Les Nessman once watched turkeys get thrown out of a helicopter on the ‘70’s sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. Back at the office, it comes out that it was a publicity stunt to which station owner Arthur Carlson said, “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”
In honor of the greatest Thanksgiving episode in TV history, let me take a look back at the Two Cent turkeys I thought would fly.
1. Bryce Harper and the Phillies. I fell for this one big time. I thought Harper and the other free agents signed would score enough runs to make up for a dismal pitching staff. Instead Harper whiffed at record pace and the pitching wasn’t dismal, but abysmal. Gobble, gobble Bryce.
2. The Los Angeles Dodgers breaking their playoff jinx. This didn’t start as a turkey, but then Clayton Kershaw took the mound. The Kershaw playoff mystery continued. If manager Dave Roberts would have slept through the playoffs this may have turned out better. Gobble, gobble Dave.
3. Bob Nutting opening his purse strings and putting…okay, I’m not going to even finish that sentence. If you are paying attention, you know how poorly the Pirates are run, and that goes to the owner. Gobble, gobble Bottom Line Bob. You are the biggest turkey with the Pirates.
1. Sam Darnold and the New York Jets as my sleeper team. Oh, the Jets have been asleep for much of the season all right. Darnold is going to spend the rest of the season trying to be a ghostbuster. Gobble, gobble Sam.
2. The Los Angeles Chargers will win the Super Bowl. I thought this would finally be the year for quarterback Phillip Rivers. As it stands, it IS the year for Rivers. The year he should retire, that is. Rivers is in his late ‘30’s but plays like he’s in his late ‘50’s. My apologies to the three people in LA still cheering for the Chargers for my Two Cent jinx. And gobble, gobble to you Phillip.
3. I bought into the Eagles bounce back this year. I had them going 12-4 with what I thought would be a prolific offense. Instead, they’ve laid an egg, a turkey egg of course. The only fast receiver(Desean Jackson) is constantly hurt, the others can’t catch, and the offensive line resembles a sieve at times. They may still win the woeful NFC East, but that’s as far as these eagles will fly. Gobble, gobble, coach Pederson.
1. Texas is back, right coach Herman? Coach? Are you there? Maybe not for long. Texas administrators typically have an itchy trigger finger, so this season(currently 6-5) will go down like lumpy gravy and soggy stuffing. I had the Longhorns pegged for the playoffs, and instead they will be lucky to make a post Christmas Day Bowl. Gobble, gobble Tom.
2. I pegged Michigan for the playoffs as well. That would now take a miracle bigger than Jim Harbaugh becoming likable. However this turkey may still have some fight. I know Ohio State better be ready with a sharp hatchet to put this Harbaugh turkey out of its misery. Either way, a slow start makes this pick a gobbler. Gobble, gobble Jimmy.
3. Penn State will go 8-4. First of all I overestimated the strength of their schedule. A lot of average teams this year. I underestimated the number of athletes on the Nittany Lions roster. James Franklin still presents more questions than answers, and may be a candidate at USC. As a USC fan, I implore you to stay put. Oh, and gobble, gobble James.
4. Clay Helton will not make it through the season as head coach at USC. He not only made it, but some think he could survive another year. I still think new AD Mike Bohn will sharpen the axe and send him packing. Helton is a tremendously nice human being. He is not suited to big time college football. Gobble, gobble Clay.
There are other Two Cent Turkeys that didn’t fly like Tampa Bay and Winnipeg in the NHL, Duke and Zion Williamson in the NCAA basketball tournament, and I’m sure others that I’ll be reminded of. Remember what I’m dealing with.
While you wait for the turkey to cook and dig up more of my flightless birds, enjoy this little clip of the greatest Thanksgiving episode ever.
Two Cent Takes
~It’s early, but don’t sleep on the following teams:
- Oregon-Big game on Wednesday vs Seton Hall
- Utah State-Nice comeback win vs LSU. Friday vs Saint Mary’s
- Tennessee-Nice win over Washington. Florida State on Friday.
- VCU-Also a nice win over LSU. Purdue on Friday.
- Kansas State-Tonight vs Pitt.
~Penn State fans were incredulous Saturday when the Nittany Lions needed a frantic rally late to avoid an upset at the hands of Yale. In the glass half full mode, this is the type of game Patrick Chambers loses most years.
~It would appear that the way you beat Ohio State is to shut down the run and make Justin Fields beat you. Fields is more impressive with his feet than his arm. Michigan knows this formula. Could this be the year Jim Harbaugh breaks his Buckeyes jinx? Don’t rule it out. Michigan is playing as well as anyone right now.
~Penn State gave it a run at “The Shoe” on Saturday. However, they really were lucky to be in the game. The score at halftime very well could have been 28-0. At that point things may have gotten ugly.
~Who is Penn State’s quarterback next year? Sean Clifford will remain the starter for the last two games this season, but next year who knows. Will Levis seems more adept at running the read option offense Ricky Rahne favors. He also has a cannon for an arm. With the transfer portal looming, it gives coaches a tough decision because they want to keep both.
~Pitt was embarrassed at Virginia Tech, and are headed for another typical Pat Narduzzi season. I know you can’t keep changing coaches, but it would be nice if they actually found a good one.
~Speaking of finding a good coach, look for USC to be looking for one. Despite rumors out of LA, Clay Helton will most likely be fired. As I’ve said since day one, he is a nice man who is in way over his head. Urban Meyer is the fan favorite to take the job, but signs are pointing to that not happening. No thank you to James Franklin, a glorified used car salesman. That will leave the Trojans looking at a group consisting of Matt Campbell(Iowa St), Matt Ruehle(Baylor), and Luke Fickell(Cincinnati).
~Two Cent Top Ten:
- Ohio State
My dream scenario would be to have LSU, Ohio St, Georgia, Alabama, Minnesota, Utah, and Baylor or Oklahoma all finish with one loss. Clemson would be undefeated, but which three other teams go? I would love to see the committee squirm. Plus an eight team playoff system would gain steam.
~As a USC and Pittsburgh Steelers fan, this guy was one of my favorites of all time.
Troy Polamalu was honored in the Coliseum Saturday for his induction into the college football Hall of a Fame. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is next.
~Is someone going to step up and win the NFC East or will they just eliminate a playoff spot. Eagles stink. Cowboys coaches stink…just ask owner Jerry Jones.
~Another year, another terrible Detroit Lions team will entertain us on Thanksgiving Day. This is the look you give after losing to the lowly Redskins…
It’s also the look you give when your belly won’t allow your shirt to stay tucked in. No seconds for you, Matt Patricia, on Thanksgiving Day.
~The Saints were gifted a win, but something seems amiss in New Orleans. Maybe the offense will carry the day, but the defense has dropped precipitously.
~Sam Darnold is apparently not seeing ghosts anymore, and good for him. Has a lot of talent, and is making the Jets respectable.
~Mason Rudolph should have seen his last snap for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is clearly not the quarterback of the future, nor should he be the quarterback of the present.
He has been shell shocked since being concussed a few weeks back. He continues to get worse, not better. He threw four interceptions last week, and had a quarterback rating of 17.4 this week.
The a Steelers are in the playoff hunt and must give themselves the best chance of winning each week. Unless they find someone on a street corner who can throw a football, Duck Hodges gives them the best chance. He isn’t great either, but has some intangibles that Rudolph lacks. He has moxie. He has guts. He doesn’t appear to get rattled. Duck’s QB rating was only 26.5, but he is prone to occasionally make a big play.
The rest of this Steelers season better be Duck season.
A Penny For My Final Thought…
Thanksgiving rings in the holiday season, or as I like to call it the season of overeating. Whether you have a small gathering or a large one, the turkey, stuffing, and cranberries will be plentiful.
Eat yourself into a food coma, let the women prepare for Black Friday, and find a comfy seat in front of a TV. From there have your remote control fired up and ready. It’s a great four days to catch some early season tournament action in college hoops, some big time rivalries in college football, and some traditional holiday NFL contests.
There’s no better time to give thanks for being a fanatic than this week.
🦃Happy Thanksgiving 🦃 to all the Two Centers out there.
Just my two cents…
Tim Clark is a columnist and editor for PennSports.LIVE, and a wonderful writer of words. He is a lifelong sports fanatic with an eclectic mix of favorite teams including USC Trojans football, Louisville Cardinals basketball, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins in pro sports.