The Golden Globes Awards will be handed out the same night that four NFL are handed their tickets to the Conference Championship games. In honor of the Golden Globes, Laces Out will be handing out the first Golden Laces Awards, or Lacies, acknowledging the good, the bad, and the unforgettable from the Divisional round of the 2013 NFL playoffs.
Best Game- Baltimore 38- Denver 35 (2OT)
There were two game this weekend with all of the drama we have come to expect from the NFL playoffs: Baltimore vs Denver and Atlanta vs Seattle. While both games were exciting, Baltimore and Denver had all of the extra factors that make a game memorable like two overtimes, a Ray Lewis inspired Ravens team, a game losing mistake by Peyton Manning, and even a record setting return game. This game had everything, like a Steven Spielberg summer blockbuster, staring Tom Hanks, written by Woody Allen, with a cameo by Samuel L. Jackson.
Best Play- Joe Flacco’s 70 yd pass to Jacoby Jones (4th 00:31)
Joe Flacco may not have a Super Bowl ring yet, but after Saturday his name will forever be associated with one of the greatest plays in NFL playoff history. Needing a touch down to send the game to overtime with less than a minute and most of the field to go, Flacco heaved a throw down the right sideline that landed squarely in the hand of Jacoby Jones with no one in front of him. Just like that, the game went to overtime and we all know what happened after that. This play created a twist for the end of this game that only M. Night Shyamalan could have written if it were fiction.
Best Offensive Player- Colin Kaepernick- San Francisco 49ers
After the San Francisco 49ers dismantled the Green Bay Packers in the second half of Saturday night’s game, the only story that seemed worth talking about was the outstanding performance of Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick passed for 263 yards and ran for a record setting 181 yards, including a 56 yard touch down run that was ultimately the game winning score. There is a thesaurus full of words to describe what Kaepernick pulled off as an unproven QB, and they all are a variation of ‘outstanding.’ It should be clear by now that we are going to end every award with a Hollywood reference, so if you want an acting performance to compare Kaepernick’s to, think Sean Penn in Mystic River when he realizes who the body is.
Best Offensive Asset in a Supporting Role -Rahim Moore- Denver Broncos
This award goes to the defensive player who made the greatest contribution to the opponents offense by making a terrible play. Joe Flacco and Jacoby Jones deserve a lot of credit for their game tying score, but Rahim Moore played his part as well. Moore should have covered over the top of Flacco’s throw, but he took terrible route to the ball and opened his hips to early forcing him to back pedal as he jumped up for the ball. Moore looked like a little league center fielder who has not learned how to judge the trajectory of the ball, and ends up on his back side. The quality of this play is roughly equivalent to the quality of any line delivered in the movie Armageddon.
Best Defensive Player- Corey Graham- Baltimore Ravens
Corey Graham not only returned an interception for a touchdown, but me made the interception on Peyton Manning that sealed the game for the Ravens in double overtime. Graham also added eight tackles on his way to victory. In the highest scoring divisional playoff weekend in history, Graham has the most outstanding performance by a defensive player, which will get him similar publicity as winning Best Foreign Film.
Best Defense Asset in a Supporting Role- Peyton Manning- Denver Broncos
This award goes to the offensive player who made the greatest contribution to the opponents defense by making a terrible play. In the second overtime, Peyton Manning rolled right and threw across his body as Corey Graham stepped in from of the receiver for the interception. This interception all but sealed the game for the Ravens, drawing comparisons to Brett Favre in the 2009 AFC Championship. If Manning’s throw is the sequel to Favre’s, then it is most similar to Caddyshack II, not because it was worse, but because the second one did not feature any nudity (Favre and Jen Sterger).
Best Series on the TV, Drama- Atlanta Falcons’ game winning drive
The Atlanta Falcons let the Seattle Seahawks score 21 unanswered points to take a one point lead in the fourth quarter. The Falcons got the ball with less then :30 seconds left. Two big passes later, the latter going to future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez who has never won a playoff game, the Falcons set up for a 49 yard field goal. Steve Carroll called a time out to ice the kicker Matt Bryant, who then missed his practice field goal attempt. The next chance he was dead center. This offensive series would have defined Matt Ryan’s season whether he won or lost. Success gets him his first playoff win, while failure would have sealed his fate as a QB who cannot win in the playoffs. Not even TNT knows that type of drama.
Best Series on the TV, Comedy- Seattle Seahawks’ last drive in the first half.
After getting manhandled for most of the first half, the Seahawks put together a drive that on which they could have scored. The drive ended scoreless when Brian Babineaux sacked Russell Wilson. The Seahawks having already squandered their time outs, were stuck watching the clock tick to zero while they had zero points on the board. This series was a fitting cap to laughable first half from the Seahawks. Like most poorly written comedies the first half was funny, but the second half tried to get too serious.
Best Director (Coach)- Bill Belichick
The New England Patriots played the most dominant game of all of the divisional winners. This win did not take an epic effort from a running QB, a terrible mistake from a Hall of Famer, or a last second field goal. This win simply took one team out playing another for 60 minutes, and the credit for that goes to the head coach. We are not ready to call Belichick the Alfred Hitchcock of the NFL, but if Belichick is Ridley Scott, that make Tom Brady Russell Crow.
Best Animated Feature- Cleatus
Best Original Scores- Trindon Holliday
Trindon Holliday provided a performance in the return game that would have never been forgotten if the Broncos had prevailed. Holliday broke playoff records for longest kick and punt returns, as well as total return yards. Unfortunately, his team lost and his performance, while in the record books, will fade from our minds kind of like how no one remembers Philadelphia lost the Best Picture to Schindler’s List.
Best Song- Swan Song by Ray Lewis
By now we have all heard the song Swan Song, by Ray Lewis. It is that one about how Lewis came back from a severe injury to lead his team to one last AFC Championship in hopes of winning a super bowl in his last season before retirement. For how much we hear about Lewis’ Swan Song on TV and the Radio, you would think it was written and performed by Taylor Swift in collaboration with Pitbull.