A wise man once said, “Beware of football Bum Steers.” Baseball is fine, and so is basketball, since both of those seasons will have wrapped up by the time the January issue goes to press. But football is a different story. Just when you think a player or a coach or a team has thoroughly, unquestionably qualified themselves for inclusion into the hall of shame, just when you’re all set to ship the magazine to the printer and consign them to thirty days of newsstand infamy, the bums will do something to redeem themselves.
It was with this caveat in mind that we watched the 2010 season unfold. We’d been casting about for our Bum Steer of the Year, running through the usual suspects of disgraced politicians, contemptible corporations, embarrassing celebrities, fallen heroes, and stupid criminals. None of the candidates was a slam dunk. Sure, the State Board of Education had been heaped with national ridicule back in March during the textbook debates, but that was an eternity ago, and besides, nothing says “worst-selling magazine cover ever” like an image of Don McLeroy performing a root canal on Thomas Jefferson. Ouch and ouch. BP? Deserving of the denigration, sure, but I don’t