A Year of Sports Shame: Welcome to the 21st Century

Bill DowSenior Analyst IDecember 17, 2007

IconWith two weeks left in the calendar year, the sporting world’s creeps have all but established their spots in the yearly rankings.

Here is my annual list of the worst role models, and the worst sports-related people that have reared their heads this year. Don't even wait for great Neptune's ocean; these acts of badness have ingrained themselves far too deep.

Without further ado…

5. Roger Clemens, Former NY Yankees Pitcher

Starting off the list is the would-be Hall of Famer, Roger Clemens.

You almost made the year, but now you are damaged goods. Yet that isn’t even my main issue…

You sure showed loyalty to your club when they were in dire need of pitching! You forced them to shell out $4.5 million a month for you to come in and pitch in a sheltered way.

Look, I know you just celebrated your high school reunion with King Henry VIII, and coming out of a one-year retirement is tough, but don’t rob the man who established the team that should have led you to the Hall of Fame!

Oh, and then there was that whole steroid situation. As quoted from ESPN’s Around the Horn (Dec. 14, 2007), it was bad enough that the era’s top hitter was on the juice. Now we know the best pitcher has done the same.

Face it, Rog: you’re a jerk.

Icon4. Clay Bennett, Owner of the Seattle Supersonics

When Howard Schultz sold the 'Sups in 2006, it was to nobody’s surprise. The financial situation was far too dreadful, even for the owner of Starbucks Coffee. Surely Seattle fans couldn’t have been angry, at least not then.

But then Seattle’s soon-to-be nemesis arrived: a conniving, lying, scam-artist, ready to rock the city to its core. He came in saying that he is, "absolutely committed to the team and committed to keeping them in the Seattle region.”

We should have been up in arms the first time he even mentioned Oklahoma City. Then, a mere four months later, a minority owner, Aubrey McClendon said that, “[the owners] didn’t buy the team to keep it in Seattle, we hoped to come to [Oklahoma City]”.

Some suspect that the owners have purposely lowered the quality of the team in order to make the move smoother. With little support, especially at the governing levels, his scheme may work seamlessly. The genius is there, for imagine if the San Antonio Spurs or the Detroit Pistons attempted the same move.

Clay Bennett, through your twisted way of diminishing a team just so they can bounce balls around in your backyard, you have established yourself as more than a jerk. You’re a true creep.

Icon3. Bobby Petrino, Former Head Coach of the Atlanta Falcons

Apparently little Robert didn’t remember the words he was told when he was a kid. The same words that every kid with a half-decent support system hears:

Quitters are worse than losers. When the going gets tough, quitting is the wrong option.

So when he loses his starting quarterback, and when the dream job he had accepted a mere ten months earlier begins to seem like a trip down Daunte’s Inferno, the man packs his bags and sets off for Razorback-land.

Look Bobby—I understand the situation was tough. A contract paying just under $5 million a year is not something you want to have to deal with your entire life, but isn’t this the wrong message to be sending to your children?

I guess you have never had a problem with that. For after you signed that ten-year deal with Louisville in late-2006, not only did you speak with other colleges, but you eventually signed a big deal with an NFL Franchise. I understand the idea of striking when the time is right, but you could have salvaged a little dignity by lasting one-fifth of the length of your deal.

Then, after you led them to 12-1 and an Orange Bowl victory, your Louisville team ended the season without you, and without a winning record (6-6).

You not only showed the Cardinal sins of greed, and a lack of a commitment in Louisville—but you showed in Atlanta that you cannot even last one year in what is likely considered the job of a lifetime.

Look Little Bobby. You’re a chump. I am a junior in high school, and you disappoint me as a human being. Oh, and one more thing, you’re a Jerk!

Icon2. Michael Vick, Former Quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons

The only moral value that Mr. Michael Vick broke this year (and in year's past, I assume) is… humanity.

If there is one news story that just makes you sick, it is this one.

This is a guy who had everything in the world. He’s loaded, he has a great life, and he is admired by millions of people across this football-loving country.

Yet, his undeniable love for torturing animals, and his inability to break from those who could cause him harm, has taken him down a path of suffering…for twenty-three months in a federal prison.

As a human being, Michael, you make me sick. More than your would-be boss, and more than the #1 person on this list.

You are a jerk and a creep, but you still haven't tarnished sports the way the next person has.


Icon1. Barry Bonds, All-Time Home Run Leader

Answer these questions for me...

1. What is the greatest record in sports?

2. What is the greatest problem plaguing sports (especially baseball) at this time?

3. Who do you get when you combine those two things?

The Answer...

"The Creep." And no other name does him justice.

This guy is an abomination to sports. Although the Rog now has been accused of doing the same thing, Bonds' name is and will forever be associated with cheaters.

He has effectively stained the most valuable of accomplishments.

He has vastly impaired the overall trust in sports. And for what? A big fat check on his desk, and the need for smaller crotch protection when he walks anywhere an honest (yet radical) sports fan may be*.

Oh, and he is a criminal.

Barry—the only thing I respect you for is not wasting your time at attempting to salvage your dignity.

Yours Truly,

The One Who Considers you the Ultimate Sports Creep

* I am not endorsing violence upon Mr. Barry Bonds. I strictly detest any such actions.
And honorable mention goes to the "Rest of the List"…

6. Bill Belichick
7. Billy Donovan
8. Scott Boras
9. Nick Saban
10. George Mitchell


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