Caught on Tape: Who's Dumber, Jocks or Celebs?
For good or ill, I fear that "caught on tape" is a phrase that our society is far too preoccupied with these days. And this is especially true when it comes to famous people doing stupid things.
Famous people come in many forms, but the topic today concerns athletes and celebrities in particular. In fact, we're going to pit them against each other.
That's right, from hot tub gaffs to paparazzi attacks, we're going to break down which athletes and celebrities are guilty of the dumbest "caught on tape" moments. All told, we have 10 categories to judge them with, and we'll add up the score at the end.
Whoever loses, we win. Cheers.
Ricky Williams' sudden retirement from football in 2004 to study Ayurverda, an ancient Indian system of holistic medicine, wasn't really caught on tape.
But come on, it's too weird to keep off this list.
I hope the picture of his beard is ample compensation for the lack of a picture of Williams smoking a doobie.
To be fair, Ricky did say it was the "most positive thing" he ever did with his life. If he says so.
Joaquin Phoenix's sudden and bizarre retirement from acting was made famous in February of 2009, when he made his now-infamous appearance on David Letterman.
The award-winning actor of such films as Gladiator and Walk the Line was now an ominously quiet bearded fat guy. He also seemed like he was on some kind of heavy drug.
But the weirdest part about Phoenix's retirement was his new career. He wanted to be a rapper.
Right. Got it.
Phoenix's career transition was documented in the 2010 film I'm Still Here, which was directed by Casey Affleck, who later admitted that the whole thing was a hoax.
The Winner: I have to go with Phoenix in this one. Ricky's retirement was funny. Phoenix's was just plain weird.
Peter Warrick was one of the most dynamic wide receivers in college football history during his career at Florida State, where he was a two-time All-American.
But he got in trouble with the law during his senior season in 1999 when he and Laveranues Coles, Warrick's teammate, went to a Dillard's store in Tallahassee and purchased more than $400 worth of clothes for just over $20.
The discount was so large that it was actually considered shoplifting under Florida law, and Warrick was arrested for grand theft by an officer who saw the transaction unfold on a security camera.
Warrick was suspended for two games by the Seminoles, which effectively ended any shot he had of winning the Heisman Trophy.
Winona Rider, star of such films as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Girl, Interruped, is one of the last people in the world who needs to steal stuff.
Indeed, when last I checked, actors get paid pretty well.
So exactly why she felt the need to go and steal nearly $6,000 worth of designer clothes and accessories from a Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue is beyond me.
But hey, at least it made for great theater.
The Winner: Warrick was a poor college student at the time. Winona was a famous actress. Advantage Winona.
Zidane was a key component for the French national team that made it all the way to the final in the 2005 FIFA World Cup.
And because he had announced that it was going to be his final World Cup before retiring, Zidane had a chance to go out on top.
But against Italy in the final, with the score tied 1-1 in extra time, Zidane was unable to ignore something uttered his way by Marco Materazzi. Zidane turned around and headbutted him in the chest. A red card came several moments later, and Zidane was kicked out of the game.
France would lose the match in penalty kicks, 5-3.
Kiefer Sutherland is famous for yelling and beating people up on 24, a persona that came in handy when fashion designer Jack McCollough interrupted a conversation he was having with Brooke Shields.
Instead of letting McCollough say his piece, Sutherland headbutted him in the face, breaking his nose.
Sutherland was arrested, but the charges were dropped after he later issued an apology.
The Winner: Sutherland's headbutt sounds like it was more vicious, but the move wasn't stupid enough to cost him a World Cup victory. Zidane wins.
Greg Oden, the first overall pick of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007, made headlines early in 2010 that had nothing to do with his play on the court (or lack thereof considering he was out for the year with a knee injury).
Apparently, Oden saw fit to stand naked in front of a mirror and take pictures of himself. That's all well and good, but he should have known that pictures of famous people being naked inevitably find their way onto the internet.
And that's exactly what happened. A few days later, Oden was forced to issue a sullen apology to all his fans.
But here's what I want to know: why would anybody ever want to see Greg Oden naked?
Rihanna, the Barbados native and girlfriend of Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, is one of the most renowned pop stars in the world.
And like all pop stars, she's also famous for being incredibly beautiful.
But if Greg Oden is not exempt from the rule that all self-taken naked pictures eventually end up on the internet, then Rihanna is sure as hell not.
Sure enough, when some cellphone photos appeared on the internet during the summer that featured a woman that looked mysteriously like Rihanna, chaos ensued.
Was it actually her? Of course it was.
The Winner: When you look like Greg Oden, you should never take pictures of yourself, much less pictures of yourself with no clothes on. He takes the prize here.
Matt Leinart was supposed to be a star when he was selected 10th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2006. He was, after all, just two years removed from a Heisman Trophy season and had guided the USC Trojans to two consecutive BCS National Championship Games.
But then came the struggles. And then there were the hot tub photos that surfaced in the 2008 offseason.
If you need a hint, that's Leinart in the middle there.
The headlines were scalding. But as Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic rather comically pointed out at the time, they could have been much worse.
"Now take that picture of Leinart and four young girls cuddling in a hot tub," wrote Bickley. "What if one of them woke up and decided to accuse Leinart of improper conduct? What of the headlines then?"
Honestly, what stupid celebrity slideshow is complete without Britney Spears.
Well, luckily for us, Spears did her best Matt Leinart impression in August of 2007. Apparently, she got drunk and seduced a total stranger.
That total stranger would later claim that he bailed on Britney when she was lying on a hotel bed with nothing but a pair of pink panties on. Holy Willpower, Batman!
The Winner: People expect Britney to do stupid things. We didn't expect the same from Leinart until after his hot tub incident. He wins.
Larry Eustachy was the head coach of the Iowa State Cyclones men's basketball team from 1998 to 2003.
However, that last season in 2003 didn't end well. On January 22nd of that year, Eustachy decided to drop in a student party at the University of Missouri, whose basketball team had defeated the Cyclones just hours earlier.
He proceeded to carry on drinking and flirting with women that were a little too young for him, to say the least.
The pictures didn't go public until late April, and he was suspended by the Iowa State brass.
He resigned a few days later.
I don't really know what the context is as far as this picture is concerned, but you really only need to know three things:
It's Mel Gibson, he's drunk, and he's old enough to be their grandfather.
Well, I guess you can take his dignity...but you'll never take his libido!
The Winner: To my knowledge, this little incident didn't cost Gibson his job, whatever that is these days. Gotta go with Eustachy as the bigger dumbass in this one.
There are some pretty good attacks on cameramen in the attached video, but Randy Johnson's has always been my personal favorite (it's No. 4 on the list, by the way).
We all knew the Big Unit was a jerk before this, but it was nice to know that we at long last had video evidence to prove it.
Come on, dude. What kind of jackass actually says, "Don't talk back to me!" to another grown man?
Bless that cameraman's heart for saying, "Welcome to New York."
There are a couple of key differences between Johnson's paparazzi encounter and that of famous Icelandic singer/songwriter.
First of all, Björk was greeted before she made her attack.
Secondly, Björk went to freakin' town, man! She was furious!
Remind me never to welcome her anywhere.
The Winner: The sheer violence of Björk's attack easily makes her the dumber transgressor of the two.
We don't really need photographic evidence that John Daly is a drunken mess. Indeed, the man himself is a living, breathing monument for his reputation.
But you know what, I'm glad that we've been graced with this picture anyway. It makes me feel good about my life.
In case you don't recognize him, this is George Clinton. That's right, the father of funk music and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
Try and look at this picture without cracking up.
Go on. I dare you. In fact, I double-dare you.
Face it, it's not possible.
The Winner: George Clinton's mugshot can win just about any contest. It wins this one too.
In case you don't recognize him, that is indeed French soccer star Thierry Henry.
And yes, that is him checking out Eva Longoria's knockers. And he gets absolutely no points for subtlety.
For the record, this is from a while back, so Longoria was still married to Tony Parker, Henry's fellow countryman.
That's P Diddy on the right of course, and the pair of assets he's focused on belong to Jessica Biel.
Hey, I don't blame him either. But it still doesn't look good.
The Winner: At least Diddy was subtle with his boobage investigation. A point for Henry.
There are many who have tried to sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" at Wrigley Field, and there are many who have failed miserably doing so.
Tony Romo comes to mind. Ditto Jeff Gordon.
But Ditka's butchery of baseball's most sacred song takes the cake.
First of all, I apologize for the terrible video and audio quality in this clip.
Luckily for us, that doesn't get in the way of the fact that Ozzy's performance of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" is an absolutely epic fail.
Keep in mind that this man sings for a living. Or, at least, he used to.
The Winner: Ozzy in a landslide.
At long last, it is time to tally up the scores.
My scorecard shows five stupid points for jocks, and five stupid points for celebrities.
Wouldn't you know it, we have ourselves a tie.
Well, the way I see it, when the contest at stake is a measure of stupidity, a tie means that both parties lose.
So congratulations, jocks and celebs, you are both equally dumb whenever you get caught on tape doing something you shouldn't. Let that be a lesson.