Ordinarily, I'd be the first to say we need another post-season college football award the way we need another television time-out during game coverage.
This is different, though.
This one could be ours — "ours" being the great collective gang of in-state fans who follow teams from the Triad to the Atlantic Ocean. We could even throw in Metro Charlotte, but that area has an award and it's an important one — the Bronko Nagurski honor presented annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club to the nation's top defensive player.
Totaled, by my unofficial count, there are 24 awards to players and coaches. There's an award (Rimington Trophy) for the outstanding center, kicker (Lou Groza Award), punter (Ray Guy) and almost everything else.
There is not, however, an award that I can find anywhere to recognize the nation's best freshman player each season.
It's a void the Triangle could — and should — fill in my opinion. Listen up, Raleigh Sports Club, Durham Sports Club, and anyone else with a free ear, enough mad money to design a fitting trophy and a few minutes to read on.
Assuming we can all just get along — "all" being in alphabetical order Duke, ECU, State, UNC and Wake Forest fans — long enough to agree on one subject, the perfect person to name the national freshman of the year award for would be Philip Rivers, the former Wolfpack quarterback.
Rivers, as a freshman in 2000, started every game, completed roughly 54 percent of his passes for 3,054 yards and 25 touchdowns. By the time his college career ended, he owned many of the passing records in the ACC and nationally.
He did while being a model athletic citizen, role model, legitimate student and team leader. I know there are lots of other deserving candidates from these parts, but Rivers is completely qualified and deserving of an award in his name.
But initiating a national freshman award comes with another plus — unlike most awards, there wouldn’t a predetermined group of potential winners.
In almost all of other categories, particularly the Heisman Trophy, it's difficult for a preseason long shot to gain enough attention and momentum to land a lot of votes at season’s end. Freshmen are different.
Oh sure, they arrived with various 5-star, 4-star, etc. recruit ratings, but lots of 5-stars turn out to be slow starters while lots of 3-stars (Rivers) excel immediately. The details would have to be ironed out, but that could be done quickly by the organizing committee.
It'd be a cinch to have this thing up and running by the start of the 2010 season. The winner could be announced in January and an award banquet held shortly thereafter.
I say let's do it, before some other community does.