Biggest turkeys in Arizona Sports, 2011

Nov 23, 2011, 5:04 PM | Updated: 6:32 pm

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, food and
football (in any order you choose), and we at Arizona Sports
don’t feel any different.

Still, while everyone is talking about what they’re thankful
for, it’s worth noting some things did not go according to
plan over the last year. Some people found the spotlight for
the wrong

So, in keeping with the holiday theme, we present to you the
biggest turkeys in Arizona Sports for the last year.

Derek Anderson may not have been laughing, 
but we sure were. The Cardinals QB let loose 
in a post-game tirade after a Monday Night 
loss to the 49ers, making sure to remind us 
all just how seriously he takes football. "I 
don't want go out there and get embarrassed 
on Monday Night Football in front of 
everybody," he said. The irony, like 
Thanksgiving food, is delicious. The Phoenix Suns traded for Vince Carter in 
hopes of getting the dynamic scorer of just a 
couple years before. Instead all they got is 
what amounts to an expiring contract. Carter 
averaged 13.5 points per game with Phoenix, 
shooting just 42.2 percent and, after some 
time, finally being removed from the starting 
lineup. The only reason his contract hasn't 
been bought out yet is the NBA is locked out. Is there a more hated opponent in the Valley 
than Nyjer Morgan? From the game-winning (and 
season-ending) hit against the D-backs to his 
perpetuation of "beast mode" whenever he did 
something not-awful, Morgan's antics certainly 
wore thin on the D-backs and their fans. This was supposed to be "the year" for Dennis 
Erickson and the Sun Devils, and a 6-2 start 
made people believers. Then the rest of the 
season happened. ASU dropped three straight 
games, as his mistake-prone team has 
continually shot itself in the foot in losing 
to lesser teams. Talk of a contract extension 
for the 64-year-old has since been replaced 
with demands of his removal from the job. Nicknames are commonplace in baseball, but one 
a pitcher never wants to earn is "gas can." 
Aaron Heilman followed a rough 2010 with an 
even worse 2011, accumulating a 6.88 ERA in 
just more than 35 innings of work. Batters hit 
.318 against him, and it got to the point where 
manager Kirk Gibson could not put him in the 
game if it was still winnable. You may not recognize this guy, but Kyle Turris 
certainly deserves to be on the list. The 22-
year-old's contract dispute with the 
Coyotes prevented him from signing with the 
team until late November. Vontaze Burfict entered his junior season at 
ASU with expectations, hype and a reputation 
for being a force on the field. Eleven games 
in, he's been a complete let down. Burfict 
has accumulated 63 tackles, five sacks and 
one interception, and has been virtually 
invisible in many games. Is it the scheme, 
the talent around him or his effort? Who 
knows, but the point is he's underachieved. Armando Galarraga said he wasn't worried about 
his spot in the rotation...and then he lost it. 
Acquired in the offseason from Detroit, the 
right-hander posted a 3-4 record with a 5.91 
ERA in eight starts for the Diamondbacks. He 
was no better in AAA Reno, as his 9.26 ERA 
would attest. Ilya Bryzgalov was an excellent goaltender, 
unless it was the playoffs and the opponent was 
the Detroit Red Wings. Given another shot to 
lead the Coyotes to the second round of the 
postseason, Bryz allowed 17 goals in the four-
game sweep. His attitude and contract demands 
led to him being traded to Philadelphia. Mike Stoops began the year as the head football 
coach at the University of Arizona, but didn't 
end it that way. A 1-5 start to the season -- 
combined with his notorious sideline antics -- 
led to his being fired. Fair or not, Suns owner Robert Sarver has 
become one of the faces of the lockout. 
Considered to be a hard-liner by most, whatever 
goodwill he may have had left with fans has all 
but run out. Having his team miss the playoffs 
for the second time in three years didn't help, 


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Biggest turkeys in Arizona Sports, 2011