The 2008 Bum Steer Awards

It was a year of angry Aggies, Baptist bravado, confused Cheney, death row drollery, enemas in evidence, fetid feet, ghetto gobbledygook, helicopter hunts, insurance idiocy, jerk judges, kin kidnappers, lawbreaking Longhorns, meshuggener misfires, NASA nimrods, Oswald online, pooped-on presidents, quick quarrels, requested roaches, scrotum-scarring Sooners, taped teenagers, unhinged urinators, visible Virgins, weaselly Whole Foods, X-rated x-classmates, yuletide yikes, and zeroed-out zebras.
Illustration by P. Loughran

You know it’s been a weird year when Ron Paul runs for president and makes more sense than his Republican rivals. When Tom Craddick claims to have total power but a Speaker’s race rages 24/7/365. When pro-life, gay-hostile, gun-friendly Rick Perry signs on with pro-choice, gay-friendly, gun-hostile Rudy Giuliani. When Kay Bailey Hutchison sounds as if she might really run for governor after all. When George W. Bush and Al Gore talk global warming in the Oval Office. When Karl Rove leaves the White House (don’t come back, please).

Sports was just as strange as politics. The Dallas Mavericks became the first top-seeded NBA team to lose to the bottom-seeded team in a seven-game playoff series. Bobby Knight did his best Dick Cheney impression, spraying pellets during two hunting trips outside Lubbock. The Houston Astros fired their general manager and manager and lost Craig Biggio to retirement; mainly, though, they lost—89 times. The woeful Texas Rangers set a major league record by scoring thirty runs in a game. Of course, they still finished last in their division.

Of all the Bum Steer sagas that played out over the past year, however, none was stranger than that of the man ESPN called “dumber than a blocking sled.” Yep, it’s the Aggies’ own Dennis Franchione. His $2 million salary evidently wasn’t enough; he moonlighted as the author of a VIP newsletter, which he sent out by e-mail to 23 well-heeled boosters willing to pay $1,200 for inside dope about injuries and recruits. Unsportsmanlike conduct! When A&M learned of his other gig, the university had to report two rules violations to the NCAA. Even beating Texas two years in a row couldn’t keep him in his job. Congrats, Coach Fran. You’re the Bum Steer of the Year.

Funny, the opposite happened to Representative Passhole Jones In the Texas House directory for the Eightieth Legislature, the listing for Representative Richard J. “Rick” Noriega, of Houston, added the letter p to the beginning of his nickname.

Two rongs don’t make a write A caption accompanying a picture of Anna Nicole Smith in the Houston Chronicle noted, “The model could barely right a sentence.”

You know what they also say? “We find the defendants guilty of criminally negligent homicide” After it was discovered that ApothéCure, a Dallas compounding pharmacy, incorrectly formulated a medication that resulted in three patient deaths at an Oregon clinic, Gary Osborn, the owner of the company, said, “You know what people say, stuff happens.”


Cecelia Lynn Coy-Jones
AP

Coming up at ten: She does five Cecelia Lynn Coy-Jones, a reporter for KCBD-TV, in Lubbock, was arrested for attempted aggravated kidnapping after lurking in the maternity wards of two Amarillo hospitals, because, she claimed, she was investigating how secure they were from would-be kidnappers.

Hairy Christmas! A shopping mall, the Outlets at Conroe, hired a rock climber in a Santa suit to rappel down an eighty-foot sign and light a holiday tree, but he had to be rescued when his fake beard got tangled up in his climbing gear.

Usually a Baylor football coach isn’t relieved until the season is over Baylor offensive line/tight end coach Eric Schnupp was cited for disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after relieving himself on the bar at Scruffy Murphy’s, in Waco.

Illegal contract on the home team! Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terry Glenn filed a lawsuit against former Dallas Mavericks player Robert Pack, alleging Pack reneged on a deal to sell Glenn his house.

Shofar, So Bad Marvin Marks, who retired from a career in law enforcement, accidentally shot his daughter in the foot and injured two other worshippers when his concealed handgun dropped to the floor and discharged during Rosh Hashanah services at Temple Emanu-El, in Dallas.


Billy Joe Shaver
Getty Images/Rick Diamond

With you handling his case, he’s about to find out After musician Billy Joe Shaver was charged with shooting a man following an argument at a bar, his attorney, Joe Turner, observed, “He’s already done twenty years in Waco. What more can they do to him?”

There are reasons? University of Texas researchers David Buss and Cindy Meston claimed to have identified 237 reasons why people have sex.

That’s why they call it a sex drive Officers responding to the scene of an accident near New Braunfels found that the occupants of one of the vehicles, Lisa Marie Bishop and her passenger, Robert Rydeen, were completely naked.


Victory Family Church
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Jill Johnson

Does being consigned to a lifetime of damnation in a fiery hell work? Just did! Victory Family Church, of Decatur, erected a billboard with the message “I Hate Victory Family Church—Satan.”

Smile and say, “Jeez, I’m stupid!” Thieves who burglarized video game magnate Richard Garriott’s Austin estate in February left behind a digital camera with photos of themselves smiling for the camera inside his house.

Cock-a-doodle-doofus To protest three felony theft charges he says were politically motivated, Willacy County district attorney Juan Angel Guerra began living with a rooster in an RV parked outside the county jail.


Illustration By P.J. Loughran

The first time an ass in a Texas courtroom hasn’t been addressed as “Counselor” Attorney Gregory Shamoun’s donkey, Buddy, was called as the first witness in a lawsuit pitting Shamoun against his Dallas neighbor, oilman John Cantrell.

¿Como Estes? Senator Craig Estes, of Wichita Falls, introduced legislation that would have authorized the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to build prisons in Mexico to house the approximately four thousand Mexican nationals serving time in the state prison system for nonviolent offenses, because, he said, “It’s a heck of a lot less expensive to build and staff prisons down there.”

The only thing is, our guys can’t score at the Ballpark Men’s Health ranked Arlington as the fourth-best city to meet single men among 101 U.S. cities surveyed.

Mengele, Jekyll, and Kevorkian were unavailable Dr. Nilon Tallant, of Fort Worth, a convicted sex offender, was honored by the Texas House of Representatives on January 12 as its “Doctor for the Day.”

That’s really sticking it to him American Airlines suspended a pilot for one month without pay after he

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