Ever since JFK got benevolent just days before his assassination, presidents have been pardoning the turkeys presented to them at the White House.
It's a noble tradition, and one we take up here at the Houston Press. In putting together our annual Turkey of the Year award, we were all set to name a winner who had consistently displayed behavior causing angst, agita or tsuris among Houstonians for years.
Then we thought of the doomed JFK and changed our mind.
Yao Ming's Tender Left Foot, consider yourself pardoned.
Yao's left foot and ankle have long, as scientists put it, "bugged the shit out of" Rockets fans who can only dream of the team they could have if the Chinese center stayed healthy.
But it's been a string of injuries. with resulting ineptitude on the court.
This year the Rockets vowed to take it easy on Yao and limit his minutes in games. It didn't work, and Yao is once again out with a foot/ankle injury.
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But you know, it's not his fault. It's not like he's intentionally ruining the Rockets for years to come because of an ego run amok, like this year's Turkey of the Year award winner Frank Wilson did with Metro.
Yao just has tender feet that aren't built to handle a 7-foot-5 guy running up and down the court. Blame God, or Buddha, or whatever deity Communist China is allowing these days.
And in the spirit of whichever god it is, and JFK, we pardon thee, Yao's foot.
Maybe this pardon will keep sad Yao from being sad.