The Biggest Scumbag Steves in Sports
"Hey, bro. Mind if I crash at your place for a week and two months after that? I promise I'll buy you beer and then not do that ever."
If you've heard this kind of promise before, chances are you were dealing with a scumbag.
Scumbags habitually lie, use and mislead others in the name of getting whatever they want, every moment of the day. Their needs and wants trump all, and they will ruin your best-laid plans in order to avoid even the most fleeting moment of discomfort.
As their name suggests, scumbags are incredibly slippery. These are people who've made a living out of duping others into believing their lies and shouldering their burdens, and some are masters at this art.
The following is the first installment of the biggest Scumbag Steves in sports, along with my suggestions for how they can take their scumbaggery to the next level.
The godfather of saying one thing and doing another, Lance Armstrong was a scumbagging savant before Scumbag Steve was a twitch in his father's loins at the roller rink.
Next Level Scumbaggery: Use a charitable organization for deadly disease as sociopolitical cover for your galling misdeeds.
After signing a one-year, $5 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, Michael Bennett quickly packed his things and headed for wetter pastures in rainy Washington.
Ever the conscientious pet owner, the former Buccaneers lineman didn't neglect to drop off Koa—his four-month-old boxer—at a canine boarding facility in Tampa. That was in March of 2013.
Fast forward nine months and Bennett is now facing a lawsuit from the kennel, which claims he never came back for his dog. They are seeking damages for the alleged abandonment of the animal and Bennett's subsequent failure to respond to their calls or offer payment for boarding.
Next Level Scumbagging: Tell the kennel you "totally spaced" and will pick the dog up on Monday. Watch Super Fun Night all Monday.
As chief executive officer of the Cleveland Browns, Joe Banner is accustomed to a certain...ahem...crust of achievement.
After missing out on chances to bag several top candidates, Banner and Browns owner Jimmy Haslam decided to pick up plucky, Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.
Unfortunately, Chudzinski repaid their trust with a 4-12 season and the front office was forced to gobble up the remaining $10.5 million on his four-year contract. It wasn't a choice, however.
Clearly Chudzinski didn't have what it takes to win big in Cleveland—namely, the ability to weather the injury of three quarterbacks and the Browns' decision to trade their running game for the 26th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Next Level Scumbaggery: Leak rumors that the Browns are interviewing Jon Gruden. Hire Lane Kiffin.
You'd assume that someone who admits taking steroids and goes on a decade-long tour telling the nation to stay off them would try to lay off the juice for a hot spell.
Then again, you don't know Alex Rodriguez. No one does.
Next Level Scumbaggery: Drag the league through years of litigation, claiming all the while that Bud Selig is A-Rod prejudiced.
In the midst of a saturation advertising campaign touting its pledge to support student athletes in all facets of their lives, the NCAA recently denied any responsibility for protecting student athletes.
The denial came in response to a wrongful death lawsuit brought forth by the family of Derek Sheely, a Frostburg State football player who died of a fatal head injury during practice in 2011. The statement literally said that "the NCAA denies that it has a legal duty to protect student-athletes."
Next Level Scumbaggery: Claim you don't make money off student athletes' names, then program your online shop so you can search for their jerseys by name.
Bobby Petrino's commitment can only be measured in dog years.
Known best for his inability to lean into turns, this journeyman coach/Hells Angel has also developed a knack for lying about anything and everything at all times.
He'll tell you he'll stick with you to the very end, which means he'll hang loose until a higher lily pad becomes available. Had he been a passenger aboard the Titanic, he would've jumped ship in England before the baggage finished loading.
Next Level Scumbaggery: Tell Louisville you'll be right back, you have to "pick your sister up from the airport." Accept the Browns' head coaching job.
After signing back on for a four-year deal with the Knicks, J.R. Smith messed around and got the opposite of a triple double—he was benched due to utter stupidity.
I love you, J.R., but surfing pine over something as inane as untying opponents' shoelaces is poor form. Even worse, the team is doing better without your streaky, YOLO shot selection.
Next Level Scumbaggery: Tell Coach Woodson you'll never do anything dumb again, then show up to practice blitzed on Rumplemintz.
"Qatar: Where 'fast' and 'cheap' trump 'safety' and 'human lives.'"
Next Level Scumbaggery: Tell your Nepalese indentured servants you're going to "T-Bell" and ask if they want anything. Completely forget to order their food, mumble an apology and offer them a tiny sleeve of cinnamon styrofoam swirls.
Scumbag Mike played the big man for a while, but all his tough guy bravado melted away when footage of his not-so-private practice/beat downs were exposed to the public.
Next Level Scumbaggery: Apologize to your former players and ask if they want to meet up so you can apologize one-on-one. Show up 40 minutes late, tell them your girlfriend is freaking out and you can't stay—but you really look forward to catching up sometime.
True Story: Richie Incognito is Scumbag Steve's older brother.*
*This is not true at all, but it sounds frighteningly plausible.
Next Level Scumbaggery: Tell a co-worker you've been taking his girlfriend out to the "Pounderosa Steak House" behind his back. Wait two days before saying "J.K.! L.O.L.! Totally razzed ya! We went to Carraba's."*
*You must pronounce these letters phonetically.
Join me on Twitter: the ultimate scum-haven.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!