January 28, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 31°F


Between The Lines: The biggest sports turkeys of 2012

Just a week ago, school was a distant memory. Those impending final projects took a backseat to eating some turkey and watching RGIII toss four touchdowns against the Cowboys. While most of us look forward to feasting on turkey every Thanksgiving, the term “turkey” in sports describes athletes and executives who have really screwed up this year. So with the reality of school work and deadlines bearing down hard, let’s take a minute to deflect our anxiety and carve up the 2012 sports turkey.

Wing: Mike Rizzo General Manager of the Washington Nationals

The wing is nobody’s top choice, but it’s turkey nonetheless. It’s hard to definitively say Rizzo screwed up in his decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg in September, but it certainly doesn’t seem too smart right now. You can’t say Strasburg would have helped win game five of the National League Division Series, but it sure would have been nice to have him on the mound during the series.

Thigh: Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner

The thigh is a good place for multiple people to grab some tender meat, and there are a lot of ways Roger Goodell has been a real turkey this year. After handing out the suspensions in the Saints bounty scandal, Goodell attempted to make himself the decider in the appeals process as well. He tried to play hardball in negotiations with NFL referees until his replacement refs made such a mockery of the game that he had to cave to the refs’ demands.

Drumstick: Lance Armstrong

Every piece of drumstick meat is fought over at the dinner table, because it is so valuable. From arrogantly continuing to refer to himself as a Tour de France champion, long after he was stripped of his titles because of evidence that he bullied his subordinates to keep his doping quiet, the mirage of Armstrong as the cancer-surviving, bike-race conquering hero has faded into oblivion.

Breast: The NHL

The focal point of Thanksgiving, the easiest meat to get at and the most obvious turkey of the year is the NHL as a whole. Since the lockout that canceled the entire 2004-05 season, the league has seen its popularity slowly but steadily grow thanks to mainstream stars like Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby and the yearly outdoor Winter Classic Game, but now all growth has been stunted because of labor disputes.