Every week, Eric Mirlis will name winners of four awards: Winner, Loser, Quote and Moment of the
Week. These four awards comprise "The Mirly Awards".
Week ending October 23
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Joe Crede - Who? The White Sox third baseman is proving himself to be the
team's MVP this postseason. After a great LCS, Crede almost singlehandedly won Game One of the
World Series for the Sox, with the tiebreaking (and eventual game winning) homer and three sterling
plays in the field that directly kept the Astros from scoring on the play. For a guy who has been derided
by Sox fans this season, he sure is coming up big when it counts the most.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Arkansas State basketball - For telling their returning leading scorer, Jerry
Nichols, to either wear adidas or don't play. Nichols, who injured his knee a few years ago while
wearing adidas, opted to sit. The school has a deal with the shoe company to outfit their athletic
teams, but the company has stated they will not hold Nichols to the deal if he feels that strongly. They
have also offered to let Nichols look around their inventory for a shoe he likes. Good thing common
sense prevailed, since the school's didn't. Anything for a buck in college basketball, as usual.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Ray Nagin - "We want our Saints, we may not want the owner back" The
outspoken New Orleans mayor is voicing his concern over what appears to be the impending move
of the Saints to San Antonio for 2006 - and L.A. Beyond that. The Saints this week fired a high ranking
official who was opposed to the team leaving the storm ravaged city, and owner Tom Benson is
making it clear he wants out of the Big Easy. Too bad it looks like the city is going to come out on the
losing end of this one.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Houston Astros - Congrats to the 'stros (and themirl.com personal favorite
Craig Biggio) on the first NL pennant in team history.
Week ending October 16
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Chicago White Sox - You win your first pennant in 46 years, you are the
Winner of the Week. No questions asked.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Doug Eddings - His blown call (or changed call, or even slow call, as he would
have you believe) in the ninth inning of Game Two of the ALCS led directly to the White Sox winning
the game to even the series at one apiece and, arguably, was the turning point of the series. He joins
Don Denkinger and many others on the infamous list of umpiring miscues.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Ron Artest - "I'm going to continue playing hard and out of control, like a wild
animal that needs to be caged in." Some people will never learn.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Maccabi Tel Aviv - First the U.S. loses in the Olympics. Now, a foreign team
tops an NBA team. Maccabi, one of the top teams in international hoops, knocked off the Toronto
Raptors 105-103 in an exhibition contest Sunday in Toronto. And the rest of the world rejoices (while
no one on this continent notices). Very quietly, this in yet another step in the world's passing of the U.
S. on the hardwood.
Week ending October 9
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Brett Favre - The reports of Favre's demise apparently have been greatly
exaggerated. In the Packers; two games this Week (Monday's loss to Carolina and Sunday's
thrashing of New Orleans), Favre threw a combined seven touchdown passes. Despite Green Bay's
1-4 record, in the NFC North, they are right in the thick of the division race. Do you really want to bet
against Favre leading his team to the playoffs?
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Chuck LaMar - The Tampa Bay Devil Rays FINALLY fired their overmatched
GM after years of ineptitude and lack of direction. Maybe now they can actually build around their huge
nucleus of young talented players and acquire the right type of proven vet to both teach and lead Carl
Crawford, Scott Kazmir, Delmon Young, B.J. Upton and all the other young studs in the organization.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Isiah Thomas - “This was a very complicated issue that required a lot of
sensitivity and care. We did a lot of research and consulted with a lot of different doctors and made
sure that we came to the right conclusion. I’m extremely confident that Eddy is going to be playing in
the NBA and living a healthy life for a long time. We’re happy to have Eddy as a New York Knick.” Let's
hope he is right and that the Eddy Curry deal ends with him starring at the Garden for many years, not
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Chicago White Sox - With all the attention being paid to the end of the
Boston Red Sox reign, it seems a bit overlooked that they fell to the White Sox, a team that had not
won a postseason series since 1917 and that has not been to the World Series since 1959. So,
instead of focusing on the team that lost, let's please turn our attention where it belongs - to the South
Side of Chicago.
Week ending October 2 - Baseball Playoff Edition
WINNER OF THE WEEK: San Diego Padres - Who cares what their record is? The NL West winners
are just that, and that division title is enough to get them into the postseason. And isn't that what the
regular season is all about?
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Cleveland Indians - They controlled their own destiny and give it all away. With
a chance to earn the AL Wild Card, the young Tribe instead got swept by a White Sox team that had
already clinched the division. This team might have some more chances in the coming years, but
none as potentially available as this one.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Curt Schilling - "Somebody on this team wants me to get booed to make them
feel better. That really bothers me a lot." Way to build up that team chemistry on the eve of the playoffs,
Curt. Of course, we all know that you would never do anything like that, right?
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Joe Torre - After the roller coaster season that took place in the Bronx this
season, the clinching of the American League East on Saturday was a welcome moment of joy for the
Evil Empire. Even Yankee haters had to sit back and respect the job Torre did this season with a
patchwork starting rotation, leaky bullpen and The Boss staring him down.
Week ending September 25
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Cincinnati Bengals - All aboard the bandwagon! One of the losingest
franchises in recent NFL history is turning heads in Ohio. The Bengals are 3-0 and, even though they
have yet to play a "tough" team, they are doing it impressively, having dismantled Cleveland,
Minnesota and Chicago. Carson Palmer looks like the real deal and the Johnson Boys (WR Chad
and RB Rudi) keep the offense explosive. The question remains to be answered, though: Are they, as
some are saying, the best team in the AFC?
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Ryan Church - The Washington outfielder and the Nationals' chapel leader,
Jon Moeller, caused a stir with their ignorance of religion. During a chapel service, Church asked if
Jews are "doomed" because they do not believe in Jesus, to which Moeller nodded in agreement.
Forget about the separation of church and state. When are people going to start clamoring the for
separation of church and sports?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Barry Bonds - "I wouldn't bother. I'd call it quits." That is Bonds' reply to
questions on whether he would come back from another knee surgery. There are WAY too many
jokes that can be made here, so I'll leave this one alone.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Wayne Gretzky - Yes, that was the "Great One" manning the bench for the
Phoenix Coyotes. Forget about whether he will be a successful coach or not. The bigger question is
whether hockey fans will ever get used to seeing him stand on the bench in a suit.
Week ending September 18
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Barry Bonds - Love him or hate him, you have to admit he gets your attention.
With two homers in his first five games back from knee woes that sidelined him all season, Bonds is
now just nine dingers behind Babe Ruth for second on the all-time list. He'll always be a lightning rod
for controversy, as will his statistics, but you can't take away the impact he has on the game.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Skip Bayless -With his article on another website, Cluele...I mean Bayless
has moved himself to the forefront of hack writers on the internet who seemingly only write so they
can read their owns words. His argument for Oklahoma to not discipline running back Adrian
Peterson for skipping classes is both inane and asinine. Last time I checked, Peterson was not in
the pros, but in college, where attending classes is (or at least is supposed to be) a prerequisite for
participation on the athletic field. He has now passed his website mate Jason Whitlock as the least
readable writer around.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Shaquille O'Neal - "For this incident I don't want to be credited as an individual
who does police work. I want to be credited as a Miami Beach police officer." Shaq has never hidden
his dreams of entering police work and after apprehending a man who threw a bottle at pedestrians
in South Beach, he got his chance to try it out firsthand. And he obviously liked it.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Mark Messier - When the NHL cancelled the 2004-05 season, it was
assumed that the game would lose some of its legendary vets. So it comes as no surprise that four
of the all-time greats called it quits in the last few days, led by Mark Messier. Messier, Ron Francis, Al
MacInnis and Scott Stevens are all guaranteed Hall of Famers and will be missed by all hockey fans.
Week ending September 11
WINNER OF THE WEEK: New Orleans Saints - Displaced and in turmoil since Hurricane Katrina
struck, the Saints opened the season with an emotional overtime win at Carolina. The real "America's
Team" won this one for all of their fellow evacuees and earned a spot in everyone's hearts in the
LOSER OF THE WEEK: NFL - If the league had only waited a couple days longer, maybe the Saints
would have been able to play this week's game in San Antonio, rather than as the home team in a
road stadium, Giants Stadium. There was no reason to jump the gun and move this game to New
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Terrell Owens - "It's not that I hate Donovan. I love Donovan. I don't hate him at
all," Owens said, speaking publicly for the first time since he returned from a one-week exile from
training camp three weeks ago. "I was just disappointed in a few things. I have the right to do that.
Everybody speaks out of emotion. Everybody speaks out of frustration. Everybody's done it. That
means I'm human. If you want me to go in and say I was wrong, maybe I was. Maybe I wasn't." Way to
say absolutely nothing important, just to keep your name in the headlines, you egomaniac. Now go
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Ozzy Osbourne - Who cares if he was lip synching. His performance of
"Crazy Train" as the Patriots came onto the field at the NFL opener was downright cool - even after
Robert Kraft's bluster-filled, rambling, no one cares outside of New England speech. Too bad we
were forced to sit through not just the Kraft speech, but the awful Freddie Prinze Jr. introductions as
Week ending September 5
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Deion Sanders - "Prime Time" put his money where his mouth was this
week and set the bar for all athletes when he made a donation to Hurricane Katrina relief and
suggested every athlete in every sport donate $1000. A grand may be a lot to most and is really not a
lot to today's pro athlete, but his gesture and the challenge that others do the same carry more weight
than anything else. Sanders is known for his bluster - this time, he used it in the right way.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Venus Williams - And then there's Venus. After her sister pledged $100 for
every ace she serves the rest of the year, Venus was asked what she would be doing. Her reply? "I
don't really watch the news. In some ways I'm very unaware of the latest happenings in the world." In
this time of need, pleading ignorance is the last thing anyone needs to hear or see. If you don't want
to donate, that is fin and an individual's right. But to sound stupid at the same time? That is just plain
wrong. Too bad the wrong sister won this weekend's match.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: David Wells - "In the Palmeiro case … from what I understand from a few
sources, [Selig] said, 'Let's just wait until the Hall of Fame [induction] is over and then we'll suspend
[him].' That's what I heard," Wells said. "He probably did it because he didn't want the Hall of Famers
or electees to have to answer questions about steroids because it's a distraction." The fat piece of
garbage strikes again. He just can't keep his big mouth shut. Of course, he was forced to apologize
for this piece of stupidity, waged against Commissioner Bud Selig. Some people never learn.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Jerry Rice - His retirement on Monday ended one of the most magical
careers ever in any sport. No. 80 will be missed.
Week ending August 28
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Matt Leinart - Ballroom dancing. That is the only class on the Heisman
winner's schedule this fall, as he is just two credits shy of graduation. Still think he made the wrong
choice by staying in school? His life these days now consists of playing football, dating Hollywood
starlets and generally walking around Southern California as a superstar. The BMOC at USC is living
the good life these days.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Nick Lachey - It is bad enough when media members air dumb theories
about events (in this case, I'm talking about Jason Whitlock's piece of garbage article on ESPN.com
this week playing the race card when discussing Bob Huggins' resignation/firing - and no, I will not
link to it). Lachey, who prides himself on being the University of Cincinnati's biggest fan, came
running to the defense of the slimeball coach with an impassioned plea from the fan's perspective.
However, his arguments are dumber than his wife. One in particular rankled my feathers - he
wonders why a prospective athlete would sign on to play there when the coach only has two years left
on his contract, since that would leave the athlete's junior and senior years in question. Hey, Nicky
Boy, have you seen U of C's graduation rates? Stick to bad music, please, and leave the athletic
commentary alone. Read his stupidity and have a laugh by clicking here.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Diego Maradona - "It was a bit of mischief." Nineteen years after one of the
most famous "goals" in soccer history, Argentina's Maradona this week admitted what most believed
all along - that the goal went in off his hand and should not have counted. The goal, known as "The
Hand of God" goal came in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals and propelled Argentia to a 2-1 win over
England on their way to the Cup.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Dwight Gooden - The legendary problems of Dr. K continued this week, as
he fled from police after being pulled over for an alleged DUI. I recapped his sad story earlier this
week - you can read it by clicking here.
Week ending August 21
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Phil Mickelson - Lefty won his second major on Monday, taking the PGA
Championship (thank you, weather, for moving the final part of the tourney to Monday and giving me
an easy choice for this week's Winner). Can we please remove the "choker" tag that always seems to
accompany his name at the majors? I think he has finally earned our respect.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Kansas City Royals - Nineteen straight losses before ending the streak
Saturday night, just two shy of the MLB record. This one was a slam dunk.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Joe Giglio - "Louisville was the only one that I came up with as going
undefeated" was the reasoning of the writer for The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. for voting the
Cardinals #1 in the AP poll (they are ranked 12th overall). With all the scrutiny surrounding college
footballs voting processes and the BCS, it is refreshing for someone to actually step up and give a
real reason for his or her voting decision. Let's hope this continues throughout the college football
season, even if the coaches refuse to make the voting in their poll public.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Thomas Herrion - Not every moment is a good one, unfortunately. The NFL
was stunned Saturday night with the death of San Francisco 49er offensive lineman Thomas Herrion
following the Niners' game at Denver. Herrion passed away in the lockerroom not long after coach
Mike Nolan addressed the team after the game. Cause of death is still unknown. Our condolences go
out to the Herrion family.
Week ending August 14
Is it me, or were there just way too many Losers this week and not enough Winners or positive
moments...and I'm not even talking about the Mike Cameron injury, either. For the first time ever, all of
the Mirly Awards got to Losers. Unfortunately.
LOSER OF THE WEEK #1: Scott Harper - Who? The idiot fan that jumped from the upper deck to the
screen behind home plate at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Why did he do it? To see if the
screen would hold him. The reasons this guy is a loser are countless, so let's move on.
LOSER OF THE WEEK #2: Pacman Jones - The Tennessee Titans' first round choice is at war with
both the organization (over his contract) and his teammates (who want him in camp). This kid has to
be kidding. If you need to hold out until signing your first contract, that is one thing. But to get into a
war of words in the papers with your defensive mates is another...especially before taking a single
NFL snap. Shut up, get the deal done and play the damn game. If/when this guy signs, the greeting
he gets should be very interesting.
LOSER OF THE WEEK #3: Steve Belkin - The governor of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks decided to get in
the way of his team dealing for Joe Johnson, despite the endorsement of both his basketball staff
and the remaining owners. After going to court, the team is about to remove Belkin from his
governorship, with the backing of NBA commish David Stern.
LOSER OF THE WEEK #4: Terrell Owens - The less said about this jerk, the better. If I'm the Eagles,
I'm trying to figure out how to cut him and use his alloted money elsewhere. He is a cancer, a
malcontent and a terrible teammate. All time he spends away from the team, such as now, during his
suspension, is a plus for everyone else. Cut his ass!!!
Week ending August 7
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Las Vegas - Vegas, baby, Vegas!!! For the first time, a sport other than
football has awarded its All-Star Game to a non-member city. The 2007 NBA mid-season scorefest
will be played in Las Vegas. Of course, since the league has reached an agreement with the city to
ban All-Star events from the casinos that weekend, we'll never know which player would have been
the odds-on favorite to get in trouble first. Of course, this also guarantees dozens and dozens of
people (probably more) will get to experience the city's slogan. What happens in Vegas stays in
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Shareef Abdur-Rahim - Following his trade from Portland to New Jersey,
Abdur-Rahim failed his physical amid questions about a condition in his knee. Of course, rather than
being a grown-up about the situation, the power forward who has never played in a playoff game is
blaming...the Nets. He now says he doesn't want to play in Jersey alongside Jason Kidd, Vince Carter
and Richard Jefferson. If this guy isn't a loser, I don't know who is.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Gary Sheffield - "I know who the leader is on the team. I ain't going to say who
it is, but I know who it is. I know who the team feeds off. I know who the opposing team comes in
knowing they have to defend to stop the Yankees." I don't even know where to start with this one. He
may swing a big bat, but his ego is obviously even bigger, with teammates Derek Jeter and Alex
Rodriguez clearly in his sights with these comments. I think we all knew it was just a matter of time
before Sheffield started running his mouth and causing dissension in the Yankee locker room. The
Yankee problem the last few years has been a lack of chemistry, even moreso than the lack of
pitching. I think it is safe to say that Sheffield is one of the reasons for that.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Rafael Pameiro - Duh. He would have been Loser of the Week, but since
this story is so big and transcends sports, it becomes the rare negative moment to earn this "honor".
What a shame for all the previous winners.
Week ending Sunday, July 31
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Bud Selig - The 20 game Kenny Rogers punishment was perfect, so not
reducing it was appropriate. Selig gets credit for sticking to his guns, especially after Rogers clearly
showed his isn't remorseful about his actions. Too bad he couldn't extend the suspension after
Rogers wasted his time with the appeal.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Manny Ramirez - Trade me, please. Again. OK, we get the point, Manny. You
are a miserable person and teammate and could care less about anyone or anything but yourself. A
$20 million contract, playing for a first place team and having millions of adoring fans is clearly not
enough. Makes sense to me. The only thing I ask is this...what else is there? And who's to say you
aren't going to whine like this after getting dealt. Let's face it. Manny is finally showing he isn't worth
the headaches, no matter how good he is on the field.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Buddy Groom - "I wouldn't encourage anybody else to come here thinking you
are going to get an opportunity because unless you are one of Joe's boys you are not going to get
much of a shot." The ex-Yankee middle reliever spouted off following his release, putting all of the
blame on Joe Torre, as opposed to his 4.91 ERA. Looks like someone has taken his bitter pills.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Greg Maddux - Maddux joined the 3000 K club on Tuesday, becoming the
13th member of one of baseball's mot elite clubs. He may not have been the most overpowering
pitcher of this era (he has had just one 200 K season), but he might have been the best "pitcher" to
take the mound. Watching him work is like watching a surgeon perform an operation and is still one
of the biggest joys of watching baseball.
Week ending Sunday, July 24
WINNER OF THE WEEK: Lance Armstrong - The world's greatest athlete wins his seventh straight
Tour de France in his farewell race. A truly amazing athletic accomplishment by anyone, let alone a
cancer survivor. People won't realize just how great of an athlete he is until years from now, so enjoy
the opportunity to have watched. You may never see anyone like him again in your lifetime.
LOSER OF THE WEEK: Glen Sather - While the NHL settles its labor woes and announces to the
world that they have returned, Sather was off fishing in Vancouver with team owners Jim and Charles
Dolan. I'm actually not sure who is more to blame for that. My question is this...how is it that Sather, a
lifelong member of the NHL fraternity, didn't realize the importance of being in attendance for what
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called "a seminal moment in the history of the league". Sather
was the only GM not at the press conference and draft lottery. And it was held in the city of the team he
works for. Without question, one of the most bizarre management decisions in recent sports memory.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Stephon Marbury - "We're making the playoffs. I'm guaranteeing that. We're
going to make the playoffs." Larry Borwn may be a great coach, but the Knicks went 33-49 last
season and, already, a number of East Conference teams have made big moves to get better (check
out the Nets, Cavs and Bucks - the latter two of which did not make the playoffs in '05). And don't
forget the friction between Marbury and Brown at the Olympics. Between the fishing trip of Sather and
the ego trip of Marbury, it is going to be another long season at the Garden in '05-06.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Sidney Crosby - Glen Sather wasn't there to see the first pick of the draft get
awarded to the PIttsburgh Penguins, who will be taking Crosby, dubbed "The Next One" and one of
the most heralded hockey prospects ever. It is a fitting passing of the torch in PIttsburgh, as Mario
Lemieux's career winds down playing next to Crosby.