' AD Pete Dalis, speaking rather inhumanely, said that he doesn't want to spend 300K to send the Blue to the Humanitarian Bowl. But the Ducks spent 250K on that billboard? Go figure it.

The fair-is-foul-and-foul-is-fair award: The BCS formula. Egad, that line is out of Macbeth, but up to this point in his/her reading, who is going to give a damn

The bucolic-Beavers-turned-coyote-ugly award: Dennis Erickson, whose team turned coyote ugly on the Dawgs.  Never pet a coyote during a bucoholic binge. This article is getting out of hand.

The mad-as-a-hatter award: Malamute (that's me), who should know better then to write something like this. But heavens to Betsy, let’s not make a federal case out of it.

Sorry about all of this, but I’m getting long in the tooth, and as they say, you can’t teach an old dawg new tricks. 

But it's been done before. What I mean to say is that this article is nothing new under the sun. In writing it, I was hardly flying by the seat of my pants.

Reference: Scholastic Dictionary of Idioms, Marvin Terban, 1996, Scholastic Inc.

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