Gobble up another helping of sports' bird-brained brethren
Posted: Wednesday November 26, 2003 12:34PM; Updated: Wednesday November 26, 2003 5:19PM
By John Donovan, SI.com
You know, having a couple of brewskis after a game, hanging with some co-eds, getting a little buzz on, just chilling ... that's all good. Real good.
If you're 21 and got nothing better to do.
But when you're 47 years old and you get paid more than $1 million a year, when you're the highest-profile face at Iowa State University, when you're a head basketball coach, for crying out loud, and you're in an off-campus apartment after an away game drinking canned beer and kissing on some Missouri hotties less than half your age ... well, you've got issues, bub. Major issues.
Party on, Larry Eustachy. Because now, you've also got our Turkey of the Year trophy.
The 2003 SI.com Turkey of the Year awards, the sixth annual, bring together a collection of missteps, misjudgments, mouthing off and just plain moronic moves by a whole flock of sports' so-called personalities. It was a bumper crop this year, a banner year for buffoons. No one was more foul than Eustachy.
After a week of firestorm over his late-night partying, Eustachy was forced to resign his cushy gig. But no one should feel too sorry for the ex-coach. On New Year's Day, as part of the settlement with Iowa State that ended in his resignation, Eustachy will be paid a lump sum of $850,000.
Party on, Larry.
In a bad, bad year for college coaches, Georgia's Harrick lorded over a scandal-plagued hoops program reportedly rife with all the worst -- class skipping, money passing, an appalling lack of ethics -- and was summarily canned for it. How 'bout this Turkey, coach?
He's not just Me-Shawn any more. He's Me-, Myself- and I-Shawn. All we have to say is, if this guy could run as fast as he can talk, Jon Gruden would have never had to pink-slip his whiny butt. Have some tur, Key.
We don't blame Pedro for doing the Ole! thing to mad bull Don Zimmer during the ALCS. But the fastball near the head of Karim Garcia? Oh, Petey. You'll never get the credit you've earned by resorting to lame stunts like that.
How do you explain someone who has it all -- money, a cool job, a beautiful wife and family, all the Nutella he can eat -- putting himself in the same hotel room with a star-struck 19-year-old? He's a Turkey, at least. Possibly a felon.
Nobody sells it like Sammy sells it. The smiles for the cameras. The kisses. The sprints to the outfield. The hop. That's why, when the cork popped and the stuff hit the fan, many of us wondered what kind of goods we had been sold.
Call it an innocent little office pool if you want. But Washington's Neuheisel was a head football coach at a major university. It never occurred to him that filling out an NCAA bracket might be construed as gambling? Turkeys, you know, aren't too bright.
In the ultimate showdown of man vs. machine -- kind of a Matrix Reloaded for seamheads -- Schilling took a bat and beat up part of the QuesTec computer system used for evaluating umpires. As Neo might say: "Whoa, Curt. Whoa."
You know what the liberal sports media really wants, even more than a black quarterback like Donovan McNabb to succeed in the NFL? We all want Rush to keep his claptrap to himself and his right-wing cultists. Save some dark meat for this Turkey.
The poor sap at Wrigley Field with the earphones and the hands of stones looks like he took fielding lessons from Jose Canseco. Granted, he was just being an overzealous fan. But look where just being a turkey gets turkeys.
Take him out, Grady. Take him out. No one would have ripped you for pulling Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the ALCS. If you had, you might even have a job. Next time -- if there is one -- just pull the plug.
There may not be a Turkey on this list who needs to be stuffed -- or is full of the stuff -- more than the headline-seeking, foot-in-mouthy Giants tight end. He questions Bill Parcells' sexuality? We question his humanity. Turkey.
Clarett earned his PhD in prima donna before he hit sophomore year. He allegedly argued with coaches, skipped exams, accepted cash, "borrowed" a car ... and, of course, screwed Ohio State fans. He may be the only Turkey not running this time of year.
When not being used in a game, baseball bats are hardly ever used for peaceful purposes. Think De Niro as Capone. Think Billy Jack. Think Simon. Maybe he thought the girl sausage was some kind of spooky piņata. Whatever. He gets a well-deserved Turkey.
He didn't want to play with Annika, but if he had been forced, this baby threatened to just up and quit. "Threatened" is about right. We haven't heard this much squawking from a big ol' gobbler since ... well, since this time last year.