James Mungro Memorial Award Winners
2012: Jacques McClendon
2012: Chris Bootcheck
Chances are you don’t know who James Mungro is. That’s the point.
He was a fourth-string running back on Lions during a preseason in 2002. And he dominated. So much so that my brother, dad and I had scheduled our nights in order to watch the third quarter of preseason games so we could watch James Mungro. You can read the full story of the James Mungro Phenomenon here.
Since that magical Summer, I’ve been searching for the new James Mungro, with little success. In March, 2012 I realized I needed to expand my horizon. There were plenty of James Mungro’s out there in sports other than football. With me running out of ideas for the blog with the Red Wings in the dregs of their season and the Tigers just reporting to camp, I
wanted needed a reason to care about Spring Training. So I set out on a camp-wide search for baseball’s version of James Mungro. It turned into one of the best ideas I’ve ever had.
Through some strange circumstances, we found our current champion:
Alvarez, a.k.a The International Man of Mystery, had quite an inspirational journey to the top. An underdog, he used his biggest weakness — the lack of any information about him at all — and turned it into his biggest strength. Experience his journey for yourself:
Before Alvarez, we had our first football winner of the award (besides the great James Mungro himself of course), Jacques McClendon:
McClendon’s journey to the award and ordeal as champion was a strange one, and something he largely failed to embrace. Despite his utter disrespect for the most meaningless award in sports McClendon continues to hold the (fictional) JMMA championship belt, taking it to the practice squad in Atlanta. How did he get there? Figure it out for yourself:
Before McClendon, the inaugural champion (not including the original James Mungro, of course) was the legend that was this man:
For the late-arriving crowd to the blog, you can experience the whole journey for yourself:
Bookcheck’s name, story and Twitter account resembling a 13-year-old girl’s text messages made him the champion. Everybody felt good about it and the search was over. But unlike some meaningless award like the Heisman Trophy, the JMMA isn’t just handed out and forgotten about until the next preseason. The Champion becomes a representative of the blog. We keep tabs on him with weekly updates:
The legend of Bootcheck continued into the 2013 season. Despite him switching teams, we still kept an eye on him.