Charles Douglas Cecil carved himself a legacy built on hard hits, intensity, sacrificing his body, and bloody noses. The CCA’s reward this type of behavior. Packer Nation, you’ve heard all about it, and now here it is: Ladies and gentleman, now that the regular season is in the books, allow us at the Cecil Club to introduce to you, the second annual Chuck Cecil Awards.
“Sacrifice Your Body” Player of the Year: Frank Zombo
To some, preseason games are are meaningless. But when your competing for a ROLB position on Caper’s #1 squad, its the equivalent to a Super Bowl. In a preseason match-up against the Arizona Cardinals, Frank Zombo collided with John Kuhn in pregame warmups and broke his scapula. In true Cecil style, Zombo played the entire game. It might have taken all season, but Zombo finally got his start in week 17 against Detroit.
Runner Up: Morgan Burnett
Morgan “Mo B” Burnett broke his hand in practice during Rams week, just days before big game. We here at Cecil Club had serious questions as to if Burnett would be able to play in the contest at all. Boy were we wrong. Donning “the club,” Mo B went on to record an NFL-leading nine tackles with only one hand as Packers moved on to 6-0.
Intensity Award: John Kuhn
The winner is a player who finds a way to make the play through sheer intensity and willpower. Whether that means converting on a 3rd and inches or making that crucial block, #30 consistently gets the job done…and when the job is complete, the marauding madman from Shippensburg likes to make this super intense face.
Hit of the Year: Clay Matthews on Christian Ponder
At Lambeau, first quarter, first and ten, ball on the Vikings 30 yard line, 11:43 on the clock. Ponder takes a direct snap and drops back to pass. Matthews blows by the double coverage (Phil Loadholt and Adrian Peterson) and welcomes Ponder to the NFL with the Matthews’ family hug. The play resulted in a fumble narrowly recovered by the Vikings. Of course, under similar circumstances, Cecil would have went helmet to helmet; but those were different times.
Cecil Player of the Year: James Starks
Any number of candidates are eligible for Cecil Player of the Year honors. Erik Walden kind of dropped the ball late in the year after a trip to the county clink, but remains a Cecil Club favorite. The Claymaker turned in a more subdued season on the sack front (“just” 6), due in large part to double teams, but padded his statistics with three fumble recoveries and three interceptions.
But despite getting dinged up late in the season, James Starks, the Buffalo Bulldozer, set the tone early in 2011, and best exemplified the spirit with which Cecil played. Starks showed flashes raw power and fast feet, more than once bowling over groups of three would be tacklers (see the Broncos game) and jawing at them after picking up the first down. In his first “full” season (he played 13 games) No. 44 average 4.3 yards a carry, and lead the Packers in rushing. Oh, and dished out at least one concussion a game. Cecil approves.
Honorable Mention: Charlie Peprah
Chuck Cecil is the best Packer’s safety to ever wear the number 26 and be named Chuck. However, current safety Chuck Peprah (also #26) is a close second. Peprah had the game of his life against the Chargers in week 9; having two interceptions and 116 yards. One was returned to the house. He returned his second INT of the day right up to the goal line before being nudged out of bounds. Peprah’s stellar performance earns him the coveted honorable mention honors.