The 11 Least Prestigious Individual Awards in Sports

James Harrison probably thinks all these awards should be returned.

#11 — Comeback Player of the Year Award

The NFL, Major League Baseball and the PGA Tour all name a Comeback Player of the Year. This would be a fine award if it was always given to a player returning from a serious injury or personal tragedy. But more often than not, the Comeback Player award is given to someone who simply sucked the previous year. All this award does is remind everyone how terrible you were.

Better Award Title: Wow You Really Blew Last Year Trophy


#10 — Most Improved Player Award

The NBA’s Most Improved Player Award is similar to the Comeback Player of the Year Award of the NFL, MLB and PGA, only you’re completely disqualified if you’ve ever had a good season previously. Winning this award confirms that up until the most recent season, you were pretty much a bust.

Better Award Title: The Congrats on No Longer Sucking Award


#9 — NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award

NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver is determined by fan votes. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has won this award every year since 2003: 12 consecutive years. Earnhardt, Jr. has barely won that many races in that time, and has never won a Sprint Cup. Even if another driver eventually wins this award, it’s forever associated with failure.

Better Award Title: Dale Junior Cup or Congratulations On Being Loved By Moron NASCAR Fans Who Will Fall In Love With Whoever Is Marketed The Most Via Cheap Plastic Collectibles No Matter How Lousy Of A Driver He May Actually Be Trophy


#8 — MLS MVP

Congratulations, you are the best player in a soccer league that is somewhere between the world’s 9th and 30th best. If this was American football, you would be the league MVP of Arena League 9.

Better Award Title: Ooh Maybe You’ll Get a Tryout with a European Club Now Award!


#7 — Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award

Being given an award with “Frances” in the name is bad enough. But it gets worse. The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award it is given to the best college basketball player in the country … who is 6-feet tall or shorter. It’s like receiving an official notice that your NBA draft stock has plummeted.

Better Award Title: Ahhhh You Will Look So Cute in the NBA D-League Sippy Cup


#6 — Walter Camp Award

The Walter Camp Award is college football’s Player of the Year Award. Pretty prestigious, right? Not really. Because it’s not the Heisman, which is awarded to college football’s Most Outstanding Player. How are they different? People care about one and not about the other.

An example: Tim Tebow won a Heisman, but no Walter Camp. Colt McCoy didn’t win the Heisman, but he won two Walter Camp Awards. No one cares about Colt McCoy.

Better Award Title: The College Football Golden Globe


#5 — Frank Broyles Award

The Frank Broyles Award is given to the best coach in college football. Wait, no. I’m sorry. The best assistant coach in college football. Wow. Fancy! The award probably comes with a free Dodge Stratus.

Better Award Title: The Don’t Think You Have a Shot at Becoming Head Coach Here But Please Accept This $28 Trophy Award


#4— Olympic silver medal

A gold medal means you achieved your dreams, while a bronze medal sends you away happy that you got something. Silver just makes you second-guess yourself for the rest of your life.

Better Award Title: The Should Have Trained a Little Bit Harder Medal


#3 — Lady Byng Trophy

It’s the only sports trophy with “Lady” in the title and it is given to recognize “gentlemanly play” in the NHL. Instead of a trophy, they should just tape a “KICK ME” sign to the winner’s back.

Better Award Title: There is no more absurdly formal name than “Lady Byng Trophy” for a sport in which men wear razor blades on their feet and hit each other with sticks.


#2 — NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award

Congratulations, fella! Of all of the guys not good enough to start in the NBA, you reign supreme! Only if the MLS gave out an award for best backup would the Sixth Man lose its least prestigious award award.

Better Award Title: Best of the Worst Award


#1 — NBA Development League MVP

Seriously. It exits. The winners in its 15 years of existence are:

  • Ansu Sesay
  • Devin Brown
  • Tierre Brown
  • Matt Carroll
  • Marcus Fizer
  • Randy Livingston
  • Kasib Powell
  • Courtney Sims
  • Mike Harris
  • Curtis Stinson
  • Justin Dentmon
  • Andrew Goudelock
  • Ron Howard and Othyus Jefferus (a prestigious tie!)
  • Tim Frazier

No one has ever won it in back-to-back years. Probably because the winner usually gets so depressed that he quits basketball forever.


Originally published on SportsPickle.

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