By his own recollection, Washington's version of this honor annually went to the Redskins player who performed interviews while using the fewest, um, invectives.
Well, Ryan Clark, this Chief Award is for you, $*+^\ it!
Clark -- pictured above right in the Denver game that ultimately led to his gall bladder and spleen being removed and his 2007 season being abbreviated -- won the award annually given by the Pro Football Writers' Pittsburgh chapter and to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of media cooperation from the Steelers organization founded by The Chief, Arthur J. Rooney Sr. Good thing doctors never tinkered with his sense of humor. Or his taste for thudding contact, where he ranks second on the celebrated Steelers' defense with 101 tackles, behind only Pro Bowler James Farrior with 127.
"Well, you know, everybody who won this award in Washington wasn't there the next year," Clark began this afternoon at the media-room podium in the South Side headquarters. "In Washingtin, it wasn't a good thing [to win]. And I told you all about that. I begged and pleaded with you guys. What do you all do? Vote for me, anyway. That really shows me what you all think about me. I'll still like you guys. I'll still pray for you guys. Even though I won't be on the team next year."
Tip your wait staff, he's here all season. . . and next, according to his contract.
Patrick Bailey won the Steelers rookie award, also known as the Joe Greene Great Performance Award, on a ticket with little competition. A Duke grad with an engineering degree, Bailey is third on team in special-teams tackles despite missing four games. "There weren't that many that were going to give me it, but I thank the Steelers for giving me the shot," Bailey said.Trying to explain his special-teams bent, where his dozen tackles rank on the Steelers behind only Anthony Madison (22) and Keyaron Fox (18), he added, "I don't know, I've always been a wild kid. . . . It's me."