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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Updated: November 24, 6:19 PM ET
Who is New York's biggest Turkey?

By Stephen A. Smith
ESPNNewYork.com

Thanksgiving is about giving. We all know this. But one's charitable tendencies doesn't equate to being a good.

Is it good when Mark Sanchez gives up a pick-six on a weekly basis? Do we appreciate it when the New York Knicks hand out broomsticks for their own detriment to the Boston Celtics in the postseason? Has it become any easier for Mets fans to stomach their franchise all but encouraging anyone other than themselves to participate in postseason play? Or for the Giants to bow down and submit to everyone they play in the months of November and December, as their atrocious play versus the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday recently proved?

As nice as the Macy's Day Parade is every year, no one needs to endure chilly weather on the last Thursday of November to spot turkeys. There are plenty of them around the Tri-State Area sports scene, stinking up Gotham City like last week's unrefrigerated leftovers.

Rex Ryan
Rex Ryan has made a habit of making promises his Jets can't keep.

So without further ado -- or compunction -- here are New York's biggest turkeys of the year:

REX RYAN (New York Jets head coach):

It's bad enough that we all want Rex Ryan to win games. Now, we want him to shut up, too.

This is what happens when you guarantee the Jets are going to the Super Bowl and then pull up to Thanskgiving dinner at 5-5. When you've essentially forfeited the division title already -- for the third consecutive year -- and there's still six games remaining in the regular season. To the New England Patriots, no less. Mind you, we haven't touched on the fact that the Jets aren't even the best team in New York, or that they're officially in danger of missing the playoffs, or that their definition of a backup quarterback is Mr. AARP himself, Mark Brunell, which leaves the future of this franchise firmly in the hands of the erratic Mr. Sanchez.

"He's our quarterback," Ryan continues to say. Problem is, he's running short on reasons why.

To add insult to matters, the Jets coach was recently fined $75,000 for cussing out a fan just because the fan had the temerity to say "Bill Belichick is a better coach than you," which was -- and is -- true.

To Ryan's credit, he openly acknowledged he was wrong for spewing such rhetoric, that his emotions got the best of him and he was wrong.

Too bad he can't catch him before imitating Patrick Ewing with all of his false guarantees.

BRANDON JACOBS (New York Giants running back):

Let's see, the man is averaging three yards per carry this season and scored three touchdowns while averaging just 34 yards per game. Jacobs can't seem to find a pothole in the bumpy streets of New York, let alone a hole to run through in the Giants' line. He was just snuffed and cuffed by the Philadelphia Eagles and yet still has found the time to mouth off at Giants fans disgusted with his lack of productivity.

Brandon Jacobs
If Brandon Jacobs ran the ball as well as he runs his mouth, the Giants would be much better off.

And if that isn't bad enough, listen to what else Jacobs had the gall to say: "I can't do anything to make [fans] do anything different."

How about gaining yards when you carry the football, Mr. Jacobs! Do ya think that will help?

We'll say this much: Other than the 3.7 yards per carry Jacobs registered in 2009, he's never averaged less than 4.4 yards in his career. So either something is wrong with him, the offensive line, coach Tom Coughlin's schemes or all of the above. Pick one!

Either way, Jacobs should be thankful he has a year remaining on a deal that's paying him $3 million in base salary this season, and $4.9 million in 2012. Because no one appears to want him around now.

THE WILPONS (New York Mets owner):

No one needs to berate the Wilpons for getting hoodwinked by Bernie Madoff and the much-publicized Ponzi scheme that ripped away half of their fortune. But the one thing you can get on Fred and Jeff about is the moribund state of that other baseball team in town (the Mets).

Religiously!

They haven't won 80-or-more games in the past three seasons, which means they haven't cracked the .500 mark. They haven't been to the postseason since 2006. Since purchasing the remaining 50 percent of the franchise in 2002, they've continuously spent more than $100 million on payroll, went to just one postseason, haven't won a pennant and still appear to be going downhill season after season.

It's bad enough their new ballpark, Citi Field, has played more favorably toward the competition than the Mets themselves. But when you also end the season with Jose Reyes winning the battle title by failing to compete for it legitimately in the final day, it's emblematic of the atmosphere he's played under, which is to say second fiddle.

TBD
Derek Fisher & Co. don't have a clue at this point.

Shame!

NBA PLAYERS:

Although the owners are a bit too aggressive and, in some cases, flat wrong, it's embarrassing to see NBA players holding such a stubborn stance with owners when they have no leverage. Simply put, though the NFL (America's passion) and Major League Baseball (America's pastime) have reached recent deals to avoid work stoppages, a league that's 72 percent black can't seem to do so with $2 billion, along with $5 million in average salary (projected to escalate to $7 million, eventually) on the table, you have simply lost touch with reality. So says the harsh economic times we're all living in.

For the stars who've made their money, more power to them. For the 350-to-400 players who haven't and are about to miss out, our prayers are with you. You'll need them soon enough.

Especially with Christmas shopping on the horizon.

MIKE TANNENBAUM (Jets executive VP and GM):

This is the man responsible for all the problems the Jets are having. He's the guy who traded up for Sanchez and still hasn't located a viable backup. He let go of Thomas Jones, gave the keys to Shonn Greene and wasted a first-round draft pick on Vernon Gholston.

Tannenbaum also demoralized Antonio Cromartie by pursuing Nnamdi Asomugha initially, then paid the disgruntled corner $32 million. The offensive line has underperformed all year. Brian Schottenheimer is still the offensive coordinator. Rex Ryan still stands by him and zero consistency comes from anyone outside of Darrelle Revis.

Perhaps everything is not Tannenbaum's fault, but it's on his watch.

Enough said.