UT Sports, George Greanias: The Turkeys of the Year Runners-Up
Not everyone can be a winner. Not everyone can be such a loser that they become a Houston Press Turkey of the Year.
Almost, but not quite.
But while we don't give out participation ribbons, we do think there were some candidates who only barely eked out our 2011 winners.
So we salute these intrepid runners-up:
Sports Turkey of the Year Runner-Up: University of Texas Sports
When it comes to Texas traditions, we pretty much considered the annual A&M-UT game inviolable. But the Longhorns managed to screw things up in a massive greed overreach that chased the Aggies out of the Big 12 and into the SEC.
The almost literally unwatched Longhorn Network -- which sobs with envy at infomercial ratings -- got UT and ESPN in bed together and screwed fans of both football and decent TV programming.
UT's punishment for its overly inflated view of itself and "me, me, me" attitude? Just let the Mack Brown Era continue for another ten years or so of amazing recruiting and mediocre football, please.
Turkey IT Guy of the Year Runner-Up: George Greanias
George Greanias has proven to be an effective, solid leader who has gotten the flailing doom machine called Metro back on track.
His policy of transparency has been a 180-degree turnaround from the transit agency's historically paranoid, furtive and closed-door way of doing business, for example.
One thing Greanias isn't: Computer-savvy.
He wanted to do some porn-surfing in his office. Who are we to judge? But the man thought he would be in the clear because he was using his laptop. His laptop that apparently magically got the Internet all on its own, and not through any Metro wi-fi that would, say, keep a record of porn sites visited.
Greanias owned up to his errors, took a brief suspension and has returned to trying to keep the trains, buses and light-rail expansions running on time.
We just hope he bought a Wi-fi for Dummies book somewhere along the line.
Psychic Turkey of the Year: The Liberty County "Mass Graves" Woman
Newsrooms across the country blew up -- to the degree there were any employees left in them to get involved in blowing up -- when word started breaking one June afternoon that a mass grave had been discovered in Liberty County.
Not only a mass grave -- a mass grave containing the bodies of children. "Dozens of bodies" had been found, various outlets reported.
Eventually, it turned out, no bodies were found. Whoever was feeding the info to reporters was wrong, but in this Internet era of newsgathering you go with what you got. Even CNN had a "sources confirm" attribution to their claim of lots of dead kids.
What triggered it all? Some psychic who called law-enforcement authorities in Liberty County about a vision she had.
Officers checked out the property in question and did find blood, but it was from an accident (with a somewhat involved East Texas tale behind it). From there things just took off, and for a few hours it looked like the town of Hardin might be going down in mass-murder history.
But, amazingly, the psychic's "vision" turned out to be in error. We think she also had the Astros in the World Series that year.