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The Jesse's choice awards
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Has anyone else noticed this?

My articles have been WAYYY too normal lately. And short too. Six hundred words? That's kid's stuff. You guys deserve better.

I guess I've just been in a slump. But don't worry. That ends today.

No, I didn't borrow Jason Giambi's golden thong or wear the other team's shorts like Jason Terry. I've got my own good luck charm.

What do writers do when they run out of good ideas? Easy. We steal them from other people (Don't judge me. Mark Zuckerberg became a billionaire by using the same principle.). And who better to steal from than professional goofballs Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose?

So a couple weeks ago on NBA Countdown, Simmons and Rose constructed an All- Star team. This team didn't have LeBron or Kobe on it. Even Kevin Durant didn't make the cut.

Instead the team consisted of guys Simmons and Rose wanted to see play the most. Their criteria included entertainment value, uniqueness, unflappable devotion and fear of the unknown.

The result was about ten rookies and DeMarcus Cousins. Andre Drummond made the list too because he's basically a seven-foot ninja.

I liked it. The whole thing. Especially the bit about entertainment value. And that's what got the wheels turning.

Before I knew it, the slump was over. Genius had been created. World peace had been restored. Lives had been saved.

So now without further adieu, I present to you, my crowning achievement: the 2013 Jesse's Choice Awards. Here they are.

Quarterback: Tom Brady, New England Patriots

People will disagree with this but they shouldn't. I'll admit, if I wrote this three weeks earlier, Brady would not have been my choice. And if this were 2012, RG3 would win in a landslide. But in this moment, there is nobody I would rather see lead an offense than Tom Brady.

One of my co-workers, Jeff, says that you should never make Tom Brady mad.

I disagree. Tom Brady should always be mad. Because when Tom Brady is mad, he tears the Denver Broncos to shreds.

Brady turned a 24-point deficit into a seven-point lead ... in a quarter. Nobody else can do that. And he did it while freezing his eyeballs off and screaming cool stuff at Rob Gronkowski.

Greatest game ever. Greatest quarterback ever. (drops microphone)

Honorable mention: Cam Newton, because it's so fun watching other human beings unsuccessfully try to tackle him.

But if we're talking honorable honorable mention, two more candidates come to mind: Joe Flacco and Brandon Weeden.

I'll explain my answers because they need explaining. Ninety percent of the time, watching Joe Flacco play the sport of football is a form of torture I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. But that other ten percent of the time, when he's throwing 80-yard missiles to Jacoby Jones (and he will throw at least one of these per game), well that's pretty much the coolest thing ever.

And whether you're willing to admit it or not, the NFL needs Brandon Weeden. When you're watching the Cleveland Browns on NFL Sunday Ticket, you need some comic relief. Call Weeden the Louis CK of football.

Wide receivers: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions and Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

The NFL scheduled one Cowboys/Lions game this season. I don't think that's enough. Heck, I don't think 16 Dez/Megatron matchups would be enough. There should be a channel devoted to around the clock Cowboys/Lions coverage. The Mega-Dez Channel.

If you're going to be the best wide receiver in football, you need that intimidation factor. Both guys have it. Johnson is a 6-foot-5 freak of nature while Dez is a profanity-spewing lunatic who wears a visor to cover his face. Also, sometimes he's nice and buys PlayStations for random people waiting in line at Wal-Mart. If the league went to an 18-game schedule just so I could see these guys play two more times, I'd be all for it.

Honorable mention: Nobody. These two are in a league of their own.

Running backs: Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks and Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams

The bias meter is reading very high on this pick. This is my starting fantasy backfield. Lynch is a guaranteed 20 fantasy points and it's cool to watch him eat Skittles on the sideline like he's eight-years old. Having an amazing nickname (Beast MOOOODE) only adds to the awesomeness.

And then there's Zac Stacy, who is basically this year's version of Alfred Morris. An out of nowhere superstar who crushes it every week. He just runs right through people.

And he spells his name Z-A-C. Who does that? This guy's my hero.

Honorable mention: I'll give it to Knowshon Moreno. He was unbelievable last week against the Patriots, running the ball until he looked like Bruce Willis at the end of Die Hard. That dude is a warrior.

Tight end: Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

So who do I go with? The Patriots frat boy who doesn't understand time travel or the Saints guy who should probably be playing power forward in the NBA?

For me, the clincher is the touchdown celebration. Goal post dunk > spike. Jimmy Graham wins. Sorry, Gronk.

Honorable mention: Gronk, obviously. Graham and Gronk are two of the most entertaining players not just in the NFL but in all of professional sports. Please don't ban the goal post dunk. I'm begging you, Roger Goodell!

And you thought this article was over. HA! I called an audible.

All is fair. If I'm going to praise players, I may as well tear them down too. I don't know what you would call the opposite of a fantasy team ... a nightmare team I guess. Anyway, here are the players I absolutely despise watching on Sundays.

Quarterback: Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

So it's come to my attention that Ponder dated Fox Philly's Kacie McDonnell before he married ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele. The man can hardly throw a spiral. Let me know when the world starts making sense again. I'll be in my office.

Dishonorable mention: Alex Smith is pretty cool to watch. You know, if you love watching guys throw it four yards to Dexter McCluster on every play. When Smith says go deep, what does Dwayne Bowe even do? Jog for seven yards and then turn around?

Wide receivers: Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers and Wes Welker, Denver Broncos

Isn't Smith the worst? He might be the cockiest 40-yard a game receiver in NFL history. As for Welker, I loved him when he played for the Patriots. But now that I have no rooting interest, I'm starting to realize how dry his routine really is. All he does is catch five-yard passes. And he really thought Bob Kraft was going to give him $10 million a year for that?

Dishonorable mention: Roddy White could have given fantasy owners a heads up before being terrible this year. Is fantasy sabotage a punishable crime in Georgia? It should be.

Running backs: Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens and Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts

"Ray Rice up the middle for no gain .. Rice to the right for two yards ... There's Rice. It's a two-yard loss."

Okay, we get it, Al Michaels. Ray Rice is awful.

And Trent Richardson ... what happened to you, man? Donald Brown is getting more carries than him. Donald BROWN!

Dishonorable mention: Stevan Ridley actually isn't a bad running back but when he fumbles in the first quarter and Belichick doesn't play him again the rest of the night, it hurts. The negative-one he put up last week should be the last straw for fantasy owners.

Tight end: Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams

Jared Cook got two touchdowns and 141 yards in Week 1? And I got him in the second to last round? This is Fantasy Heaven!

Or ... Cook could take the next ten weeks off and make fantasy owners hate him again. Yeah, let's go with that.

Dishonorable mention: I'll go with Benjamin Watson only because when he's out there it means Jimmy Graham isn't playing. GET OFF THE FIELD, BEN!

Now how's that for normal?




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Jesse Pantuosco at jpantuosco@sportsnetwork.com.