Updated Feb 24, 2012 - 5:52 pm
Time to hand out the Greenies -- or something like that
It is in that spirit that we're going to hand out the
Greenies umm...Arizona Sports Oscars,
given to Arizona's teams, athletes and coaches for their
hard - and sometimes disappointing - work over the last
So, without further ado, here we go…
Best Performance in a Leading Role
Nominees: Steve Nash, Larry Fitzgerald, Derrick Williams, Justin Upton, Ian Kennedy, Shane Doan
Winner: Larry Fitzgerald
No one was as great as consistently as Larry Fitzgerald this past year, as he hauled in 80 catches for 1,411 yards and eight touchdowns despite incredibly shaky QB play. Whether he was making one-handed grabs or going across the middle, Fitz put the team on his back multiple times, and his presence alone gives Cardinals fans hope for the future.
Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Nominees: Grant Hill, J.J. Putz, Radim Vrbata, Miguel Montero, John Skelton
Winner: J.J. Putz
Putz arrived in the off-season and gave the D-backs the closer they had lacked since trading Jose Valverde away after the 2007 season. The veteran tallied 45 saves and a 2.17 ERA, while striking out 61. If the D-backs got to the ninth with a lead you felt really good about their chances to win the game, and that's because of Putz.
Best Costume Design
Nominees: Diamondbacks throwbacks, ASU Football, Arizona Basketball
Winner: D-backs throwbacks
The Diamondbacks honored their 2001 World Series team by rocking one of the jerseys they wore that season. The white vest with purple pinstripes and a purple shirt underneath is a look many fans were excited to see, and hope to see again. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the D- backs won three of the four games they wore the jerseys in, but no matter the reason it's a look that brings plenty of fond memories.
Film I wish I never saw
Nominees: Hedo Turkoglu, Melvin Mora, Ilya Bryzgalov against the Red Wings, "Beast Mode"
Winner: Hedo Turkoglu
Hedo came to the Suns in a trade with hopes of rediscovering the form that made him one of the game's better all-around players. He left the Suns in a trade after averaging just 9.5 points, 4 rebounds, 2.3 assists. On the plus side, he did lead the team in fans cursing his name, so there's that.
Nominees: Kirk Gibson, Dave Tippett, Ken Whisenhunt, Sean Miller, Clint Myers
Winner: Kirk Gibson
The Diamondbacks entered the season low on talent and expectations, and finished it NL West champions with dreams of even more. "GibbyBall" proved to be an effective strategy, as the D-backs led the league in come-from- behind victories and played hard for 27 outs each night. While they may be a more talented group than originally given credit for, there is no doubt Gibson got the most out of the least.
Nominees: Arizona basketball, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes, ASU Softball
Winner: ASU Softball
The only Arizona team to win a national championship, Clint Myers' squad went 51-9 during the regular season and won all five of its postseason games, outscoring the competition 30-12 in a dominant effort that led to the school's second ever Women's College World Series Championship.
Best Short Film
Nominees: Larry Fitzgerald vs. Eagles, Beanie Wells vs. Rams, Ian Kennedy vs. Phillies, Derrick Williams vs. Duke
Winner: Derrick Williams vs. Duke
Derrick Williams destroyed Duke. Derrick Williams eviscerated Duke. Derrick Williams owned Duke. However you want to put it, Williams' 32 point, 13 rebound performance in the Sweet 16 was as dominant as you'll see at any level. Williams made 11 of 17 shots - including 5 of 6 from three - and basically carried the Wildcats to the Elite 8.
Most Disappointing Picture
Nominees: Kevin Kolb, Vontaze Burfict, Phoenix Suns,
Winner: Vontaze Burfict
Vontaze Burfict entered the season one of the most feared linebackers in all of college football, and left it as one of the most ridiculed. His issues personified all that was wrong with ASU football, as he was undisciplined some of the time and ineffective most of it. Save for a few moments of "yeah, that's 'Taz," the junior had a season everyone would like to forget.
Nominees: Kevin Towers, Don Maloney, Greg Byrne
Winner: Don Maloney
Don Maloney has built a team that will likely reach the playoffs three consecutive seasons, with few resources other than his own ability to discover talent and work contract-negotiating magic. I mean come on, he was basically forced to dump Ilya Bryzgalov, only to come up with Mike Smith as a replacement. Well done, sir.
Nominees: Steve Nash trade rumors, Peyton Manning to the Cardinals rumors, D-backs playoff run, Coyotes sale/move, Kevin Kolb rumors
Winner: Peyton Manning to the Cardinals rumors
Everyone loves a good rumor, and this one may be the best. A QB of Peyton Manning's stature and ability wanting to join the Cardinals? Sign me up! The thought of the laser- rocket arm throwing passes to Larry Fitzgerald is enough to make any Birdgang fan salivate. Of course, it's all a rumor, as the QB may not even be able to play next year -- if ever again.
- Notes from the Nest: Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams
- No roses, just thorns: Loss to Stanford should not diminish Sun Devils' season
- Michael Floyd: A threat Arizona Cardinals have not had since Anquan Boldin
- Arizona Cardinals and the referees each dropped the ball Sunday
- Message received: Arizona Cardinals are playoff contenders