The Orange Crush Awards



By Rikki Greenberg 
The Chicago Bears (4-3) rocked the oranged-out crowd at Soldier Field yesterday as they came up victoriously 48-41 against the Minnesota Vikings. 

The Vikings (3-4) were quick out of the gate with running back Adrian Peterson scoring a touchdown from the 1 yard line at the beginning of the first quarter. The Bears quickly answered back with a no-huddle offense and a beautiful pump-fake pass from quarterback Kyle Orton (Captain Neck beard) to tight end Greg Olsen to make the game 7-7. What followed next could only be described as the most beautiful play so far in the game. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe dropped the snap, tried to recover it by kicking the ball and it ended up in the hands of Bears special teams back Garrett Wolfe who took it into the end zone for a touchdown.  Another highlight included a mishandled punt by Vikings cornerback Charles Gordon that landed in the hands of rookie cornerback Zach Bowman for a touchdown in the end zone. 

The game consisted of many thrilling plays by the young secondary, the offense and the special teams, which is why I created the first annual Orange Crush Awards. The Orange Crush Awards not only honor the win against the Vikings, but the playmakers that made it happen. Drum roll please.

Quarterback with the Most Juice Award
Chicago Bears quarterback Kyle Orton

Orton completed 21 of 32 for 283 yards and two touchdowns. He shot off footballs like a cannon and hit his intended targets like nobody’s business. Sacks were unavoidable during this game, but Orton continues to improve as each week goes by and finally looks like an NFL quarterback instead of a risky second option behind former starting quarterback Rex Grossman. 


Breakthrough Performance Award
Second-Year Safety Kevin Payne

 Payne was a hitting machine, plowing over the competition with eight solo tackles and one assisted tackle.  Payne also had an interception when he picked off a pass from Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte   (25-for-40 for 298 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs). This marked the third INT of the season for Payne.

Standout performance by a Rookie Award
Rookie Cornerback Zackary Bowman

Lovie and his crew finally managed to make a good call by bringing Bowman up from the practice squad and adding him to the active roster this past Tuesday.  In Bowman’s NFL debut, he scored a touchdown and intercepted a pass thrown off the back foot of Frerotte to seal the victory.

Thank you for showing up Award
Defensive Tackle Tommie Harris

With no tackle in sight since the start of the 2008 season, times were looking tough for the 295-pound three-time Pro Bowler from Oklahoma. It wasn’t until a minute left in the fourth quarter when Harris finally sacked Frerotte during Week 7 against the Vikings for his first sack of the season. Congrats Harris for giving Bears fans hope that the Harris from last year is still in you.

Most impressive dance after a touchdown Award
Wide receiver Marty Booker

Booker showed he still has the moves after speeding down the fresh green grass to the end zone for a 51 yard touchdown pass. Booker (3 receptions for 79 yards) showcased an impressive grapevine jig that thoroughly entertained the exhilarated audience. Not too shabby for a guy in his 10th season in the NFL.

Glad Rashied Davis was there Award

Orton throws a lightning rod of a pass to wide receiver Desmond Clark, who made his way to the end zone without a Viking defender pulling him down. As Clark made his way towards the end zone, the ball escapes from his hands and he fumbles at the Minnesota 1-yard line. This could have been a devastating play for the Bears and a wonderful opportunity for the Vikings to gain the lead in the third quarter. Thank goodness wide receiver Rashied Davis was there to recover the ball and score a touchdown to make it a 34-24 game.

Best phrases by Play-by-Play Commentators Award

The play-by play commentators during the game against the Vikings were on fire with clever catch-phrases and one-of-a-kind comparisons. These are my top 5 phrases of the game.

1)      The crowd is all juiced up
2)      The football had some smoke on it
3)      Orton has a cannon and throws lasers
4)      Gives the ball heat
5)      Orton’s throw has a feathery touch that drops it down the chimney

Of course, Rikki knows the best analogy of all came to her via text message. During the game she texted me asking me what I felt about what was transpiring. I said “you know I love this air attack on offense. I like my football the same way I like my women: lots of passes, forward and aggressive ones.” Za-Zing! 


Powered by


  1. prowriter0923 says

    LOL Banks…you just couldn’t let me have some of the glory!

  2. Your Bears story is beating mine so far today in total page views, so how’s that for glory. I still need your columnist picture by the way

    Are you wearing Sox gear or Bears stuff in any of your Facebook or Myspace pictures?

  3. EIU Cheerleader/SICA Chick says

    Does every wrtier use the term “juice” on this site? what does it mean?

Speak Your Mind