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Official Hick'ry Stick Award Thread, 2011 Quarter 3


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Poll feature still as busted as Manning’s neck. PLEASE WRITE IN WITH YOUR ONE VOTE. All nominees here received votes for more than one game during the third quarter mini-polls. You can also offer a write-in who didn’t make it through that mini-poll test: three B’s (Babs, Bosher, and Bryant) were mentioned for one game each and certainly deserve some love.

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Before our Houston visit, we were 6-0 in games immediately preceding an HSA write-up (there’s a stat your ESPN scroll never showed ya!). With whichever Josh the Bucs opt to throw at us, my inkling is we’ll be 7-1 when this season ends. tongue.png But this week, yep, sure, it’s a little tougher to get into the spirit of the award ... heck, I’ve been moping like a kid whose balloon was popped on the boards all day and dragging my virtual feet on gettin’ this started.

So for me, this award of ours is going to function as my attitude adjustment. Because while the past few games were not our prettiest quarter of football, there have been performances that cry for recognition (even louder than all the crying we devoted sports fans do). To those players who not just steadied but piloted and propelled the ship through its rocky patches this quarter, we can tip our hats right here. And who knows, folks? As one of my favorite movies says, “I ain’t heard no Fat Lady.” Given the flashes we show and the stutter-stepping of the NFC wildcard race yesterday, she’s not singing, not harmonizing, not even at a full hum just yet. If the following players keep delivering, maybe we can hush her up for good.

Will Svitek: “He came from foreign lands ... to please those Falcons fans.” Romberg’s latest tribute on D-Block is appropriate as we all, as far as I’m concerned, welcome our savior at LT. After a fluky wayward foot of his briefly sent Mr. Ice off the playing field, he’s made d*mn sure that nothing and no one else had a chance to do the same. O-lineman can be a thankless job: you screw up, and you’re a veritable sitting duck for the collective “C’mon, Man” of the fan base; you do it well, you’re an afterthought to the electrifying runs and dazzling pass plays you paved. Well, not today. Today we recognize that Svitek has pencilled goose eggs into the sack columns of some truly formidable DE’s. That he’s kept the #2 jersey squeaky clean, against even the likes of rumbling Pro-Bowler Jared Allen. That he has risen up to salvage, sustain, and cement what was once the shakiest of O-lines. The turnstile is closed, and, take note Smitty, we’ve got our starter.

Sean Weatherspoon: I know a heap of people find Spoon’s patented celebration a bit silly, but c’mon, what could be more appropriate for the player who is spooning out pain to the opponent? It was his stat line for the Vikes game that wowed us in the mini-polls (capped with the sack and, though we’ve deemed him Spoon, his absolute knifing to the RB to neutralize the 4th down and essentially seal the game). But while those plays are of course what pop, they are representative of the disruptive force #56 was on every down through the past 4 games. Since he was edged out by such a narrow margin for the previous HSA, I’ll return once more to his bellowing battle cry from that quarter: “Get their a$$ off the field!” Somehow, I think it still fits the bill for him, yes?

Harry Douglas: Too often in the first half of the season, when #83 snared the ball, those of us in the gameday chat would exclaim “An HD sighting!” as though we had discovered an extinct species in the outer reaches of the tundra. Not this quarter. This quarter, his grabs were critical and (dare I use the buzz word?) explosive; in no game did he average less than 10 yards per catch. Though the ultimate outcome of the Saints showdown was thorny to swallow, Douglas refused to go quietly, marching us down the field as he seemingly materialized in the open slots. Against the Vikes, he willed himself into the endzone, blasting through the would-be tackles; later, asked about the play, he made it sound simple. “I was just hungry to get back to the endzone.” That’s the best kind of hunger, the kind that player, teammates, and fans can feed off of.

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It needs to be noted, for fairness’ sake, that the following three players had at least one rough outing during the quarter. But as they received votes for 2-3 games, I will include them and leave it up to you savvy, discerning fans to do the rest.

Roddy White: Rowdy Roddy re-materialized mid-quarter. Hauling in the tough catches, like the 40+-yarder threaded between two defenders. Finding seams and exploiting coverages in the end zone until he was so wide open my grandma could have delivered the football. We desperately need this type of play from our #1 receiver to advance to where we’d all desperately like to go. Hit the log-out on Twitter and return to your roots, Roddy. It’s a display of NFL beauty when he does.

Michael Turner: "Always a nominee, never a victor." This variation of the tired bridesmaid cliche applies to our Burner. I am running out of new ways to write him up. I've used the phrase "shedding tackles" copiously. I've used the word "galvanizing" with abandon. Perhaps it is simply most appropriate to say again what we all know: that he is the bread and butter, the bowling ball, the bulwark, of our offense. When Turner clicks, our O clicks. And once again, his name has appeared in multiple polls, for both the steady move-the-chains and explosive flip-the-field-position runs that are his trademarks. His day with the Stick at long last?

Matt Ryan: Here was one of the big front-runners in the mini-polls until the “Houston, we have a problem” interlude. But even there, we nearly had one of our copyrighted rabbit-out-of-the-hat moments in the waning moments of the fourth, just as we did on the 90-yard drive against the swamp rats. In between, we saw the no-huddle run to near perfection. Remember the Titans? Nope, neither do I after their befuddled response to some quite masterful cadences and “sells.” And the Vikings never had a shadow of a shot once we got rolling. As the man himself famously said with the evil little grin, “You can’t f***ing stop it.”

And on that note, let’s adopt “You can’t f***ing stop it” as the mantra of our final quarter. I’ve had my day of negativity, my 24-hour rule. Now it’s time to look ahead and get amped up for what the rest of the season could bring. It’s not over, friends. Let’s award an HSA, stay on the look-out for that elusive complete game, and nab a wildcard berth. Whole new season from there.

This thread will be locked in 72 hours ... Thursday at 9:30 p.m. or so. Get those votes in!!!!

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Bryant is the only guy I've seen on the team play lights out since week 1 til now. Understandably his position is vastly different than anybody but Bosher.

If this was called the "Player most NFL ready to beat Green Bay in Lambeau during the Playoffs," after last week's performance we would only have a handful of players to vote from and Bryant would be on that list.

I love pulling for the feel good stories and for guys that have turned around their performance vastly (aka Bosher,) but I feel that Bryant has been nails for us all year and I can't think of any player on our team that has shown up game ready from week 1 til now.

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Todd McClure! He has been perfect the last couple of games in pass protection! He has played alot but never really gotten the recognition he deserves!

And he has been our most consistent o-line not only this year but a loooooong time!

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Spoon all day long. He's been consistent and a dominating force on our defense. Honorable mentions out to svitek and ryan as well.. but Spoon definitely gets my vote this quarter. I love how the 'SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON' yell is starting to become a dominant part of my Sunday tradition!

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Folks, I know that it's hard to get up for much after a tough loss like vs. Texans, but I'm gonna tell you all now that the future of the HSA depends on votes and I have noticed that the turn-out at the polls has been lacking this season. A lot of effort goes into putting this all together and to end up with 20 - 30 votes total for a quarterly award just ain't gonna cut it because it's hardly worth the time and trouble.

It only takes a second to vote and it doesn't cost anything. If 20 - 30 votes is the best we can do, we may have to reevaluate the HSA after this season and possibly pull the plug. You all will decide it's fate, by with voting or not. Either way is fine by me.

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