FanPoster Of The Year: A Buckeye Crosses The "T" In BTB

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In 2012, we have been treated to a cornucopia of excellent FanPosts from a wide variety of different BTB members. But only one takes the cake: our resident Buckeye.

It has been some time since we've raised a glass to celebrate one of our esteemed members' FanPost accomplishments. There are several reasons for this, none of which have to do with the continued quality of the material being generated on BTB's FanPost pages. Many of you have been writing some sensational stuff, and have cast your keen collective eye upon our brave 'Boys 2012 accomplishments, both high and low.

That said, I must confess that one of the reasons I have been lax in distributing FPOTWs of late is a concern about the "broken record effect," a worry that, should I continue to dole out the much-anticipated award to the same writer week after week, it will have a deleterious effect on the overall production of FanPosts, which is something that, as their self-appointed guardian, I am loathe to perpetuate. Yet, perpetuate it I must, were I to be true to the award's intent, which is to recognize the best and the brightest each FanPostin' week. Why, you ask? Because, week in and week out, one member has been absolutely killing it, to the degree that he would almost certainly bring home FPOTW laurels each and every se'en-night.

Who is this illustrious penman? If you have been reading the FP pages with anything more than a cursory glance, you already know the answer to this question: our resident Buckeye, ScarletO. In case you may be less than crystal clear about Scarlet's long list of credits, here is a sampling of his Oeuvre:

Fighting conventional wisdom: One of the things I like about S.O.'s work is his propensity to lob grenades at kneejerk thinking, whether it be after a given game (after the Seattle loss, he wrote a terrific post questioning the tired "Cowboys weren't prepared" meme. As Scarlet made clear, they simply weren't good enough). As you might imagine, one of the dominant stories S.O. seeks to question is the unconsidered, BSPN-style takes on Dallas' organizational culture. My very favorite of these hit the FP pages in late October, when S.O. published a jeremiad that carefully tore down all the various media edifices constructed via willful ignorance of the basic raw data.

Comparing Past and Present: One of the recurring themes in Scarlet's work is to compare the current iteration of the Cowboys with a past iteration, or with successful recent iterations of other teams, all in order to gain a bit of perspective on the 2012 bunch. In early October, for example, he placed our beloved 'Boys alongside the last two Super Bowl winners to see whether they compared favorably (they didn't, particularly on defense). More frequently (so often that I can't cite a single article; you'll have to go here and check out his entire oeuvre), he compares the 2011 and 2012 teams, as a way of determining whether (and to what degree) the Garrett administration is progressing.

Assessing Jason Garrett: Apparently, Garrett and Co. have been doing good work. Lest ye doubt this, check out Scarlet's work, which offers numerous compelling arguments that the team is improving. He ably demonstrates that, despite some growing pains, under Garrett the Cowboys are more consistent, such that they have made progress, especially in terms of the level of competition - unlike Bill Parcells' and Wade Phillips' teams, Garrett's Cowboys have never lost to an inferior team (one with two or fewer wins than Dallas). All good great stuff. I suggest you grab a warm winter beverage, and spend some time reading through ScarletO's extensive wit and wisdom.

Because of this impressive, and impressively consistent, work - and in lieu of a collection of weekly awards in his trophy case (or, in Scarlet's case, in his attic: he has competed as an elite athlete, so his case is already filled to burstin' with trophies much more prestigious that our humble award) - I proudly name him our third annual FanPoster of the Year. Scarlet is in rare company, and strikes a delicate equipoise between the last two writers to win the award, Fan in Thick and Thin (2010) and, in 2011, Archie Barberio (known then as Chia Crack). FiTT, all about the numbers, shines a statistical light into the interpretive darkness; Archie is all heart, and writes passionately about his favorite team and players. Scarlet neatly combines both of these and, in the process, elevates FanPosting to high art.

How best to fete our winner? As previously mentioned, S.O is a proud Buckeye, so I'll turn to OSU football to find a proper method of recognition. Of all the traditions in Ohio State University’s great football history, none is more widely recognized than "script Ohio," the formation performed by the Ohio State marching band during halftime of Buckeye games. One of the great moments in college football, script Ohio is completed by a lucky Ohio State band member who runs out onto the field as the dot on the "I" in "Ohio." This person holds an honorary position, and accepts it by kicking up her or his heels, parading, preening or otherwise dancing into position.

This tradition began in 1938, when a sousaphone player by the name of Glen Johnson (no, I'm not making this up) improvised his dramatic dotting because the band's drum major was late to his place. So, Johnson explained, "I did a big kick, a turn and a deep bow to use up the music." According to legend, the Buckeye crowd loved Johnson’s innovation so much so that it has remained script Ohio's capstone moment ever since.

But not just anyone can "dot the I." Because Johnson, a sousaphone player, invented the tradition, typically only Senior sousaphone players are eligible for this distinction. However, there have been a few select "honorary dotters," among them legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes, golfer Jack Nicklaus and comedian Bob Hope. Because of his superior work, I contend that S.O. deserves the kind of distinction here at BTB that OSU reserves for legendary dotters.

Therefore, in the spirit of script Ohio, I would like to propose that we honor ScarletO (our own version of Glen Johnson) by incorporating "script BTB" at the halftimes of Cowboys games, and that we distinguish one of our members by bestowing upon her or him the rare honor of "crossing the 'T'" Whenever we "cross the 'T'," we'll always remember ScarletO's fine, fine work in 2012, particularly in the Fall and winter of said year.

Gentlemen (and ladies) a toast: to ScarletO. A purveyor of fine posts, one of our most insightful members, and an excellent fellow to boot.


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