We've got another great group of award winners this year. I ask everyone please hold your applause until all recipients have been properly honored.
Now that everyone is on the edge of their seats, I proudly present the winners of the 2006 jaylowe.com awards:
Jackass of the year
This young man has been a jackass for quite some time. He was the same jackass who tried to introduce himself to the college ladies as "three leg." That failed miserably. This jackass also lived with me during the ever so important grad school year. More over, this jackass has always opened his door every time I've returned to Athens. Yes folks, Doug Brouillard is this year's Jackass of the year. Aside from all of the funny and intoxicated times we've had together, he single handedly gave me encouragement and friendship as I made a huge decision this year. Ok, so encouragement is a stretch. We are talking about Doug here. He is the wanna-be eternal bachelor. Regardless, the guy has always been a tremendous friend. Cheers to you, Douglas.
Greatest "Night out on the Town" of the year
Several of the awards this year will center around, "The Ask." Yes, in 2006 jaylowe took the plunge into engaged life with his little lady. She has been one of the true highlights of my life, and that is why it is easy to spot our engagement night as the best night out on the town in '06. We were surrounded by family, friends and, more importantly, each other. I even had the little lady dancing! A feat not accomplished by many men. Of course all of the nights since have been wonderful, but that was the beginning and certainly a night we hope to never forget.
Movie of the year
There was the good (Inside Man, starring Denzel), the better (Borat), the great novel turned decent move (DaVinci Code), the throwbacks (Rocky and Superman), and the down right disappointing (Nacho Libre). All of these had their own little flair and caused some enjoyment, however this year's title goes to Mr. Ferrell and "The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." Will trips me out. The guy can be over the time at times, but his movies are laugh out loud funny. I enjoyed this move from start to finish.
Karaoke Song of the year
don't just stand there, Bust A Move ... Probably didn't get as much air time as it should've from me this year, but it still deserves the cup.
Road Trip of the year
There was the road trip to kick off the year, January 1, 2006, from Winston to Atlanta for the Sugar Bowl, and then the two trips up to Chicagoland. Both were great. The second trip centered around the horsemen, Us Cellular Field and a bunch of beer. The earlier one centered around a wedding, a cubs' game, seeing the newports, and a bunch of beer. This is a tough call, but I'm going to have to give the nod to the first Chicago trip. Yes, this one was with the little lady. I was able to show her the "friendly confines," on a beautiful June day. We were able to hang out with the Newport brothers and to see a couple of my old friends get hitched. The horseman trip would've won this award, but the bathroom situation where we stayed was gross as hell, and I probably shouldn't repeat the stories anyway. Horseman code.
Best Moment of the year
It was a great plan that almost failed ... because of Doug's dogs. Yes, my secret plan of proposing to Courtney in Athens with our families and friends there to see it was almost spoiled by the dogs barking in Doug's house. Courtney thought I was in Birmingham at the SEC baseball tournament, alas I was sipping a beer on Doug's couch. I was watching the games though, if that counts for anything. Regardless, once the moment finally came it was well worth it and clearly the best decision I've ever made.
Most Touching Moment of the year
The morning after the engagement, the little lady and I met my parents and sister for lunch. As we walked in, they gave us the perfect gift: a shadow box with little mementos from the previous nice, including a picture of our engagement. I'm not nearly that creative, and it certainly touched the sentimental chord in my heart.
Wrestler of the year
Now for the fun stuff. I suppose I should preface this award with the fact I do not watch TNA. I used to be a WCW guy, but since Vince bought them, I only watch WWE. And honestly, I don't watch it that much any more. Regardless, my award this year is being handed to Booker T., or King Booker. This past year he was finally given what he deserved: another run with the title. He is one of the few surviving faces of the old WCW. He has been waiting patiently, doing everything the WWE has asked of him since his move there in 2001. Damn good for Booker, and I congratulate him on this equally prestigious accomplishment.
Album of the year
This young lady has been in my CD collection since I lived in DeKalb. I remember arriving home from work one day, opening a free cd I'd received in the mail. I played it all the way through while checking email and hanging out in the apartment. Her voice was so versatile. She could sing jazz, country and pop. I loved her sound and knew I'd always be a fan. In 2006, Alice Peacock released her third album, "Who I Am." The disc is more piano driven than her previous works, but it makes it so much more soulful. The production is top notch and really carries her voice well. I actually get to see her in Nashville in a couple of weeks, where I will of course present her with her award.
Team of the year
Vandy football had another big win this year, knocking off UGA in Athens. Yes, even I can enjoy bragging rights over my alma mater. The rest of the season was very up and down, so unfortunately they won't walk away with this award two years in a row. NU men's soccer captured the MAC championship and an NCAA bid in only Coach Steve Simmon's third season. A tremendous accomplishment for a coach whom I totally respect. However, this year's award must be presented to the Wake Forest Demon Deacon football team. An improbable run (at least for my feeble mind) through the ACC, taking the division and conference championship game. And then there Wake is, representing the ACC in the Orange Bowl. Wild, crazy, amazing and just damn cool.
Wedding of the year
The little lady and I enjoyed our trip to Chicago, as we were able to attend Brian and Jen's wedding. However, this really is an easy award to hand out. Greg and Sarah Lee stole the show this year. Their wedding was beautiful, with a lovely church, wonderful families, great friends and a kick ass reception. I was so honored to be a part of their wedding. Greg has been a dear friend for many years now. I'm so blessed to know him. We are all fortunate his life led him to Sarah, as they are a wonderful balance for each other. I proposed one week after their wedding, and seeing them share such an amazing moment made me realize I was doing the right thing. I wonder who will win this award next year?
Dumbest Moment of the year
Typically I very much keep my cool at work. I try to let certain things slide off of me, and I believe I've really learned to pick my battles. Sometimes people bring out the worst in you. Especially when they are wearing a horribly orange blazer and coach for UT. Yes, good old Bruce Pearl and I had a little verbal altercation about 10 minutes before tip-off in our final men's basketball game of the 05-06 season. Basically it was a lack of communication on their part and I let him know I didn't appreciate it. In so many words. I wasn't very proud of it, but it has made for a great story.
Best Acquisition of the year
If you follow the Lowe Down, you know we now are the owners of two dogs. They are spoiled, horrible, eating us out of house and home, yet I just love the little punks. Easy winner, hands down. Second place? That ROCK on the little lady's hand. I think i'm getting a plasma screen tv in return, but I'm not holding my breath.
Best Concert of the year
Sadly, I didn't hit many concerts this year. I suppose I was saving my money for some big purchase or something. Regardless, the little lady, Brandon, his brother and I were able to take in a Los Lonely Boyz concert at the Ryman. If you plan to visit Nashville and don't know what the Ryman is, you might as well go to Jerusalem and not pray. I'm not kidding. In Nashville, the Ryman is not only a landmark, it is like a holy Mecca. So many wonderful and famous acts have played this place, and LLB certainly didn't disappoint. They are freakin' amazing in concert. I've seen them twice now and highly recommend it. The opener, Ozomatli, was pretty kick ass as well. Sort of a rap, rock, reggae fusion. Great stuff, great show and thrilled to say I paid my respects to the hallowed pews of the Ryman.
Video Game of the year
No, I haven't upgraded to a "next gen" system yet. Still pimpin' the PS2. For the cost those things are running, I'll stick with the PS2 for awhile. Regardless, this year's award goes to Star Wars: Legos II. I love anything related to Star Wars, and to see a lego version of Chewbacca on the screen is priceless. Very addicting game.
The jaylowe.com 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award
Unfortunately the beginning of the new year brought the passing of a dear old friend. I would expect to see a tribute to her in next year's awards. However, the 2006 award goes to Dean Smith. What say ye? He hasn't coached in almost 10 years? Yes, I realize this. However, in 1997, on a fateful day in Winston-Salem, NC, Dean Smith became college basketball's all-time wins leader. A record he would hold until January 1 of this year. Yes, '06 would be the last full year of Dean having this recognition. You see, I grew up a huge Tar Heel fan. Dean is a legend, no, ICON to me. Watching and listening to Carolina basketball games with my parents was such a highlight of my childhood, and Dean was always like the story teller. No matter what situation the game was in, you'd basically turn and watch Dean. He'd tell a story to his players which would then play out in front of the fans an opponents. No, he didn't win every game, but he won a shit ton. And he did it with class.
I refuse to acknowledge the man who stole Dean's record. I suppose it could've been worse. Could've been a Dookie.
Thank you all for attending this year's installment of the jaylowe.com Awards. Have a great evening, drive safe and tell your family and friends you love them.