COLUMNS

Thanksgiving Day turkeys

Kyle Riviere
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere

Thanksgiving has come again--a day where we gather with friends and family and give thanks for all the good things we have been blessed with. And then, of course, there are the mounds and mounds of turkey we take upon ourselves to conquer.

Well, don't eat too much because we've already seen our fair share of turkeys in the sports world so far this year.

First, there was Bobby Petrino.

Petrino had it made. He was the head coach of an Arkansas team that finished No. 5 in the polls and looked to be a top-10 team heading into this year. Well, as his motorcycle crashed, so did that pretty picture.

He was eventually fired when the school discovered that he held out one very important detail about the accident: he had a passenger with him. That passenger just so happened to be a 25-year-old mistress that he had just hired as Arkansas' student-athlete development coordinator.

Since his departure, the Razorbacks have gone into disarray. A top-10 team in the preseason, they now sit at 4-7 with one of their losses coming to UL Monroe at home.

It's hard to top Lakers Executive VP Jim Buss as the NBA's top turkey.

He hired Mike Brown last year when everyone could see Brown just wasn't a good fit for L.A. The stage was just too big for him.

Then, he decided to fire Brown after only five games this year.

And for the blunder of all blunders, he decided to replace Brown with Mike D'Antoni instead of 11-time champion Phil Jackson--who wanted the job.

After being such an inspiration to so many people around the world for so many years and making America so proud, Lance Armstrong proved to be a turkey.

The legendary cyclist vehemently denied allegations of steroid use for years and years, but he finally gave it up. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency revealed evidence that Armstrong did in fact cheat during his string of seven straight Tour De France wins.

As a result, he was stripped of all seven titles, and even his own cancer foundation dropped him.

I hate to do it to the "Mad Hatter," but his coaching performances in the last two Alabama games definitely put him at turkey status.

For the BCS Championship Game, his team was deplorably unprepared, the offensive gameplan was bland and predictable and his decision to stick with Jordan Jefferson for the whole game was the definition of stubborn.

And for the depressing loss earlier this month, his coaching blunders just might have cost the Tigers the game.

The fake field goal on fourth and 12 and the attempt at a 54-yard kick were bad enough. But he then decided to bypass an easy field goal and go for a fourth and one already up by three. And when they only needed one first down to run out the clock and with Zach Mettenberger red-hot, he decided to run the ball on third and 10 instead of passing for the final nail in the coffin.

And for the NFL's turkey of the year, there is Commissioner Roger Goodell. I thought Nick Saban was the most hated man in Louisiana but the way the Commissioner came down so hard on the Saints for "Bounty Gate," make way for Roger.

And if suspending Jonathan Vilma and Sean Payton for the season wasn't egregious enough, the whole replacement ref debacle transpired under his watch. There, that's enough turkey to hold you up for the rest of the year. But if you're still needing that tryptophan fix, go for it. Have a great Thanksgiving.