The Biggest Divas in Sports

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2013

The Biggest Divas in Sports

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    It's pretty weird to think that some of our favorite athletes could be compared to known divas like Tina Turner and Mariah Carey, but based off some of their behaviors, it seems a few of them have similar characteristics.

    You know, like being flashy, loud-mouthed and, how could I forget, pouty if they don't get their way.

    When you put fame and fortune in front of some guys, they can really let it go to their head—and these are the ones who have shown to be the biggest divas because of it.

Mark Sanchez

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    It's not that I don't feel badly for Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, it's just that he's so easy to crap on now that his career is in flux—well, and that whole butt fumble thing.

    No one likes to go from a starting quarterback who has two AFC title game appearances on his resume, to backup and potential free agent, but that's the way things have gone for the former USC Trojan.

    He keeps his mouth shut for the most part, but have you ever seen the dude party? He's not exactly easy to take seriously.

Ryan Braun

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    I know we've all heard lies from pro athletes told before, but the second Brewers outfielder and *2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun vehemently denied ever using PEDs by saying, "This is all B.S. I am completely innocent," that's when he leapfrogged others on my list of divas.

    Anyone who refuses to take responsibility for their actions, tries to pin the blame on others and then gets caught anyway is typically the definition of a diva.

Hope Solo

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    She may be attractive, but U.S. women's soccer goalie Hope Solo definitely enjoys tooting her own horn and bringing on unneeded attention.

    Solo's first taste of it came in 2007 when she ripped former coach Greg Ryan for benching her, then accused him of pushing her—which would kind of be a big no-no.

    If that wasn't enough, Hope said "yes" to dope—OK, well some sort of banned substance—testing positive for something that nearly kept her out of the Olympics last year.

Tony Romo

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    Unless you're a Dallas Cowboys fan or have him on your fantasy football team, you're probably not a Tony Romo fan—and even then, it's not a guaranteed lock.

    Whether you argue that the guy is underappreciated or overvalued, making $108 million from arguably one of the most-recognizable sports franchises on the planet, Romo still has only won a single playoff game and often wilts in the biggest moments.

    For all the praise, money and acknowledgment he gets, you'd think he's won multiple Super Bowls.

Josh Beckett

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    It's tough not to be a little full of yourself when, as a 19-year-old, a major league team thinks so highly of you that they select you No. 2 overall in the MLB draft.

    So I can cut Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett some flak for being a bit pampered on his way to the Majors.

    And while he achieved success early by helping guide his former team, the Marlins, to a World Series in 2003, that's not enough to strut around like you're, well, you know what don't stink.

    His biggest diva moment may have come in 2012 when still pitching for the Red Sox, telling reporters, “I spend my off days the way I want to spend them. My off day is my off day. We get 18 off days a year. I think we deserve a little bit of time to ourselves.”

    This was, naturally, a day after getting rocked in one of his starts and was sitting 5-11 record with an ERA of 5.11.

    Oh yeah, and he makes over $15 million a season.

Rex Ryan

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    He may have slowed his roll a little bit lately—easing up on the cockiness and antics of a few years ago—but Jets head coach Rex Ryan is still a well-known diva throughout sports.

    Let's get this straight, Rex may have defended his new, rookie quarterback Geno Smith back in May from claims that Geno was a bit high maintenance, but that doesn't deflect all the attention off the outspoken Ryan from giving himself as much praise as possible.

Richard Sherman

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    The Seahawks' Richard Sherman might be widely regarded as possibly the top cornerback in the NFL, combining size and strength into his skill and swagger—wow, that's a lot of alliteration—but because of all of that, Sherman can also be labeled as one of the biggest divas in the league.

    Besides being really good at football, one thing every fan should know about Sherman is that he likes to talk—a lot—and if he's not boasting on the field, well just take a look at his Twitter account, where nothing seems to be off-limits.

    If a guy ever compares himself to Jesus, that's when things get a little too heavy on the diva meter.

Josh Hamilton

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    While I will be the first in line to congratulate Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton on his battle from substance abuse to MVP, it seems like he still has a few screws loose in the old noggin of his.

    It seems like anytime this dude is in a slump, it's somehow attributed to just about the weirdest reasons ever.

    Once he claimed it was because of caffeine that he had blurred vision and had to sit a few games.

    Another time it was because he quit chewing tobacco that effected his swing.

    On top of all of this, he left his former team, the Texas Rangers, by giving a big middle finger to their fans—as if taking a five-year, $125 million deal with a division rival wasn't enough.

Dez Bryant

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    It's no secret that wide receivers on all different levels of football are generally the biggest divas and prima donnas around—do the names Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco ring a bell?

    We should have all seen the writing on the wall after his team, the Cowboys, actually had to mandate an own set of rules to help discipline this guy from keeping him away from trouble.

    Recently, he's talked about how he might just be the best wideout in the game—only to backpedal—in anticipation of the matchup this week against the Lions and fellow receiver, Calvin Johnson.

    I love the confidence, but let's pull back on the reins a bit, Dez.

Yasiel Puig

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    Seeing that Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig has only been in the major leagues for about half of a season—yet still finds himself on this list—speaks volumes to how high-maintenance this dude really is.

    Anyone who has seen Puig play knows he has all the ability to do some phenomenal things. But don't fool yourself into thinking he doesn't have his fair share of haters—especially from the Diamondbacks—who have had a few run-ins with the rookie.

Dwight Howard

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    Although we can all agree that LeBron James should never write a book on how to leave a team and city, new Rockets center Dwight Howard is definitely up there with him.

    First it was with the Orlando Magic, as he flip-flopped his way out of town and "allegedly" wanted his former coach, Stan Van Gundy, canned.

    Then that little Lakers experiment backfired on he and the franchise in a bad way, as he struggled to coexist with Kobe Bryant, or the pressure of the Lakers allure of past big men—though he'll have you believe something more politically correct in why he bolted.

Reggie Bush

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    Coming into the league, Lions running back Reggie Bush was touted as a once-in-a-generation player, with skills that hadn't been seen since guys like Gale Sayers.

    Of course, for a number of reasons, he hasn't quite taken over the league the way he had probably hoped.

    Bush has a ton of flash, but struggles to sizzle because of injuries, yet still makes bold predictions that he should know better than to make.

    Maybe that's why his peers voted him as one of the most disliked guys in the league?

Mario Balotelli

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    Mario Balotelli certainly is talented, but he's also one of the biggest prima donnas to come along in the past few years.

    Based off some of the decisions Mario's made—like setting his house on fire after lighting off fireworks inside or debating about building a statue of himself in his famous goal pose—he should know the answer to a self-posed question of, "Why Always Me?"

    Umm, it's because you act like a fool, Mario.

Cam Newton

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    One thing that's definitely not lacking in Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is confidence.

    While some may argue that it's just energy and excitement, after seeing some of the stunts he's pulled since coming into the league a couple years ago, it's clear it's all about him.

    It's one thing to get an earful from teammates. But it's a whole new ballgame when respected Pro Bowlers are calling a guy out for thinking he's above every player who makes the trip to the annual game.

Sidney Crosby

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    As someone who has admitted a number of times that hockey isn't his go-to sport, even I'm aware of the opinion Penguins center Sidney Crosby has of himself.

    Coined the "Next Gretzky" when he first came into the league—achieving instant success since—I'm happy to see he hasn't let it all go to his head or anything...

    Whether it's fans or his peers saying it, Crosby is generally looked at as a major crybaby.

Kobe Bryant

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    Do I need to even explain this one?

    Kobe Bryant is the modern-day version of Michael Jordan.

    And, though I loved me some MJ as a kid, there have been way too many stories of people I know who have met him and said he wasn't as nice a guy in person as he claimed to be on TV.

    That's Bryant, who is a super competitor and one of the game's best-ever shooting guards—he just happens to be really stubborn and unwilling to admit he's ever wrong.

Johnny Manziel

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    Although swagger and cockiness has been around the college game for a long time—we all remember "The U" back in the day—reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel has taken it to a whole new level.

    He knows he's good. He knows you can't stop him. And he's going to let you know he knows all of that.

    One of the most pampered athletes in recent memory, Manziel doesn't care much about punishments or rules, just as long as he gets in the last word.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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    Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a lot of money.

    Want to know how I know that? Because he's unafraid to flaunt it anywhere he is, be it through Twitter or otherwise.

    The man they call "Money" is more than just a diva though, as he lives life like none of us can ever imagine, is on the top of his sport—boasting an undefeated career record—and doesn't shy away from mentioning himself among the greatest fighters ever.

Tiger Woods

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    Since he made his first television appearance at the age of two, Tiger Woods has been in the spotlight—and he's flourished every single time.

    Tiger is hands-down the greatest golfer most of us have ever seen, and, quite possibly, the reason you even got into playing golf.

    It's that stigma that has stuck with Woods his entire career, putting himself above any other player on the PGA Tour.

Alex Rodriguez

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    It's incredible to think how great Alex Rodriguez could have been had he done things the right way—assuming he doesn't win his appeal of his alleged PED use.

    Had A-Rod not gotten caught up in everyone else's opinions of him, he may have stayed humble enough to be able to live up to all the hype he entered the majors with back when he was taken No. 1 in 1993.

    Throughout his career though, Rodriguez has been nothing but a drama without an Academy Award-winning script, collecting the highest-paid contract in sports history, to actually once admitting to using steroids before, to a World Series champ and finally, almost an unwanted man.

    I find it little coincidence that his current girlfriend, Torrie Wilson, rose to fame through a sport like wrestling, where drama and antagonizing makes the biggest stars.