Salutations and greetings to all of you patient souls who curbed your anticipation as we delayed the publication of the bi-weekly FanPost awards last week due to the unmitigated insanity that was the return of football. As a result of the delay, its been a goodly while since our last awards show--a fortnight, actually. That, combined with the fact that football is back, has prompted an explosion of terrific FanPosts in the past three weeks, many of which are richly deserving of recognition. Alas, there is only so much space in this column, and too many worthy candidates will go unmentioned. But such is life at the best Cowboys source on the Interwebs...
Before we get to our honorable mentions, I'd like to take a moment for some shout-outs to some guys who have made strong contributions of late. Raise your glasses to Iron Fist, who proposed, quite correctly, that its a very thin line in the NFL between 6-10 and 10-6; Blue Eyed Devil, for daring to use the dreaded "R-word"; to Specific, whose first-ever post pointed out how quickly the Cowboys managed to address what they have struggled mightily to do in recent years: turn over their offensive line personnel. And, of course, I'd be remiss not to give pride of place to all the members who have been reading, commenting (and, sometimes, arguing feverishly!) and, most of all, rec-ing all the fine FanPost work being done.
Read about this week's winners after the jump...
The last time I doled out these awards, our winner was a newbie, Coty Saxman, who made quite a debut. Well, I'm pleased to say that Coty hasn't suffered a sophomore slump. No indeed; he followed up his winning post, on Jason Garrett's offense, with another spectacular schematic breakdown, this time taking a look at the key elements of Rob Ryan's defense, the "HydRob." The Sax-man is a natural-born teacher: he breaks down complex defensive assignment terminology into simple language and goes on to articulate player responsibilities at each level of the defense. And, he includes a couple of swell images! Check out C-Sax's work here (and Coty: keep it comin'. This is precisely the sort of stuff that makes this the best online source for knowledgeable fans to get info on the greatest team in the history of sport).
Next up is a man who most of you might know from the front page. I'm talking about Birddog26, who filed daily practice reports from San Antonio last week that were so observant and complete that we just had to call them up to the big show. B-dog clearly knows his football; he is a former player and current coach and, like most coaches, understands how to break down a complex game into small, digestible bites. As a consequence, he clearly understood what the Cowboys coaching staff was doing during the first few days of camp, when installing fundamentals, and describes the proceedings to us in clear, accessible prose. Thanks, BD; I only wish you could have stayed in San Antone longer!
Our last honorable mention is a shared award (don't worry boys, you'll each get a "rabbie" of your own, plus a personal supermodel escort backstage after your short acceptance speech) recognizing conduct above and beyond the call. I'm talking about the terrific detective work done by Requiem (who, you may remember, famously applied his sleuthing techniques to the leaked 2010 draft board) and Lee Ford. In a series of excellent posts, these gents carefully parsed out the Cowboys salary cap situation vis a vis the new CBA. This is the sort of thing I'm interested in knowing but wouldn't dare take on, so I'm doubly appreciative of their efforts.
Before bestowing laurels upon this week's winner, I think it prudent to thank the members of our community who stepped forward to provide a voice of reason when things looked darkest last week (yes, I'm talking about the
Fecals Eagles signing what's-his-name). IamIronman!! and ScarletO both penned posts that talked us down off the ledge--thanks for that, boys, it was a long way down. This week's winner did that, added a hit or two of optimism, and washed it all down with Kool-Aid. Yes, I'm talking about Pineywoods, who has been on an absolute FP tear of late, with five quality posts in the past week. Five!--any of which could have merited recognition.
The winning post was written from the eye of the storm; from that vantage point, Piney offers a thoughtful rumination on why the saga over "He-Whose-Name-Can't-Be-Correctly-Spelled" (Piney's line, from another post) was so fraught, on the vagaries of Cowboys fandom, and on the particular delights on this part of the season, when hope springs eternal. Most of all, his sage words helped place all the goings on into perspective. Want perspective? Try one of Piney's sign-off lines on for size:
It's a new season. The Cowboys are undefeated. Football is back. Life is good.
Let's all follow Piney's advice: take a step back, clear all those terrible thoughts from your minds (mine all involve Eagles) and breathe. Now that you've found your happy place (mine involves beating the crap out of Eagles), congratulate Piney and the rest of this edition's nominees for their fine work.
Football is back. Go Cowboys!