The 20 Worst Jobs in Sports

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIINovember 14, 2012

The 20 Worst Jobs in Sports

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    Want a career in sports? You're thinking a broadcaster or physical therapist, right? Maybe you have some skills and are looking to get on a player roster. Think of the money, the fame, the thrills, the A-list party invites.

    But not all the gigs out there will bring you to that fabled world where rivers flow with Gatorade.

    In fact, most won't.

    Click on to see what may well be the 20 most horrendous jobs in the world of sports.

20. Football Laundry Specialist

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    Sorry to shock you with this tidbit, but Tom Brady does not in fact launder his own uniform.

    And no, Gisele doesn't do it for him either.

    So, who then? Week after week those uniforms start out as Sunday's best, but by the end of the fourth, they are covered in grass, mud, clay, blood, sweat and sometimes mildew (from the artificial turf fields).

    The NFL laundry fairies are actually a "fraternity of football-laundry specialists," according to Sports Illustrated journalist Penny Ward Moser.

    Keep in mind these special-force commandos of the washing world aren't just scrubbing jerseys, but oceans of socks, towels and jock straps.

19. Teammate of A.J. Pierzynski

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    "If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less."

    - Former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen

18. Sports Blog Censor

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    Nothing brings out more vitriol, more odium and more passionate streams of profanity than online sports discussions. 

    But many sites like to stay "family friendly" and keep the content squeaky clean.

    So yes, there are folks out there poring over flagged content as they erode the delete button on their keyboards.

17. Star Player on a Bad MLS Team

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    The fans might idolize you, but keep in mind that they are few in number.

    And they're probably all dudes.

    Also, the guy selling popcorn up at the concession booth has about the same take-home pay as you.

16. Octagon Cleaner

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    Especially after a Joe Stevenson and Yves Edwards bout.

    Or after any bout with Kimbo Slice. Who would want to sweep up all those chest hair tumbleweeds?

15. Eli Manning's Image Consultant

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    Everyone loves an underdog, and in the Manning family, Eli definitely filled that role. 

    That was until he won two Super Bowls. 

    But despite his incredible accomplishments, Eli Manning is still considered a big doofus by most of the country. 

14. Player on the Charlotte Bobcats

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    You dazzle as a high school player. You're the hero of your college team. And now you've made it to the big time.

    Who needs an MFA or even a PhD when you are wanted by the NBA? 

    Unfortunately, the fun ends when you find yourself on the Charlotte Bobcats.

    The 2011-12 squad was officially the worst team in NBA history.

    And while a lot of people out there might like Michael Jordan, not many want him as their boss. Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes that Jordan is, "arguably the best player in NBA history and also one of its worst executives.

13. Security Worker at Lincoln Financial Field

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    Eagles fans have a reputation for being passionate, but also rowdy. As one reviewer on Yelp warns, "visiting fans beware as this is the most violent stadium for visitors I have been to in the NFL."

    Needless to say, security personnel keep busy.

12. Security Worker at a Tennis Stadium

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    Security personnel would prefer to avoid having to take down a crowbar-swinging drunken fan, but come on, we all know they like a little action now and then.

    Well, they won't get their fix at any tennis venue.

    Remember, tennis is a sport in which "etiquette standards discourage cheering or booing at any time during play." I guess that means punching, kicking and headbutting are out.

11. Buffalo Bills Benchwarmer

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    With no one else is the term benchwarmer used so literally.

    These poor guys get suited up for every game and do nothing whatsoever but uphold the second law of thermodynamics, slowly achieving equilibrium with that frozen plank of wood in blizzard-prone Orchard Park, N.Y.

10. Whoever Holds the Boom Mic for Suzyn Waldman

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    Our deepest sympathies go out to the sound technician who has to stand over this woman with headphones feeding into a highly sensitive microphone.

    Goodness gracious!

9. Production Assistant on ESPN First Take

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    We all know the rants that Skip Bayless lays on his peers and colleagues. Now imagine the constant stream of discordant verbal abuse a gofer on the set of ESPN First Take must be subjected to.

    But then again, if a guy who says LeBron James will never win a ring tells the poor assistant he'll never amount to anything, it's likely a guarantee of success.

8. Urine Sample Collector

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    Um, yeah. Gross.

    The routine goes something like this:

    1. Escort athlete to collection area.

    2. Whistle a ditty while athlete fills the bottle. 

    3. Take the still-warm bottle and seal it with tamper-resistant seals.

    4. Have athlete sign form certifying that the bottle was correctly collected, capped and labeled in his or her presence.

    5. If it's late in the day and FedEx is closed, take the pee pee home with you for safe keeping. 

7. Soccer Ref

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    NFL and NBA refs have it easy. So do MLB umps. Fans might express their displeasure at a call with some boos and hisses. Foot stamping, maybe. In extreme cases, snowballs or cups of beer might be lobbed a ref's way.

    Not so in soccer. A bad call might mean a death threat

6. Death Zone Cleaner

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    The so-called "death zone" in the upper reaches of Mt. Everest is aptly named. It's something of a frozen cemetery up there. According to an article in The Guardian, "scores of corpses preserved by the freezing temperatures remain on the mountain, some for decades."

    Frozen bodies lying about probably aren't great for Everest tourism, which is a key source of revenue for the government in Nepal. So teams go up and play undertaker, bagging bodies and bringing them down to be cremated at base camp or otherwise respectfully laid to rest.

5. Golf Ball Scuba Diver

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    Easy as slipping into a wetsuit and scooping up all that white gold with a big net, right?

    Um, wrong. Those waters are murky. And inhabited. 

    Pro golf ball diver Jarret Cornell said, "The fish are kind of scary. Tilapia are bad. They feel like they're going 100 mph when they hit you and it startles you because you're all calm and all of a sudden you get slammed."

    But body-slamming fish are far from a diver's biggest worry. That title might go to an 11' gator, like the one that attacked golf ball diver Dwight Monreal at a course in Tampa, Fla.

4. LeBron Hater

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    Life is good for the King. He got engaged, he got his ring and he got back his mojo.

    In his own words, "It's a good point in my life right now."

    For now, the best LeBron haters can hope for is rain on his wedding day.

3. Jockey

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    Among a jockey's many woes is the pressure to lose weight. Show up for weigh-in a bit pudgier than expected, and your next ride might be on the bus home. Jockeys "use sauna baths, a great deal of exercise and laxatives" to shed weight fast.

    But keeping slim and trim is the least of a jockey's worries.

    How about getting flung from a Quarter Horse charging at 55 miles per hour?

    There's a real possibility of getting trampled by hooves exerting as much as 3,000 pounds of force and having bones crushed into splinters.

    According to a CNN article, there are about two jockey deaths per year, but injuries are commonplace. 

    Just Google search, "jockey injured" and you will see an extensive menu of tragic news articles.

2. Yankee Stadium Custodian

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    Any guy who has been to a major sporting event knows that the men's rooms are not the most pleasant of places.

    When dudes are bloated with beer and rushing to get back to their seats before the action starts up again, well, let's just say their aim is a little off.

    Couple all those errant drops with the splattery deposits made by a handful of poor saps that had five too many Bud Lights, and throw in a few carelessly launched snot rockets, and the men's room floor resembles a Jackson Pollack work gone horribly wrong.

    After the game, custodians have to mop, scrub and scrape that mess up. 

    Bad as that is, sometimes they even get jokers like these lovebirds at Yankee Stadium that add to the mess. 

1. Youth Football Ref

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    Make a bad call for an NFL team and you get booed.

    Make a bad call at a youth league game and you get bum-rushed and beaten down.

    Warning: Some language is NSFW.