We're halfway through the regular season, so let's hand out some stupid awards. It's the First Annual End Around Midseason Awards ... the Endys! (We're workshopping the title.)
My promise: This will be a penalty-free read that will take less than four hours to complete. Let's do it.
The Relentlessly Awkward Pitchman Award: Russell Wilson
The caption accompanying this 'Gram blast:A little prep goes a long way. This fall, I'm refining my morning routine by starting my day w/ a close shave from @braunus #morningbydesign #sponsored
Of course, further scrolling through the quarterback's Instagram feed gives the distinct impression that Wilson might be a reallygoodperson. Which also drives me crazy. Why won't you let me hate you, Russell? This award is beginning to reflect back on me in a way that is unflattering. Let's move on.
The Best Local Commercial On NFL Network
This 30-second spot for Lipstick Bail Bonds aired at least three times during "Thursday Night Football" this week and it was easily the most entertaining thing I saw all night. I'm still peeling off the layers of the onion after a dozen viewings. I might commit a petty crime simply so I can get a ride home from the police station in a pink Hummer. Your personal partner/first in freedom/go pink and pucker up with us!
Most Dangerous House In Sports: Kurt Warner
What's going on here? All of Kurt Warner's trophies are surrounded by what appear to be medieval torture devices. There were less booby traps to reach the Holy Grail in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Kurt's choice to use this as his talking-head backdrop counts as the most fascinating development of the 2016 season.
Best Jason Mraz/NFL Cross-Promotional Merchandise
If you find one person wearing this shirt at a Chargers game, I will personally purchase you a pre-owned Jason Mraz fedora.
Most Random Item On NFL Auction Site
For the special person in your life who surveys the ingredients of a Denver omelet and says aloud to no one in particular, "No pressure, no diamonds."
Least Effective Motivational Tool: Vikings Stuffed Animal Symbolism
Before the 5-0 Vikings got a couple days off during their bye week, the coaching staff scattered stuffed animals throughout the team's Winter Park facility. Some had their necks ripped open, cotton innards exposed with red paint pointing to a violent demise, according to intrepid reporting by the Star Tribune.
One large stuffed cat sat in the locker room with a message hung from its neck: "Fat Cats Get Slaughtered." The message was made clear -- well, clear-ish -- but it didn't have its intended effect. Since the MUTILATED STUFFED ANIMAL MOTIVATIONAL PLOY the Vikings have lost both of their games and their offensive coordinator quit. Maybe Norv's a pacifist.
Best Call Of A Drunken Idiot On The Field: Kevin Harlan
"Somebody has run out on the field. Some goofball in a hat and a red shirt. Now he takes off the shirt! He's running down the middle by the 50! He's at the 30! He's bare-chested and banging his chest! Now he runs the opposite way, he runs to the 50, he runs to the 40 -- the guy is drunk, but there he goes! The 20, they're chasing him, they're not going to get him. Waving his arms, bare-chested! Somebody stop that man! Oh, they got him! They're coming from the left. Oh, they tackle him at the 40-yard line!"
Worst Problem-Solving Ability By A Schlub In A Car Commercial
This ad has aired roughly 3,000,000 times during NFL telecasts this season, but have you ever really paid attention to what's going on?
A quick summary: A wife reminds her husband that they'll be taking her parents out on the family boat on Sunday afternoon. The husband, who cannot imagine a scenario in which he's unable to watch his beloved Dolphins, gets in his car, races to the harbor, untethers his boat and watches the vessel drift out to sea.
Some better solutions:
1) THE HONEST APPROACH: "Honey, you know watching the Dolphins is my favorite thing in the world. How about either a morning or sunset cruise?"
2) THE WHITE LIE APPROACH: "Baby, I just got off the phone with Rich, my friend down at the marina. Due to an active criminal investigation, no boats are allowed into or out of the harbor on Sunday."
3) THE NUCLEAR APPROACH: "Karen, don't even start with me. Sundays are for the Dolphins. It's been that way since we met. This is exactly the type of passive aggressive behavior you told Dr. Floyd you'd work on. You're killing me, Karen. You're literally killing me."
4) LITERALLY THE WORST APPROACH: Purposely and illegally sever ties with a $150,000 investment in service of a 6-10 Dolphins team. Spend the entire weekend -- including your precious Sunday -- filing a maritime police report and bogus insurance claim.
Oh, by the way, Kevin: You didn't think about the security cameras, did you? Never too early to find out if they have the NFL Sunday Ticket package at Dade Correctional.
Worst Unending Comedy Bit: Odell Beckham Jr.'s Kicking Net Routine
Most Painful Sideline Image: Mike McCoy
Best Home-Field Advantage: U.S. Bank Stadium
The Something's Fishy Award: Tom Brady
Once Peyton Manning turned 39, he started to play football like the kid in your gym class who always got nosebleeds. Tom Brady, 39, is somehow better than ever right now.
This doesn't strike anybody as a little bit weird? We're all content to move forward working under the impression that Tom Brady defeated human biology? That the man -- a mortal, we believe -- just stiff-armed Father Time? We, as a people, don't feel the obligation to give this a closer look?
I can't say anything else. They're following me right now. I'm going to leave. Tell my mother I love her.