Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


From Seth...

It's that time of year again, when Seth hands out his oh-so-prestigious Turkey Awards for the biggest turkeys in sports from Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving.
There, that enough of an introduction?

The Turkeys of 2007

Pacman. What would it be like to be Karl Malone during the Jordan years, or Mario Lemieux during Gretzky’s prime? Andy Roddick with Roger Federer? Just as Magglio Ordonez just happened to pick the same year for a career season that A-Rod chose to put up one of the best seasons in baseball history, Adam “Pacman” Jones gave it all he got in an effort that any other year would probably have made him the runaway turkey of the year. But once you thought Pacman would become the standard-bearer for the NFL’s pipeline to the state penitentiary, in comes the sport’s biggest superstar with concertino wire and a bucket.

Launching his Turkey 2007 campaign with a bang, or rather a loogie, when a drunk Jones claimed a woman stole his wallet and spit on her. In December, he spit on another Nashville woman, but soon realized he was gonna have do more than expactorate to win gobbler of the year. So around draft time, he and his chums started causing trouble in bars. Pacman and his buddies got into several off-field incidents, the biggest being a fist/knive fight and shooting at a Las Vegas strip club that paralyzed a guy. Suspended for at least the first 10 games, Pacman moved on to Professional Wrestling – his team had to take out a restraining order to stop it. But at this point, his agent said he still didn’t have enough to secure Turkey of the Year. So Pacman, in the tradition of former Turkey of the Year Ron Artest, put together a bad hip hop album. And also like Artest, while promoting the album, Pacman managed to get pulled over in a car that police recognized from a recent drug bust. After this exemplary few months, Pacman applied to the NFL to shorten his sentence for good behavior. I can just see Gooddell laughing while he presided over that one. Like Vince Young said, he may not be this year’s top turkey, but we still give Pacman the love.

Don Imus – Okay, so it didn’t sound as bad on the radio as it did in transcript form. But Don Imus’s fans claim that Don Imus only vocalizes what everyone else is thinking. I don’t think this is true. Don Imus said that the Rutgers girls basketball team was some “Nappy-headed ho’s.” But what everyone was thinking is how Don Imus is a turkey. Bonus turkey points for looking so silly when he met the Rutgers girls (none of which had nappy hair) to apologize.

2007 Michigan Football Team – The coach ain’t the only wolverine with feathers to go with their winged helmets. This team was supposed to compete for a national championship. Starting the season ranked No. 5, with four NFL-ready stars on offense, the Wolverines fell to Div. II opponent Appalachian State. It sucks that Carr has to retire the only year he makes the turkey list, but hey, after Pacman and Imus, I thought the Thanksgiving table needed a little class.

The Mets – 56 years ago, the Brooklyn Dodgers thought they had the pennant locked up, until the New York Giants barreled from way behind to win it with the Shot Heard ‘Round the World (“the world” meaning the five bureaus). Well, fast-forward to 2007 and the self-styled successor to both of those teams kept fans on the edge of their seats for a late-season meltdown that lost a 10-game lead in virtually a month, punctuated by the Amazins going 1-6 in their last 8 to lose the NL East to Philadelphia. So what do you get when you mix Giant orange with Dodger blue? Turkey brown of course!

Comcast. In ’07, this cable giant won virtually every dubious distinction given out in the business world, from worst customer service to most questionable business practices (Blackwater came in 2nd to these douches!). For their efforts, Comcast was attacked by crazy hammer lady. But the hammer really fell when the football season began, and Comcast was responsible for legions of Big Ten fans not being able to watch their home teams on TV. The company started an ad blitz (the kind of thing they’ve financed before, by the way), but the blitz backfired when the FCC received a million complaints about lies in the ads. For trying to use their monopoly to duke the Big Ten Network and every one of their subscribers in the fart-box, only to find out they actually don’t have a monopoly, Comcast makes the turkey list.

Peyton Manning…just kidding! The Manning boy gets props for finally winning the Superbowl in 2007, on his way to perhaps being the consensus best quarterback who ever lived. I have no great love for the Colts, but anyone who said Peyton can’t win the big one had their words stuffed down their wrinkly, gobbler-covered throats.

The Boss. Steinbrenner’s Yankees were magnificent again this year by everybody’s standards except, well, Steinbrenner’s. For the last 12 years, the Bronx Bombers have won as much despite of as because of their deep-pocketed but utterly classless boss. The only reason this pantheon never mutinied: Joe Torre. In ’07, the Yanks overcame a huge early-season hole to win another trip to the postseason, but bowed out in the 1st round to a very good Indians team. Before Game 3, King George announced his Hall-of-Fame coach was finished if he didn’t win the series. Such class. Torre’s players rallied behind him, and soon-to-be free agents hinted their return depended on Torre’s, but in the end the boss’ wishes were fulfilled. Steinbrenner had his GM give Torre a one-year, take-it-or-leave-it contract brimming with insults. Torre rightly turned it down, signifying the end of the latest dynasty. For exposing himself once again as sport’s greatest cad, Steinbrenner earns a return to the turkey list.

Baltimore Orioles Pitching – gave up 30 runs. In a week, that’s cause for a bullpen shakeup. But this was in day. And done to them by a last-place team. They say such a thing is just a freak of nature. To they, I say, you weren’t watching Orioles pitching all year.

Ohio teams in the finals. Getting to the National Championship game in college football and basketball isn’t easy to do. Losing both of them, well, it happens. But losing both of them to the same team is enough to turn the whole brilliant season into a reason for ridicule. And OSU wasn’t the end for Ohians choking on a national stage, as King LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers surrendered to a Frenchman in the NBA Finals. The Cleveland Indians had one of the best seasons in their history, but then bowed out in four games to the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 ALCS. It was a great big year of not-quite for the Mistake on the Lake, proving once again that not only does G-d hate Cleveland, but is also not above fucking with them sometimes too.


Mike Vick. What’s up, dog? Between Thanksgiving last year and Thanksgiving this year, Vick went from being one of the NFL’s biggest stars to the league’s greatest cautionary tale. And all it took was a little help from man’s (though not Mike’s) best friend. Vick went into business with some buddies – wonder who did all the financing – selling dogfights. I’m not talking about Atlanta Falcons losses, but real dogs bloodying each other. Had the guy killed someone or beat his wife like a normal NFL player, the league could handle it. But a dog fighting ring was almost too ludicrous for even the classless National Football League to defend. It was so gross and obvious. And just when he needed them most, Vick’s buddies turned, agreeing to testify against the quarterback for reduced sentences. Vick eventually pled guilty and will be spending this Thanksgiving, and several more to come, behind bars. Tuuuuuurkey.


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