Okay, now that we've handled the pleasantries, let's get to the business at hand. That would be turkeys — as in our Sports Turkeys of the Year.
Goofed up? Said something stupid? Acted like the backside of a horse? Tweeted something insensitive? Pretty much a knot-head? Congratulations, you make our list. Here are the runnersup and our pick for 2012 Turkey of the Year.
A guide how not to behave: get married, become head football coach of a major university (like, say, Arkansas), crash your motorcycle with a woman on the back who's not your wife. And that woman happens to be someone you put on the university payroll. And, oh, you're having an affair with her.
After the U.S. track star blubbered on the Today show after a subpar Olympics, former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand joked that he wanted to race her. Jones responded on Twitter: "Get checked for a concussion. clearly u've been hit in the head … cos u arent beating a track athlete." He didn't have a concussion. He's paralyzed.
YOUTH COACHES IN SOUTH FLORIDA
Nine were arrested in Broward County in connection with a gambling ring that centered around youth league football games. Coaches met before games to set point spreads and place bets. More than $100,000 was wagered on a championship game. And these are people kids are supposed to look up to?
This is the third lockout during his tenure as NHL commissioner, including one that cost all of the 2004-05 season. True, Bettman works for the owners, but a capable sports commissioner would be able to avoid such devastating labor disputes. He's the antithesis of a true leader.
The head of the NHL players union deserves some blame in this lockout, too. Going back to his days as head of the baseball players union, Fehr always seemed like an arrogant cuss interested only in his players and not the health of the game his players play.
Forget marrying former Bucs troublemaker Jerramy Stevens. The American soccer keeper ripped into broadcaster and former U.S. star Brandi Chastain for Chastain's fair commentary of the American soccer team during the Olympics, saying Chastain wasn't qualified to speak on the matter. You're 31 years old, Hope. Grow up.
He still holds a grudge against Pop Herring, the high school coach who put him on the JV team. That coach's health is failing, and he is living in poverty, yet Jordan has done nothing to help.
He jerked Magic fans around for two years, got coach Stan Van Gundy fired and still whined his way out of Orlando.
He no longer has a football career of his own to talk about, so he spends his days on Twitter ripping into the Eagles because his brother Michael is having a bad season. Somebody take this guy's computer away.
Supposedly had cleaned up his act. No more punching cabbies or teammates or pulling guns (allegedly). Then he gets suspended for what he says was a positive test for Adderall. What does it tell you that a team desperate for defensive backs traded him for a mid-round draft pick?
And now, our 2012 Turkey of the Year …
He cheated. We ignored. He lied. We believed. And he lied some more. And we defended. And then he lied more. He accused his attackers, including fellow cyclists. In fact, Armstrong was so defiant in his defense that there was no way he could have cheated then lied about it. Until we found out he cheated and lied about it. He raised all that money for cancer, but everything else about him was a fraud. Darn you, Lance.