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And The Herby Winners Are....

April 16, 2009 - John Whittaker
After a bit of an absence, it's time for this month's Herby Awards, a space that immortalizes things that suck so bad it makes the Whitless Wonder physically ill and that's named after my buddy Teddy's father's propensity to be able to gag a maggot with a single toot.
Strap on your gas masks and enter the Herbies, if you dare.
1. Alex Rodriguez. At least A-Rod didn't perjure himself with his steroid denial. In fact, here's a lesson to Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds -- if you're going to lie, do it to the Yankees beat writers and Peter Gammons. They can't throw your roid-injecting hiney in jail. Way to have nicknames for your steroids, Alex. That's a great example to set for kids. It's been a while since I've ripped on Rodriguez - partly because of his hip injury and partly because even though I can't stand the guy, I have no choice but to root for him. The Yanks are toast this year if Rodriguez doesn't step up. I can't believe I just wrote that. I just threw up in my mouth, a lot.
2. Streets that you can't drive down while holding a cup of coffee. I love the idea of getting federal stimulus money for road repair, because if it weren't for covered coffee mugs, I'd never have kids. Ever. Both my dad and my stepdad used to leave the house with either regular coffee mugs (dad) or those huge, pint-sized plastic mugs (stepdad) and take off down the road. It's amazing they never scalded their man-zones, and if they tried that after this winter, they would. Here's to singing soprano, boys, after a third-degree burn to my man zone because I hit a pot hole that I swear to God wasn't there yesterday.
3. B.J. Mullins going to the NBA after not even starting during his only college season. I can understand college players leaving school early (see Flynn, Jonny), but I don't get Mullins going early. After one year at Ohio State, Mullins thinks he's going to be a high draft pick in the NBA Draft? Shouldn't not being able to win a starting job in college be a tip to Mullins that he might not be ready? What, is there a lack of big, goofy white guys in the NBA right now? Donte Green has more skill than Mullins, and is only about two inches shorter, and Green went at the tail end of the first round last year when he left Syracuse. When Mullins is kicking around the National Basketball Developmental League next year, don't say the Whitless Wonder didn't tell you so. This kid needs Dr. Denis Leary to give him some common sense. You couldn't start for a bad team in a bad conference, and now you think you should be a high pick in the NBA draft? Enjoy Europe, sucker.
4. Syracuse losing three-fifths of its starting five for next season. Now, I can understand Jonny Flynn being one of the guys leaving. Honestly, he's Allen Iverson without the ugly personality. He can finish, break down almost anyone and distribute the ball. He's a top 12 pick, easily, and can probably only hurt himself by staying in college (bye bye Final Four). Now, here's where I begin to lose understanding. Paul Harris was staying, then going, and now says he doesn't know where the Syracuse athletic department got the idea that he was going pro. And, Eric Devendorf has announced he'll make himself eligible for the NBA draft even though his father, a week and a half ago, said Devendorf was coming back. I know Harris and Jim Boehiem haven't gotten along over the past three years, but Harris is an undersized small forward who can't shoot and struggled to finish at the rim last year. There's definitely a place for that in professional basketball … in Europe, maybe. As for Devendorf, there might be the possibility of having a young mouth to feed, and he does graduate from college in May. But, with an extra year of athletic eligibility after having knee surgery last year, Devendorf could stand to come back and show NBA scouts that he can be more efficient with the ball (some of his passing decisions are really dumbfounding) and he could be the final piece to an Elite Eight or Final Four team. Harris and Devendorf haven't yet hired agents, so they could come back to school. Here's hoping they approach this the smart way. I'm not disappointed with the kids for thinking about their future, but I was already tasting a deep tournament run next year with the entire starting five returning to go with Scoop Jardine's return from injury and freshmen James Southerland, Brandon Triche and DaShonte Riley, a 6-11 big man from Detroit. The Cuse will still be good, but they lose a lot, too. I was tasting victory. Now, I'm tasting the pungent stench that only a Herby Award Winner can leave. Great. I'm wearing a huge happy hat right now.


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