Punt, Counterpunt: Sistah O.F.F. Kicks the NFL’s Coach of the Year & MVP with her Nephew, Larry James

By A. Renee' West & Lawrence (Larry J.) Robinson
Updated: January 3, 2006

ARW: Our credentials. I’m an o(bsessive) f(anatical) f(an) of sports, legally required to keep six feet between me and anyone stupid enough to watch a game with me. I know next to nothing about the x’s and o’s of any sport, but I did play touch football in high school, emphasis on touch.

LJ: Well, I’ve played football, emphasis on played. I know football. I’m passionate about football. And think football is the most exciting …

ARW: Moving on. The regular season is over …

LJ: and it’s time for some awards.

ARW: Let’s start with Coach of the Year.

LJ: Like the real voters, I’m using one criteria; the coach blew our minds this year. Exceeded all our expectations.

ARW: I’ll add a few more critiques, of course.

LJ: I have two candidates. ARW: I’m not through. There are five viable candidates – Marvin Lewis, Lovie Smith, Tony Dungy, Joe Gibbs, and Mike Holmgren.

LJ: Brains before beauty. Holmgren had the best player in football. Gibbs just over achieved. Dungy … well, it’s hard not to consider him, but he’s just the defensive coach. Manning handles the offense. So that leaves you with two credible candidates, which equals the only candidates on my list; Lovie and Lewis.

ARW: Grip yourself, ball boy. Holmgren had the best player in football the last two years and achieved, what was that? Right, nothing. Shaun didn’t make Holmgren. Holmgren allowed Shaun. And no one expected the Seahawks to dominate the NFC. And don’t start talking about the collapse of the Eagles and T.O. Tired of it. As for Gibbs, everyone expected something last year but expected nothing this year. Gibbs started strong without his best defensive player, LaVar Arrington, then screwed up, then beat Dallas in Dallas, then somehow pulled it together while squabbling again with LaVar. And Dungy is the King of Defense, but since Indy’s defense has sucked since he’s been there, no one ever expected it to do as well as it did this year. But let’s get to Lovie and Marvin. Lovie did take the Bears way beyond what was expected, but he had no offense and Marvin Bo Bangles blew us away, but was blown away at the end. Who loses to Buffalo?

Bottomline, whether we have two or five candidates, we have no runaway candidate for coach of the year, whereas three weeks ago, we had three, or more, strong choices. So pick.

LJ: Lovie Smith.

ARW: Oh my God, I pick him too. Despite the lack of offense for most of the year, Rex Grossman gave them a little more at the end of the year, leaving the Bears on the upswing, whereas the Colts and Bengals just made looked sad. But having said that, I believe the sympathy vote will give it to Dungy. Don’t you?

LJ: No, they’ll give it to Dungy because the Colts made a chase at history.

ARW: True, but I think the passing of Dungy’s son sealed it. Before we move to MVP, I want to give two Coach of the Year honorable mention shout outs to Mike Tice and Andy Reid. Their drama and trauma was ridiculous. The fact they’re still standing, …

LJ: Tice lost his job.

ARW: … he earned back some dignity though. LJ: Yeah, Much love for Tice. Not Love Boat love either.

ARW: No love for Reid?

LJ: Good job Reid, see you next year.

ARW: LOL. Okay Player of the Year. I’ve got …

LJ: … there are just five to consider. ARW: I’ve got five too. Tiki, Steve Smith, Shaun, …

LJ: L.T. and Palmer. But call them by their true names.

ARW: Oh, Lord.

LJ: Shaun Alexander (The Great), Tiki (the better looking) Barber, Ladanian Tomlinson (Baby LT), Carson (1st of recent USC Heisman Winners) Palmer, and Steve (I whipped the football’s butt) Smith.

ARW: Showboater. Make your pick?

LJ: Well, I picked the other 4 just to make it interesting, but Alexander is my pick all the way. NFL leading rusher. Broke …

ARW: You’ve got to be kidding ….

LJ: the record for most TD’s in a season. Dominated the NFC West. Lead his team to a 13-3 record and the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs. Need i say more?

ARW: I’m still waiting for you to say something. Carson Palmer, out. He annoys me. I don’t like his hair and he was overhyped at USC. L.T., out. He plays for the Chargers, who I don’t like because I don’t like Junior Seau, and don’t tell me he is no longer there, I know that. And he plays in San Diego. I don’t like San Diego. It’s boring. Shaun Alexander, out. He reminds me of Kanye West. It’s all about me, me, me, me, me. Football is a team sport, so I could care less if he breaks some record, or like Kanye, gets a record. And that touchdown he made to get that record looked as soft as that sack Michael Strahan made on Brett Farve to make the sack record, and those field goals the Texans shanked the last two weeks to win the Reggie Bush lottery. That leaves Smith and Barber. Both are fieyuhn, tight, spirals fun to watch on the field. But as much as Smith did for the Panthers, like Whitney sangs, the Giants would have been nothing, nothing, nothing, if they didn’t have Barber. Therefore my MVP goes to Wiki Siki Tiki Barber. LJ: I like Tiki, he hurts you running and receiving. But as long as the Giants had Shockey and Burress, they still would have won. The Seahawks had no receiver group that could have gotten them more than 9 games. It’s Shaun, The Great.

ARW: Want to wager?

LJ: Name it?

ARW: If Tiki wins, whenever I call, your cell phone will say “Aunt Na is the smartest sports person in the world.’

LJ: Okay. But when I win, whenever you call, you will call me Lawrence, The Great.

ARW: I’m going to be sick.

LJ: I’m going to win.

ARW: It’s on. Guess we’re done.

LJ: Aunt Na, you’re never done.