I think, considering the calibre of the community on here, it is fitting to have our own little awards for each other. 2009 has been a year of drastic improvement in my boxing knowledge, a year of increased familiarity with the proponents of our beloved sport, and a year of conversing with some people that I now class as 'mates', even over thousands of miles and zero meetings.
I am continually surprised by the level of analysis, the detail of some of the arguments, and the humour which which most people on this site put forward their opinions. It is rare indeed that so many people can cover so many contentious points without there being a degeneration into a condition I like to refer to as "Youtubecommentitis".
It is in this spirit I am going to give out ten awards. Ten categories, which will be as widespread as I can manage in my current inebriated state. Please feel free to comment, but for the sake of my sanity, please only suggest new recipients for the awards, not completely new categories. I may re-post the awards at New Year, if there is an overwhelming feeling that I've got them wrong. (Always open to friendly criticism, me!!)
Awards after the jump!!
The BLH Forum "Jorge Barrios" Funniest Poster Award;
In an American based forum, it is only natural that I do not understand all the gags, particularly when they are in reference to other sports. However, this year has provided me with a whole lot of laughs, about, well, everything really. There was one notable which I still have the ill fortune to remember every day, as a result of the consequences; (Thanks, jrok....) However, as much as the opinions of my winner are not always the same as my own, I find myself constantly laughing as the nature of the posts, which are sometimes dogmatic, often perceptive and sometimes just plain funny as hell.
The BLH Forum "Steve Cunningham" Peacekeeping Award;
Sometimes even this forum can get narky. I've tried my best to stay out of it, but I have succumbed, as have most people on this site. It is only natural, and it is kept to a minimum, thankfully. Aside from the excellent work done by SC in policing the forum, for which I am sure we are all thankful, there is still the need to show diplomacy at times. There is one person who stands out for this award, due to his cool head when all around go nuts, the fun yet deliberately logical approach. Several arguments have been stifled or avoided as a result of his intervention.
The BLH Forum "Beibut Shumenov" Newcomer Award;
With moments of greatness provided by such flash in the pan newbies as tichbou, a late sprint from FCF and other internet luminaries like Midnight Rambler coming aboard, this was always going to be a tough category. However, there is one standout name for me as the Newcomer of this year.... combining the BLH spirit of fun with good knowledge and well written posts, it is only fair in my opinion that this award goes to;
Winner- Drunken Cutman
The BLH Forum "Bernard Hopkins" Encyclopaedic Knowledge Award;
This was a very tough category to pick. What with our host, SC, and the knowledge he brings, plus amazing contributions from other notables jrok and Zocalo, all of whom have educated me in various ways since I started coming to this site regularly, I feel that there is one poster on here that just stands out. I once heard an actor say that if Ian McKellan told him he (my friend) was just about to go and jump off a tall building, he would believe him. Well, if my winner told me Ali was a featherweight and that Gabe Brown was a tap-dancer, I'd probably believe that too.
*The BLH Forum "Roy Jones Jr" Flashy Poster Award;*
By flashy poster award, I kind of mean those that best combine humour and wit with perception and sometimes even the ability to cut someone dead in their tracks. The guys we all love to read, who have knowledge and the ability to use it in ways some of us just can't. There are several on here that have these traits, notably Icollins1, battleaxeofdoom and sonofapsycho. However, I honestly don't see anyone being able to argue this category's winner, and if they do he'll probably put them in their place too....
The BLH Forum "Marvelous Marvin Hagler" Best Tag Award;
There have been some brilliant tags on the site, some that make you think, some that are funny as hell, and some that sum up either the quoted guy or the poster themselves. The easy option here would simply be to give the award to anyone that used a Tex Cobb quote in the last year, but I don't like doing things the easy way. By far my favourite tag on the site ever was the one for the site itself, "BLH; Watching Antonio Tarver so you don't have to....", but I don't know when that went and also I think I should give the award to a poster rather than the site itself.... One stands out for me. This is all about personal choice, I know, but mine is the current one of BrianBrock;
Winner- I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘’Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'’ (Bernard Hopkins)
The BLH Forum "Eubank/Benn" Best Two-way Debates Award;
There have been some epics, some real literary scraps. When I read some I felt like I was French; supporting whoever was talking at the time.... I have enjoyed my fair share too, I was bloodied and yet unbowed on the Meldrick Taylor debate where I took a battering from jrok and yet still believe in my conviction... I took a hamering from him too on the Margarito debate (the last time I'll play Devil's Advocate if he's the prosecutor!!). Icollins1, Zocalo, battleaxeofdoom, Areglado, and Option27 have all had some great clashes. It's been a real pleasure to see logic, reason, rhetoric and belief collide. Truly. I feel that my winner of this award is the best rivalry, the one I love to read the most, as it provides brilliant insight, some amazing debating skills, and a never-back-down ethos that is remiscent of some of the best clashes we've ever seen in our sport, let alone our sport's forums. Long may it continue.
Winner- Brickhaus vs jrok
The BLH Forum "Sven Ottke" Fighter Favouritism Award;
Notable competition has come from Option27 in his support of Floyd Mayweather, and the aptly named MannyPacquiao, of whom I feel it unnecessary to say any more.... Anyone who elevates Odlanier Solis to anything other than 'big fat chump' status deserves a mention here too, so SC must be recognized, but I'm going to go with a poster who appeared, made two fanposts about his hero (to my memory, I stand to be corrected), had his family tree questioned, and at one point had us all convinced he was in fact Andrew Golota....
The BLH Forum "David Haye" We Want To See More From You Next Year Award;
It happened with a bang.... and like the fictional anti-matter explosion in Angels and Demons it was brilliant, but then.... nothing...... After the great entrance of our winner, followed up by some promising performances in subsequent conversations, it all seemed like we had found one of our own. Then, with no notice, the posts dried up, and I for one wondered, "where has that guy gone?" We don't like being left in the lurch, and expect a far more consistent level of posting next year, if you please... :)
The BLH Forum "Manny Pacquiao" Poster of the Year Award;
I have nominated some possibles. I feel it would be wrong of me to select this winner. The others are for fun, my own selections, but this one will simply be your call. The ten I have nominated are the ones I feel are most likely to be selected, and I have included my own name in there for the sake of ego... and hell, it's my poll... :)
I feel SC will run away with this, and justifiably so, but this isn't simply a popularity contest.... please pick your own choice for the person who has contributed most toward conversation, who has entertained you the most, educated you the most, made you laugh most or simply annoyed you the least!!
All the best for the New Year.