20 Athletes We're Sick of Hearing About
Enough is enough.
Some say the media just meets the demands of the public, which is why we’re constantly bombarded with repetitive, never-ending storylines about the same five or six people. But others say the strategy is more about drilling something into the ground until it can’t possibly be drilled any further.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?
Considering I’m feeding into the problem at this moment (though in a more indirect way), take this for what it’s worth. But the cold, hard truth is that there are certain people we’re over hearing about.
No more Tebow, no more Ray Lewis, no more Dwight Howard—please. Hope you’re listening, ESPN.
Here’s a look at the athletes we’re sick of hearing about.
20. Rajon Rondo
We know he's injured. We know it's a huge bummer for the Celtics. (Trust me—I really know.)
But no matter how much we try to move on from the "Rondo is out for the season with a torn ACL and the Celtics will have to find a way to win without him" storyline, we can't.
Part of it is because Rondo's agent won't let the story die and insists his client could be back earlier than expected. Part of it is because the Celtics keep finding a way to win without him, so now, instead of wondering whether Boston can get by without its All-Star point guard, we're all wondering how long the magic will last.
Any time a marquee player on a contending team suffers a potentially season-ending injury, the story seems to live on forever—or at least until the season ends. And if that's true, we have a lot more Rondo stuff to hear about until this one's over.
19. Lindsey Vonn
Hearing about Lindsey Vonn's horrible crash at the skiing world championships was terrible. The 2010 Winter Olympics gold medalist represents one of our nation's best shots at garnering top honors at the 2014 Games, and nobody likes seeing someone like her go down.
But all of this Tiger Woods plane stuff? No thanks.
First of all, there's the fact that nobody wants to hear about anyone Tiger Woods may or may not be dating because of his...history. Then there's the fact that we really, really don't want to hear that he could potentially be dating one of the female athletes out there we actually like.
The rumor mill started churning this week when reports surfaced that Woods sent Vonn his private plane after she suffered her injury—and according to USA Today, he sent the plane because the two are a thing.
And if that's the case, we can only imagine how this story is going to blow up over the next few months. It's already annoying and it has barely even started.
18. Alex Collins
Most people know him only as the kid whose mom stole his National Letter of Intent, thereby delaying his commitment to Arkansas and perhaps hoping it would compel him to change his mind and opt for the University of Miami.
But alas, her efforts were futile. Once Collins recovered his papers, he had his dad sign them—his dad who, by the way, wasn't a part of his life until then, according to CBS News—and he committed to the Razorbacks, as expected.
This was signing-day drama at its finest—or perhaps at its worst. Recruiting the mom is just as big a part of the battle as recruiting the player himself, and coaches know it—but never has a mom taken things into her own hands quite like this.
Hopefully, once he begins his college football career at Arkansas, Collins will be known for more than this fiasco.
17. Joe Flacco
At best, football fans are ecstatic for Joe Flacco and what he was able to accomplish this postseason. At worst, football fans hold a grudging respect for him.
But we've been hearing about Flacco's contract drama since last summer, when he went on the radio and told the world that he was one of the elites. Now that he has lived up to his word, the will-he-or-won't-he-get-the-big-contract drama has exploded.
Flacco was the big story of the NFL postseason, and it's only fitting that his story be played out until we're all sick of hearing his name.
His 70-yard touchdown bomb to Jacoby Jones in the divisional round was the big turning point of the postseason, and a few weeks later, when he was named Super Bowl MVP, he cemented his legacy as one of the best young QBs in the game.
So we've established it: Flacco deserves the big contract. Baltimore, give it to him so we can stop speculating about it.
16. Arian Foster
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster certainly got the world talking about him this postseason when he took extreme offense to being called a tomato can and thus called the entire world's attention to it with his Twitter avatar (above).
Wonder if he'd like to take back that move?
Foster committed one of the marquee postseason etiquette mistakes when he posted his bulletin-board material on Twitter.
When everyone should have been talking about whether the Texans would be able to avenge a late-season loss to the New England Patriots and thus earn themselves a spot in the AFC Championship game, they were instead talking about a Twitter avatar.
And what's even worse is that his motivational tactic didn't even work. The Texans lost 41-28 to New England in the playoffs, and Foster's only touchdown came when it was already too late.
Next time, perhaps Foster will let his play do the talking rather than his Twitter avatar—and maybe then, we'll all be talking about him for the right reasons.
15. Kris Humphries
Recently, Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries was asked if it bothers him that his name has been circulating in trade rumors for much of this season.
Of course, he said no. Why would it bother him? Kris Humphries lives for drawing attention to himself. Constant trade speculation is music to his ears.
If there is one person in the NBA whom we'd all like to forget for good, it would have to be Humphries. Never has there been someone who has become a household name for such silly, non-basketball related reasons.
A ridiculous televised wedding and subsequent acrimonious divorce is not something to be proud of, and yet Humphries wears the humiliation like a badge of honor.
And on top of it all, he hasn't even been good for the Nets this season.
14. AJ McCarron vs. Darnell Dockett
So the whole AJ McCarron vs. Darnell Dockett thing was funny for about a minute at the beginning of January.
But the time has come to let this story die a rightful death, and yet both McCarron and Dockett seem utterly unwilling to let it happen.
The drama began during the BCS national championship game, when McCarron's beauty queen girlfriend got her 15 minutes of fame on national TV.
Dockett, a defensive end for the Arizona Cardinals, began pursuing McCarron's girl pretty hard via Twitter, and at first, McCarron played into it, telling the Cardinal to start winning and maybe it would bring him some female attention.
So that was entertaining. But now that it's been over a month and these two are still going at each other via Twitter, it has become a nuisance.
McCarron, you're not going to lose your girl to a Cardinals defensive end. Maybe to someone else, but not to him. Dockett, move on with your life. And leave the Twitterverse in peace.
13. Randy Moss
It's probably safe to say that Randy Moss' best days are behind him.
Which is why it's so irritating to hear about him trying to turn every press event into The Randy Moss Show, even now.
Moss was once one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. But that was then, and now, he's merely a backup—and even if he's a backup on a Super Bowl team, he still should still be keeping himself in check. But that, of course, is a foreign concept to Moss.
At Media Day leading up to Super Bowl XLVII, Moss couldn't resist drawing the attention to himself one last time when he told a scrum of reporters that he thinks he's the best wide receiver of all time.
It's an entertaining thought, but the time and the place that he brought it up is anything but. Moss' commentary proved once again that he has no idea what it means to be all about the team instead of all about himself.
And if you need any further indication, check out the latest episode of Turning Point and see how Moss reacted to Michael Crabtree's attempts to pump him after a critical end-zone drop.
12. Colin Kaepernick
By all indications, Colin Kaepernick is a great dude. He's fun to watch on the field, and barring any serious injuries, he is going to be one of the most exciting quarterbacks to watch over the next several years.
But is there anyone out there who has the energy to watch another television package about the origins of his tattoos?
It was an interesting storyline leading up to the Super Bowl. The 49ers QB is covered in ink, and because he was an unknown prior to replacing Alex Smith midway through the 2012 season, nobody really knew much about him or where all of the tattoos came from.
Now, we know. We know that most of Kapernick's tattoos are a testament to his faith and his spirituality. But do we really need to hear about it every time he gets a new one?
If that's the case, hopefully he runs out of available canvas room fast.
11. Hope Solo
From the beginning of her rise to fame, it has seemed as though every time Hope Solo has been in the news, it's been for the wrong reasons.
And that's hard to accomplish when you're a key member of a national soccer team that has won two gold medals and was the World Cup runner-up during your reign.
Solo's work as the U.S. team's goalkeeper has often been stellar, but her antics off the field? Not so much. Trouble first struck back in '07, when—after she was benched and her team lost in the World Cup—she publicly criticized head coach Greg Ryan's decision.
She also has admitted to being drunk on the air during an appearance on The Today Show and married a former professional football player just hours after he was arrested for domestic assault at a party they had both attended.
Solo has so much going for her that it's hard to see why she keeps putting her foot in her mouth, but the time has come for her to stop. Talking, that is.
10. Curt Schilling
Curt Schilling has never been one to pull any punches, and for that, many fans love him. He did, after all, begin his tenure with the Red Sox by insulting New York.
But now that he's been out of baseball for years and isn't all that relevant, fans are kind of sick of his attention-seeking ways.
It's been a rather rough ride for Schilling ever since the Bloody Sock incident in the 2004 ALCS. Boston won the championship that year, but Schilling suffered some debilitating injuries in its aftermath before finally calling it quits for good in 2007.
After that, Schill started the ill-fated 38 Studios entertainment company, which would go bankrupt in 2012, and most recently, he shoved himself back in the headlines by insisting the Red Sox encouraged him to take PEDs in 2008.
Major League Baseball, however, found those claims "baseless," according to the New York Post, and hopefully, that's the last we'll be hearing from Schilling in a while. It's time to fade into retirement with grace.
9. Michael Vick
When are we finally going to come to the conclusion that Michael Vick just isn't going to happen?
There was a time when Vick was one of the most exciting players to watch in all of the NFL—but that time was in the 2002-04 era, when he was still young, fresh and unencumbered by a dogfighting scandal that would come to define his career.
Since Vick returned to the league post-scandal, there have been ups, but there have been far more downs. And if the 2012 season was any indication, the downs are going to come to define what little remains of his NFL career.
This season, Vick started 10 games for the Eagles before succumbing to injury, going 3-7 with a 58.1 completion percentage. The Eagles were the only team in the NFC East that failed to compete for a postseason spot.
And yet there are still some people out there under the illusion that Vick still has something to offer the league—including the Eagles, who just signed him to a one-year deal in the hopes that Chip Kelly can make a miracle happen.
As Regina George would say, it's not going to happen.
8. Robert Griffin III
Personally? I love RGIII, so I never tire of the endless storylines about what he means to the NFL, what his future holds, whether he should have bowed out of the Wild Card Weekend game and just how much his ACL injury will affect his career going forward.
But the truth is, the pundits could not have driven the RGIII storyline into the ground any harder this year.
Back when the Redskins lost to the Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs, mostly due to the fact that their QB was playing on a shredded knee, there were still plenty of other storylines to dissect. There were still eight teams in the running for the Lombardi Trophy, yet it seemed that nobody wanted to talk about anything other than Griffin's torn ACL.
Even before the injury, Griffin was one of the most talked-about QBs in the game because he had managed to lead the Redskins to an unlikely NFC East crown. People love a solid rookie with a solid story, but given how much attention he got, you would have thought Griffin was the only quarterback out there.
Like I said, I didn't mind. But the rest of the world—especially those fans whose teams were still in the running after Washington went down—would have loved it if they didn't have to hear his name for the rest of the postseason.
7. Tiger Woods
It's not even the Elin-related storylines that are annoying at this point, and we've already gone over the whole Lindsey Vonn situation.
The irritating thing about Tiger Woods is the fact that when every major rolls around, we have to hear the world discuss how that major will be the one in which Tiger redeems himself. That will be the tournament in which he rediscovers his winning ways and reminds us that the guy who won 12 majors from 2000-08 is still around.
But ... it still hasn't happened. Maybe, just maybe, Tiger's glory days are behind him.
Last year, Tiger was dubbed the favorite for virtually every tournament in which he played, but especially in the majors, he couldn't ever sustain his level of play throughout all four rounds. '
He tied for 40th at the Masters. He tied for 21st at the U.S. Open. He tied for third at the British Open, then tied for 11th at the PGA Championship. Close a couple of times, but certainly no cigar.
Sure, Tiger won this year's Farmers Insurance Open—but let's hold our horses before we declare him the imminent Masters champion.
6. Tim Tebow
At this point, we're so tired of Tim Tebow that we're tired of saying we're tired of him.
But just because it's the offseason doesn't mean that the Tebow Talk is over. In fact, it probably is going to start up again any day now.
Just about a year ago, Tebow-mania seized hold of New York when the quarterback was traded from the Broncos to the Jets. And it was all downhill from there.
What was once seen as a solid and creative move by the Jets front office quickly evolved into a weekly circus act that resulted in the complete and utter decimation of the team's' chemistry.
Tebow never got a fair shot at playing QB, and meanwhile, Mark Sanchez's confidence disappeared right around the time Tebow showed up at camp.
Now that New York has made it pretty clear it's not keeping Tebow around for another year, he'll get traded and we'll get a whole year to discuss his merits as a football player (or the lack thereof) all over again.
5. Manti Te'o
Now that the Manti Te'o debacle has, for the most part, seen its 15 minutes come and go, you likely experience one of two things whenever you hear his name on TV.
You feel really, really bad for him in light of the humiliation he has brought upon himself, or you're so disgusted by the mere mention of his name that you change the channel.
The whole fake-dead-girlfriend situation certainly gave us one of the strangest, most interesting stories we've seen in college football in a long time, but now that it has died down, it's hard to take Te'o seriously at all—and it's hard to afford him any more attention than he has already brought upon himself, intentionally or not.
Either Te'o was in on the whole plan from the beginning, or he is one of the most unintelligent people on the planet. Either way, though, he doesn't deserve any more attention than he has already received.
4. Alex Rodriguez
Some people have wondered for years how Alex Rodriguez—once one of the most beloved players in baseball—managed to turn himself into a pariah.
Well, now we know there's the whole steroids situation. And there's also his general reaction to it every time someone accuses him of cheating.
Back in 2009, A-Rod finally admitted to using PEDs, an admission that was seen as noble at the time, given how many stars still adamantly refused to acknowledge what most of the world believed to be true. Unsurprisingly, his production has declined as he's gotten older, his body is starting to break down and nobody is really wondering why.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, his name popped up in a story about professional athletes purchasing PEDs at an anti-aging clinic. Again, nobody's really surprised.
But then A-Rod goes and tells the Sporting News that he thinks the Yankees and MLB are conspiring against him in an effort to end his career, and that's why his name appeared in this report.
So A-Rod, just in case you were wondering, this is why people don't like you.
3. Lance Armstrong
When Lance Armstrong finally decided to tell the world he had, in fact, used performance-enhancing drugs during his epic cycling career, most people wondered, Why now?
Was he hoping to get back into a sport that had banned him? Was he hoping the world would forgive him his indiscretions? Was he hoping for a little sympathy?
Whatever Armstrong was hoping would come out of his sit-down with Oprah, it didn't really work. Armstrong—who has come off as a conceited, sometimes-belligerent egomaniac throughout most of his career—came off as a conceited, sometimes-belligerent egomaniac.
Nobody really felt bad for him. Those few remaining people who still believed he hadn't used PEDs to win his seven Tour de France titles just felt silly for allowing themselves to be duped.
Instead of desperately trying to get back into the public's good graces, Armstrong just needs to let it go and try, for once, to stay out of the limelight. At this point, there really is nothing left for him to say.
2. The Lakers
Things really haven't worked out the way the Los Angeles Lakers had planned.
When they acquired Steve Nash and Dwight Howard over the summer, most people assumed that they would make it to the NBA Finals without even trying. With that much talent on one roster, how could things possibly go wrong?
The answer to that is still up in the air, but barring a miracle, the 24-27 Lakers aren't going anywhere this postseason. And the more the players publicly whine about the reasons for their team's futility, the more irritating it all becomes.
First, there was Kobe Bryant's insistence that Howard needed to toughen up and learn how to play through his alleged pain. We watched the two of them engage in a war of words through the media.
Now, the latest is that Howard's dad believes his son and Bryant need to have a sit-down to deal with their issues, according to the Los Angeles Times.
What this team really needs is to learn how to communicate—with each other. Not with the press.
For the love of God, leave the press out of it.
1. Ray Lewis
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m one of the few people who are endlessly entertained by content depicting which regions of the United States were calling Ray Lewis a murderer during the Super Bowl. (And what do you know? My region made the top of the list.)
But I’m in the select minority at this point.
Everyone else out there is over hearing about Ray Lewis. They thought the end of his NFL career would bring the end of the never-ending dialogue, but the end of his career has made it worse. Now, instead of discussing whether he'd finish out his playing days with a Lombardi Trophy, we're discussing whether he should spend his retirement days in ESPN's studio or as a mentor to the league's young players.
And no, nobody is ever going to stop talking about Atlanta, no matter how deep into retirement Ray Lewis gets.