Yes, it's that time of year. Our first annual "Busting Chops" Golden Turkey Awards for despicable conduct detrimental to honesty, fair play and human decency. In other words, shit that makes you want to puke.
10) Allen Iverson
This is what Iverson said while on the back of the Memphis Grizzlies' bus on one of the three days he spent playing for them-
"I'm playing for a dumb motherfucking coach now just like I played for a dumb motherfucking coach last year".
And he has the audacity to wonder why no GM wants to take a chance on him. It's not just the statement, it's the timing. A pro for 14 seasons, he will be remembered as being one of the truly great competitors of the game, and one of the top-three little guys that ever played the game (relatively speaking, of course, in a league where the average height is 6'9") along with Nate "Tiny" Archibald and Isaiah Thomas.
His career averages are as follows-27 points, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals a game. He has not lost a step, not even half a step. And still no one wants him. As much as I loved watching him play over the years, it's not his talent that's the problem, it's his attitude. Street cred? Can't cash a check with street cred now that he's gone the way of Latrell Sprewell and Stephon Marbury. Yet he has the nerve to say this-
"I always thought that when I left the game, it would be because I couldn’t help my team the way that I was accustomed to. However, that is not the case."
This is unfortunate, only because Iverson decided to adopt the hip-hop look of his generation with the cornrows, tattoos, and the occasional public beatings of his wife, where in one memorable instance he dragged her out of his house by her nappy hair in a leafy, exclusive Philadelphia gated community with no panties on, all the while slapping the shit out of her. Just like one would do to a crack whore who had the audacity to step out of pocket. He should of remembered that lifestyle is something he should of left behind when he was facing serious jail time for a riot he was involved with in a bowling alley back in Virginia while still in high school.
R.I.P. to Allen Iverson's basketball career. I'm sure come playoff time or even sooner someone will take a chance on him, but the writing's on the wall. The men who write the checks are sick and tired of players like him.
Runner Up-Steven Jackson of the Charlotte Bobcats, for showing such quintessential unsportsmanlike conduct while at Golden State that he gave up his position as team captain for absolutely no reason and shit-talked his way off a team that had recently signed him to a three-year extension in 2008.
9) Charlie Weis
The Notre Dame saga has gone long enough. Every interview Weis is asked, in a myriad of ways, the same questions-"how does it feel to be so close to getting fired? Why won't you just step down? What the fuck are you waiting for to pack your bags and split? Haven't you done enough to tarnish your reputation and that of the football program?" Apparently he doesn't think so.
And he sits there at every press conference, which always seem to be as cheerful as a funeral wake (wonder why he can't motivate his team? Just watch him do an interview-he's about as motivational as someone ordered to dig their own grave at gunpoint) with this hangdog look on his face, almost begging us to feel sorry for him. Well, He doesn't deserve pity. He deserves to get fired and never ever work the sidelines as a D-I college football coach ever again.
Weis brings in stellar recruiting class year after year, but can't do anything with them. He cannot beat any top-25 opponents, has lost to Navy (a glorified Division 3 program) two years running and can't coach his way out of a fucking paper bag. Notre Dame has itself to blame for hiring him. They were under the misconception that that anyone coming out from under Bill Belichick's vaunted tutelage is a mastermind. They also gave him a ridiculously long contract with a prohibitive buyout clause. It's going to be cheaper to keep this incompetent fat bastard, but they'll keep losing and underachieving.
So finally someone stepped in from the Athletic Department and canceled his West Coast recruiting trip. He has to return back to South Bend after losing to Stanford to answer for his abysmal performance. Well, there really is only one answer-get him the fuck out of there already and move on. I'm sick of looking at his Wally Walrus face. Anyone who has stomach surgery to lose weight AND KEEPS GETTING FATTER should never have been hired to lead young men into battle out on the gridiron.
He is the poster boy for incompetent white men who despite doing a horrible job get overcompensated. Unfortunately he will get recycled somewhere and will continue to make a killing. After his Mega Millions Lottery buyout from Notre Dame (thanks for doing a terrible job!!! Here's a check guaranteeing you'll never have to work hard another day in your life!!!) he will ride off into the sunset straight into another plum job despite being one of the worst coaches that ever walked the sideline At Notre Dame. Somewhere, Knute Rockne and the Gipper are rolling over in their graves wondering when someone is going to take a gigantic turkey baster and stick it up this guy's ass.
Runner Up-University of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino. The reasons for his inclusion have been documented in a previous edition here on "Busting Chops".
8) Thierry Henry/FIFA
This one is very simple. Thierry Henry, a striker/winger for the French National team, assisted on a goal that eliminated Ireland from qualifying for the World Cup. Even before the ball went into the goal, you will see from the video that the Irish players had protested the violation as soon as it happened. Not only that, but there was an off sides penalty that the officials also clearly missed right in front of the goal. One cannot put the blame on incompetent officiating. No indeed. With the gambling scandal that has been uncovered recently, said to involve the highest and most prestigious pro soccer divisions in Europe, we can suspect that the officials were on the take. Missing two blatant violations in such a crucial moment of the match indicates cheating.
The officials should be fired and investigated, but there is plenty of blame to go around. The culprits here are Thierry Henry and FIFA, soccer's governing body. First of all, Henry came out and stated the obvious, that there was a handball violation on his part and that the match should be rescheduled only after FIFA had made their ruling that the results would stand. After speaking to French National Soccer officials, he was cleared to admit the violation only after they knew that there would be no chance that FIFA would overturn their ruling.
Secondly there is FIFA. What would the gamblers, mafiosos and other assorted scumbags do without the governing body sticking it to the Irish on a game that had such serious ramifications? Let's face it, Ireland is not much of a powerhouse in ANY sport, and qualifying for the World Cup would of been HUGE for them. What better way to make sure they stay down than to cheat them out of the possibility of taking part in the world's biggest sporting event? FIFA, which in this case stands for Fuck Ireland in the Fucking Ass, has ruled to replay matches on other occasions for similar violations. But their bias in this instance is blinding.
This is not like Diego Maradona and the infamous "Hand of God" incident. The video technology we have today can be used to aid officials when they either miss or are not 100% sure of a certain call. At the very least it would give the opposing team an opportunity to challenge a controversial call. But FIFA does not allow instant replay. Why? Not because they are against technology but because they are against anyone or thing that would challenge their autonomy. What they say goes, right or wrong.
Runner Up-David Beckham and his obnoxiously anorexic, perpetually morbid twat of a wife Victoria, who despite the hoopla of signing for a US team has had no impact on increasing the sport's popularity in the states whatsoever.
7) Plaxico Burress-Street Cred Strikes Again
The incident happened last year, but it was resolved THIS year, so it made the cutoff for our awards ceremony. By walking into the Latin Quarter nightclub in New York City with a loaded, unregistered handgun and accidentally shooting himself in the thigh, this is what our boy Burress lost with that one bullet-
1) A newly signed, 35 million dollar contract over the next 5 years.
2) His stature as a Superbowl hero and employment with the New York Giants.
3) His future as an elite NFL wide receiver.
Burress' last game was on November 23, 2008. He was released by the Giants on April 3, 2009. He'll be in jail until at least the Spring of 2011, when he will turn 34. Not the age NFL teams throw big money and long-term contracts at. And like our good friends Allen Iverson and Michael Vick, Burress grew up in Virginia-home to some of the stupidest motherfuckers in professional sports.
But don't worry, Plaxico-you'll come out of this with your street cred intact, seeing as you'd have something to brag about while you're standing on the corner puffing weed with your homies and talking about how you held it down and represented while you were in prison. A man's gotta have something to be proud of in life, after all. And when you come home you can try to explain to your wife and kids why you couldn't provide them with a better life when you had a better opportunity then most to do just that.
6) Lance Stephenson
I hate to give this guy a Golden Turkey Award only because I have the distinct feeling that the people advising him are the true turkeys, but he seems on his way to fucking up a good thing. He could very well be another Brooklyn phenom out of Lincoln High School whose best years are behind him. Yes, he won the Big East Rookie of the Week last week, but if you look at his team's schedule the Cincinnati Bearcats don't play a decent team until December 30th when they face Connecticut. It is beyond me how Stephenson, who was supposed to be the best player ever coming out of Lincoln High School (some say better than Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair) didn't wind up at a college program with a better pedigree.
But there are clues. One, his academics were weak. Two, a little something about an alleged molestation charge filed against him by a female student. Three, his family is a major hindrance. They've been charged with taking money under the table for the rights to film his junior year (Bornready.tv) and got him in trouble due to an unauthorized visit to the UnderArmour company while on a recruiting visit to the University of Maryland that they recommended for him.
He has been getting an incredible amount of exposure for years now, and the adults in his life have done nothing to shield him from any of it because they too love the attention. First of all, here is the biggest issue going on with this young man-
College scouts do not agree with the above statement from the cover of "DIME" magazine that he was ready to be an NBA star at 17. I've heard major D-I scouts say that he lacks athleticism, has a weak perimeter game and will have trouble getting his shot off playing against bigger opponents whom he won't be able to out-muscle and intimidate like he did in high school.
He "dropped" 40 or so points on that NBA defensive wizard Jamal Crawford at some bullshit summer league game as a 15-year old and ever since then the hype has been out of proportion to his talents. If anyone out there follows street basketball in NYC, you know there have been plenty of five minute phenoms (Lenny Cooke, anyone?) who come and go for the same reasons-bad academics, lazy work habits, egos that don't match their skill sets and bad advice from, vultures posing as advisers. The main reason Stephenson was so good in high school, as hip-hop artist Fat Joe pointed out in one of the video segments shot for Lance's site, is there wasn't anyone near his age who could guard Lance. But in college, that's going to be different.
If he follows the advice of his financially strapped parents, he's going pro after one year because they want to live the dream (I can already see his father getting into trouble and divorcing his fat, ugly wife who looks like a cross between a hippopotamus and a wildebeest). But as far as development goes, I can't think of any player out there who could benefit more from staying in college at least three years than this guy.
He's got too many idiots around him telling him he's already a man. He's not. And he's not going to be an impact player in the NBA anytime soon. Just watching what happened to Telfair makes me think that the same thing will happen to Stephenson. I sincerely hope not, because I would love to see this cat succeed. Any fan of NYC basketball would.
5) LeGarrette Blount
I actually felt sorry for this guy when I watched the video of his behavior (what is referred to in the 'hood as "BEASTING"), but that's because I've been around guys who have behavioral issues all my life. Their impulse control is so poor they almost can't help themselves, and what shocks me is that stuff like this doesn't happen more often.
Come to find out Blount was on his way to a first-round selection in next year's NFL draft if he had a good year for the Oregon Ducks, but he quacked his way out of that and will be lucky if he gets an invite as an undrafted free agent. Too bad 'cause the guy has talent, but really-isn't there a pill for shit like this?
4) Ron Artest-Jack Ass In The Box
Artest, unlike a few of his "Malice at the Palace" brethren, has gotten a second lease on life and will more than likely wind up with an NBA championship ring sometime soon with the LA Lakers. Ironic as he was and still is the most retarded out of the bunch that were involved in the NBA's most infamous brawl. As for the others, they aren't doing so well. Jermaine O'Neil, one of the most versatile and talented big men of his generation, is a pathetic shadow of his former self and is running on fumes. It really is sad to see how far his game has fallen off.
Stephen Jackson rehabilitated himself somewhat by busting ass out in Golden State and getting himself a nice little guaranteed contract. But he too has never been farther away from a title, as he got himself traded to the pathetic Charlotte Bobcats for talking too much shit and criticizing management. And I almost forgot Ben Wallace, the one that helped initiate the madness that night in Detroit by going after Artest after a hard foul. Wallace administered a combination karate chop/choke hold on Ron-Ron that would of made P.J. Carlissimo reminisce about the good old days with Latrell Sprewell.
Even though Artest has kept himself out of any major problems since that brawl, he's still an idiot and rightfully deserves his Golden Turkey award. As soon as he signed with the Lakers, he stated how he has "hoodalized" the franchise. Just what they needed. And nothing compares to that appearance on Jimmy Kimmel where he sits through the whole interview practically naked. Yes, he was funny, but at what point does being "hoodalized" equate with the total and complete loss of one's dignity?
Runner Up-Jamal Tinsley, for being such an asshole that the Indiana Pacers essentially paid him NOT to go anywhere NEAR them and is currently still out there without a team interested in his services.
3) Julio Castillo-Take Me Out To The Brawl Game
How funny that this young man bears a striking resemblance to his special-ed twin brother separated at birth, Ron Artest-
He would of made the number one spot on our countdown, but that slot is hallowed ground. It takes an asshole of epic proportions to make it to the top of the Golden Turkey awards, but Castillo did not make it for lack of effort. He is the minor-league pitcher from the Dominican Republic who, during a bench-clearing brawl, let loose with some serious chin music that failed to reach it's intended target and instead beaned a fan sitting in the stands. This is him in the video, wearing number 32 in the gray uniform-
One can say that there are no rules in love and war, but a bit of decorum is of the essence when participating in a brawl of this nature. Don't swing bats, don't throw balls and don't grab anyone's jock, even if you're in the middle of a pile and no one would know it was you. The first two are way over the top and the last one should get you a lifetime ban from the game.
2) Theo Bos/The UCI
Check out this video. This is the biggest crock of bullshit I've seen in pro cycling in all my life. Theo Bos, the sprinter for the Dutch Rabobank team, grabs race leader Daryl Impey by the jersey and flings him into the barriers in this year's Tour of turkey (ironic given the title of this particular segment). The sheer recklessness and malice is only topped by the fact that such a kamikaze move also brought down the cyclist who initiated this heinous act. It seemed as if he did so while not caring one bit for his own personal safety. That is straight-up psychotic.
Worse than that, the assholes at the UCI, cycling's governing body, reviewed the video and concluded that Bos DID NOTHING WRONG. He was suspended for a month by his team and that was it. And to think he could of killed Impey with this dastardly display, it is beyond belief how Bos was not banned for at least a year without pay. Holy Fuck.
If you're looking to emphasize with Daryl Impey and would like to feel his pain, all you have to do is dive headfirst out of a car going 45 miles per hour wearing nothing but a cycling helmet, tight lycra shorts and a polyester blend jersey. Tuck and roll, bitch!!!
Runner Up-There is no runner up. This one is in a class all by itself.
1) Donte Stallworth
What exactly is one man's life worth? Well, the family of 59-year-old Mario Reyes isn't telling. Donte Stallworth, former wide receiver of the Cleveland Browns, ran Reyes over and killed him after a night of drinking. For this heinous crime, he got 30 days in jail. THIRTY DAYS. Whatever the financial settlement was (which doesn't affect Stallworths' pocket much because he had an umbrella policy to his auto insurance) it doesn't make it right when you consider how Plaxico Burress is spending two years in jail for shooting himself by accident and Stallworth is out free.
Stallworth has lost plenty, as he was released by the Cleveland Browns and may never play again in the NFL. But there is nothing funny or sarcastic to say about this. Stallworth should be behind bars for what he did. If there is any honor in this, it's that he at least admitted his wrongdoing and settled with the family without them having to hire a lawyer to drag this out in a civil suit. So kudos to Stallworth for doing the only right thing he could of done to address this very wrong situation.
This makes Donte Stallworth our Number One Golden Turkey Winner of the Year, edging out many other worthy candidates who, having done everything in their power to win the award, fell short due to the fact that their actions did not result in the death of an innocent, hapless victim.
Runner Up-Adam "Pacman" Jones, for conduct unbecoming to humanity and making a mockery of being born gifted enough to play football as a professional. An utter and absolute disgrace.