WITH THE REGULAR SEASON about to come to a close, it's time once again to present our year-end awards for the local college football season.
The Junior Filiaga Trophy - To BYU's Bob Davis, who accidentally punched referee Jack Baker in the face as he threw his fists in the air to celebrate a tack le (result: a broken and bloody nose).Best Quote, I - "I'm staying as far away from you today as possible." - Referee Jack Baker, talking to Bob Davis before the start of the Air Force game.
The first Clara Peller Here's the Beef Award - To the travel agent who sandwiched trainer Marv Roberson (6-2, 300 pounds) between BYU defensive tackles Pete Harston (6-6, 270) and Budd Orr (6-6, 285) on the team flight from Salt Lake City to Denver.
Worst press box food - To Air Force (with its gray, 5 percent lean meat burgers) and Hawaii (never mind).
Best press box food - To UTEP. Chicken. Whoppers. Italian food. Mexico food. Salad. Dessert. And you wonder why so many sports writers are fat.
The annual Pepto Bismol Trophy - To Utah, which spent a Saturday afternoon in El Paso throwing up on the sidelines. No one was sure if this was the result of bad food or the outcome of the game.
Recruiter of the Year Cup - To the new Weber assistant coach who was wooed by a phone call from a self-described, fast 6-foot-2, 230-pound running back who wanted to transfer from Utah to Weber. The coach was ready to sign him - until the boss explained to him the history of one Martel Black.
Toughest player of the year - BYU quarterback Sean Covey, who stood tall in the pocket week after week despite suffering a second concussion and a couple of knee injuries.
Best Quote, II - To Sean Covey on his August marriage to Rebecca Thatcher, a former BYU cheerleader who once fell off a pyramid and, like her husband, suffered a concussion: "We both have brain damage. That's why we like each other."
Defensive Players of the Year - BYU: Bob Davis. Utah - Not applicable. USU: N.A. Weber: N.A.
Mystery of the Year - BYU improves from 19th to 18th in the UPI poll - two days after losing to 1-7 San Diego State. Runner-up: BYU slips to 19th this week - after beating Air Force.
Entertainer of the Year - To Weber coach Mike Price and his Tuesday afternoon monologues at the Big Four Huddle.
Bravest (or dumbest) move of the year - To BYU safety Troy Long, who not only had the audacity to get in a fight on the TCU sideline, but took his helmet off, as well.
The 11 worst guys to invite to a party - To the Utah defense, which, following the San Diego State game, refused to speak. The Utes were in a funk over negative publicity from the media, which apparently was stuck for something cheery to say about a team that allows 33 points a game.
The four best reasons to throw the ball - Scott Mitchell, Jeff Carlson, Brent Snyder, Sean Covey.
Best player who hasn't hurt anyone, yet - Eddie Johnson.
Best Quote, III - To the Utah coach who, when asked if his team used steroids, said, "If you'd seen our linemen, you wouldn't ask that question."
Worst TV coverage - To KTVX, whose camera work for the Utah State-Utah game was the worst thing since home movies.
The 1988 Heidi Award - To KSL-TV, which showed us a commercial while Hawaii was going for a game-deciding two-point conversion in the climactic finish of the BYU game. (See next item for what you missed.)
Tackle of the Year - BYU safeties Troy Long and Scott Peterson stop Hawaii fullback Heikoti Fakava dead in his tracks for no gain and the victory.
Worst named conference - The Big West. Are they kidding? Seven of eight teams will finish with losing records.
Best pregame activities - To Air Force, which flew a procession of jet fighters, bombers and gliders low over Falcon Stadium before the BYU game. Who needs marching bands?
Worst Trend - BYU's blow-the-day football games, which are seven-hour adventures, including travel time, TV commercials, penalties, incomplete passes and a little play.
Ace Hardware's Man of the Year - BYU's Chuck Cutler, the man with six screws and a plate in his pass-catching hands.
Kiss of Death Award - To the media, which three weeks ago made a big fuss over Chuck Cutler's record-tying streak of touchdown catches. He hasn't caught once since.
Best Charity - To Weber State, which lined up pledges for its annual cancer charity drive with the amount based on yards gained by the Wildcat offense against Montana State. By halftime, the Wildcats had 376 yards, which caused one sports writer to quip, "If you keep this up, you're not only going to raise a lot of money, you're going to find a cure."
Best players to have on your side - Kendal Smith, Bob Davis, Troy Long, Scott Mitchell, Wade Orton, Rodney Rice, Chuck Cutler, Carl Harry.
Best Quote, IV - BYU coach LaVell Edwards, when asked how it was that San Diego State sacked his quarterbacks eight times after having only 11 sacks all season? "If I were (SDSU coach) Denny Stolz I'd be asking the same thing."
Best perspective - Weber coach Mike Price, who, following a lopsided loss, wore a T-shirt to a press conference that read "Don't worry, be happy." This is the same guy who, upon hearing his secretary complain that a certain reporter made a negative report of another lopsided Weber loss, replied, "Yeah, I know - He was at the game, wasn't he?"
Best reasons to come back next year - Scott Mitchell, Cliff Smith, Sean Covey, Ty Detmer, Eric Mortenson, Mike Price, Pat Newman, UTEP's press box.