Welcome back, and a truly heartfelt apology for making you exert the effort to click through. There were simply too many prestigious folks to honor in Philly sports this year to contain it all on one web page with unlimited space. Plus, I’m sure we only lost roughly 90 percent of our audience with that stunt. To return to Part 1, click here.
If you happen to be one of the two or three who made it, we saved the best for last. Up next, it’s The Ryan Howard Memorial Award for Athlete or Sportsperson Most Inexplicably Still in Philadelphia for people who are really, really overstaying their welcome in the sports complex. P.S. We love you, Ryan, but for the love of all that is holy, please stop kidding yourself and retire.
(Nominees: Maikel Franco, Mychal Kendricks, Andrew MacDonald, Pete Mackanin, Jahlil Okafor)
How Kendricks and Okafor haven’t been traded, we’ll never know. Kendricks has been on the block for years now, and the times Okafor was reported to be on the move is into the double digits, easily. Franco is the latest Philly athlete being shopped, although the truly inexplicable part is why he hasn’t been demoted to Lehigh Valley at some point. As for MacDonald and Mackanin, well, obscene contracts tend to influence otherwise rational decision-making.
All excellent candidates, but only one can win this unique award. The KULPY goes to… I can’t believe this, it’s Mychal Kendricks!
Of course, we could all be so lucky to be stuck at our jobs for $6.6 million in salary and bonuses.
While The KULPYs is all about having fun and making light of the games we love, it’s also worth taking time to remember these professional sports figures will not be around forever. The sacrifices it takes to make it in this industry, only to have endure the criticism of some dumb blogger once a year should not go overlooked. That’s why for the first time we are choosing to honor some of the ones we’ve lost through the years.
This video up top is a special tribute entitled In Memoriam: Eagles Cornerbacks We’ve Lost to Burns Since 2011. Feel free to pour one out for some of the brave athletes who fell victim to the job.
Heartbreaking. Anyway, It’s time for an award that has nothing to do with what’s happening on the field. This one is all about the biggest celebrity in local sports, as in people you’re likely to bump into at Wawa and actually notice who they are and care – sorry, T.J. McConnell. Presenting The QB Eagles Award for Most Recognizable Athlete in Philadelphia.
(Nominees: Jon Dorenbos, Joel Embiid, Claude Giroux, Carson Wentz, LeGarrette Blount)
I once thought I saw Wentz in the parking lot at the Linc before a game. In retrospect, I think it was actually his brother, but that just goes to show any random ginger looks like Wentz at a glance. The only place I’ve see Giroux in the last year besides The KULPYs is on the side of a milk carton. And I’ve seen a lot of green Blount jerseys around town in recent months, but didn’t see much of Blount the running back at OTAs this spring, so not sure I’d recognize him, either.
There’s only two real possibilities, and the selection committee was worried one of them might make himself disappear if he won. That means The KULPY goes to Joel Embiid, naturally.
This award was virtually created for Embiid. No, really, it was created for Embiid. We kind of just wanted to see if he would Tweet about it.
It’s time for the real meat and potatoes of the show. We have two awards left, and they’re big ones. First up, it’s CSNPhilly.com’s The700Level’s Toyota Philadelphia Athlete of the Year brought to you by Dietz & Watson. Really, guys?
(Nominees: Joel Embiid, Pat Neshek, Dario Saric, Wayne Simmonds, Carson Wentz)
Congratulations to Neshek, who became the first Phillies middle reliever to make it to the All-Star game… ever? Certainly since before I was born. Simmons deserves recognition here as well for making his first All-Star game as well, and earning the MVP Award as well. Don’t get greedy now, Simmer. Wentz had an excellent rookie season as well, throwing for 3,782 yards officially, about 1,000 more in dropped passes.
A group of worthy candidates, but only one can be the winner, which is why the KULPY must go to… wait, it’s a tie! Joel Embiid and Dario Saric are co-Philadelphia Athletes of the Year!
Shout out to Embiid, a rare double winner at The KULPYs. That might be a first. Anybody keeping track?
Finally, it’s time our most important and prestigious honor. This is The Competency Award for Philadelphia Sports Executive of the Year – always a tremendous barometer of the direction things are headed for the local franchises.
(Nominees: Bryan Colangelo, Ron Hextall, Matt Klentak, Howie Roseman, Sam Hinkie)
You actually have to hand it to Colangelo, Hextall and Roseman. The Sixers, Flyers and Eagles all appear relatively close to playoff contention, with a potential leap into championship material possibly in the near horizon. The last year has been rough, as almost the entire decade has been, but we feel good about the trajectories there. Hinkie deserves some credit for the Sixers’ position as well, even if he has been out of the job for 18 months now.
Yet, it was easier than you might think to choose a winner. The 2017 Competency Award for Philadelphia Sports Executive of the Year goes to… Matt Klentak!??
Wait, that’s not what’s going on here? Too bad, because unlike the Phillies’ rebuild, that’s all the time we have.