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The 2006 College Football Blogger Awards: Best New Blog

Howdy, y'all, and welcome to the inaugural College Football Blogger Awards. Back on January 10, 2007, MGoBlog, Burnt Orange Nation, Every Day Should Be Saturday, Dawg Sports, and yours truly rolled out the official nominees for each of 22 (!) categories. You can find the entire list over at the Trophy Case, which also includes instructions for adding all of this year's nominees to your bookmarks/favorites.

For those of you who are new to the blogosphere or new to our little corner of it (okay, I know, spheres don't have corners, but go with me here), the winners we'll announce today represent the best of the college football blogosphere for the 2006 season. But beware, actually clicking through to some of the winning blogs can be instantly addictive and highly hazardous to your paycheck. Soon, you will find yourself bingeing your way through the archives not only of each of the winners, but of each of the nominees as well. This will no doubt lead you to discover other fantastic blogs and make you wonder what in the world we were thinking by not including them on the nominee list. There's a whole mess of talent out there, and the awards are meant to help you find your next favorite thing.

For those who have already been assimilated into the college football blogging collective, consider this an opportunity (1) to recognize and applaud those bloggers who are setting the standard, (2) to catalog some of the best posts of the 2006 season for the sake of posterity, and (3) to help you find great blogs and posts you might have otherwise missed. Because we know you're busy and stuff.

So here's the plan for the day. It's 8:00 a.m. EST, and with this post, I'm knocking over the first domino by announcing the winner of the Best New Blog Award. At 9:00 a.m. EST, MGoBlog will announce the winner of "The Trev," a.k.a. The Funniest Blog. The winners will be announced throughout the day, every hour on the hour, until 6:00 p.m. EST, and each announcement will direct you to the site of the next unveiling. That will take us halfway through the awards, and we'll do the other half tomorrow. Fun, no?

And now, it's time to announce the winner of the 2006 Best New Blog Award. First, the nominees:

Best New Blog

FOR: The best blog started within the past year.

CRITERIA: Must have launched sometime after last year's national championship game. Transitioning to a new blog or affiliating with a network mid-stream doesn't count.

CFB Award Nominee: Best New Blog

The winner of the 2006 Best New Blog Award is . . .

Fire Mark May

On September 4, 2005, ESPN in-studio analyst Trev Alberts "declined to report to work," thereby breaching his contract and ending his relationship with the network and College Gameday Scoreboard co-horts Rece Davis and Mark May.* Alberts' Wikipedia page says that he later went to work as a columnist for CSTV, but seasoned college football bloggers and their readers know the truth: [Fake News Alert!] Alberts actually hung out a shingle at a address and embarked on an online campaign to mess with his former co-worker's career.

The result is Fire Mark May, and in the words of Mountain Lair's Johnny, it is quite simply "[o]ne of the most original blogs out there." Fire Mark May, actually authored by the pseudonymous "Irish Outsider," burst onto the scene on May 18, 2006, with Greetings from Omaha, ostensibly posted by Alberts while patronizing a Starbucks [sic throughout]:

Hey everybody! Just wanted to let you all know about my new "blog!" I'm sure its a way we can all keep in touch, swap stories, and catch up. I hope everything in Bristol is going great. Out here in Omaha, its a bit difficult, but you know me, hard work is its own reward. Why, just the other day I got paid $50 to sign footballs at Finneman's Used Cars over on Maple St. Well, a few kids gave me some money to buy them beer, but I gave them a few autographs as a special treat! You should have seen the looks on their faces. I mean, yeah. That's what its all about.

I bet Ive signed more autographs this week than that no-talent hack they've got in the studio right now! I mean, how many people want HIS autograph, huh? You hear me, Mark May? You're living a lie! Its all about the kids! You just dont get that, do you!?! Seriously man, that guy's a hack! What do you all think, guys?

Well, I should roll out now. I have to study for my realtor's exam, and I have to make an appearance at the local Denny's tonight.

Trev-dog out.

The blog chronicles Trev's exploits, from a night of jagerbombs and karaoke with Frank Solich to the narrow escape from an Austin, Texas jail cell:

So there we were, backed into a corner by Mr. Alberts' faith in Pat Riley's hairstyle and likely stuck in a Texas jail cell awaiting our arraignment, when I finally got another wireless signal from a nearby Whataburger. It lasted just long enough to show Trev these two articles discussing the Huskers' recent downturn. Enraged by the bloggers' disrespect for Nebraska and his drinking buddy, Mr. Solich, Trev became enraged. He was like Lattimer from "The Program," but with less crying. He proceeded to beat the living snot out of any Longhorn fan within clobbering distance.

When the guards came in to break up the fight, he went Jack Bauer on them! It could only be described as jaw-dropping. There he was, Trev Alberts, backhanding one of Austin's finest, stealing his sidearm, and pistol-whipping his partner. In a matter of seconds, we had a clear escape. Trev screamed, "Anyone else want a piece of Trev?!? COME ON! MAN UP!" The rest of the vagrants cowered in fear as he grabbed the Mobile 1, with me still attached, and headed out the door.

Once outside, Trev hijacked a nearby Greyhound bus. I guess ESPN has power to commandeer in Texas, the bus driver yielded control after being flashed Trev's old security badge.

The blog also features "guest posts" from personalities including Stephen A. Smith, Kirk Herbstreit, Jim Rome, and Stuart Scott, who busted out some encouraging words haiku-style. Other regular contributors include "Staff Figment" Blooregard Q. Kazoo and the Muppet Newscaster, whose duties include invocation of the Emergency Blogging System to inform the general public of the Notre Dame Nation security alert levels. In fact, the Trev Compound grew at such an alarming rate that they eventually had to resort to an org chart to sort it all out.

In October, 2006, "Glenn Phelps, Professional Referee" penned the instant classic post "I Hate Your Favorite Team:"

Let's set the record straight. I don't like your team. I've never liked your team. I clearly graduated, if you can call it that, from your in-state rival institution of higher learning. The academic curriculum there was not as challenging as it was at your alma mater, and I got wasted every night. I don't think I ever saw the inside of a classroom during my entire 7-year stay. All of my fellow alumnus are scum-suckingly inferior human beings with obvious unsavory hereditary traits, and we celebrate it with great aplomb just because we know it grinds your gears. We hate you as much as you hate us, and guess what? That is exactly why I chose to be a football referee, for the sole purpose of sticking it to your favorite team at every possible opportunity, consistently and thoroughly.

* * * *

In summation, I hate your favorite team. I hate they way they look, I hate the way they play, and I hate everyone mentally deficient enough to value their stake in this sporting match. This hatred is not born of jealousy or even malice. This is simply who I am, and there is no way around it. As long as there is a black heart beating in this hollow soul of mine, I will spend every breath making sure that these little yellow flags of mine get in the way of the success of your team. Mark my freaking words.

Reaching it's 4th zero (10,000 hits) in July, 2006, just three months after launching, Fire Mark May is well on its way to that elusive 5th zero. So congratulations to FMM for winning the 2006 Best New Blog Award!

*Sidenote: Is the line in May's Wikipedia entry about his NFL career ending due to a post-game shower incident true?

RUNNER UP: Fantastic Louisville Cardinals blog, Card Chronicle, which opened up shop on October 4, 2006 and introduced the world to the personified Ill-Advised Haircut, also known as reason No. 4 Louisville lost to Rutgers. And I know it's not the 2006 season, and it's not even football, but I simply cannot talk about Card Chronicle without mentioning its recent For the Record post, which lists the teams and people that Dick Vitale talked about during the broadcast of the Louisville - Connecticut game that had nothing to do with the game. Guess how long the list is. Go on, guess. More, guess again. Nope, more. More. Okay, okay, okay. It's a list of 156.

UP NEXT: Head over to MGoBlog at 9:00 a.m. EST for Brian's announcement of the winner of the 2006 "Trev Award" for funniest blog. Update [2007-1-31 8:8:47 by Joel]: MGoBlog draws a five-yard penalty for a false start! Peter at Burnt Orange Nation takes the third down snap with the Dr. Z, for Best Analysis, at 10:00 EST.