The FFDU Fan Awards is quickly becoming one of the hottest events in the footballing calendar, and this year was no exception – a brilliant celebration of the thriving culture of football fandom in Australia. I had the pleasure of losing an award this year, thoroughly enjoying what was a wonderful night. At FMF, we have decided to award good award giving with our inaugural FMF FFDU Fan Awards Awards, or #FMFFFDUFAA.

Most awkward victory speech – Joe Gorman.

Joe Gorman’s victory in “Blogger of the Year” was no huge surprise, with the self-pronounced “media tourist” enjoying much success in occasional journeys back to his internet home.

Known for an elegant turn of phrase and subtle cynicism, few could be prepared for the underwhelming nature of his victory speech. No jokes about the Balgownie Rangers were made for resident football historians, no reference to NSL stars from the eighties for those who find Thomas Broich exceedingly mainstream, no real things of note at all, really.

I spoke to Joe afterwards, he was critical of his public speaking skills. So was I.

Most undeserved proxy-award receiver – Adam Peacock for Thomas Broich.

Thomas Broich has been, arguably, the most talented footballer the A-League has seen in its relatively short history. His footballing brain works on levels beyond everyone else, his execution even better. The rugged German has been one of the key factors behind Brisbane’s unmatchable success in the past five seasons. In fact, he has contributed more goals and assists in his time here than I have used clichéd descriptors in this paragraph.

The complete opposite of everything I just described, is Adam Peacock. Which is why it was very bizarre to see the baby-faced, though admittedly witty, Fox Sports presenter claim Mr. Broich’s “A-League Footballer of the Year” award. That’s modern football for you.

Best picture – 

This sums up both Liverpool’s season and Liverpool’s fans in one convenient image.

FFDU Awards
Liverpool NSW fans celebrate their victory. A rare sensation.

Best mid-award interlude – Interlude #2.

There were multiple interludes throughout the night, strategically designed to give guests a chance to get progressively more intoxicated/in debt ($8-10 beers can have numerous effects). The first break was relatively early in the night, and lacked a certain bite; however, the second exuded an alcoholic buzz, with tensions high and excitement higher. The mingling reached a whole new level. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Most dedicated participant – Tasha Proctor from Audio Boo.

The two podcast awards and the radio award were all sponsored by “Audio Boo”, an admirable show of support for a good cause. Mrs. Tasha Proctor even flew from England to represent the business: now that’s dedication. Unfortunately, I still have no idea what Audio Boo is. I do promise to look it up at some point.

Best piece of self-deprecation regarding the award-winner’s picture on the big screen  – Mark Bosnich.

Another highly contested award, with many part-time comedians pointing out how “terrible” they looked in the picture on the big screen, with others adding, “Why would you guys pick that one?” to much laughter. Unfortunately, my inside knowledge spoiled these jokes for me, as I’m well aware that pictures are supplied by contestants themselves.

The winner, therefore, of the FFDU Awards Awards “Best piece of self-deprecation regarding the award-winner’s picture on the big screen” award is Mark Bosnich, for commenting that he was unsure whether the hair in his image was real or not. Unfortunately, he made this remark off microphone, which was almost a deal-breaker, but he saved himself by allowing the MC to repeat this comment to the room.

Impressive stuff, Bozza – just like that hairpiece (which I imagine is also commonly a deal-breaker).

Best Powerpoint Presentation effect – the countdown timer.

The FFDU have developed quite a reputation over the past few years for their excellent utilisation of Powerpoint Presentations. Their inter-slide transitions are seamless and beautiful; their gently edited images finely melded into a thematic grey background.

But the show stopper, or should I say starter, was the remarkably useful countdown timer which was integrated into relevant slides.

It wasn’t threatening, as countdown timers have the tendency to be. It quietly did its job, almost in the background, but present so much as to remind you of how long until the interludes were over. And then it would reach zero, with no fuss. The show would go on.

Best “Good News” story – Nicky Carle discovered.

Former Socceroo, and current Sydney FC playmaker, Nicky Carle had been missing for quite some time. After dramatically coming out against coach Frank Farina, the dynamic midfielder was quickly banished. After weeks became months without Carle being sighted, fans began to worry: was he being kept hostage? were they feeding him? was Tony Pignata or cranky Franky behind this travesty?

Some began to fear the worst.

Fortunately, in what can only be described as “heart-warming”, Nick Carle was sighted alive and well, with a healthy amount of hair-gel at the FFDU Awards last Friday night. A triumph for humanity.

Best Tom Smithies impersonator.

There were an unprecedented amount of contestants jousting for this award, but none shone quite so much as this, well groomed Sydney Hammers representative:

Tom Smithies

In fact, the only way I was able to determine this wasn’t actually Mr. Smithies himself was by enlisting fellow name-bearer, Tim Palmer of 442 and the Leopold Method to whisper “Tom” repeatedly behind his back – eliciting no reaction.

Best foreign-language speech – Ivan Alejandro.

I contemplated who to award this to for quite some time, but after strained deliberation there could be no other winner than Mr. (senor?) Alejandro, for his inspired speech involving a lot of South American, potentially Spanish sounding words yelled at high volume in an exceedingly, though entertainingly, aggressive manner.

It was worth going deaf for.

Notable mention: the drunk Cheers Bar waitress who was definitely not speaking English.

And there we have it, the 2014 winners of the inaugural FMF FFDU Awards Awards. Congratulations to all who made it a great night.

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