The Finalists for 2017 SoBro of the Year
Folks, it is that time of the year again. It’s time for us…how many of us are there? 17…holy shit, we have 17 writers now?!?! When we first handed out this award in 2013, we had four people making the decision. Where does the time go?
Anyway, I really strayed from my thought there. It’s time to start thinking about the 2017 Tom Arnold SoBro of the Year Award. You’ll read why it’s named after Tom Arnold below, as he’s also a nominee this year. But, what does this award even mean?
Well, first of all, it’s incredibly important. Winning this award is a tremendous honor as its been called “as prestigious as winning TIME magazine’s Person of the Year.” Have y’all ever heard of TIME magazine? It’s a big deal. It’s also been said that winning SoBro of the Year “feels like the first day you realize you are truly alive.” Whoa – thanks to whoever said that. Honestly, the winner of this award joins elite company – take a look at the previous winners:
2013 – Jennifer Lawrence
2014 – Matthew McConaughey
2015 – Chris Stapleton
2016 – A.J. Styles
Holy shit – that’s an elite class of human beings. I’m sure they are all thrilled to have won this distinguished and illustrious award. Actually, I’m pretty sure none of these people even know this web site exists.
Honestly, I don’t want to lie to you guys. It means nothing. This award means jack shit. It literally just means the winner is this blog and its followers’ favorite person on Earth. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. So, with that grand informative description, let’s hit the finalists for 2017:
Tom Arnold – Did Tom Arnold do anything particularly noteworthy in 2017? I don’t know. Just full disclosure there – but the man is a legend, and one time, he tweeted us, said we were funny, and wished us luck. For a small site like us just getting started, it’s random acts of kindness like that and a small sign of support that keeps us going. So, this is more or less a ‘career achievement’ type of nomination. Oh yeah, and shit – we named this award after him, too.
Johnathan Cyprien – Cyprien signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason, and a lot of Titans fans shrugged it off. Not this guy – I was out on day one saying, “Cyp’s a good player. Don’t write him off.” And people gave me shit for it! That’s not all that uncommon….people tell me I’m full of shit all the time…but for this? Come on. Anyway, it came out that Pro Football Focus graded Cyprien pretty well, I wrote about it, unabashedly waving my finger and saying “I told y’all so,” and Cyprien was kind enough to retweet it and get that piece in front of several hundred readers. And, yeah – if you haven’t caught it by now, that’s an easy way to win the affection of the SoBros Network staff.
Mike Fisher – When I went to the team and said, “guys, who do we want to nominate for this award?” Fisher’s name was one of the first ones brought up by all of our sports writers. He’s a favorite of Nashville, but hasn’t really done shit for this blog, so he probably won’t win. But, hey – that’s why we play the games, or in this case, count the votes. I do think it’s high time we start considering Fisher among Nashville’s greatest athletes.
Paul Heggen – I don’t know where to even start with the greatest weatherman in Nashville. It all started with this stupid blog. Heggen retweeted it and took the time to share it on his Facebook page. Because of that, it quickly became our most-viewed article of all time (or the two years this site has been running). But, Heggen actually stuck around….commented on a few articles, and won the hearts of our entire team. As a matter of fact, the team didn’t even want to vote on this award this year. They were all just like, “why are we even doing this? It’s going to go to Paul Heggen.” Still, we have rules around here people. I do feel bad for apparently jinxing Heggen’s Aggies, though. My bad.
Ivy the Frenchie – What an inspiring story, and you’ll notice a theme here….if you’re good to us, we’ll be good to you. We tried to spread the word about Ivy, and Ivy actually reached out to us. Yes, that’s right…a literal dog messaged us on Instagram, thanked us for the article, and told us to keep our heads up. So, guess what. Mother. Fucking. SoBro of the Year nomination.
Joey Janela – I don’t really know that the Bad Boy has done much for the site, but he’s retweeted the fuck out of my Twitter account (@StoneyKeeley). Plus, the guy had a killer Summer on the independent wrestling scene, including a weekend where he wrestled Darby Allin in Chattanooga on Friday, Lio Rush on Saturday in Pennsylvania or New Jersey or somewhere else in the Northeast that I’m too lazy to research, then back to Tennessee to wrestle Curt Stallion in Nashville on a Sunday evening. Sick. He won over the rest of the wrestling guys on this blog with his impeccable technical wrestling prowess:
My new finish… what do you think? pic.twitter.com/NVPPqJu1VJ
— Bad Boy Joey Janela (@JANELABABY) July 18, 2017
Plus, he likes to hunt, and he likes to fish…..
Dennis Kelly – He is officially unofficially this blog’s favorite Tennessee Titan, and for good reason. I don’t know how it was brought up, but we’re still trying to run a contest where the winner gets to shower with Kelly. I’m going to be honest – it feels like the odds are long that this will happen, but you never know. Miracles can happen.
Paul Kuharsky – I hate being serious on this blog, but I have to be serious for a minute. Kuharsky is one of the few people that got me into writing. I always appreciated his straightforward journalism and laughed at the listeners/readers who were angry with him for not being a Titans homer. Now, after a couple of years of writing, I realize that journalism with integrity is not for me. I’m much more comfortable writing comedy posts and dipping into football talk once a day or so. But, the point is I never would’ve even tried if I never heard or read Kuharsky. This year, ESPN let him go….easily one of the best Titans sources out there. But, instead of looking for another web site to write for, he became his own brand and is paving his own way with PaulKuharsky.com.
Taylor Lewan – Lewan seems like he could produce content for this website. A real guy’s dude and a real dude’s guy. He’s funny, pretty damn good at football, and could become the King of New Nashville should Rusev ever relinquish his crown. Yeah, he has that kind of potential, people.
Jon Robinson – The wheelin’ dealin’ sonofagun that is the general manager of the Tennessee Titans deserves the nod here, not because he’s done anything to boost the status of this web site, but because he’s just flat out CRUSHED IT with the Titans. This team was atrocious when he signed on, and he’s helped to shape them into a contender. Plus, he’s a Tennessee boy. All in all, he’s a fan favorite around here.
Jayden K. Smith – No, we don’t troll people on this web site. It was a really big year for the Facebook hacker.
Curt Stallion – I usually only put one wrestler/wrestling personality in the field, but I just couldn’t pick between Janela and Stallion, so they both get a nod. I saw Stallion in person for the first time at the Scenic City Invitational in Chattanooga in August, and the dude is as impressive as they come. He had sneaky good matches with Jason Cade and Arik Royal in the first two rounds of the tournament, before having a fine showcase in the tournament finals opposite Anthony Henry, Joey Lynch, and eventual champ Matt Riddle. Then, the motherfucker gets up to Nashville and puts on a physical 45-minute slugfest with Joey Janela for Southern Underground Pro, and ended up with a basketball-sized bruise on his back for it. All around, a good year for The Lone Star.
ArDarius Stewart – Poppa Bear and I were hoping Stewart would end up a Titan after this year’s draft, but it didn’t happen. I wrote a piece about it, and Stewart pumped it into his social media machine, so, as has been established in this piece, he gets the obligatory nomination for helping us out and sending page views our way. Oh, and Stewart ended up on the New York Jets, by the way.
P.K. Subban – He’s simply electric….I mean, yeah – he hasn’t done shit for our web site, but he’s one of Nashville’s favorite athletes and another name that kept popping up when the 16 of us were discussing nominees. So, here we are.
Ultimate Predator – Talk about a class act and a good dude, Ultimate Predator is not just one of the most recognizable Nashville Predators fans in the Music City (gotta give a shout out to @BigBenPreds in this conversation, too). But, he’s a vocal advocate for all things Nashville, and a dear friend of the blog. Plus, he’s got a killer championship belt. Go buy a shirt.
Wheeler Walker, Jr. – I shouldn’t really have to explain this one, right? I mean, if you’ve heard the country music revivalist, you already know he’s a perfect fit with this crew….
So, there’s your field for the 2017 Tom Arnold SoBro of the Year award. Our staff of 16 will narrow this field down to eight finalists at our next quarterly business summit. Once we’re down to eight, we’ll open it up to the fan voting, and the winner will be announced at our first ever SoBros Awards event in December. Good luck to all the nominees and congrats on this obviously huge honor.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. A strong advocate of GSD (get shit done) and #BeBetter, he’s down to talk Tennessee Titans and Alabama Crimson Tide football over a beer any day. Check him out covering the WWE for WrestlingNews.co. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley, @WrestlingNewsCo