20 Most Annoying Pairs in Sports
In the world of sports there is no shortage of power couples, dynamic broadcasting duos and entertaining partners in crime. Actually, there is a severe shortage of likable broadcasting duos across all sports and networks—but there are plenty of the other two.
Unfortunately, for every David Nelson and Kelsi Reich, there's a Hank Baskett and Kendra Wilkinson. For every Brady and Welker, there's a T.Ocho. And for every tolerable pair of broadcasters, there's 10 more Joe Buck plus one teams out there.
These are the the partners, the teammates and the BFF's that make us groan, cringe, roll our eyes or just mute the TV on Sunday afternoons.
These are 20 of the most annoying pairs in sports.
Honorable Mention: Terrell Owens & Chad Ochocinco
These two don't actually count as a pair anymore, but their shared season with the Bengals won't soon be forgotten.
Not because Batman and Robin were surprisingly productive as a receiving duo, but rather the haunting memories of the television-spread plague they unleashed on an unsuspecting public—The T.Ocho Show.
20. Dwyane Wade & LeBron James
And cue the hate mail from Heat fans! Before anyone freaks out, please know that I like both of these guys individually and I'm not being a "hater." Obviously the two are good friends, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
That being said, the NBA is a superstar league and these are the only two superstars that come as a packaged deal. Nobody is saying they should avoid each other, being on the same team, but are separate press conferences too much to ask for?
Superstars don't share! We all wanna know whose team the Heat is.
19. Peyton Manning & Jim Irsay
I've been very firmly in the "Team Peyton" camp in the public war of words between future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay. There's no getting around the fact that Irsay cleaned house without so much as a call to Manning.
Personally, I'm still firmly in the "Team Peyton" camp, but it's time for these two to sit down and end all this speculation. Why are they dragging their feet? Does Irsay just want to stay in the news, or are both of them enjoying the spotlight?
18. Joe Buck & Troy Aikman
Pretty much every time I (or anyone around me) is annoyed with the broadcasting team of a given game, usually I say "at least it's not Joe Buck." Unfortunately, that doesn't work when he is actually involved.
Leave it to Joe Buck to make you long for Sundays with Troy Aikman and Phil Simms—not exactly the best duo in broadcasting.
Aikman really isn't great at announcing, but at least he's got some kind of sports cred. How Buck managed to worm his way in the broadcasting booth for both NFL and MLB games is a mystery. Oh yeah, his Dad is a legend.
17. Klohe & Lamar
When Khloe Kardashian met then-Lakers forward Lamar Odom in September 2009 and married him in September 2009, nobody thought that mess would last more than a few months.
Cut to two-and-a-half years later and they're still together. Odom and the beastliest Kardashian even have their own show where they televise their failed sexual exploits—like a broken sex swing (barf).
I think it's nice that these two seem to be making it work and, unlike her soulless sister, are not actively making a mockery out of the institution of marriage. I just wish we could see less of it.
16. Tom Brady & Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady probably have the most symbiotic relationship of any head coach and quarterback in the NFL. Sure, that's great for Patriots fans, but not for fans of the countless teams that have been gutted by Brady over the last decade.
Anyone in that large group knows there is nothing more irritating than seeing Belichick and Brady huddled together on the sidelines in the third quarter, figuring out how to beat you by 30 instead of 20.
15. Tony Kornheiser & Michael Wilbon
I am a regular viewer of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, but that has more to do with working from home and a lack of attractive alternatives than me actually liking the program.
I've never been a passionate fan of PTI, but it was Tony Korneiser and Michael Wilbon's insistence on continually using the verb "slurping" (as opposed to fawning over) that has made viewing a daily exercise in endurance.
When either one of these guys utters the phrase "slurpin' your boy!," hours pass before my skin stops crawling. (Shudder...)
14. Mike & Kyle Shanahan
When Mike Shanahan named his son Kyle offensive coordinator for the Redskins, many in the D.C. Metro area (including myself) wondered if the 26-year-old was really the best man for the job, or if this was another instance of nepotism in the NFL.
Two seasons into his tenure and the question still lingers—especially with so much uncertainty with offense for the Skins. And there's no separating this package deal in the eyes of most—when Kyle is struggling, the finger is pointed at Mike.
13. Sean Avery & Henrik Lundqvist
Rangers fashionistas Sean Avery and Henrik Lundqvist are two peas in a pod. They room together on the road, they've both been named to Forbes' Best Dress List, and Avery even gets jealous when models try to move in on his man.
Oh, and when Avery needs someone to entertain paying customers at his sports bar Warren 77, Lundqvist and his hipster jam band will be there in plaid.
Maybe this would be less annoying if Mary Kate and Ashley were playing a sport other than hockey, but it probably wouldn't be.
12. Albert & Deidre Pujols
Albert Pujols had every right to peace out on the Cardinals and sign with the Angels when he was offered more money.
His contract ultimatum before the start of the season seemed like a "now or never" guarantee to most of us, and the Cardinals failed to get a deal done. Seems pretty cut and dry, which is why Deidre's decision to take to the radio to defend her husband's decision, and discuss his contract, was so puzzling.
Deidre also unloaded her anger on the Cardinals and God for being so selfish and stingy with money that it forced her to move her life and her family to California. That must have been so hard for the whole family.
Oh, the humanity!
11. Joe Buck & Tim McCarver
If you did a search on Google for Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, you will be treated to a litany of hilarious headlines and stories on the less-than-dynamic duo. One 2010 headline from Yahoo! Sports really sums up my feelings on these two:
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are ruining the playoffs
Buck and McCarver are like hotdog water (the nasty cloudy water and meat bits left after boiling hotdogs)—add them to anything, and it's completely ruined.
10. Kim Kardashian & Reggie Bush
This probably isn't going to come as a surprise to you, but I didn't like Kim Kardashian and Dolphins running back Reggie Bush as a couple the first time around. So, the fact that they may be dating again thrills me about as much as elective fingernail removal surgery would.
Honestly, I have no idea if they are even "together." TMZ says they were recently on a date, but plenty of other less reputable outlets are claiming that this unholy duo are planning to elope.
I guess Kim doesn't need an over the top wedding like most girls. Oh wait...she just had one six months ago! But yeah...good call...two would just be tacky.
9. Stephen A. Smith & Skip Bayless
When it comes to televised screaming and exaggerated gestures, nobody does it like FirstTake's Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. Maybe you aren't a masochist who routinely subjects yourself to this madness, but if you've seen one episode, you've seen them all.
Jay Crawford announces a "debate topic," then Skip and Stephen A. spend 10 increasingly loud minutes trying to out-stupid each other as they awkwardly insert the "burns" (like Skip BASEless) they spent the entire weekend jotting down.
That's repeated for the next two hours, and then the show is immediately rerun on the same channel. A thin slice of heaven...
8. Frank & Jamie McCourt
Frank and Jamie McCourt are the hateful tornado of human poison at the center of most of the problems that have dogged the Dodgers in recent years.
Since their divorce settlement was approved in late 2011, they aren't technically a "couple" anymore, but they damage they did to the franchise will be remembered for decades.
Calling them two of the most vile people in the history of sports might sound like hyperbole—but it's not—because they really are.
7. Judy Trammell & Kelli McGonagill Finglass
I've watched all six seasons of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, which I'm not proud of.
But the only thing that has been worse than dealing with my own personal shame, has been watching Judy Trammell (choreographer) and Kelli McGonagill Finglass (director) find new and inventive ways to rip out the hearts of prospective new cheerleaders.
Each season they put through a number of hopefuls, only to heartlessly dismiss them later for some uncompromisable flaw they had no hope of changing.
6. Rex Ryan & Mark Sanchez
After being named the head coach of the Jets three years ago, Rex Ryan's first major decision was to draft Mark Sanchez and make him the franchise quarterback. Since then, their relationship has had plenty of dramatic ups and downs—usually coinciding with Sanchez's play on the field.
The two of them spent most of last season bickering and barking back and forth, but it was Ryan's seeming willingness to go down with the S.S. Sanchize that was really annoying—like he'd rather go down with the ship than admit a mistake.
Recently though, Ryan has shown some signs of growth—if he's willing to back off his patented "Super Bowl guarantee," could seeing the light on Sanchez be next?
5. Jim Nantz & Phil Simms
There isn't much to like about Phil Simms as a broadcaster. He's condescending, not terribly insightful and has a habit of always saying the wrong thing. That being said, there isn't much to hate about Simms either. You just have squint your eyes and hope the intense smarmyness doesn't burn your retinas.
On the other hand, there is plenty to hate about Jim Nantz. He's vile, an elitist and he's very quick to condemn something or someone, despite having quit a messy personal history himself. Nantz is just wretched.
4. Floyd Mayweather & Manny Pacquiao
Will they or won't they? At this point, it seems like fight negotiations between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have been going on forever.
I don't know if they will ever actually fight, but I do know that I'm sick of hearing about all the losers they are fighting in the mean time.
I'm also sick of Pacquiao being almost silent on the issue. And I'm even more sick of Mayweather lashing out about it publicly and behaving like an uncontrollable sociopath.
Fight or don't fight—whatever—just please shut up about it.
3. Kendra Wilkinson & Hank Baskett
Kendra and Hank seem like nice enough people, but there was a time when it required more than a sunny disposition to be handed your own television show. Hank had a brief and decidedly unremarkable career in the NFL, and Kendra's biggest accomplishments all involve sharing a bed with an 80-year-old man.
Obviously the bar is set lower for reality television, but televising a former Playmate who lacks all common sense and basic math skills trying to raise a child, falls far short of the low bar.
2. Skip Bayless & Tim Tebow
In case you haven't heard, ESPN's Skip Bayless is the biggest Tim Tebow fan on the entire planet—just ask him. Actually, unless you want to spend three hours hearing about how the whole world is out to get Tebow, you probably shouldn't ask him.
Let me just say this, put the dynamic between Bayless and Tebow into any other context and the police are probably getting involved. If this classic YouTube mash-up was about a single-minded obsession with Erin Andrews, then Skip is probably taking a "vacation" until the smoke clears. Stalking is no laughing matter.
1. Mel Kiper & Todd McShay
The best thing about ESPN "draft experts" Mel Kiper and Todd McShay is that we're only intensely subjected to them for a brief period each year. They might make the occasional appearance throughout the year, but these combative cohorts are only regularly featured in the three months between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft.
Unfortunately, those three months feel like a lifetime, thanks to the ever changing mock drafts, endless debate about prospects and the constant painful bickering back and forth. And they are always wrong. Both. Wrong. Please make it end...