When Cox Bloc was a going concern - rather than two aging has-beens going through the motions in order to give Triple P a cheap ratings pop (see above) - we used to take some time every December to sort through the detritus of the previous year-long explosion of stupidity in the mainstream sports press, and recognize one kaputnik as the fly feasting atop the giant turd: The Mittenstringer of the Year.
The award was, for all intents and purposes, designed to be bestowed upon our blog's namesake. After being upset in the inaugural year by Steve Simmons, Damien Cox took home the prize in 2008 and we decided that it wasn't worth doing anymore (actually, we were pretty sure we gave one out in 2009, but can't find any evidence anywhere on the internet. Probably makes sense to do it now. Berger. It would have been Berger. Blatchford wins 2010 in a swerve, and then Watters gets the 2011 one because he is the only person we wrote about that year. Now we're up to date).
Aside from our spirited laziness, there is one major obstacle in the way of continuing this kinda-annual tradition: the absolute soul-crushing torment of having to comb through the collected nonsense of so many writers, talking heads and retired goalies in order to fairly recognize the the blecchiest of the blecch.
It was hard enough stalking Cox, Berger, Simmons and the gang back in 2007, and that's when they only wrote once a day at most. Now every columnist has a blog and a regular spot on a radio program and every talk jockey has an online brain-droppings and every insider has an empty seat on a panel waiting for them somewhere and all of them tend to save their dumbest material for twitter. You need the dedication of a Parrot Head in order to give Mittenstringers the attention they don't deserve these days, and there ain't enough weed and cheeseburgers in the world to make that worthwhile.
We've decided to move on to something much easier, something less time-consuming and spirit-destroying, something that allows us to get other people to do most of the work for us: instead of recognizing one person for their commitment to clouding the collective knowledge with irrational logic, personal gripes, and straight up disinfo, we are going to finally take some advice from the libertarians out there and start placing greater value on the final product than on those who toiled to create it.
That's right:, R.I.P to the Mittenstringer of the Year Award. It ends, not with a bang, but at least a THWAP! and a GLORK!
Instead, welcome our new and improved, radically re-branded and focus tested, market-friendly year-end prize: The Mittenstringery of the Year Award.
This brand-new adventure venture will seek to identify, highlight, and mock the single worst piece of Canadian sports journalism from 2012. Like the Lou Marsh Award, but more Marty York. We're going to need help scouring the country for the most despicable piece of Mittenstringery, so we're asking you to help us out by sending us your suggestions.
Come across character assassination or career advancement masquerading as journalism? Is your local sports columnist a homophobic veeblefetzer? Find a stupid question that deserves a snappy answer? Did someone make a ham-handed effort at understanding labour relations, advanced statistics or hip-hop culture? Did Jonathan Kay write about hockey? If you've come across any of this, or, EGADS!, worse, please send a link to the usual gang of idiots at our Letters and Tomatoes Department via: @KimJorn, @GoddTill or write to email@example.com.
We're looking for the worst column in Canada here, so this is not limited to Toronto. As long as the writer/publication is Canadian, it should qualify. Deadline for submissions is December 31 (just in case Margaret Wente gets crazy turkey- lazy over the Christmas holidays and accidentally files Tuesdays With Morrie in its entirety as her column), and we'll be announcing the winner early in the new year.
And, hey... whatever happened to our fershlugginer pastrami sandwich?