Michael Vick and Memorial Day: The Top 5 Worst Athletes at Airports
Whenever I go to the airport, my favorite thing to do is laugh at people who look like they’ve never seen a plane or terminal before.
Unless I’m at LAX, because then I always hit Chili’s To-Go. I don’t know about you, but diarrhea during a four hour to flight to Chicago is so good, I’d take it every time over watching the Clippers.
Athletes fly constantly, whether on private team jets between games or in the off-season going home. Most superstars collect more frequent flier miles than Mark Sanford got for his “hikes in the Appalachians.“
So it comes as a bit of a surprise when a police report says an athlete has been arrested or stopped in an airport. Yet it happens about as often as a USC player or coach goes under investigation for some violation.
Pete Carroll, LenDale White, Joe McKnight and Brian Cushing were all under investigation in the past year, and all are BCS Champions.
Oh, my bad. BCS means Bosses of Causing Scandals.
But I digress.
In honor of Memorial Day, one of the biggest flying weekends of the year, here is a list of the top 5 worst “performances” at an airport by an athlete. If you like stupidity, you will love this.
Honorable Mention: Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Since I am a lifelong Lake Show fan and I don’t like poking fun at people who are having medical trouble, Abdul-Jabbar doesn’t make this list.
However, his decision-making in March of 1998 made me give him the same look Ed Bradley gave Michael Jackson when MJ told 60 Minutes that he felt it was “proper for a 45-year-old man to sleep in the bed with 13-year-old boys.”
Lew decided to show up to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport with six grams of marijuana, and just tried to walk through customs and security.
The Canadian police’s drug-sniffing dogs smelled the grass on him and he was arrested, but not charged.
First, I’m shocked. Why would Abdul-Jabbar need marijuana from Canada? Furthermore, Why go to Canada at all?
Snoop Dogg could have easily found him some weed when he arrived back in L.A.
Kareem needed to realize he was immediately the most noticeable person when he stepped into the terminal. He is over seven-feet tall.
Thankfully, he narrowly missed this list because apparently he was civil and paid the fine with no complaints. That should give you a hint to the real top 5.
#5 - Maximo Nelson
Sadly, there is no image of the Chunichi Dragons pitcher, but his face doesn’t matter for his hilarious encounter with Japanese customs.
The former New York Yankees' prospect already had a suspicious mark on him that most people only see in movies: He was one of a group of Dominican Republic natives caught up in a scandal to receive visas for women from his home country.
So off the top, he’s rivaling Mother Teresa with his philanthropy.
But Nelson decided to take his police record a step further this March. At an airport in Okinawa, Japan, the fuzz arrested him for violating the gun and sword control law after finding a single live bullet in his carry-on luggage.
I wonder what he was going to do with the bullet. Use the brass to flavor his in-flight drink?
Also, sword control? Please stereotype your nation more, Japan.
But it gets worse. His reasoning? He claimed he had 50 bullets in his bag while in the Dominican, but forgot he didn't clean them all at.
Oh, because when I’m at home, I keep bullets and no gun around at all times. I just like throwing them at friends.
Small side note: this didn’t cost Nelson his job with the Dragons. His manager’s quote?
“From this point on, just do your best.”
#4 - Michael Vick
I feel Vick makes every list involving stupidity and public behavior.
However, he has yet to make the “Carrying Guns to Clubs” list.
But the former #1 overall pick made quite a scene at Miami International Airport in January 2007. While not arrested, Vick was forced to hand over his water bottle to airport security, which he did…reluctantly. Nothing seemed wrong with that, right?
Note to readers: Doing things “reluctantly” makes your wrongdoing so suspicious, you might as well just wear a sign.
His coveted water bottle had a secret compartment that had a dark substance and a strong smell of marijuana. A label on the bottle covered the compartment so it looked normal when standing upright.
You might be asking why this made the list, and not Abdul-Jabbar. It’s because he went to the trouble to make a custom container for carrying weed. Any famous drug enthusiast can tell you that you get a weed carrier in your entourage. It’s celebrity 101.
Further, was this tiny amount of marijuana so good that he needed to bring it home with him to Atlanta? I’m pretty sure if he likes weed this much, he either has some at home or, with his huge paycheck, could have got some when he landed…an hour away.
Yes, the no smoking signs on planes apply to Mary J too. Sorry Willie Nelson.
#3 - Onterrio Smith
It’s sad when the most memorable moment of your life is getting caught with someone else’s urine.
Just ask R. Kelly’s lady friends.
But Mr. Smith managed it all the same in May 2005. While he already had a checkered past with violating the NFL’s drug policy, Smith showed up to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with The Original Whizzinator.
No, that’s not Arnold Schwarzenegger’s catheter.
It’s a kit to beat drug test, with vials of white powder. The powder? Dried urine. His reasoning for having it? Passing a urine test.
He also admitted to murder, arson and battery when asked about it by airport officials. Not really, but he might as well, they way he came clean when asked by the officer.
Almost as clean as his urine.
But then he decided to claim he was giving the vials to his cousin. I could be wrong, but giving dried urine to your cousin could be the worst birthday present ever.
Final note on Smith: the only reason security even pulled him aside for searching was a tube of toothpaste that set off the alarms.
Not the unmarked white powder. Or the vials of “cleaning solution.”
Damn Crest! He would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you and those meddling kids.
#2 - Michael John Jones
While that isn’t a picture of “Mad Mike,” let’s suffice it to say that all you should know about him is that he is a motocross legend.
Oh, and he is bat-crap crazy.
Jones, like Vick, had his lapse of judgment at Miami International Airport in March this year. But "lapse of judgment" should be used lightly in his case.
It’s equal to calling Jim Jones a Kool-Aid enthusiast.
According to the police report, the 2001 Winter X Games champion was charged with battery, assault and resisting arrest after attacking two maintenance workers and a police officer. His wife’s excuse for him? He’s bipolar.
Yes, because shoving a luggage cart at two men working on a water and sewer panel, rushing an officer and decking him in the face can be so easily excused.
Imagine doing that at a dinner party:
“Excuse me, may I be excused from the table? This chicken was so bad, I’m going to go beat the chef.”
Bipolarity often causes mood swings, but needs to provoked by something. And considering he was flying home from vacation in Costa Rica, I imagine he had little to complain about.
Although, if he flew American, the chicken may actually have been that bad.
#1 - Shaun Rogers
In the accompanying photo, Rogers is pointing up, where brains normally reside.
Too bad Rogers has none. He could have taken Peter Boyle’s part in Young Frankenstein.
The king of airport ignorance had his shining moment in April at Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland. LeBron’s home town cops booked the nose tackle for concealing a .45-caliber handgun in his carry-on.
Wait, in what world does this seem okay? Rogers committed a third-degree felony, and there’s no excuse for this. What can he say?
“Uh sorry, I thought I could play some real Duck Hunter while waiting for my flight.”
The only time a gun has helped someone on a plane was in Snakes on a Plane, when Sam Jackson decided to open some windows and empty the plane of the snakes. Sorry Shaun, that’s a movie, and if the gun went off in your bag, you would have caused hundreds of deaths.
Rogers had to know he would go through metal detectors, constant screening, and possible individual patting down. And with all his weight problems, he may have had to go through the metal detector sideways, which could only draw more attention.
That’s why he is numero uno. The other gentleman weren’t completely absent-minded and Rogers’ unique brand of idiocy shoots past them.
Yikes, too soon.