Publications name Oklahoma's Clay Bennett as cover boy

One publication's "Oklahoman of the Year" is another publication's "Turkey of the Year."

Businessman Clay Bennett, chair of Oklahoma City Thunder ownership group, has the distinction of being recently named "Oklahoman of the Year" by Oklahoma Today magazine and nominated a "Turkey of the Year" by The Olympian newspaper in Washington state.

In Oklahoma Today's announcement, Editor-in-chief Louisa McCune-Elmore said "no one came close to Clay Bennett" during the selection of this year's grand poobah.

"People respect Clay," said former Oklahoma City mayor Ron Norick, according to a press release. "When Clay is involved, things are going to happen."

Can't argue with that. Back in Washington state, Brendan Funtek of The Olympian nominated Bennett as a "Turkey of the Year." Here's hoping Clay doesn't get pardoned by Sarah Palin.

"He did it," Funtek wrote of Bennett. "He really got away with heisting the Sonics to Oklahoma City. He was also the leader of an impatient ownership group whose e-mail exchange was so unprofessional they nearly lost their federal case to the City of Seattle during the heist."

Funtek was so generous that he mentioned Bennett in the nomination of another candidate, the ex-owner of the former Seattle franchise.

"Howard Schultz, previous owner: What was that civil lawsuit all about?" Funtek wrote. "Did Schultz actually think he could restore his credibility back? He was shocked (gasp), shocked, I tell you, of Bennett's plans to take the Sonics to OKC all along. Uh, yeah. His capitulation in the civil lawsuit against Bennett was also annoying. As if there are such things as ethical business practices."

The national sports blog Deadspin, which didn't nominate Bennett for anything, chimed in on the "Oklahoman of the Year" proclamation.

"Merry Christmas, Seattle!" Deadspin's Dashiell Bennett wrote. "Here's one more bow on the big crap-filled present that was 2008. It the gift that keeps on giving.

"By the way, if you happen to know any Sonics fans, you might want to hold on to their shoelaces for a little while longer."

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