By David Fleming
Page 2

Three things really shocked me about the eighth annual T.O.Y Awards: (1) At last count, nearly 40,000 of you voted in the poll; (2) in that poll, won in a landslide by The Player Who Shall Not Be Named and his agent (who appropriately siphoned off 15 percent of his client's vote), I somehow managed to finish ahead of (or, I guess it would be behind) the Whizzinator dude, which should be incredibly insulting if it weren't so dang funny; and (3) most of the responses were actually obscenity-free, well-written, thoughtful and quite humorous. Most, I said. Not to worry. For you old-school FlemFilers out there, there were plenty of WHYLO (Who Helped You Log On?) candidates to choose from.


From Jerry: What about William Clay Ford, owner of the Detroit Lions? Or Matt Millen, yet another clueless Lions GM Ford won't fire because Millen is his buddy? Or how about the Lions' fans, who sell out Ford Field and continue to support this pathetic franchise? Surely after their turkey of a performance on Turkey Day, the Lions deserve some representation as candidates for Turkey of the Year.

More Flem File
How the Jags will stay and fight even without QB Byron Leftwich.

From Rob: GREAT article … freaking hilarious! Being from San Diego, I can tell you that the parking lot tailgate car fires have happened on more than one occasion!

From Russ: I just read your TOY column. Until then I had not heard of GEOFFREY HUISH. I'm still in shock and slightly queasy. I have no humorous comment to make, though this story screams for it. I don't have any intelligent or poignant thoughts on the subject either. I don't find the story funny at all, just shockingly sad and somehow scary. I only want to put in a write-in vote for Geoff for TOY because he wasn't listed in the online poll. I don't think I'll be able to cross my legs tonight from fear of damaging my own package. Has everyone on this planet gone crazy? I mean, TEN agonizing minutes to mutilate yourself permanently with dull wire cutters? Uggghhh. Seriously, I may vomit. I have to go now. I thought writing you would make me feel better, but it hasn't.

From Alvin: I really think that the cranes and the Indians were "whooping" their cries, and the kicker was "whupping" the bouncer's butt -- "whupping" being a backwoods corruption of the word "whipping." Just a thought, and it really doesn't matter, 'cause I dig the columns emitted from the little phlegmish village.

From Lyle: While I totally agree that Kellen Winslow deserves a turkey award, it is kind of unfair to talk about his record, as he was injured for most of his first season.

From Jeff: The whole point of what Nick Saban preaches is to focus on the process. That means each player focuses on what he needs to do each play and players shouldn't worry about the outcome of the game or the season. It really does make sense.

From Jeff: While I loved your article, I must point out that you claim "not to name" (Terrell Owens) but you do so repeatedly … with the ever so appropriately named award: The T.O. … Y.

From Dave: Is it true that Tommy Maddox is the only quarterback in the NFL with a beer belly?

From Hoppy: You are Dave Fleming Owens.

From Jim: The 1972 Dolphins WON all of their games, NO other team has ever done it before. How about a sports reporter showing them the RESPECT they DESERVE. Even the Hall of Fame only has a little board about 17-0. GET some Class yourself.

From Michael: Yes, I'm a Seahawks fan and yes, the fans who believed your parody of "Inside the Actor's Studio" are dumb. But the piece that you wrote was one of the dumbest "trying to be funny" pieces of crap I have ever read.

From Ed: Maybe you can tell me why T.O. is such a selfish person and not a team player? I don't think anyone could tell me one receiver in the NFL that doesn't always want the football. Even my favorite football player of all time, Jerry Rice, always wanted the football. Terrell Owens' only problem is saying the wrong words when he is trying to make a definitive point. Even when he said those things about Donovan McNabb, he wasn't lying. I believe that now that everybody has an opportunity to take a shot at T.O., they are going above and beyond where they should go. Maybe if Terrell Owens took steroids or some other types of drugs, or even maybe assaulted someone, he still would have been able to play for this team. Ricky Williams quit on his team, teammates and coaches for drugs, and they still welcomed him back. I guess that in some places it is OK to be judgmental of some people more than others.


Had enough? Me, too. OK, on to the WHYLO's …

The first WHYLO is supersensitive Seahawks supporter Chris, who didn't bother to figure out why I nominated some Seahawks fans -- he just saw the words "Seahawks" and "Turkeys" and went ballistic. (The truth is, I nominated only the Seattle fans who didn't get my "Inside the Actor's Studio" parody with Shaun Alexander and actually asked when the show would be rebroadcast.) Although I respect his repeated use of the word turkey, Chris didn't do any of his Seahawks fans any favors when he actually misspelled "Super Bowl."

Chris writes: "Well well well David Fleming. You seem to virtually know nothing about the Seahawks or us Seahawk Fans. We are so sick and tired of stupid columnists like you who don't give our team, our players, and our city the respect we deserve. It seems not many other people agree with you about us being TURKEYS. Seems like more people are calling you a TURKEY than us Seahawk Fans. So I think you need to write an article apologizing to us Seahawk fans for calling us TURKEYS seeing you're the BIGGER TURKEY according to the public. I hope we win the Superbowl this year and knock off the undefeated Colts on Christmas Eve so us Seahawk fans and players can get the respect we deserve and so we can rub it in your stinkin face. Expect an email after we win home field advantage and win our first playoff game in 21 years. Never going to read one of your articles again."

The next WHYLO is Dan, who somehow missed the idea that this was an NFL Turkey of the Year Award, even though it was plastered all over the column. Here's a really frightening thought: Dan's a flight coordinator. Dan writes: "Did you forget about Palmeiro, McGwire and the whole MLB steroids fiasco?"

And finally, if you think the flight coordinator is clueless, try Ken. This uber-WHYLO writes: "How can you leave T.O. off your Turkeys of the Year list? Here is a guy who left his team, his quarterback and his fans out to dry."

Chris, Dan, Ken … Who Helped You Log On?

David Fleming is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. His book, "Noah's Rainbow," a father's emotional journey from the death of his son to the birth of his daughter, can be preordered through Baywood Publishing. Contact him at