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Wake-Up Call: Top Ten Turkeys for 2009

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There's still a month to go before the year ends -- plenty of time for more people to join the elite flock of fuck-ups for 2009 (and for Josh McDaniels to get back on the list, after his last-second reprieve with yesterday's win).

Still, there's been no shortage of Colorado turkeys this year -- as our Shmuck of the Week roster, accessible here, makes clear. Our Top Ten Turkeys for 2009 (so far), counting down:

10. Erwin Vermont Washington, grounded United pilot. Save the drinking for the cocktail lounge, not the cockpit.

9. Shawn Merriman, the Mormon's answer to Bernie Madoff.

8. Quincy Vanderbilt: Next time you come to Denver for the American Idol tryouts, leave your dog at home -- not in a car baking in the summer sun.

7. Dan Hawkins. CU's Dead Man Talking survives for another season.

6. Ted Haggard. He started out the year with an apologetic PR tour, ended on his knees with a living room prayer circle.

5. Brandon Marshall. The flag keeps dropping on his off-field antics.

4. Tom Martino. The consumer crusader wants to be a stand-up comic, and got his wish -- in a way -- as the focus of a classic Adam Cayton-Holland video.

3. Dave Shultheis: He's leaving the legislature, but leaving behind a rich legacy of gaffes.

2. Kristen Parker: Is hep C the gift that keeps on giving?

1. Richard Heene: Balloon Boy's dad blew up real good.

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