In life, if you're lucky, you meet some truly great people—selfless, dignified and hard-working. On the other hand, all too often you also meet some total pieces of excrement who screw you out of money and could care less if they have no honor.
Sports is no different than the rest of life. There are truly decent, charitable and humble guys who play whichever game they have a love for with grace and respect. This blog entry is not about those guys.
This is about the jerks. The callous, the losers. Here is a all too brief list of a few of them. After you read it, please write in with some of your choices.
An embarrassment, even before the BALCO scandal and the perjury charges. Racist. Beater of women. A braggart who never gave a kinds word to another player. Slipped his girlfriend an envelope of $10,000 and ordered her to get breast implants. Refused to sign a ball to be auctioned off for Children's Hospital. Would throw wet towels on the floor of Pirates locker room and laugh and point to it, so attendant would have to pick it up in front of everybody. 12-year-old nephew of Pirates pitcher Danny Darwin once handed Bonds a baseball card to sign. Bonds ripped it in half. Made $100,000 to appear with Alex Rodriguez at an event in New York City this winter and kept the money when Rodriguez, gave his money to charity. Pleaded for a job all season to only say last week he doesn't miss the game and is enjoying retirement.
A true knucklehead. Despite massive attempts to polish his image, still doesn't get it. Once, as a Indiana Pacer asked for a couple of months off from playing, because he was tired from promoting his rap album. Destroyed a camera during a basketball game. Wife-beater. Didn't feed his dog, causing Animal Services in California to seize his dogs. Oh and started the biggest stadium-wide brawl in sports. Then appeared on the Today Show the following Monday to promote his rap CD. Never apologized—says he doesn't regret the Auburn Hills Palace brawl because he "overcame things."When he heard that Yao Ming said "Hopefully, he's not fighting anymore and going after a guy in the stands," Artest replied "I'm still ghetto...Ron Artest never changed."
So self-centered, thinks the planets revolve around him. Class act, and by "class act," I mean "white trash." Regular tries to humiliate his quarterback when the pass doesn't go to him. Don't believe me—check out Eli Manning's stats before and after Shockey. Also calls out his coaches after losses. Took a long time to decide whether to go to the Super Bowl with his team, though he RSVP'd to Terrell Owens Super Bowl pre-party weeks ahead. Told New York magazine he enjoys going to "t!tty bars." Called Bill Parcells a "homo." Pouted and refused to practice when rumors swirled that the Giants were thinking of trading him. Repeatedly implicates Amani Toomer for his injury that caused him to miss the Super Bowl—brings it up in every inteview he gets. ("That's where a really smart teammate of mine fell into my leg.")
Drunk. Steroid user. Fat boy as well. Also a jerk. As a Panther, when starting placekicker John Kasay got injured, and the Panthers asked Sauerbrun to replace Kasay, he refused to kick unless he was reimbursed for fines he incurred when he was overweight. Got cut from the Broncos twice, once for using steroids. Another time for punching a cabbie. So, a drunk, violent fat, cheater who didn't want to help his team. A former teammate once said, that everyone who met him didn't like him. Jerk.
A savant-level talent with a Rain Man brain. A me-first guy who couldn't care less about his teammates. Pushed a traveling secretary down because the man can't get him the 16 tickets he wanted, only 4. Claimed to have pharyngitis, missing an important series against the Yankees, then was seen at a hotel bar with Yankee Enrique Wilson. In his first game ever, Ramirez hit a ground rule double, but thought he hit a home run until the third base umpire stopped him and told him to go back to second. He is shortly thereafter picked off. Often doesn't leave batter's box after hitting a ground ball. Refused to enter a game when manager Grady Little sends him in to pinch hit. Takes a self-appointed day off even though outfielder Trot Nixon is injured and the Red Sox have a short bench.
Former teammate, Kevin Garnett called him a F-ed-up dude. Has played his way out of every city he's been in—despite talent. Singlehandely caused Hall of Fame coach to retire. Defended Michael Vick's right to dogfight and execute them afterwards. Bragged about taking an intern to his his van for sex—while being a married father. Also admitted in during the Anucha Browne Sanders sexual-harassment lawsuit, admitted calling Sanders a "F-ing bitch” for not getting him more season passes, ("I said a lot of different things... I said she doesn't run s--- -.... I may have said f--- her.") and then left the courthouse singing a rap song to reporters.
And there are the nominees! Unbelievable, because there are so many jerks I haven't gotten to; Plaxico Burress, Ray Lewis, Ozzie Guillien, Mike Vanderjagt, Scottie Pippen, and one of my favorites, Gary Sheffield....ahhh! So many jerks. So little time.
So, please vote on who you think the biggest jerk in sports is, and don't be limited to this list. Nominate your own.