Yes, Boston sports fans, it's that time again: "The Annual Garbo Awards!"
Each year we hold a competition to determine which Boston athlete most honored the legend and reputation of film star Greta Garbo, arguably one of the all-time great actresses who played a drama queen in each movie and opined, "I want to be alone." It became her mantra.
For the past several years mercurial Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics has run away with the award, but this year the competition is fiercer than ever. Whether Rondo can pull off a hat trick is hard to say just yet. After all, hat tricks are not his sporting specialty.
The nominees are:
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins. Coming out of obscurity weighed heavily on goaltender Thomas. When President Barack Obama wanted to honor him and his teammates at a White House ceremony, Tim Thomas declined to attend despite pressure from everyone in Boston who voted for Obama. For his mercurial reasons, he refused to go. Then, to top it off, Thomas announced at season's end, he had moved his family to Denver in the dark of night-and refused to play hockey for anyone next season. This stunning performance is considered this year's front-runner.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox. Winner of the J.D. Drew Flu Award (a separate category), and always a bridesmaid for the coveted Garbo Award, each year Jacoby tries to step out of the limelight. Last year he made Comeback of the Year and nearly won MVP after missing an entire season for a cracked rib after eating a cracked crab. This season in April Ellsbury dislocated a shoulder around the same time as Avery Bradley and has been playing ball in the Club Med Circuit since then. Whether he returns this season or develops a blister, no one can say.
Chad Ochocinco (nee Johnson), erstwhile New England Patriots. After playing the Invisible Man on the Patriots for one season with 15 catches and one touchdown, the highly public Ochocinco went viral when he gave Wes Welker a bad case of the Twitters. Ocho lost his wallet, woke up the neighbors at 5am to go for pancake breakfasts, and otherwise proved to be a nuisance. His planned nuptials ran opposite the Fourth of July celebrations in the Nation-and his touted marriage was roundly ignored, like the opening of Al Capone's vault.
Ray Allen, Boston Celtics cum Miami Heat. A dark horse and late entry into the sweepstakes, Allen has been silent nearly all season. When the Celtics traded him for a Chinese meal and pulled back an hour later, he had no comment. Of his long-time feud with Rajon Rondo, he said nothing. He seemed to be playing Joan Crawford to Rondo's Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Big Baby? At the last minute Ray shocked nearly no one when he signed with the enemy Miami Heat as a free agent for half the money offered by the Celtics. He reportedly wanted to stick it to Boston because they signed Kevin Garnett before offering him a contract.
Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics. Once again this season Rondo turned in bravura performances, leading a one-man band. Several times during the season he was seen laughing in public. Once he berated a cameraman for taking video in the runway outside a press conference, and on one occasion he wore a Star Trek jersey as a fashion statement, but nothing could compare to his formal request to the NBA to wear sunglasses while he played a game because of the harsh arena lights. For originality of ego, none can compare with Rondo's elegant and mercurial personality.
Voting is considered hot and heavy. The Howard Stern voting machines have already broken down, and the ESPN ratings are through the roof. Like an All-Star ballot, fans may vote more than once-and the dead are encouraged to show their true blood by rising again in support of their favorite athlete.
Results may be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court if there is a tie.