Thursday, May 3, 2012

The According to Dazz 2011-12 Awards

   Welcome to the According to Dazz Awards, 2012 edition. These are not the Senior Bests. These are not for the newspaper (although I might be receiving some heat from them for putting so much work into this, but we have one day of school left, come on). These are the honors and commendations chosen by the humble committee of one: me. So like it or not, these are what they are. Some are good, and some are . . . less good, but the point is that all of these are very well-deserved. The awards this year had two categories: sports and school, and the goal was to find something that recognized someone from each walk of life at NDP. True, most of the winners are seniors, but I like to think these awards have prestige, and you have to work your way to the top around here. So enjoy the first ever According to Dazz Awards. It is time to give credit where credit is due.


Most Intense—Maura Kelley

I think that pretty much sums it up.
Best Smack-talk—Michael Truty
                First name: Money. Last name: Money.
                There is a 50/50 shot that in receiving his award, he will tell me that I am absolutely correct in honoring him and that he is, indeed, the best. However, he knows that already, and thus does not need a reminder of his own greatness. He returns the award. I am stunned.
                The good thing about the Money Money brand of smack-talk is that he can back it up with his skill as a player. This is like being zinged by Kobe Bryant before you start a game of one-on-one. There is no response. You were just zinged by Kobe and you cannot do anything but accept it. After all, it’s Kobe Freaking Bryant.

Best Underdog Moment—Avery Korth’s 4th quarter 3-pointer
                It meant nothing, but it meant everything. In the context of the game, Korth’s miraculous trey was a small blot on the statsheet, but in the context of the season, it was unbelievable. Avery did not start, and his playtime was limited to the moments when the Saints were winning by quite a lot. Despite this, he remained a fan-favorite, and when his downtown bomb went drain-o right in front of the Dog Pound, the stands erupted. It was the closest Notre Dame has ever come to storming the court, and to this day, the shot reminds sports-goers that the underdog moment is always within reach, no matter how long it takes to be put onto the court (Korth’s memoirs and the sure-to-follow film are still pending).

Tom Archer obviously believed. Did you?
Best Fans—Goon Squad
                When hoops season rolled around, Brooks Brennan saw a need. He saw a need for a Notre Dame crowd that had more muscle and more impact. He threw the rules of the Dog Pound out the window and he and his buddies created the Goon Squad, the most rebellious group of fans to ever hit the stands of NDP. Their trash-talk became so legit that they demanded tightened security within the gym on gamenights. Their cheers and jeers were so effective that opposing guards never hit a three from their corner all season. The best kind of fans indisputably help their team win, and the Goon Squad does just that. You wish Andrew Turner had some better lines here or there (After the tenth time, “You’re adopted” lost its effectiveness. It lost its humor after the first time), but do not worry, he will be commended later on.

Best Game—NDP over Desert Mountain (football, Jordan Gherke recipient)
                Only one game could have possibly won this award, and that is the game that changed our school into one that sees people go to games and support the teams and fill the stand week after week after week. Finally.
                Even without the aftershocks, what you have here remains one of the most riveting games our school has ever been a part of. A comeback win. A huge upset. The beginning of a huge run that would culminate in the defeat of the third-ranked team in the state. The magic began here, and this night is one that many of are not likely to forget very soon.
                Also, Jack York fell during his celebration. Love that guy.

The “Holy S*** Award”—Brandon Senior
                The guy just does not look fast, but last year he exploded and all we could do is wonder what was going on with the world. Two years ago, if we that someone in the Class of 2012 would run track at UPenn, I am not sure that any of us would have guessed Senior. He is an absolute freak athlete, placing top three in the state in both the 200m and the 300m hurdles last year. This award is partially-named for his crazy speed, crazy soccer skills, and crazy hops, and partially because you would never guess the person with all of that craziness. Ask him about his front flip too. The one straight off the ground. You read that right.

Best Nickname—Tess “Nuclear Warfare” McPhearson
                Creativity Factor: 10/10
                Credibility Factor: 10/10
Intimidation factor: 10/10
Credit goes to Josh Eggler for conception of the best nickname of the year. This one is brought to you by Powder Puff football. As an aside, the two closest runners-up were Paige “Against the Machine” Lindgren and Coach Terry “Derr Bear” Derry. Fingers crossed that he does not read this article.

Best Teammate—Hannah Trepte
                This is one of those cornball awards, but from my experience with Hannah on the track team, she is one of those teammates who will keep up the attitude and make you do the same. She is crazy friendly, I bet she even learned the name of every freaking freshmen who joined the team this year (I just gave them nicknames). That is the kind of person who deserves an award like this, and that is the kind of person who should be a Team Captain when next year rolls around (hint hint, Derr Bear).

The Freak Freshman Award—Julia Taffuri
                This is girl is nuts. Period. Watch her run sometime, and dare to tell me that there is any other person who should take her place as this winner. She already has the best 400m time on the girls’ track team, and her cross-country feats put her on the top-tier of that team too. There are three whole years to go. Great things are coming her way. I promise.
                Also, why is this family so perfect?


Most Loyal According to Dazz Readers—Caroline Atsaves and Damon Motamedi
                There are two people on campus who have approached me more often with feedback and comments about this blog than anyone else, and they are Caroline and Damon. The former has thrown story ideas in my direction from time to time, and the latter may have even unintentionally inspired these awards—a while ago, he jokingly told me that he should receive a commendation for his readership. But both have been avid readers since this blog’s conception way back in summer school, and according to both of them, neither of them have missed a single post. It means quite a lot to the staff (of one) here at According to Dazz, so for their support, I want to give a small something back. Thanks, you guys.

Most Quotable—Andrew Turner
                “Hey guys, does club soda have alcohol in it?”
I rest my case.

Best Would-be Couple—Brooks Brennan and Kylee Bankofier
Kara Tapia and Caleb Badder
Brandon Senior and Hannah Trepte
                God, screw it. Nobody wins. Everyone I had nominated ended up ruining the whole thing for everyone and getting together for real. Hope you guys are happy. Christ.

Best Lift Home—Ben Bass
                I will give you five reasons.
1.       He drives stick like a boss.
2.       He listens to Spanish music. That means music in Spanish. For real.
3.       He has one mix album for each year of top hits, spanning from the 1960s all the way to 1978. That is one CD for each year in that time period. 18 songs on each. This all adds up to a whole lot of awesome.
4.       You are guaranteed to learn at least five new words throughout the drive, simply by listening to the man talk.
5.       Whenever the Star Wars orchestrated theme comes on (it is on the 1974 album), he rolls down all of his windows and turns it up full blast. You exit that vehicle feeling better than you have all day. I guarantee it.

Best Troll—John Micah Hayworth
Protest if you want, but we can all agree that there is no one at NDP better at a good old-fashioned trolling than John Micah. These are the awards for “the people who don’t get no respect” after all, and some recognition needs to be given to the man who could not have been nicer about hating on everybody.

The Fashionista Award—Lia Briehl

Best Dress Code Violation—Bobby Knowlton
                His shorts sag so low you wonder if they are pants. No one knows what his knees look like, but everyone knows what his underwear looks like. Whoever this Dennis is who put together the uniform is turning in his grave right now.
                Seriously though, he must have had to cut a new notch in his belt to make those shorts stay up when the waistline is somewhere toward the middle of his thighs.

Future Crime Lord—Vincent Regina
                Do you know this guy? If you do not, you better find out, and you better make sure you have been really nice to him over these four years, or one day you are going to wake up with a horse head in your bed. Just you wait.

The Mother Hen Award—Noelle Francois
                She will call you “hon.” She will call you “dear.” She will call you “sweetie.” Noelle is one of those people who would just go around giving everyone hugs all day if that was possible. Someone should find her one of those “Free Hugs” shirts. There is something here . . . or maybe I took a joke too far. Probably the latter. Definitely the latter.

Best Dressed—Flynn Stewart
                This one was tough. There was a race between Mr. Stewart here and three others for a while, but Flynn pulls out ahead for one reason: the glasses. My other finalists had zero eyewear, and Flynn manages to incorporate them into a style that is unlike any other: his own.

Well played, sir.

The Koboyashi Award—Jack York
                The first person who read this told me that they did know what a “Koboyashi” was. Unbelievable. Koboyashi is a person. Google him, and tell me this is not well-deserved.

The Attitude Award—Paige Lindgren
                Miss Lindgren has never had a bad day in her life. It seems like every day she shows up happy and smiling and loud and all anyone else can do is sit back and watch her wind herself up before she goes flying around. There are morning people and non-morning people, and then there are life people. Paige is a life person. Say hey to her sometime, because she will certainly say hello back.

Biggest Kiss-Ass—Zach Swanger
                I thought for a while about calling this the Suck-Up Award or Brownnoser of the Year, but at the end of the day, we are on our last week of school and it is time to be real. Zach has put on more charm with the staff of Notre Dame than the rest of us put together, and to his credit, it has propelled him to where he is today. There is an art to being smooth with adults, and Mr. Swanger has mastered his craft. Whether you are for his style or against it, credit where credit is due. Plus, I cannot wait to see his face when I give him the award. Priceless.

Best Flow Award—Hector Majul
                I do not know the kid. I do not talk to the kid. I can tell you nothing about the kid except for this: his hair has mad flow. The caught-in-a-windstorm look is one that is attempted by many, but only few pull it off. With Hector, both the magnitude and volume of the flow itself push him above the competition, and he earns the award for the Best Disguised Bowl-Cut at NDP. Congrats, man. Nice to meet you too.

Did some major creeping to find this. Good first impression on my part.
Biggest Badass Award—Taylor Clarkin
                She climbs mountains for the sheer sake of climbing a mountain. And that is not the same thing that you and your friends did when you “climbed” Camelback Mountain and took some hands-on-the-hips pictures at the top. This is bonafide g-status climbing with ropes and pulleys and hanging-by-the-hands suspense. She has a little thing called a World Championship in all of this too. Do you feel like a wuss now after your “Oh my God not even kidding it was, like, life or death” experience on Camelback? Yeah? Good.

Thug life.

The California Dreamin’ Award—Jack Ittel
                He looks like a surfer, he talks like a surfer, and he dresses like a surfer. I would go so far as to say that, yes, he probably surfs. Even if I am wrong on that last bit, I guarantee you that if he headed out to the beach this summer and gave it a shot, he would be a natural. After all, everyone knows that if you have those first three qualities, you will automatically be a terrific surfer. Jack has always had the look of a beach boy, and it is about time he had something to show for it. Just heads up with the sand, bro. It is course, and rough, and it gets everywhere (reference alert).

The Tommy the Turtle Award—Kate Mailliard
                This award goes to the individual who, while they may have a small outer shell to crack, what you find under the surface is so awesome that you wonder why they might be on the shy side in the first place. Kate is one of these people. She is witty, interesting, and incredibly genuine. If you have not introduced yourself to this girl, then crack the shell, because it sure is worth it.

The Snooze Button Award—Todd Hunsaker
                It takes some skill to show up late for class every single day and still pull out the grades that this man does. If it were anyone else we would be at another school by now, because I swear each morning I look up at 8:00 in A Period and I see this guy roll in, hand Ms. Leins his late pass, take a seat, talk the entire period, and pull out an A. What the hell.

Best Sunglasses—Kelsie Sanborn
                She coordinates her shades with her shoes. Enough said.
                Also, it is important to note that she has the swag to back it up. Sunglasses make a statement declaring that you know you are cool, and as a result of you being too cool, you have to rock the shades to protect yourself from those who might cramp your style. Kelsie has plenty of style, plenty of skill, and plenty of that afore-mentioned swagger. It is all unquestioned, and it is all deserved.

Best Mohawk—Cameron Berns
                Some members of the baseball team had alright mohawks. Some of them did that weird mountain range thing in the middle of their heads, and that is okay. Then some people yanked out the shears. Cameron was one of these people, and he went to so much of an extreme that he was forced to walk around school with a wig on until he had the rest of his hair cut. You talk about dedication? That is dedication. Give that man a nod the next time you see him. He deserves the living hell out of it.

Public Enemy #1—Kyle Mitchell
                For the record, According to Dazz does not condone rebellion against the rules outlined in the handbook. However, this blog does condone excellence, and Mr. Mitchell is really, really excellent at breaking the rules. That is why he receives arguably the most prestigious award of the year, because he has the ability to do what the rest of us might wish we could do, and he does not care one bit. Mad props, Kyle. On the Notre Dame campus, you have officially become Public Enemy #1. For a day and a half, but still.

Best Park Job—David Ferrara
                   This is one of those moments when I write something and think, “Will I regret this?”

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