2009 Hall of Shame

Schultheis, let's retire.

Dan Hawkins

What? How could University of Colorado head football coach Dan Hawkins rate the Hall of Shame when his team nearly made it to a bowl game? Wait. What? The Buffs went 3-9 (including losses to Toledo, Iowa State, Kansas State) and weren't even close to bowl-game contention? You would never have known that if you just listened to the coach — a man who can rationalize, and rationalize, and rationalize just about anything. "I think it's one of those seasons where if you take away ten plays, you are probably a bowl team," Hawkins told the press. Maybe ten plays in each quarter of each game. Other lowlights included Hawkins's refusal to bench his poorly playing son, Cody, until early October, and prize recruit Darrell Scott's decision to flee Boulder. Oh well, at least no one got raped by a Buff this year (we hope). "You're always going to have failures and setbacks in your life, and you have to be able to take that energy towards getting better and moving on. It's okay to hurt," the coach said at one point. "That's part of it, and you want that, but you've got to push that hurt in the right direction." And there will be plenty more hurt to come, since CU inexplicably decided to bring Hawkins back for another year.

Shawn Merriman

God must love Picasso paintings and Aston Martins, because the temple that former Mormon bishop Shawn Merriman built was full of fancy cars and expensive artwork — at least until it all came crashing down. In April, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Merriman, an unlicensed investment broker, accusing him of running a Ponzi scheme that had bilked dozens of investors out of $21 million over fifteen years. In August, he was arrested and charged with felony mail fraud, much to the delight of his former clients, some of whom had lost their savings to Merriman's 400-piece art collection, his homes and his classic cars. Merriman, who lives in Aurora, pleaded guilty in December and could face twenty years in prison when he is sentenced this spring.

Erwin Vermont Washington

That's cockpit, not cocktail pit. It wasn't turbulence that delayed United flight 949 from London to Chicago in November. No, it was allegedly tipsy pilot Erwin Vermont Washington, of Lakewood, who was arrested at Heathrow Airport before the plane took off. Washington, who was acting strangely, had barricaded himself in the cockpit, and a crew member alerted authorities; Washington reportedly failed a breathalyzer test. Details of the case — including Washington's current whereabouts (United has suspended him) — are sketchy; Washington is due in court in London on January 3. No doubt the 124 passengers who were scheduled to fly with him will drink to that.

An early resolution for shameful Coloradans ranging from the Heene family to Washington: Straighten up and fly right.

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