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The Worst Sports Moments of the Year

Nathaniel UyFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2010

The Worst Sports Moments of the Year

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    Now that a new year is upon us, it's time to take a look back at a remarkable year of worsts.

    In 2010, we saw lots of scandals surrounding the New York Jets, LeBron James' "Decision" and another Brett Favre comeback.

    But those are just a few of the things that happened in a year full of disaster, controversy, embarrassing moments and meltdowns. 

    It's time to go over the list.  Without further ado, here are the worst moments of 2010.

50. Worst Performance by a Preseason Playoff Contender: Cincinnati Bengals

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Bengals were supposed to be playoff contenders. 

    They had two elite receivers in Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, as well as a gun-slinging quarterback in Carson Palmer.

    But the offense just couldn't hack it.  Their defense wasn't able to make stops and Cedric Benson couldn't figure out how to be a consistent threat running the football.

    Then T.O. called them "Terrible!"

49. Worst College Football Uniforms: Oregon Ducks

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    As the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, the Ducks have gained notoriety for running Chip Kelly's high-powered offense.

    But those feathers, or whatever those are supposed to be on the shoulder pads, make their uniforms ugly.

48. Worst Contract Extension: Donovan McNabb

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    What do you do with an 34-year-old quarterback with weak knees who is somewhat out of shape?

    Give him a contract extension, of course!

    To the tune of $78 million over five years.  That's not the going rate for a has-been that has only thrown an average of one touchdown pass per game this season.

    Mike Shanahan is such a McNabb fan that he's decided to bench him for the rest of the season.

47. Worst Fantasy Football Draft Pick: Kevin Kolb

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Raise your hands if you invested an early draft pick in a guy that was supposed to be cornerstone of your fantasy football team.

    The guy was getting raves for his passing efficiency and conservative ways in Philadelphia.  Then Michael Vick happened.

    And Kolb's been sitting on the bench since.

    There's always next season.

46. Worst Serial WAG: Kim Kardashian

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    Charley Gallay/Getty Images

    With a popular reality show, Kim Kardashian gets plenty of air time.

    But her personal life is somehow always intertwined with sports and athletes.

    This year, she's broken up with a Super Bowl champion, Reggie Bush, and has dated a Pro Bowl receiver, Miles Austin.

    She's also been called a good luck charm by Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson and has now been rumored to be dating big man Kris Humphries of the New Jersey Nets.

    That's a lot of athletes in one year, making her a notorious serial WAG. 

45. Worst

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    They say Wade is a soft-spoken man that rarely raises his voice or uses profanity.

    What a nice guy.  And what do they say about nice guys?  They finish last.

    No wonder the Cowboys stunk it up under Phillips to start the season.

44. Worst Tantrum: Vince Young

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    As a star with the Texas Longhorns, Young led his team to a national championship.

    But in the pros, he has yet to prove he can be a franchise player for the Titans.

    After a big season-turning overtime defeat to the Washington Redskins, 19-16, Young threw a spoiled brat tantrum.

    He was overheard cursing during Jeff Fisher's postgame speech and was seen leaving the locker room early to avoid the media.

    Who knows if he'll even be back next season.

43. Worst Division in the NFL: NFC West

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Can you believe it?

    A playoff team will be plucked out of the NFC West.

    Up until Week 15, the 49ers and the Cardinals still had faint playoff hopes.

    In a division full of teams with losing records, someone will win the division.

    That's right—if you were a proponent for playoff realignment, the NFC West is the perfect example of a reason for change.

42. Worst Sports Divorce of the Year: Frank and Jaime McCourt

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    It's a sad situation when a sports team's finances are directly tied to that of a pending divorce between owners.

    That's what happened here with the Dodgers.  Although the team denies it, it's hard not to believe that their reluctance to spend dollars on their starting pitching last season had something to do with it.

    What happens next?  Frank and Jamie McCourt will decide.

41. Worst Special Teams: San Diego Chargers

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    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    How does a team that has a top-ranked offense and top-ranked defense miss the playoffs?

    Because their special teams were a big disappointment.  Add that to their boneheaded plays and costly penalties, and it makes for a very poor season.

40. Worst Secondary: Houston Texans

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Going into Week 17, the Texans secondary has given up a league-worst 277 passing yards per game. 

    They also have allowed a league-high 32 passing touchdowns this season.

    Those are definitely numbers no secondary should be proud of.

39. Worst Running Game in the NFL: Denver Broncos

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    With Knowshon Moreno struggling with injuries this season, the sad truth about this Denver running game is that Tim Tebow was probably the best runner they had left on the roster.

    Correll Buckhalter has racked up a 2.5 YPC average this year, and Laurence Maroney has a 2.1 YPC average.

    Tebow? He has a 4.4 YPC average with five rushing touchdowns.

    It's a sad situation when your rookie quarterback is your best backfield option.

38. Worst Free-Agent Signing: Jake Delhomme

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    This 35-year-old free agent acquisition was supposed to bring with him maturity, experience and leadership.

    But he was a very big disappointment on the field.  Delhomme has only thrown two touchdown passes with seven interceptions this season.

37. Worst Offseason NFL Trade: Broncos Trade Away Peyton Hillis

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    NFL Photos/Getty Images

    Back to the Broncos.  Hands down, they were one of the league's worst running teams.

    During the offseason, they actually got rid of this season's breakout star: Peyton Hillis.

    Denver shipped Hillis and two draft picks to the Browns for Brady Quinn, a guy that didn't take a single snap this season.

    That's got to be one of the most lopsided trades in recent memory.

36. Worst Midseason Trade: Vikings Acquire Randy Moss

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    While the Broncos committed a blunder in letting a talent get away, the Vikings may have completely ruined any hopes of salvaging their season by acquiring a malcontent.

    Moss' arrival didn't exactly propel the Vikes back to NFC North prominence.

    It just added to all the distractions that the team was already dealing with (Brett Favre scandal).

    After Moss snapped at a caterer in the Minnesota locker room, he was dropped to the waiver wire.

35. Worst Waiver Wire Acquisition: Randy Moss

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    When the Titans picked up Moss, they were a team with playoff aspirations.

    They were 5-3 and sitting atop the AFC South.

    But Randy has this thing about being a bad luck charm. 

    With Moss on the roster, the Titans went on to lose six of their next seven games.

34. Worst NFL Coach-Player Drama: Shanahan vs. McNabb

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    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Mike Shanahan expects a lot out of his players.  He loves guys that live and breathe football.

    With McNabb showing the wear and tear of playing in 12 NFL seasons, the guy just hasn't shown the stamina and physical fitness that Shanahan would like to see.

    Add to that a newly signed contract extension.

    No wonder there's a lot of drama in D.C.

33. Worst Luck With Injuries: Indianapolis Colts

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Colts players dropped like flies this season. 

    Poor Austin Collie was a victim of the injury bug on more than one occasion.

    Others on that list include Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Anthony Gonzalez and Bob Sanders.

32-A. Worst Athlete Photo Shoot Second Place: Andre Either

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    Andre Either was understandably clowned for partaking in this photo shoot in the Dodgers clubhouse.

    The get-up he's wearing is pretty hilarious. 

    But most Internet fan boards have started calling him a Wookie for having such hairy arms.

32-B. Worst Athlete Photo Shoot: Kobe Bryant

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    If Either gets second place, another Los Angeles athlete takes the No. 1 spot.

    Kobe Bryant.

    Dressed in all white and looking like a "Dapper Pilgrim."

31. Worst World Cup Performance: Team France

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Controversy surrounded Team France when they qualified for the World Cup with Thierry Henry's hand ball.

    And more controversy and disappointment followed them during the tournament.

    They only earned an 0-0 draw against Uruguay, despite playing against 10 men in the second half.  Then they fell to Mexico 2-0 and ultimately lost to South Africa 2-1.

    During their struggles, there were a lot of distractions, with players lashing out at coaches and even a player strike from practicing.

    It was an enormous meltdown for the team.

30. Worst World Cup Play: Robert Green Gives Up Easy Goal

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    There are no words to explain this goal.

    It was an easy save that turned into a disaster.

    Green, a goalkeeper for England, allowed Team USA to tie the game with that goal and the game ended in a draw.

    Green did not see any more World Cup action after that faux pas.

29. Worst World Cup Choke Jobs: Asamoah Gyan

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    With Ghana tied with Uruguay 1-1 in the World Cup quarterfinals, Gyan had a chance to take Ghana into the semis.

    But he choked.

    In the final minute of extra time, Gyan hit the crossbar, and Uruguay won the game in the ensuing penalty shootout.

    It was a heartbreaking loss for Ghana.

28. Worst Showing of Sportsmanship in Winter Olympics: Evgeni Plushenko

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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    He was a gold-medal figure skating favorite heading into the Winter Games, but he fell to American Evan Lysacek.

    Plushenko ended up with the silver medal, while Lysacek won the gold.

    After the Vancouver Olympics, Plushenko blamed the judges for coming up short and has gone on to claim that he won the "platinum" medal in the competition.

    Even his own website says so.

27. Worst Coaching Job in Winter Olympics: Sven Kramer's Coach

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    Kramer had a gold medal all locked up during the 10,000-meter long-track speedskating event.

    But he was disqualified.  Therefore, he missed out on a gold medal and a world record.

    The poor skater from the Netherlands made one of the biggest gaffes in the Olympics when his coach told him to change lanes in the event when shouldn't have.

26. Worst Play by Secondary: Chicago Bears

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    The Bears, a team known for their solid defense, did not think much of a last play from the Patriots to end the half.

    In fact, they were probably expecting Tom Brady to hold on to the football to avoid the risk of losing the football.

    But Brady took advantage of the Bears' inattentiveness and found a wide-open Deion Branch with no one covering him.

    The Bears went to sleep and Brady and Branch made them pay for it.

25. Worst Tweet: Steve Johnson

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    Karl Walter/Getty Images

    In a big game against an AFC powerhouse, the Buffalo Bills nearly had a monumental upset in the works, until Steve Johnson dropped a pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick in the end zone. 

    So who did he blame?  Nope, not himself. 

    Johnson blamed God.  According to Johnson's postgame tweet, it was His fault:

    "I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO..."

    The Bills ultimately fell in overtime 19-16.

24. Worst Unsportsmanlike Acting Job: Derek Jeter

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    In his illustrious career as a New York Yankee, Derek Jeter has won five World Series titles and been selected to 11 All-Star appearances.

    This season, he showed that he may also be considered for an Oscar nomination, for being a great actor.

    Jeter gave his best performance against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in a game with the Yanks down 2-1; Jeter pretended to get hit by an inside pitch and took first base.

    That's not a very sportsmanlike play, Mr. Jeter.

23. Worst Postgame Handshake: Todd Haley

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    Instead of shaking the head of winning head coach Josh McDaniels after the game, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley decided to give him a lecture.

    Haley was reportedly unhappy about the way McDaniels' Broncos players were celebrating on the sidelines while Haley's Chiefs were getting clobbered.

22. Worst NBA Locker Room Incident: Gilbert Arenas

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    That much-talked-about incident when Arenas drew a gun on Javaris Crittenton happened on Christmas Eve in 2009.

    But much of the story and debate about the incident didn't come until early 2010.

    Arenas' reputation was tarnished, and the Wizards organization pretty much went into rebuilding mode after that.

21. Worst Offseason Drunk: Ben Roethlisberger

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    Big Ben found himself trouble again this offseason, when a second sexual assault allegation was made against him in two years.

    Although Roethlisberger was never charged with anything, he didn't exactly come off as a saint.

    Especially not when photos of him, drunk, surfaced on the Internet. 

    Roethlisberger was given a six-game suspension (reduced to four games) by Roger Goodell to start the season for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

20. Worst Offseason Training Regimen: Alexander Ovechkin

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    Ovechkin apparently operates under the personal mantra, "Work Hard, Play Hard."

    The high-scoring winger for the Washington Capitals has been one of the league's best young players since joining the NHL.

    However, he's somewhat taken a backseat to Sidney Crosby this season.

    Perhaps his offseason training regimen of partying in Turkey has hurt his game.

19. Worst Sports Husbands of the Year: Nash, Parker, Rooney and Barber

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    Steve Nash: Announced his divorce from his wife after the birth of their first son.

    Tony Parker: Allegedly cheated on actress wife Eva Longoria with Erin Barry, a common friend and wife of his ex-teammate Brent Barry.

    Wayne Rooney: Sought the services of prostitute on numerous occasions, while his wife was pregnant with their son.

    Tiki Barber: Left his pregnant wife, Ginny, who was eight months pregnant, for his children's babysitter.

18. Worst NFL Locker Room Scandal: Ines Sainz, New York Jets

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    A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    There are plenty of locker room scandals in the world of sports.  But this one was to be the biggest one from this year.

    Ines Sainz, a Mexican reporter for Azteca TV, was planning on having a regular interview with Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in the team's locker room.

    However, the interview turned into a big mess after team staff and player's allegedly made inappropriate remarks to her, and Jets management was left apologizing for the fiasco.

17. Worst NFL Season Distraction: Jenn Sterger Allegations

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    Brett Favre's latest comeback also marked the return of Jenn Sterger, former FSU Cowgirl and Jets sideline reporter.

    Her allegations of Favre's inappropriate voicemails and dirty text messages from the Southern gentlemen rocked the NFL.

    It turned into one of the biggest distractions for the Vikings' season.

16. Worst Sideline Moment: Sal Alosi Tripping Incident

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    Another worst moment, another member of the Jets.

    This one is Sal Alosi, for being the knucklehead who orchestrated players to stand in a wall so he could trip up Nolan Carrol during a punt return.

15. Worst Fetish: Rex Ryan

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    We're not done yet.

    Rex Ryan needs to get in on the action.

    According to reports from deadspin.com, Rex and Michelle Ryan have a foot fetish and there are YouTube videos to prove it.

    That's right, video evidence shows a woman that looks a lot like Michelle and a man that sounds a lot like Rex, revealing a fetish for feet.

14. Worst NFL Team When It Comes to Distractions: New York Jets

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    How many incidents have the Jets organization been involved with this year?

    Too many to count.

    There's something going on with this team.  Maybe they can put together a strong postseason run and make us all forget about it.

13. Worst Choke Jobs by an NFL Team: New York Giants

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    The Giants had a late-season game against the Eagles in their hands and were oh so close to taking sole possession of the NFC East with a win.

    Halfway through the fourth quarter, they had a 31-10 lead.

    Then their lead evaporated.  The Eagles scored 28 straight points to win the game.

    Their comeback was capped by DeSean Jackson's punt return as time ran out of the clock.

    It was a complete meltdown for the Giants and their postseason chances were significantly hurt by that loss.

12. Worst Helmet-to-Helmet Hit: Brandon Meriweather on Todd Heap

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    This was a clear cheap shot coming from Brandon Meriweather, and Todd Heap was the poor guy on the receiving end.

    It was also a weekend of vicious hits around the league: Jerome Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers was involved in a pair of plays that knocked two Cleveland Browns players out of the game.

    After this busy weekend of helmet-to-helmet hits, the league had to crack down on it.

11. Worst Turnout at a Press Conference: Eli Manning

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    "Uh, hello?  Anyone out there?"

    This moment takes the cake for worst press conference turnout.

    After the Giants disappeared in the Meadowlands to fall to the Eagles, no one wanted to ask Eli Manning anything—only one guy showed up to his presser.

    Everyone else was probably too busy interviewing Philadelphia players in the Eagles locker room.

10. Worst and Most Awkward Speech: Tiger Woods

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    We all know what happened.  Tiger Woods ruined his marriage and subsequently hurt his golf game for being a serial womanizer.

    "I'm deeply sorry for my irresponsible, selfish behavior," said Woods during a live press conference.

    Although there was sincerity in his voice, the moment still ranks as one of the worst of the year.

    The sight of a down-and-out Tiger Woods, with tears in his eyes, has to be a lowlight of the year and his career.

9. Worst Knowledge of Baseball's Unspoken Rules: Alex Rodriguez

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    A-Rod gets a lot of heat for being overpaid. 

    You'd think with all of his money, he'd take lessons on some of baseball's unspoken rules.

    The Yankees' third baseman took a shortcut on his way back to first and crossed the pitcher's mound.

    As a result, Dallas Braden became irate and A-Rod looked clueless.

    Way to go, Alex!

8. Worst College Football Fall From Grace: Reggie Bush Returns Heisman

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    With Reggie Bush at running back and Pete Carroll as head coach of the USC Trojans, they were one of the nation's best college football teams.

    Now, memories of USC's success and national titles with Bush have an asterisk. 

    After an NCAA investigation into allegations that Bush got unfair treatment, free rent and money during his time in Southern California, the entire USC program was punished.

    USC was disqualified from the postseason for the next two years, and Reggie Bush ended up returning his Heisman.

    Truly disappointing to see.

7. Worst NFL Rule and No-Touchdown Call: Calvin Johnson

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    Apparently, NFL rules say that the process of a catch has to be completed, and Calvin Johnson failed to do that when he let go of the football at the end of his catch.

    That's a stupid rule.

    The rest of America would consider this play a catch.

6. Worst Yearlong CFB Story: Cam Newton Scandal

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    Cam Newton, will he or will he not play? That seemed to be the biggest story of the college football season.

    After allegations of a pay-for-play demand from Newton's camp surfaced, the NCAA investigated, but nothing became of it.

    He was deemed eligible to play and the whole thing seemed anticlimactic.

    Newton led Auburn to an undefeated regular season in the SEC and won the Heisman Trophy.

5. Worst Blown Call: Jim Joyce

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    This year, pitchers ruled baseball. 

    There were two perfect games and six no-hitters thrown (including one in the postseason) this year.

    But there could have a third perfect game from Armando Galarraga.

    Jim Joyce ruined perfection for the Tigers pitcher when he called what was supposed to be the game's last batter safe on an infield hit.

    That has to be the worst call of his career.  Galarraga remained classy despite the controversy, and met up with a teary-eyed Joyce at home plate the next day.

4. Worst Fan Reaction: Cavaliers Fans

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    It's understandable for a fanbase to get pissed when your superstar leaves you for South Beach.

    But fans in Cleveland nearly rioted and went off burning jerseys. 

    There was definitely a lot of hate in the state of Ohio.  Even Cavs owner Dan Gilbert got in on the action and called LeBron plenty of mean things, like an angry ex-girlfriend would.

3. Worst Nut Shot: Brett Favre

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    Call it karmic payback.

    The 41-year-old quarterback got a nice shot to the private region during Vikings practice.

    It's another in a long line of worst moments for Favre this season.

2. Worst Swan Song: Brett Favre

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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    It wasn't supposed to go down like this.  Favre was supposed to lead the Vikings back to the postseason and go out with a bang.

    But the Favre of 2009 stayed on his Mississippi farm, and this 2010 version made us all wish he stayed retired.

    It was a disastrous season full of controversy, injury and disappointment.

1. Worst Television Special: "The Decision"

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    Larry Busacca/Getty Images

    What's the worst moment of the year?  It wasn't LeBron's decision to sign with the Miami Heat, it was actually the way he did it.

    With an ESPN television special that revolved around him. 

    'Bron and his team of friends gathered endorsement deals and got Jim Gray to conduct a mock interview that made him look like a complete diva.

    When you think of 2010's worst, LeBron's "Decision" has to rank at the top.

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