Georgia Bulldogs voted AJC Sports Turkeys of the Year

Congratulations to the Georgia Bulldogs, who were named the AJC Sports Turkeys of the Year Thursday.
The Bulldogs received 30 percent of the nearly 8,000 votes and edged the beleaguered SEC officials for the coveted title.
Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes finished third.
Fans disagreed with the selection of Braves’ outfielder Matt Diaz as a finalist. The top write-in candidates were: AJC sports writers (thanks!) and Braves manager Bobby Cox and G.M. Frank Wren.
Results and complete list of finalists are below.
Have a happy Turkey Day everyone. Till next year .. gobble, gobble.

Mark Richt's team, for the second straight season,  was one of the most penalized teams in the nation. Bad, Dogs. Bad.

Mark Richt's team, for the second straight season, was one of the most penalized teams in the nation. Bad, Dogs. Bad.

Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes gave UGA running back Washaun Ealey an eye exam, when he reached inside Ealey's helmet during the Florida-Georgia game.

Brandon Spikes. Which is worse: intentionally trying to poke Washaun Ealey in the eye or the 1/2-game suspension he originally received?

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin arrived in the SEC with plenty to say, most of it directed at Urban Meyer and the Gators.

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin arrived in the SEC with plenty to say. He gobbled about this and that; some of it was even true.

Poor indecisive Matt Diaz. The Braves had climbed back into the playoff race with a torrid September. But just when things were getting really interesting, during a ninth-inning rally against the Marlins, Diaz misjudged a wild pitch and was thrown out trying to get back to third. Game over; season too.

Poor, indecisive Matt Diaz. After a September surge, his base-running blunder squashed a ninth-inning rally and the Braves' playoff hopes.

Good, old reliable Jason Elam missed two misses key field goals against the Saints. Then, there was Carolina.

Jason Elam's two misses against the Saints were bad. Two in N.C. and N.Y. were worse.

It was a tough year for SEC officials, who blew critical calls in the LSU-Georgia and Arkansas-Florida games, most notably.

How many SEC officials does it take to blow a call? Depends how many are on the field.

Who was the biggest sports turkey of 2009?

  • Georgia Bulldogs (30%, 2,352 Votes)
  • SEC officials (27%, 2,165 Votes)
  • Brandon Spikes (16%, 1,238 Votes)
  • Jason Elam (13%, 1,037 Votes)
  • Lane Kiffin (12%, 937 Votes)
  • Matt Diaz (2%, 181 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,909

Loading ... Loading ...

140 comments Add your comment


November 23rd, 2009
4:53 pm

The way that the SEC has feasted on Georgia’s defense, they are not only a turkey, but the stuffing and cranberry sauce.


November 23rd, 2009
4:58 pm

Hey Bill, You are assuming we have a defense? It can only get better. Happy Turkey Day!


November 23rd, 2009
5:32 pm

Matt Diaz is not a “turkey.” He is a great guy and should not be on your “list.” Sometimes, I think the AJC is a turkey with these kinds of lists… Matt’s base running mistake did not squash the Braves hopes for the playoffs. The fact that they didn’t win enough games as a team squashed their play off hopes.

Nasty Nate

November 23rd, 2009
5:43 pm

Got to pick that punk spikes. I hope someone ends his career in the last game of the season and he only has the money UF gave him to come back to live off of. Go to hell and die!!!!!!!!


November 23rd, 2009
6:01 pm

@ Nasty Nate – don’t you mean die, then go to hell? I think if you’re in hell, you’re probably already dead.


November 23rd, 2009
6:31 pm

Eye pokers should be in the pokey, not on a football field.


November 23rd, 2009
6:44 pm

I voted Spikes, with Kiffen as a close second – what he did was intentional whereas the Dawgs, SEC refs and Jason Elam just sucked accidentally. Braves who?


November 23rd, 2009
7:02 pm

Melly .. that is a popular quote from South Park and it is meant to be backwards.

I have to agree with the Diaz comment. He is not the reason the Braves didn’t make the playoffs. He was actually one of the few players that seemed to even be trying this year. He won far more games than he lost by beating out grounders and hustling on every play. I will take a split second of being indecisive over lack of effort any day.


November 23rd, 2009
7:08 pm

Floriduh Gators, the best team money can buy.

Slick Willard

November 23rd, 2009
9:44 pm

Nasty Nate, what Spikes did was inexcusable. However, your wishing him to die and go to hell shows you for the idiot you obviously are. On second thought, I would guess your age to be about 12 or 13 so you just have a lot of growing up to do!

Charlie Brown

November 23rd, 2009
9:47 pm

34, my guess is that is your IQ although I am being generous in that estimate. Are you a Dawg fan by any chance?

Bless you

November 23rd, 2009
10:01 pm

SEC officials Suck big time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Diaz did have a good year but……..?

LSU last 30 seconds against Miss last Sat.

Georgia Tech Fan

November 23rd, 2009
10:08 pm

# Matt Diaz shouldn’t be on the list I think that mistake he made on base will make him a better player in the future.

# Lane Kiffin is going to have Tennessee back on top soon the sec east better watch out the vols are coming.

# SEC officials are cheaters they want to keep Florida and Alabama on top.

# Jason Elam is old the falcons need to get younger at that position.

# Georgia Bulldogs wasn’t expected to be great this season they lost two of their key players Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno. (By the way Let’s Go Yellow Jackets)

# Brandon Spikes is not a bad guy he just got caught up in the moment and made that mistake on the field but I think he learned from the mistake hopefully he did.


November 23rd, 2009
10:10 pm

Matt Diaz needs to be removed from this list. He is one of the reason why the Braves were still in the playoff race. How about putting the AJC writers on this page for false reporting that Griffey and Furcal joined the Braves.


November 23rd, 2009
10:13 pm

Did anyone see the helmet to head shot that Spikes took after he lost his helmet? It was away from the play and nothing was called. I would have done more than eye gouging!

Red Foreman

November 23rd, 2009
10:20 pm

Dawgs…they suck!

Georgia Tech Fan

November 23rd, 2009
10:27 pm

reply: Rick

Dude you are absolutely right The AJC writers who false reported that Ken Griffey Jr. and Rafeal Furcal should be on the list. I guess they didn’t want to be labeled as the turkey of the year cause they were scared.

GT Rules State

November 23rd, 2009
10:40 pm

UGAy … not just a blunder. Gonna be 2nd rate for a long time coming


November 23rd, 2009
10:48 pm

To let the SEC officials, and particularly Marc Curles and Penn Wagers’ crews– off easy is unthinkable. They had a heavy hand in deciding some crucial games this year– all favoring Florida and Alabama. Before anyone chastises Georgia, Arkansas, or Mississippi State for losing some games– they need to look at these SEC refs and what a poor job they did!


November 23rd, 2009
10:48 pm

Joe Cox thinking he is a QB is the biggest blunder of all!!!


November 23rd, 2009
10:57 pm

What does Lane Kiffen have to do with ATLANTA sports? Last I checked, he was in Knoxville.


November 23rd, 2009
11:01 pm

Why have I not seen a headline that the Falcons have released Elam??????????????


November 23rd, 2009
11:18 pm

Jason Elam is an absolute, full-blown moron.


November 23rd, 2009
11:23 pm

Hey CoachJ, I was at that game, 3rd base side, 10 rows from the dugout. It was the most heart wrenching scene I’d ever witnessed at a professional sporting event. And I’ve been on the losing side of some pretty bad little league teams.

It wasn’t the sole reason for the Braves not making it. But it was a microcosm of a long and surprising and frustrating season. It killed an improbable rally. You just saw a turnaround for the team and it was killed in an instance. That pitcher wanted no part of Prado.

They were so close. But like the Falcons in NY…um NJ on Sunday, they still lost.


November 23rd, 2009
11:27 pm

And to all the other Matt Diaz apologists, I guess Elam will be a better kicker after missing a few lately. Or Jenkins will have more confidence in his hands after dropping a nicely lobbed TD pass late in the game.

I like Matt “Caveman” Diaz but come on folks. He made a bonehead play at a crucial part of the season. How is that so excusable?


November 23rd, 2009
11:36 pm

Coaches served up the dawgs and added Fla,Tnn,Ky extra dressing.

YellerSkeeters are PeterEaters!

November 24th, 2009
12:29 am

I hate you GaTech!

YellerSkeeters are PeterEaters!

November 24th, 2009
12:32 am

Mark Richt. “Water Girl” wants to know? What a stupid (sappy) segment to your fluff-fest of a TV Talk Show with Chuck (Gump) Doodle! Where is your manhood? Does Willie have some “dirt” on you? Why are you so damn stoic on the sideline (like an iguana sunning himself)? Why do you have no passion/fire? You are starting to remind me of Forrest Gump too! Go on back to Tallahassee, we’ll be no worse without you!


November 24th, 2009
1:11 am


You say Braves who? You know the only team to bring a championship to that crap city you live in called Atlanta.


November 24th, 2009
1:27 am

Hands down the biggest Turkey goes to the Dawgs.


November 24th, 2009
2:08 am

Rich Rodriguez the BIG TURKEY – leads Michigan through another turkey season.


November 24th, 2009
4:21 am

Why isn’t Joe (there is a reason why I’m a 5th year SR and had not started) Cox on the list?


November 24th, 2009
5:03 am

who wote this stupid post. fire him and hire some real sports writers. Lane Kiffin?


November 24th, 2009
6:12 am

What a bunch of losers, and I include the AJC Sports department. Wanting people to die, get hurt and live a poor life. I am so glad that all of you are so perfect that you have not made a mistake. Get a life people. Again, What does Lane Kiffen have to do with sports in Georgia. Unless you think his whipping of the dawgs was a turkey.


November 24th, 2009
6:28 am

My initial temptation was to go with the most emotional letdowns and I nearly voted Elam’s misses or the Bulldog’s poor coaching (penalties). However, five of these six options were mental, physical or negligent mistake, but one was criminal, so my vote goes to the criminal act that could have permanently maimed a person for life–Brandon Spikes!


November 24th, 2009
7:26 am

I can easily see why it would be the Bulldogs but what makes or breaks my weekend is the Falcons so I have to go with Elam. How does this guy still have a job? He must have pictures of Arthur Blank and his wife with a dead mule or something. There is no reason this guy should not have been replaced. There has to be someone out there that is out of a job that would give a better effort to say the least.


November 24th, 2009
7:49 am

Elam.. he’s single handedly cost the Falcons at least two games with missed field goals … that any league average kicker should be able to make.. which will cost the Falcons the wild card.


November 24th, 2009
7:51 am

I didn’t see the Jeff Franceuor trade on this list. Frank Wren would get my vote.


November 24th, 2009
7:56 am

This is EASY!!!!!!! E L A M!


November 24th, 2009
8:30 am

Larry got it right. Brandon Spikes’ criminal action is hands down THE worst thing I’ve seen-so far-in 2009.


November 24th, 2009
8:35 am

No brainer! Team calls you out. Say they are going to slaughter you by 300 plus points! Not enough motivational fodder. Team fails to materliaze against blowhards! Prediction of spanking comes true. Star player unfairly cited for celebration after touchdown. Coaches rally behind him! Other coaches that is. Not his own! Team murders team mascot with heartless play. Brings on heart attack! Mourning fans look for something uplifting. What do they get? A home loss on Senior Night to a team which had not prevailed in Athens since the end of the War Between The States! How is that for uplifting? At least the coordinators are consistent. Consistently awful! Both believe in running the same schemes until they are successful. They never are! The Turkey Award definitely belongs to Mark Bicht and his heartless Dawgs. Have made this a truly nightmarish season for all of Bulldog Nation! Hope jerkoff enjoys Tallahassee, Florida. Happy Thanksgiving all. ++STENDEC++


November 24th, 2009
8:36 am

Frustrating, regrettable mistakes, blunders, and incompetency… but the Spikes thing shows something rotten at the core.


November 24th, 2009
8:59 am

Great not to see Reggie Ball’s name not mentioned anymore.

Anne Dover

November 24th, 2009
9:02 am

The biggest turkey goes to the “writer”, and I use the term loosely, who wrote the caption under the picture of Josh Nesbitt saying he likely would “have went” elsewhere. Good gracious, guys, does anybody proofread the paper? Or are we so dumb in the state of Georgia that a grammatical error like that goes unnoticed by the general public? Please, do you have the nerve to issue a retraction?

Vol Man

November 24th, 2009
9:10 am

How can you even consider Kiffin,,, he will either turn the program around or be gone…. unlike UGA program where you have a nice guy as coach and not a clue what to do about his lousy program,,,


November 24th, 2009
9:19 am

We still have another month to go. Could be some new contestants or additional fodder for those listed. Bradz, please re-visit this at the new year.


November 24th, 2009
9:26 am

This is a weak list, must have spend all of 30 seconds on it!


November 24th, 2009
9:33 am

Bobby Cox for his stupid bull-pen moves that cost Braves at least 5 are more games.
Bobby Cox for keeping Norton.
Bobby Cox for keeping Schafer in line up almost two months.
Bobby Cox for leaving Frenchy in line up everyday till Wren traded him.
Bobby Cox for last 5 games of the season…..
Bobby Cox for picking nose all the time
Thank the Lord its his last year.

Sutton's 'Fro

November 24th, 2009
9:42 am

Taking shots at Diaz and Elam (or any single player in a team sport) is cheap, and lazy “journalism.” There’s always plenty of blame to go around in a single loss, or a bad season.

It’s gotta be the SEC officials! And not just the ones on the field, but the guys in the league HQ who spent most of the season saying, “yeah, they goofed again — Sorry!” until even the national media was calling for changes. Then they suspend one crew! It’s the dumb leading the blind….

Oldtime player

November 24th, 2009
10:02 am

Washaun Ealey said he had his eyes closed and Brandon Spikes was near his eyes.

That’s odd, a running back running with his eyes close. No, football players are taught when you are in a pile up to protect themselves because anything goes do there.

Eye poking, butt pinching and grabbing of other body parts happen in pile ups in little league, high school, college, professional and even in backyard pickup games.

Get over it.
“I’m pretty sure it goes on back and forth,” Ealey said. “We probably do it and other teams do too. It’s all football. We’re just out there trying to have fun.”