Vanessa Bryant and the Biggest Yoko Onos in Sports History
We all know the story about how Yoko Ono poisoned the mind of John Lennon and convinced him to leave the Beatles, arguably the most influential band of all time.
Whenever you have a group of guys that spends a large amount of time together, chances are eventually a girl is going to get in the way and end up leading to its demise.
There are lots of examples in sports where a team is gelling (or about to gel) and everything gets derailed because of a woman.
Here is the list of the biggest Yoko Onos in sports history.
Honorable Mention: Sara Carbonero
While Carbonero hasn't reached full Yoko status yet, she's well on her way. The girlfriend of Spanish goalie Iker Casillas, Carbonero is also a sports journalist who covers the Spanish national team, among other things.
Carbonero got into trouble during the World Cup of 2010, when she was working the game and was accused of distracting her boyfriend, who allowed a goal to slip by, leading to a 1-0 loss to Switzerland in the opening match of the tournament.
Spain went on to win the World Cup, so she can't be blamed too much. Later that year though, she started causing trouble between Casillas and his club teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. Carbonero reportedly said:
"Ronaldo has always been like that, selfish and an individualist on the pitch and Real Madrid signed him like that. The only problem is that he was bought for 96 million euros so when he does things wrong, he can’t be forgiven."
Replace "Real Madrid" with "The Beatles" and it definitely sounds like something Yoko would say about Paul.
15. Cameron Diaz
She hasn't quite broken up the Yankees yet, but it's only a matter of time. Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees enjoyed their finest season in a decade in 2009 when they won the World Series.
A-Rod finally shrugged off the "choker" label and had a great postseason, all while dating actress Kate Hudson.
Rodriguez and Hudson called it quits in December and then A-Rod reportedly started dating Cameron Diaz in May of the following year.
We all know what happened to the Yankees and A-Rod in 2010 with Diaz on his side. One more year of futility and his teammates are going to start to get angry.
14. Lisa Pavin
Lisa Pavin made waves across the sports world before the 2010 Ryder Cup when her racy photo graced the cover of Avid Golfer Magazine. The picture shows Pavin draped in an American flag, with nothing else but her cross necklace clothing her.
It wouldn't have been a big deal but her husband, Corey Pavin, was the captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team that was set to begin competition shortly. Lisa had already dubbed herself "captainess," so she set herself up to take the blame for the loss.
Sure enough, the European team defeated the Americans and Lisa's Yoko status was confirmed. A note to all wives and girlfriends of famous athletes: Keep your mouth shut and your clothes on...at least until he retires.
13. Kristen Pazik
Andriy Shevchenko is a Ukranian-born soccer player who was starring for AC Milan in 2006. His American model wife, Kristen Pazik, decided that she wanted her children to live in an English-speaking country.
That's when she started dropping hints to her husband and before you know it, Schevchenko was playing for Chelsea.
The people of Milan curse her name to this day.
12. Brandon Davies' Girlfriend
BYU was ranked No. 3 in the country and was poised for a No. 1 seed and a deep run in the NCAA tournament. Then Brandon Davies had to go and screw it up.
He was busted, reportedly for having premarital sex with his girlfriend, and suspended for the rest of the season.
While some will blame Davies for not being able to control himself, we're pretty sure it was his girlfriend who was whispering sweet nothings into his ear; things like, "Nobody will find out" and "Why wait til marriage when we're both here now?"
As it turned out, Davies was suspended and Jimmer Fredette was forced to take every single BYU shot during the tournament. They saw their dreams come crashing down when they lost to Florida in the Sweet 16.
11. Carrie Underwood
Canadians love their hockey, and they certainly love their hockey players. That's why it was doubly painful when American country singer Carrie Underwood seemingly forced the Ottawa Senators into dealing her husband Mike Fisher to the Nashville Predators.
Fisher was born and raised in Ontario (Americans: Ottawa is in Ontario) and had played for the Senators his whole career until Underwood sunk her cowboy boots into him.
It just so happens that Underwood lives in Nashville, so now the happy couple can live under the same roof.
Fisher may have reconsidered the move when he saw the headline in a local paper: "Predators acquire Carrie Underwood's husband."
10. Anna Benson
Anna Benson was an attention monger who constantly outshined her husband Kris, who was actually a pretty decent pitcher with the Mets for a while.
Anna's most famous exploits came in an interview with shock-jock Howard Stern, where she said that if Kris ever cheated on her she would sleep with all of his teammates to get even.
This could have been passed off as a joke were it not for the amount of detail that Anna went into. This makes it seem like she was really, really, hoping that he would cheat on her:
"I told Kris because that's the biggest thing in athletics, they cheat all the time. I told him, cheat on me all you want. If you get caught, I'm going to (bleep) everybody on your entire team, coaches, trainers, players. Everybody would get a turn. If my husband cheated on me and embarrassed me like that, I will embarrass him more than he could ever imagine."
No wonder Kris and the Mets couldn't concentrate after that.
9. Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano is a notorious baseball serial dater, and her effect on her conquests is truly remarkable. She has a knack for dating pitchers when they're at their peak, then slowly watching them descend into mediocrity before moving on to someone else.
Cases in point are Barry Zito (Cy Young in 2003 to whatever he is now), Carl Pavano (one of the leagues best before injuries...and Milano), and Brad Penny (former Dodgers ace-turned fat #5 starter).
Luckily Milano swore off baseball players and married agent David Bulgari in 2009. No word yet on whether Bulgari's client list is starting to shrink, but I wouldn't doubt it.
8. Jackie Christie
The Sacramento Kings of the early 2000s were some of the best teams in NBA history not to win a title. Part of the reason was their (possibly referee aided) collapse in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals, but another big part of the reason was Jackie Christie.
She's the crazy wife of guard Doug Christie, who in 2003 forced the Kings owners to send Doug to Orlando.
They'd had enough of her antics, capped by a lawsuit where a Kings employee claimed that her responsibilities were reduced after Jackie complained that the woman had left Doug a phone message.
I've heard of jealous wives, but that's ridiculous. Not that ridiculous to Jackie, who apparently had a "no contact" rule between her husband and other women.
Come on, not even a handshake?
7. LaLa Vasquez
When Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Knicks earlier this season, he became one of the biggest superstars of all time to be moved at the trade deadline.
Rumors had been flying around for months that Carmelo wanted out of Denver, but it seems as if the real impetus came from his wife, LaLa Vasquez.
LaLa was allegedly looking at apartments in New York City while Carmelo was still playing in Denver, and wanted to move to either New York or Los Angeles to help her acting career.
Well it helped LaLa, who now hangs out with celebrity WAG friends Kim Kardashian and Ciara, but the city of Denver will probably never forgive her.
6. Vanessa Perroncel
Perroncel is a model that caused a rift in the English national soccer team's locker room in early 2010.
Perroncel apparently cheated on her boyfriend, soccer player Wayne Bridge, with his teammate John Terry.
The scandal threw Terry's status as captain into jeopardy and the timing could not have been worse as England prepared for the World Cup.
The team finished with a disappointing result, so it's safe to say that the French Perroncel succeeded in bringing down the England soccer team.
I'm sure it was her plan all along.
5. Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson drew headlines when she started dating Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. She drew headlines of a different sort when the two were photographed poolside on a Mexican getaway.
Why the big fuss, you ask?
The getaway happened to take place the week before a Cowboys playoff game. Romo's team had a bye in the first round, and he decided to spend it getting some sun with his girlfriend south of the border.
Romo and the Cowboys blew it in the playoffs and Jessica's fate was sealed. However, Romo has yet to win the big game even though the couple has long since broken up.
Maybe it's not all her fault.
4. Toni Braxton
The Dallas Mavericks of the mid-90s were one of the most promising young teams in the NBA. They had three superstars on the Triple J Ranch: Jason Kidd, Jim Jackson, and Jamal Mashburn, and they were ready to finally take that next step as a franchise.
That is, until Toni Braxton brought it all crashing down.
Word on the street is that star guards Kidd and Jackson had a feud over the hot R&B singer which eventually led to Kidd demanding a trade and being shipped off to Phoenix.
As we all know, the Mavs suffered some down years until a crazy guy named Cuban took over, but they still haven't won that elusive championship.
3. Gisele Bundchen
Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are about as perfect a couple as you will see...at least on the surface. Tom Brady is a three-time Super Bowl champion, but guess how many titles the Patriots have since Gisele came along?
That's right, zippo. Coincidence?
Perhaps this will answer your question: when Gisele was dating Leonardo DiCaprio he made The Beach and The Aviator.
The year after they broke up, he starred in The Departed.
2. Vanessa Bryant
Kobe Bryant's wife may get a pass because of what she had to go through, but she's meddled in the personal lives of two of Kobe's teammates.
First it was Karl Malone in 2004, when Vanessa called Malone's wife and told her that Karl had been flirting with her. Fortunately for the Lakers, Shaq had already been traded and Karl Malone was injured so the Lakers weren't going anywhere anyway.
Most recently it was Pau Gasol, when Vanessa reportedly told Pau's girlfriend to dump him...which caused him to play like a sad puppy...which allowed the Lakers to be swept by the Dallas Mavericks.
Let's have a round of applause for Vanessa Bryant, who single-handedly destroyed the Lakers Dynasty!
1. Janet Jones
This was quite similar to the Carrie Underwood story, but a much, much bigger deal. Janet Jones is an actress best known for her role as "Officer Kate" in Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach, clearly the filet of the Police Academy franchise.
The problem was that Jones married The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, and two weeks later he was traded from Edmonton to the L.A. Kings. Of course Los Angeles was where Jones lived.
The Edmonton fans mourned the loss of the greatest hockey player of all time and forever cursed Jones and boycotted all of her future television and movie appearances.
Unfortunately, it didn't have much of an effect when US audiences seemed to boycott them as well.