The 2009 Bum Steer Awards

The 2009 Bum Steer Awards
Clemens: Corbis
Ball: istockphoto.com

We knew it was going to be a Bum Steers kind of year when, right off the bat in January, Harris County district attorney Chuck Rosenthal was found to be using his official e-mail account to send sexist and racist jokes and pornographic videos. OMG! LOL! Then the mayor of Alice resigned after news broke that she had stolen a tiny dog named Puddles from her neighbors and lied about it for months. What a shih tzu storm! And the fun was just beginning: Lance Armstrong was shocked by his own water bill; Mark Cuban was coldcocked by the Securities and Exchange Commission; the Longhorns were knocked out of the Big 12 championship by a computer; and the Texan in the White House was clocked with a 20 percent approval rating, the lowest in history. Heckuva job, Bushie!

But nothing compared with the enhanced performance turned in by our Bum Steer of the Year: Roger Clemens. Here’s the dope: Not long ago, the former Longhorns and Astros star was a legitimate candidate for best pitcher in the history of the universe. Then Major League Baseball’s Mitchell Report identified him as a steroid user. Batter up! Huffing and puffing, Clemens traveled to Washington, where members of Congress found his protestations so unpersuasive they asked the FBI to investigate him for perjury. Strike one! Faced with damning testimony from Yankee southpaw Andy Pettitte, Clemens first discredited his longtime friend and then implied that the drugs had been for his wife. Strike two! And just when it seemed that things couldn’t get any worse, the New York Daily News reported that Clemens had carried on a long-term affair with singer Mindy McCready that had started when she was fifteen years old. Yer outta here! And you’re our Bum Steer—make that Bum Steeroid—of the Year.

We’re Number One, Not Two, Not Three, Not Four! We’re Gonna Win, Not Lose, Not Tie The Score! We’re on Top, Not Bottom, Not In Between! We’re Going To Violently Slaughter Our Opponents As Part of This Routine! A cheerleading skit during a September pep rally at Nacogdoches High School simulated the execution-style slaying of players from a rival school.

Warning: Side Effects May Include Drowsiness, Itchy Palms, And Career Loss Harris County district attorney Chuck Rosenthal resigned after news broke that he had deleted more than 2,500 e-mails subpoenaed in a federal civil rights lawsuit. Officials later determined that Rosenthal had used his official e-mail account to share racist jokes and sexually explicit videos, send campaign messages, and write love notes to his assistant, all of which he attributed to being under the influence of prescription drugs.

In an Attempt To Prevent This From Happening Again, Hot Wings And $6 Pitchers Of Domestic Draft Will Now Be Served

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