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This Season’s Full Of Turkeys

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Jen Bielema, wife of Arkansas coach Bret Bielema (center), is on our list of Thanksgiving turkeys this year. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images.
Jen Bielema, wife of Arkansas coach Bret Bielema (center), is on our list of Thanksgiving turkeys this year. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images.

The first time I ever tried pumpkin beer, it was Thanksgiving. It fits, right? Before (and after) pumpkin pie is pumpkin beer.

No matter that it was passed to me under the table by an elder cousin, I got used to the Turkey Day treat. Then, a few years later, I felt it was my time to be the elder cousin, ventured to the liquor store and asked the clerk for his finest pumpkin beer. I’ll never forget the look on his face, or the sound of his single, in-your-face chuckle.

“Ha, we’ve been out of that for weeks.”

Being laughed at in the aisles of a liquor store on a holiday: There’s nothing I fear more.

That day, I was the turkey. I didn’t perform on the biggest day of the year. I showed up to the feast with empty hands. Of course, no one knew I failed — at least not until I told them of my trials and tribulations — but I knew and it was a lesson forever and always.

I learned from my mistake and stock up on my favorite pumpkin brew(s) early in the fall. No longer am I the turkey at the table.

The embarrassment from the liquor store, which was as much the fault of the smarmy clerk as it was my ignorance, wasn’t a feeling I yearned for.

I get that similar feeling though watching and reading about sports. So much so that I have to turn off or put down the product. College football has been a wild ride so far, and while we don’t have a clear-cut turkey as in years past (ahem, Manti Te’o), there is still plenty of blame to go around.

On Thursday, be thankful you aren’t one of these guys:

Florida Gators

Teams Georgia Southern has lost to this year: Wofford, Samford and Furman. It sounds like a list of single dudes in my apartment building. Instead though, recognize the list for the team it doesn't include — Florida. That's because the Eagles were able to use an unbelievably one-dimensional offense (They didn’t complete a pass.) to top the Gators in the Swamp!

For the effort, the Gators handed over $550,000.

Preseason Pollsters

1. Alabama, good. 2. Ohio State, OK. …. 10. Florida, what the … Truth be told, most seasons there are worse mistakes than this, but the Gators aren’t even bowl-eligible let alone in the Top 25. 

Lane Kiffin

What's the big deal with Kiffin anyway? He was the supposed offensive genius behind an offense that had two Heisman Trophy winners, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. His talent seemed to be disproved as an NFL coach with the Raiders, though calling for a 78-yard field goal attempt was entertainment. Then, he coached and irritated Tennessee to more controversies than wins, and came home to USC only to bite the big one, especially at the end of 2012. Guess no one saw that coming.

Johnny Manziel

There may not be a more unlikable college star in recent memory. First it was the oversleeping, then it was the tweets crying about a parking ticket, and to cap it off, the autograph scandal. Now, it’s will he or won’t be go to the NFL and become the new Tim Tebow. Let me be clear: DOOOOON'T CARE. It reminds me of the scene from “Almost Famous” where they think the plan is gonna crash and everybody is honest and Jeff Bebe lays into Russell Hammond: “You just held it over us, like you might leave. Like we’re lucky to be with you. And we had to live it, man.” Do you ever think about our feelings, Johnny?

Jen Bielema, Arkansas Head Coach’s Wife

Ah, Twitter, what a great way to immediately communicate non-researched, unthoughtful, inconsequential, need-not-be-said comments. Mrs. Bret Bielema tweeted “#karma” after a Wisconsin loss in September, I guess hinting at the way Badger fans treated her husband since he left them high and dry. Since the tweet, Wisconsin is 8-1. Arkansas? 0-8. I guess that would be #amrak? 

Tallahassee Detectives

This is cheating because it roots from an incident in December 2012, but it’s just too turkeyish not to include. If these police officers legitimately told a woman reporting a rape that she should tread lightly and think about dropping accusations against Jameis Winston, they should not only be fired but also put in a jail cell with a group of convicts they helped convict.

Who's your turkey of 2013? Feel free to talk it over in the comments. I'll try to read them through a pumpkin-beer haze.