Randy Smith: Sports Leftover Turkeys Of 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

The definition of turkey has more than one meaning; the most accepted one being the bird that most of us have in our refrigerators in abundance the day after Thanksgiving. Next, a turkey is defined as, a person or thing of little appeal, a dud or a loser. It could also mean a stupid or inept person. With apologies to my buddies at SportTalk who hand out the coveted “Turkey of the Year” award, today I am listing the top 10 real turkeys in the sports world for 2013. 

1. Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees: A-Rod is facing a suspension from Major League Baseball of more than 200 games for using illegal substances and lying about it. He is currently appealing the lengthy suspension, which would take almost a year and a half from his floundering career. At the age of 38, he would be almost 40 when he was able to play again, so my advice to him is this; quit while you’re ahead. Go home and count your money and enjoy life. You’re finished as a baseball player.

2. The guys on the FCS selection committee who left out the UTC Mocs from the expanded playoffs: They were co-champs of the Southern Conference and their only two league losses were on the road at Georgia Southern and at Samford. Both games went down to the wire, yet the committee chose to make the Mocs stay home for the 29th straight year. 

3. The football coaching staff at Marion County High School: I don’t want to rehash this again because the good people in Marion County are trying to move on and rebuild a once proud program.  But my goodness, these guys made national news for their poor judgment and underhanded deeds. 

4. Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito: His taunting and alleged bullying of rookie teammate Jonathan Sanders led to Sanders quitting the team. It also led to an NFL investigation of the team which resulted in allegations of Dolphins assistant coaches who were aware of the bullying and actually encouraged it.

5. Lance Armstrong: Going from one of the world’s most idolized heroes to the role of a major illegal substance abuser as well as an outright cheater is hard to ignore.

6. Former Tennessee and USC Coach Lane Kiffen: After starting the season 3-2 and giving up 62 points to Arizona State, he was fired on the spot and replaced by assistant coach Ed Orgeron. Since that time, the Trojans have gone 5-1.

7. The detective at the Tallahassee, Florida Police Department who told the victim of an alleged rape by Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston that Tallahassee is a big football town and she should think long and hard about pursuing charges, because folks there could make her life miserable: Are you kidding me? Did this guy have his head in the sand two years ago when Penn State officials tried to cover up the Jerry Sandusky scandal? His job as a police officer is to protect the rights of victims of crime; not protect FSU football players. By the way, it will still be two more weeks before a decision is made about bringing charges against “Famous Jameis.”

8. SEC Replay Officials: Right or wrong, it seems every single “review” was overturned and went Vanderbilt’s way last weekend in their come-from-behind win over Tennessee. Come to think of it, it’s been that way for several seasons for the Vols. (Maybe there is something about this karma thing)

9. Maurkice and Mike Pouncey: These two brothers who are both offensive linemen for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers were recently photographed wearing caps that stated, “Free Hernandez.” Obviously in reference to Aaron Hernandez, their former Florida Gator teammate who is accused of murder. (Is it any wonder the Steelers are a dismal 5-7 on the year?) 

10. South Carolina fans who came up with the “Fear The Thumb” slogan. Even I had to stop and think about this one. You see, the Gamecocks have beaten their hated rivals, the Clemson Tigers four straight seasons. Another win this weekend would make it five in a row and the only digit left to hold up is the thumb; thus, fear the thumb. Regardless of which team wins in Columbia, S.C., the Gamecock faithful should also be fearful of Clemson fans holding up another finger as they leave town. 

rsmithsports@comcast.net

---

Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).


Phillips, Woerner Win Signal Mountain Pie Run

Geno Phillips must enjoy running hilly courses on Signal Mountain. The 43-year-old middle school teacher and coach won the Signal Mountain Pie Run 10K on Saturday morning with a time of 35 minutes, four seconds as he ran about a minute faster than last year’s winning effort. Joseph Goetz was second in 35:29 while Patrick Hall was third in 35:55.   Peyton Miller and Ryan ... (click for more)

Notre Dame edges Boyd Buc, 1-0 in Girls Soccer

Notre Dame senior Liz Ciabattone scored in the fifth minute and then the Irish held off a battling Boyd Buchanan team for the next 85 minutes for a 1-0 triumph in an A-AA sectional match. The victorious Irish along with Chattanooga Christian (2-0 winner against Grace) advance to the state quarters next Wednesday in Murfreesboro. “It’s good to get the win and advance to the ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Teenager Killed In ATV Accident Thursday Night

Damon Lee Jones, 15, was killed Thursday night in an ATV accident in Walker County. It was reported he was riding with a 17-year old, when they tried to enter a church parking lot, but ran into a cable barrier. The accident happened on Dunwoody Road in LaFayette. The other rider, identified as Timothy J. Wallin, was not injured.   (click for more)

Tom Dugan Was A Good Man

Tom was my boss for most of my 36 years at Carta.  At the ceremony where I was awarded my 30-year service award, Tom said, "Don disagrees with 85% of my decisions, but I wish I had 80 more employees just like him." This kind of indicates our relationship. When I asked him to help with my plans for a reunion for the group of Veterans that I served with in Vietnam, he quickly ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)