The college football award season is always exciting and subject to debate and discussion, as fans vie for their favorite players and individual accomplishments are acknowledged. But, football is the ultimate team sport -- requiring all eleven players to work in synchronicity, to execute individually as part of the team concept, in order to be successful.
The recognition of excellence in teamwork is what makes the Joe Moore award perhaps the most interesting, and certainly the most unique, of all awards conferred.
On Wednesday, as Tide players were beginning their first day of preparation for the Cotton Bowl, representatives from the Joe Moore Foundation for Teamwork paid a visit to Tuscaloosa to surprise the Alabama offensive line with the inaugural Joe Moore Award for Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit.
As the first-ever recipient of college football's biggest trophy, Alabama was selected as the winning unit by a voting committee comprised solely of people who played or coached the offensive line position, including all current offensive line coaches at the FBS level as well as former players, coaches and colleagues of Coach Moore and select media. The Crimson Tide were selected over fellow finalists Arkansas, Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Stanford.
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"Like a lot of offensive lines, our guys worked hard all year long, battled through adversity and improved every week," Cristobal said following the announcement. "This offensive line plays the position the right way, with toughness, teamwork and a relentless focus on being dominant on every snap. We'll need to keep that up and keep improving down the stretch, because this is the part of the year where good offensive line play counts the most."
Coach Joe Moore was truly a luminary in his field:
The award is designed to preserve the legacy of Joe Moore, who coached most notably at the University of Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. Moore died of lung cancer in 2003. He was responsible for developing the skills of several All-Americans throughout his storied career, including Bill Fralic, Mark May, Russ Grimm, Jimbo Covert, Mark Stepnowski, Aaron Taylor and Andy Heck. Moore coached 52 players who went on to play in the NFL, several of whom are in the Pro and College Football Halls of Fame.
"My dad lived life in the trenches, with his players and for his players, and embraced the anonymity of the position." said John Moore, Joe’s son. "In that sense, he probably would not be comfortable with his name being on anything, let alone a trophy. But the Joe Moore Award is a great tribute to the very things that define football as a sport, toughness and teamwork. He would have loved being associated with the only college football award to recognize a unit that embodies those principles."
This is a wonderful concept, an unique award, and for fans of the hidden trench game -- the game-within-the-game where the final score is determined -- an absolute pleasure.
We at Roll 'Bama Roll congratulate starters Cam Robinson, Ross Pierschbacher, Ryan Kelly, Alphonse Taylor, and Dominick Jackson for their hard work and deserved accolades. As the Moore Award is a team effort, and their job cannot be done without the next-men-up, congratulations also to Koren Kirven, Brandon Greene, Bradley Bozeman, Isaac Luatua, and J.C. Hassenauer, as well as freshmen & scout team members Richie Petibon, Lester Cotton, Dallas Warmack, Matt Womack, John Casher, Will Davis, and Brandon Kennedy. Finally, our best wishes to Grant Hill as he continues to battle his issues and would have undoubtedly been part of this squad in some capacity.