The 15 Worst Jobs in Sports Right Now

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2014

The 15 Worst Jobs in Sports Right Now

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    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    When fans think about a job in sports, most of the glamorous positions like becoming a legendary head coach or player, a sports analyst or, my personal favorite, a pro golfer come to mind.

    But don't be fooled—just like any job industry, not everything in sports is great.

    And since there are more than a few gigs that you or I wouldn't want in sports, I'm listing the ones that no one should ever apply for—unless they want to come home very unhappy most days.

The Weak Link on a Grounds Crew

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    Being a grounds crew member for a baseball team might have its perks—like being close to the action or on the field in between innings.

    But rushing the field during a thunderstorm while everyone else takes cover isn't what I'd prefer to do.

    And when the job is to quickly roll out the tarp to cover the field, completely failing at it is never a good look—especially when the workers are slipping and sliding on the now wet playing surface.

    Anyone who happens to be the weakest link in doing has one of the worst gigs in sports.

New York Knicks Head Coach

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    Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    This might go for all head coaches in a major market like New York or Los Angeles, because the pressure to win is nearly unbearable. Media and fans are never truly satisfied.

    But as we've seen with Mike Woodson—especially this season—being at the helm of a team like the Knicks might have put him in elite company with the likes of Red Holzman and Pat Riley, but because he hasn't led his team to the promised land, he always has to hear about how he might be canned.

An Athlete's PR Manager

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    Editor's Note: Video contains very strong language.

    Plenty of athletes out there say some really messed-up stuff—whether when a mic is in their face or when tweeting to their fans.

    And in this particular case, boxer Floyd Mayweather's PR manager has to be ripping his or her hair out, wondering why he would get into a back-and-forth argument with a radio host, dropping F-bombs and other swear words.

    It's unfair to think that athletes are expected to be perfect, but because it comes with the territory, a PR manager is forced to deal with cleaning up the mess when an athlete steps outside the lines.

Professional Tennis Coach

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    JULIE JACOBSON/Associated Press

    You might be asking yourself what separates a pro tennis coach from any other coach, right?

    Well, a Wall Street Journal article from a few years back suggests that coaching tennis players isn't all that fun.

    On top of a low salary, demanding hours and lots of travel, tennis coaches have to be accessible at all times, acting as both a parent-like figure and a psychologist to help keep their players calm.

    It sounds like a hell of a lot of work with very little reward, if you ask me.

NFL Punt Returner

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    To put it bluntly, the punt returner is a sitting duck back there while waiting for the football to drop.

    Sure, there is the potential for glory if the player happens to take one to the house, but the negatives far outweigh the positives.

    A bunch of jacked guys running full speed with the intention of hitting the returner as hard as they can doesn't sound too enjoyable.

Dugout Janitor

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    David Goldman/Associated Press

    Remember playing baseball growing up and treating the dugouts as if they were a pig pen, spitting sunflower seeds everywhere and tossing cups of water and sports drinks all over the place?

    Now imagine being the person who cleans that up.

    It's never fun having to pick up someone else's mess, but when it's a combination of dip, gum and anything else that baseball players can spit out, it's a hell of a lot worse—and it has to be done after every single game.

Lorenzo Brown's Job

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    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    I'll never harp on a guy for being a pro athlete—after all, I'm just a lowly writer for a sports website—but my job has to be a bit better than Lorenzo Brown's.

    Sure, he is making more than $425,000 this season to basically sit in a warm-up suit on the Philadelphia Sixers bench, but the team has lost a franchise-worst 25 games in a row and is on its way to potentially breaking the longest losing streak in the history of American sports.

    Add in the fact that he can only crack the lineup for a mere eight minutes per game, and going to the arena each night isn't something that Brown probably looks forward to.

"The Turk"

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    Being one of the right-hand men of an NFL coaching staff might sound dope in theory, but when you're asked to go fetch a 6'3", 250-pound linebacker to let him know he needs to see the coach, it's not so fun.

    The Turk's responsibility is to deliver bad news to players who didn't quite make the 53-man roster—either telling them their dream of playing in the NFL is over or that a long career is likely kaput.

    It's tough to have a smile on your face when knowing that.

Team Mascot

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    I like entertaining people more than the next guy, but not at the expense of wearing some ridiculous outfit that makes the human inside of it sweat profusely, no doubt making the thing reek.

    A buddy of mine was our high school mascot, and he openly admitted to peeing in the costume once.

    So for all of you kids out there who think it would be fun to be the No. 1 fan for your favorite team, just think about that before hoping you land the gig.

Sparring Partner

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    For those of you who enjoy getting clocked by another human being, being a sparring partner is the gig for you.

    Even better, the punches come from a pro boxer, meaning they hurt even more than the drunken fisticuffs that got you and your buddies tossed outside the bar during spring break.

    Seeing that the job description is to get pummeled by the fighter in order for him to fine-tune his technique, this sounds like a miserable job—and one that better offer solid health insurance.

Urine Test Collector

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    Ron Wurzer/Getty Images

    You know what's gross? Pee.

    But while you or I try to avoid missing the toilet or our hands each time we take a leak, there are actually people out there who are not only paid to collect the stuff but then examine it too—and it's not even their own!

    For those urine collectors out there, I commend you for a job well done. But watching a grown man pee into a cup to make sure he isn't using some tactic to cheat is not something that should be bragged about—even if it does pay well.

Mitch Kupchak's Current Position

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    While I admit that I originally went to college with hopes of becoming the next Theo Epstein—the current Chicago Cubs general manager who was then with the Boston Red Sox—I'm glad that I chose to change my major to get into writing.

    That's because, after a few internships with different sports teams, I realized that the combination of the inglorious responsibilities and insane pressure just wasn't for me.

    It's why I just had to add Los Angeles Lakers' GM Mitch Kupchak. While he has helped guide the team to five NBA titles since taking over the post in 2000, it hasn't come without criticism.

    He missed out on re-signing Dwight Howard last summer, compiled a roster full of backups without Kobe Bryant this year and handed the 35-year-old Mamba a $48.5 million extension a few months ago.

    I know the pressure is high to win in LA, but whom were the Lakers competing against in giving Kobe that kind of money?

Rodeo Clown

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    Clowns are supposed to be funny, but there's nothing amusing about putting on makeup and an oversized costume at a rodeo.

    That's because the rodeo clown's main job is to protect bucked-off riders from being trampled by the bull. The clown is often the one who has to man up and let the two-ton animal come after him.

    For anyone who wants to be part of the action, a rodeo clown is the most insane way to do it.

Home-Plate Umpire

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    Although sports fans voice their opinions about many people in sports, no one takes more heat than the home-plate umpire in a baseball game.

    Sure, getting paid to get an up-close and personal view of a sporting event is cool and all, but see how it feels when one call gets an enraged player or manager in your face, when you get booed by 20,000 people or when get a bat thrown at you because you made someone upset.

    Having to understand all the rules in the book, traveling nearly every night for a game and getting crapped on if you make a call that might not be right aren't things that I would enjoy too much.

Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Congratulations, Mike Pettine, you've now just become the newest head coach of the Cleveland Browns. So how should he celebrate?

    I'd recommend renting—rather than buying—a place in my old hometown.

    Winning more than six games just once in the past 11 seasons, the franchise has been a rotating door of owners, team presidents, general managers, coaches, players and, of course, quarterbacks.

    So while being an NFL head coach is a difficult task by itself, being the head coach of the Browns doesn't carry a hell of a lot of job security—though I personally hope Pettine puts an end to this miserable trend.