Reformed and Refined: Where Five Sports Villains Will Be in 10 Years
Questionable personal lives have marred some of sports' greatest performances, stories, and careers.
Crime, scandal, and dishonesty overshadow championships, stats, and talents any day. Just ask Barry Bonds.
But all is not lost for the athletes whose careers have suffered from poor choices.
Time is a great healer. It is the only thing that will allow people to forgive and forget the things that made them turn away from their favorite athletes.
In 10 years, the most notorious athletes of today could easily become celebrated once again.
The following is an idealistic prediction of where five high-profile athletes will be in a decade.
Michael Vick plead guilty to federal felony charges for running an underground dog fighting ring in 2007. Losing his NFL paycheck and endorsements, Vick spent almost two years in prison.
Now the former highest-paid player in the NFL backs up Kevin Kolb for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Prediction: Vick establishes a chain of centers for abused animals, adopts several dogs, and pampers them.
Roger Clemens has career numbers that should get him into the Hall of Fame easily. He's a six time AL and one time NL Cy Young Award winner, and has over 350 wins to his name.
But the retired right-hander will not be remembered for his talent on the mound. Clemens has been accused of using steroids.
Although he denies having used performance-enhancing drugs, Clemens will have to work hard to rebuild his image.
Prediction: Clemens makes it to the Hall and gets featured in a new wing that outlines the greats of the aptly named Steroid Era.
Same stuff, different guy.
Like Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds was a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, even before he started (allegedly) using steroids.
Unlike Clemens, Bonds had the potential to be called the greatest baseball player of all time.
Now, Bonds is stuck in a legal battle that has done little to improve his image.
Prediction: Same as Clemens. Bonds to the Hall of Fame, but in a wing full of asterisks.
Bill Belichick has led the New England Patriots to multiple Super Bowl victories, making himself one of the best NFL coaches of the past decade.
But many people criticize him for his coaching methods.
In 2007, Belichick admitted to videotaping the New York Jets' calls, a shady practice not well received by the NFL.
Belichick payed $500,000 for his offense, but appeared very unapologetic in a press conference that followed his scandal.
Prediction: People in New England forget about alleged "cheating," but the rest of the country remembers.
What's the first thing you think about when someone mentions Bill Clinton?
Welcome to Tiger Woods' legacy. Every time someone mentions his name from now on, you will think about his sex scandal before you think about his career accomplishments.
Although he is on track to be the one of the most accomplished professional golfers of all time, Woods will never be able to live down one fact: He cheated on his wife.
Prediction: Woods goes down as the greatest golfer ever, gives seminars on adultery and marital problems across the country in retirement.