This kind of snuck up on me this year. I was sitting down, thinking about all I have to be thankful for, and -- wham! -- "Uh-oh, I forgot to choose my Turkey of the Year."
So I'm going to dispense with the long introduction and get right down to the countdown, which will lead to the latest in this parade of lunkheads, losers, scammers, slimeballs, chokers, cheaters, bullies, boors, pouters and pitiable punching bags:
Mike McCaskey (1998); Jerry Krause (1999); Bobby Knight (2000); David Wells & Frank Thomas (2001); Dick Jauron (2002);Sammy Sosa (2003); Sammy Sosa (2004, the only repeat winner); Andy MacPhail, Jim Hendry & Dusty Baker (2005); Aramis Ramirez (2006); Charlie Weis (2007); Choking Cubbies (2008); Milton Bradley(2009); Mark McGwire (2010); Joe Paterno & Penn State Enablers (2011); U.S. Ryder Cup Team (2012).
As always, this is dedicated to the late, great Gene Seymour, my Copley columnist predecessor and good friend.
10. DOLPHINS OFFENSIVE LINE. You know the old saying: The only time you hear the name of an offensive lineman is when he commits a holding penalty. Or when he leaves voicemails for a fellow lineman filled with vulgarity, profanity and racist taunts. What a mess. It's tough to stay, um, Icognito with this stuff going on.
9. TIM TEBOW. By all accounts, he's a great guy and a noble human being. But being a turkey isn't only about being a wretched human being. Sometimes, it's just about being a wretched quarterback. (And yet he still won one more playoff game as Denver's QB than Peyton Manning and Jay Cutler combined!)
8. GATEHOUSE GANGSTERS. Hey investors! Shares of stock in my former employer can be had for 3 cents apiece! Warning: After systematically gutting the editorial staff over five-plus years and emerging from bankruptcy just this week, it's high time for the pencil-necked weasels who run GateHouse Media to give themselves yet another round of raises and bonuses. Capitalism at its finest!
7. TIGER WOODS. He was golfer of the year and deservedly so. How, then, does he end up on this list? Four more majors by the board, four more also-ran finishes, five years without the only titles he considers truly relevant. As for that two-stroke penalty he had to take for his illegal drop in the Masters, well ... gobble, gobble!
6. DENNIS RODMAN. After befriending Kim Jong Un, Wormy McDiplomat's next project is Charles Manson. "Dude's just a little misunderstood, man."
5. ROB FORD. OK, he's not an athlete, but he is the mayor of a great North American sports town, Toronto, so I'm winging it. Hey, I never thought any politician could top the 2012 GOP presidential circus acts for pure comic relief, but this crack-smoking, drunken-stuporizing, foul-mouthed, real-life Chris Farley character takes the cake. And falls face-first in the frosting on a regular basis.
4. MANTI TE'O. The Notre Dame linebacker enthralled the national media with his heartbreaking story about his longtime girlfriend, who supposedly suffered a tragic death. Problem is, his dearly departed squeeze was no more real than Jan Brady's George Glass. Meanwhile, Alabama showed that Notre Dame's title hopes were an illusion, too.
2. RILEY COOPER. Eagles wide receiver and infamous cracker threatened to "fight every n----- here" at a Kenny Chesney concert. My immediate reaction: Black people go to Kenny Chesney concerts?
AND NOW ... THE BALDEST TRUTH'S 2013 TURKEY OF THE YEAR:
Cheater. Liar. Druggie. Professional Victim. And now he's little more than a pathetic, broken-down lowlife. Yes, the 2012 runner-up was an easy choice as this year's top turkey.
These days, A-Roid is the poorest multimillionaire on the planet. His wife divorced him. Most of his "friends," no doubt, are the people he pays to stay close to him. Even Yankee fans, not a particularly discerning lot, must have to take long, hot showers after rooting for this miscreant. (I'm talking about the few fans who don't come to the ballpark to boo him.)
There was a time when it seemed possible that he could be the greatest ballplayer ever. Now? As the old-timers would say:
He's just another bum.