A sports section wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t have a list of the sports turkeys of the year. It’s a subtle way (well, maybe not) of calling out people who need to be thrown under the bus for one reason or another and tie it in with the holiday.
Can we start with Auburn fans? Come on, let’s be serious. They go from watching their team go 3-9 to believing they can beat Alabama on Saturday. Let them dream the impossible dream, but deep down they know Nick Saban is not going to let that happen. They are also delusional to believe their wide receiver did something special against Georgia a few weeks ago, when the fact is he was lucky to have the ball fall in his hands.
Will Muschamp has to be a turkey. The Florida head coach is staring at a 4-8 record after his team loses Saturday to Florida State, and he will evidently still earn a big paycheck next season. Or maybe the athletics director, Jeremy Foley, should be a turkey for keeping Muschamp around. Maybe he’ll think differently if Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is half empty this weekend when the Seminoles visit Gainesville.
Let’s call both the Georgia and Georgia Tech football programs turkeys. There is nothing huge on the line Saturday except the winner can brag about having eight wins in the regular season. Frankly, that’s pathetic, and neither fan base should be satisfied with that. And the loser will be a seven-win team, which should make the fans of that team downright angry.
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The Georgia coaching staff is full of turkeys, especially whoever was supposed to tell the defensive players to knock the ball down on a fourth-and-18 play against Auburn. Sure, they should have already known, but coaches still should have told them during a timeout. Plus, to say you didn’t expect a long pass in that situation is downright absurd.
The administration at Georgia is full of turkeys. How did it feel Tuesday to see Georgia Tech’s media relations department tweet at you and mock the fact that they have an indoor practice facility while Mark Richt had to get his team on buses and borrow the Falcons’ complex in Flowery Branch? That was humiliating. With millions in the bank, how can the administration continue to try and convince fans that is unnecessary?
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is a turkey. News flash, Dabo: Catholics are Christians. Look up a story written about the Clemson football program on The Chronicle of Higher Education website. You’ll know what I mean.
Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff is a big turkey. He was the only one who didn’t realize how bad his offensive line was entering the season and was stubborn enough to go with his draft picks. He now knows that Mike Johnson, Garrett Reynolds and Peter Konz weren’t good enough to get Atlanta back into the playoffs. It was a gross mismanagement of an NFL roster that will now have the Falcons picking early in the first round of the draft in May.
Matt Ryan is a turkey for sliding too soon last week against New Orleans. Yes, I had to go there. The Falcons are 2-9, so they needed a few people mentioned.
Add Drew Brees, too. He’s a member of those New Orleans Saints, so we had to name one of them.
Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton need to be listed, right? They made a combined $25.45 million last season for the Braves and hit a combined .181. No further explanation necessary.
Some might believe Tim Hudson and Brian McCann should be labeled turkeys, but that’s just not true. You would have done the same thing and taken the money and ran right out of town. It’s not their fault they had a market and the Braves couldn’t afford them.
How about the city of Atlanta? It lost the Braves to Cobb County, and politicians never saw the need to develop the area around Turner Field. It’s about as bad as Macon and its politicians, including former mayor C. Jack Ellis, losing the Braves to Rome. It’s just embarrassing.
Perhaps we should all admit to being turkeys for doubting Mercer football. It’s the best program in the state this season, and for that we should collectively apologize to head coach Bobby Lamb.
Gobble. Gobble. Gobble.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com. Follow Bill at www.twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.