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Catching up with the regining James Mungro Memorial Award Winner, Jacques McClendon

The face of a champion

In the midst of a Presidential election and super storm that, in a twisting of Jay-Z’s words, slipped the city that never sleeps an Ambien, I realized I have the answer to the one question everybody wants to know: what the hell is Jacques McClendon up to?

If you don’t know who Jacques McClendon is, you’re obviously not a fan of the blog. The guard out of Tennessee won the James Mungro Memorial Award presented by (nope…still no sponsor) this Lions preseason a day after getting cut from the team. He stole my heart mostly because he celebrated a good block he had instead of blocking another guy right in front of him.

(If you don’t know about the James Mungro Memorial Award, or as we call it around these parts the JMMA, click the banner at the top. I refuse to alter the Chris Bootcheck version.)

McClendon took over the award from Chris Bootcheck, who I wrote about twice a week. I haven’t caught up McClendon since he won the award. There’s a reason for this. McClendon had spent most of his time doing two things: not playing football, and watching his beloved Tennessee Volunteers under perform.

Then two weeks ago, I get an email from Google. The Google alert I had set up in August finally had some news. Jacques McClendon was back in the NFL.* Well, kind of. Pittsburgh signed him to its practice squad after injuries left the Steelers with just five active offensive linemen.

McClendon was back in an NFL camp. A couple of good days could turn into a couple of good weeks and who knows? Another injury or two and McClendon could be the first JMMA winner to advance to the big leagues.

Although it probably wasn’t a good sign when Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin shot down any idea of that literally minutes after the move was officially announced.

“Those that are going to help us win the football game this weekend are in our building and have been in our building,”  Tomlin told CBS Pittsburgh.

Two weeks later, McClendon’s short but glorious run came to an end. He was released to make room for Damon Cromartie-Smith, who I’m fairly sure is one of Antonio Cromartie’s 12 children. Cromartie-Smith was waived two weeks ago after one of the Steelers defensive tackles was returning from the suspended list and had now returned. So this was kind of like completing the practice squad circle of life. If I’m McClendon I’m just glad I got to be a part of such a monumental event.

Now, Jacques is back on the open market. The possibility for a Lions reunion remains open. While we wait for that special day, we have his inconsistently entertaining Twitter account, which basically consists of him saying ‘wow’ with varying amounts of capitalization and numbers of Ws after Tennessee does things like almost lose to Troy. Although he has found a favorite TV show, adding another dimension of entertainment:

Until next time, don’t worry about your front end capital but your back end capital.

*(I accidentally typed NHL here and had to delete it. Remember when that was a thing?)

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