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News » Steward: 49ers QB earns Turkey of Year honors

Steward: 49ers QB earns Turkey of Year honors

Steward: 49ers QB earns Turkey of Year honors
CAN A guy be Turkey of the Year with a busted wing?

When that turkey is named Alex Smith, absolutely. Too many people thought Smith had a bum hinge long before it actually became physically impaired, and almost from the outset, everybody knew this bird from Utah was no Montana.

Yeah, right, all those offensive coordinators. Yeah, sure, the injuries. Yeah, OK, the horrible cast around him much of his time with the Niners. Yeah, no doubt, the face-man coach who never fully understood or backed his would-be franchise player.

Sometimes ill fate still lands you on the plate. Fair or not, Smith is our 23rd annual Turkey of the Year if for no other reason than last year's winner, prison-confined Michael Vick, may have a better NFL future at this point. In Football, anyway.

The San Francisco 49ers already have paid Smith more than $20 million for 21 touchdowns over four seasons: 19 passing, two running. Along with that, 31 interceptions, four fumbles, a career passer rating of 63.5 and a mere handful of wins. By comparison, certified No. 1 busts Tim Couch and David Carr look like Pro Bowlers.

What currently distinguishes Smith among other NFL No. 1 busts and there have been a raft of top turkeys down through the years is that he could wind up being the worst top draft pick in more than 40 years if things don't get any better from here. You have to go back to 1963 and Oregon State Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker to find a top pick with skimpier pro results.

He's probably history with the Niners unless he's willing to sign for the minimum next year, and realistically, why would he want to do that? And will a shoulder that couldn't deliver the long ball or the deep out when healthy ever be NFL-caliber? Bottom line, will he ever get a better chance for success than he had in San Francisco?

One would hope so. Smith's only 24. He's a nice young man, highly intelligent with admirable competitive drive. In retrospect, Alex was at the top of a draft that was full of more dubious flops Cedric Benson, Pacman Jones, Mike Williams and Troy Williamson, just to name a few. Hey, the Raiders took Fabian Washington at No. 19. The Broncos took Maurice Clarett in the third round. At least Smith escapes with his character intact, even if he couldn't escape our Turkey of the Year tag.

Is that some consolation? Probably not, even if someone saw fit to make him a No. 1 pick again.

This year's dishonorable side dishes ...

Ocho "Stinko" Cinco: The mouth and the antics of T.O. without the production. So irrelevant we've almost forgotten his former handle.

Isiah Thomas: Just typing his name makes you want to go take a shower. And that whole post-firing hospital escapade was just plain creepy.

Lane Kiffin: He had potential as Raiders head coach, but at least some of the character and maturity issues Al Davis offered in his public assassination had validity. He was no Jon Gruden, that's for sure.

Al Davis: Sorry, Al. You're not off the hook. The whole Kiffin charade could have been avoided by canning the kid after last season. But you couldn't stomach the financial hit, and it wound up costing you even more.

DeAngelo Hall: Now that's a financial hit. You knew it was doomed the moment Raiders officials started gloating that he represented their lost second-round draft pick.

Jose Canseco: Last seen smuggling fertility drugs across the Mexican border. Wow, can't wait for the third book.

Mike Nolan: At least he has some nice duds for prospective job interviews.

Scott Boras: I'm with colleague Rick Hurd. Ban this soulless blight on the sports-agent profession. Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers would have been a nice tale if we didn't know the sleazy backstory of utter greed behind it.

BCS (Befallen Catatonic Superpowers): 1. Washington. 2. Michigan. 3. Notre Dame. 4. Nebraska.

The real BCS: Even Obama doesn't buy the drama.

Brett Favre soap opera: Yes, he's having a nice year for the Jets, but it was sheer hell getting to it. ESPN treating it like a Papal transfer didn't help.

Mark Cuban: From Cubs purchase to prison pinstripes? Needless to say, his stock fell mightily even selling it off.

Baron Davis: Marginalized himself and the Warriors with one stroke: signing on the dotted line with the Clippers.

Monta Ellis: Hey, if you're going to be that dumb, at least do it on a Harley.

Thunder: Both the new Oklahoma City NBA team and the canned Warriors mascot.

Kimbo Slice: Media creation turned UFC cremation.

O.J Simpson: Took a while, but The Juice finally was inducted by the most appropriate hall: The Hall of Justice.

Contact Carl Steward at csteward@bayareanewsgroup.com

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 29, 2008

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