The Biggest Trolls in Sports

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2013

The Biggest Trolls in Sports

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    Unless one really enjoys pissing people off for a living, it's natural to think that no one wants to be called a "troll."

    Being known as a hater, basher or one who likes to stir things up can be a good thing sometimes, but it can become a little exhausting and depressing after awhile.

    With Isaiah Thomas recently suggesting LeBron's a better athlete than Jordan—a player with whom he's had a longtime rivalry—it got us thinking about some of the other trolls in all of sports.

    Hopefully these athletes learn from their mistakes soon—though we highly doubt that.

Rex Ryan

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    There are few coaches as obnoxious and trolling as Ryan is.

    He loves using the media to take jabs at other teams or organizations, but if the spin is against him, he often complains and pouts.

    In our opinion, he's the younger sibling to the division-rival Pats—who isn't?—badly wanting attention for doing anything at all!

Sidney Crosby

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    Thanks to their respective success, Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have developed a rivalry that, big or not, definitely exists.

    With Sidney being the buttoned-up type, and Ovie the outlandish partying-type, the Penguins' Center can't help but pick at everything involving the Caps star.

Lane Kiffin

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    From his allegations toward fellow coaches to his "my way or the highway" opinions, the SC head coach seems to feed off attention and controversy.

    On top of all that, let's not forget his short head coaching stints with the Raiders and Tennessee, where he didn't earn any fans for his performances or comments at either place.

Serena Williams

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    Her outbursts are well-documented—they usually are when a player threatens to kill a line judge—but even more than that, you'll never see Serena openly acknowledge another player's skill.

    For being the most stubborn women's tennis player out there and seemingly disrespecting opponents, we just had to include the 15-time Grand Slam champ.

Kobe Bryant

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    He barks at refs.

    Isn't afraid to call out his teammates and offer his opinion.

    And will attack anyone who doubts him.

    The Mamba's one of the best players on the planet, but he knows every which way to get under someone's skin.

Michael Jordan

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    Though Kobe might be obnoxious with his over-competitiveness, he learned it from the master himself—Mike Jordan.

    Everything Kobe does now was done by Jordan on an even grander scale 20 years ago.

    We're just glad Twitter and social media weren't around then, otherwise it could have gotten a bit out of control.

Cortland Finnegan

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    It seems all corners are the same.

    They talk big game and try to do anything possible to punk-out or irritate an opposing receiver. We get it.

    It's just that Finnegan's feistiness goes beyond mere intimidation and can be borderline dirty—which he seems to get off on!

Muhammad Ali

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    Ask any fan who was the biggest talker in the history of sports, and most might suggest that the "Greatest in the World" earns the title.

    With a number of memorable quotes that poked at opponents and media alike, his antics were something never before seen, which didn't sit well with many.

    He molded the putty to form the brash, trash-talking style we see from so many athletes today.

Aaron Rodgers

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    While Rodgers is talented and entertaining much of the time, he's on here not because of one specific instance of him trolling an opponent or someone in the media, but for his pre-game photo-bombing rituals.

    It has become a common trend, and has even been adapted by teammate Clay Matthews III.

Cleveland Sports Fans

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    Yes, trolls can also be groups of people.

    For all the "woe is me" moments and overall depression that Cleveland sports fans aren't shy to show whenever they can, we just had to include them.

    You lost LeBron and gained Kyrie.

    It's time to get over all the horrible sports moments that have happened to your city and start embracing the good ones to (hopefully) come—and this is coming from a born-and-bred Clevelander.

Brett Favre

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    If you have to ask why the former QB is on here, you should check your sports love in the mirror.

    Favre's is one of the most iconic and successful signal-callers of the past 20 years, yet sadly we remember him more for his indecision on retiring or coming back, even before he outdid himself with that whole situation involving a phone.

Skip Bayless

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    Bayless, the loud-mouthed panelist for ESPN, just can't help himself when it comes to arguing.

    From his undying love for Tim Tebow to his continued hate of LeBron, it was tough to think of a better media figure to rep trolls everywhere.

    He may drink coffee every single time you see him, but try talking to him about his favorite brew and we guarantee he'll bark about how he hates the stuff—like we said, he loves to argue just for the hell of it.

Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco

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    How the hell did the 2010 Cincinnati Bengals not absolutely implode?

    More importantly, how come the NFL never grasped the reality of having two of the most outspoken, egotistical and controversial players ever on the same team, and take advantage of that with some sort of show or tutorial for younger players, teaching them on what not to do?

    Ochocinco and Owens are in a league of their own when it comes to trolling moments.

Chael Sonnen

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    Sonnen seems to say and do whatever he wants when prepping for a fight, ignoring any consequences or foolishness that might come as a repercussion.

    When it comes to bashing his opponents and promoting himself, he's aced the test.

Mark Cuban

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    We love Cuban, but his bull is getting a little ridiculous these days.

    In the beginning, it was cool to have such an outspoken billionaire owner give a giant middle finger to the league.

    Worse part is, just when you think he's learned to keep his mouth shut, he does something that makes you think to yourself, "Why Mark? Why?"

Terrell Suggs

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    Suggs absolutely loves to talk smack and promote his own opinions, at times using his Twitter account as his personal doghouse for teams.

    The 2011 Defensive Player of the Year is a great player, but assuming his opinion is the only one that matters, or the right one, isn't really the way to be taken seriously—whether he's right or not.

Dennis Rodman

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    The Worm's most recent stunt is his current trip to North Korea, where he sat courtside with the Supreme Leader of the country, Kim Jong-un.

    But we all know about the run-ins with officials and book-signings in wedding dresses that helped create the guy at whom so many of us roll our eyes.

Richard Sherman

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    One of the better (and more confident) corners in the game, Seattle's Sherman will do whatever he wants to whomever he wants to—which helps add to his appeal.

    Ask anyone in the great Northwest their thoughts on him, and they'll give it to you straight, too.

    When he's not attacking future Hall of Famers after a game, he's going after fellow defensive backs through Twitter to stir up some controversy.

Chris Johnson

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    Being from Nashville, we get a chance to see CJ2K on the reg.

    So while he's adored in the city because of his unbelievable '09 season and big-play ability, he's developed an unrealistic rivalry with the Vikings' Adrian Peterson.

    Having motivation and being confident is one thing, but Johnson doesn't understand the impossibility of a running back rushing for 2,000 yards every single season, and that fans won't take his continued guarantees seriously after awhile.

Rajon Rondo

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    For as much crap and heat as he gets, there's just something about Rondo that people can't help but adore.

    Maybe it's his uncanny ability to dominate on the basketball court when he's interested?

    Or that he's so misunderstood?

    Whatever it is, those are definitely factors as to why he lands on this list—along with his misunderstandings with head coach Doc Rivers and teammates.

Jose Canseco

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    Come on now! The guy basically threw the entire Major League under the bus with his "Juiced" book, ratting out pretty much anyone he ever played with.

    He continues to dig for money whenever possible, openly embarrassing himself in celebrity boxing rings or on reality dating shows.

Metta World Peace

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    Whether it was for his appearance on Dancing With the Stars a couple years ago, or for acting like a jackass on the hardwood by doing what he can to piss guys off, World Peace brings anything but.

    Just to add to his on-court ridiculousness, he predicts some crazy stuff to the media off of it, too.

Bill Belichick

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    He's the most successful head coach besides Phil Jackson in any sport of our era, but that doesn't mean we all need to like the guy!

    Belichick's pompous attitude and overall narcissism is tough to accept, and it doesn't help that he's been busted for cheating in the past, either.

Alex Rodriguez

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    Weird: A-Rod's found himself in even more controversy this offseason, and he's not even healthy enough to be playing right now!

    We never would have guessed that!

    He complains about how Yanks' fans dislike him and blames others for his misfortunes.

    Until he learns some humility—don't hold your breath—he'll always be one of the biggest trolls we've seen in sports.

Lance Armstrong

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    Who else but Lance?

    For tricking us—otherwise known as bald-face lying—Armstrong may have lost the recognition of his seven Tour de France titles by the International Cycling Union.

    But at least he maintains the title as the top troll in sports, after doing all he could to avoid admitting his PED use.