10.29.2009

Eric Turner, 1994 Coke Monsters of the Gridiron (Halloween Week No. 5)

Name: Eric Turner, aka Bad Bone
Team: Cleaverland Browns
Position: Safety
Fright value of card: Four Milk Bones
Key 1994 splat: Graduated from obedience school
Bow-wow-wow, yippee-yo, yippee-yay: Eric Turner loved his Coke Monsters of the Gridiron costume so much, he decided to keep it and wear it on game days. Members of Cleveland's notorious Dawg Pound were thrilled. The players on the field? Not so much. His teammates quickly grew tired of seeing him try to intercept passes with his mouth, and the constant ruffing-the-passer penalties didn't help. And it was just plain gross when Turner would lift his leg on the down marker and do his "business" on the 50-yard line. The last straw came when a brutally cold December game against Pittsburgh had to be stopped while Turner humped referee Ed Hochuli's leg. Coach Bill Belichick presented Turner with an ultimatum: Stop wearing the dog costume or get "fixed." Turner chose to leave the outfit at home, but was so heartbroken he died in 2000 at the age of 31 — or 217 in dog years.
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