Tiger Woods and the 14 Biggest Falls from Grace in Sports History

Immer Chriswell@@immerrangeCorrespondent IJune 28, 2011

Tiger Woods and the 14 Biggest Falls from Grace in Sports History

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    So here's how things go when you're a role model. Everything is expected of you. You're supposed to set the perfect example for kids who look up to you, and represent yourself, your country, and your sport.

    However, nobody is a perfect person. There are temptations abundant, and surely this impacts everyone.

    So here we are, over a year removed from the Tiger Woods drama, and still people seem to be rehashing Tiger Woods' issues, from his marital life to injuries.

    Let's give Tiger somewhat of a break here, and remember that the athletes on this list have slipped along the way as well

Potential Fall: Lance Armstrong

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    Let's just start with a quick thought. Lance Armstrong is receiving fire from all sides and it may be looking grim.

    Should this ever happen, Armstrong would easily be one of the top falls from grace.

    However, it is innocent until proven guilty. Armstrong has passed drug test after drug test, and it's hard to believe that a failed test wouldn't have been reported. 

    I'm praying that these rumors are never confirmed as true, but if they are true then it's time to find out.

    For now, he just remains as potential.

Dishonorable Mention

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    Sadly, there are well more than the next 15 sports figures that you will see that have fallen from grace.

    That list would include: Jim Tressel, Francisco Rodriguez, Ben Roethlisberger, Donte Stallworth, Dwight Gooden, Chris Benoit and Darryl Strawberry. 

    From there, there are plenty more to mention, but let's try to not be too negative here.

No. 15: Tiger Woods

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    The thing that keeps Tiger at the back of this list is that right now he has regained some supporters. Although many people disapproved of his actions, some seem to be giving Tiger a pass in exchange for one simple thing: to come back and win.

    Right now, golf will struggle to maintain it's support without Tiger, and even the haters can recognize the decline in viewership.

No. 14: Lawrence Taylor

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    You shouldn't just check ID when you're a cashier buying beer, and this is proof. Taylor's mistake is really just a dumfounding error that challenges the mind to imagine what he was thinking when he didn't think twice about how old the girl really was.

    Next time Lawrence, try to keep your range in the 30s to keep yourself from this situation.

No. 13: Lebron James

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    He's done nothing illegal or against the rule of the game, but an entire city, maybe an entire state now despises him.

    His decision to make "The Decision" was a slap to the face of Cleveland, and even though it is his right to go wherever he wants to play, Lebron will always be looked down upon by many fans.

    Although what Lebron did is nothing in comparison to some of the acts on this list, he seems to have fallen in public opinion nearly as much

No. 12: Manny Ramirez

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    For the longest time, it was always "Manny being Manny." However eventually even the Boston Red Sox, who very much owed Ramirez credit for playing a key role in two World Series, had to cut ties with Ramirez. He refused to put out any effort for the Red Sox and the Sox had no use for a lazy player.

    From there, Ramirez failed two drug tests, and faced a severe punishment for the second this season.

    If it's redeeming in anyway, Ramirez opted to retire from the game instead of serve his suspension. But really, it's just him not wanting to face the public.

No. 11: Alex Rodriguez

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    He denied using performance enhancing drugs straight up. The question was asked, and he said no.

    Then came the admission that he had used performance enhancers.

    It's not his use that set him so far down, but that he looked at America and declared himself innocent when he wasn't.

No. 10: Barry Bonds

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    Barry Bonds home run ball and record both have an asterisk. And for good reason. Bonds' repeated denial of using steroids is just the icing on the cake in his case.

    Yeah Barry, you're right. You gained about 50 pounds in mass from working out and using protein shakes.

No. 9: Jayson Williams

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    Everyone had high hopes that Jayson Williams could break the mold for a person brought up in a rough area.

    Williams was everything that that hope provided for. He was all the way up through the end of his career and after as well.

    Then came the trial and then a prison term for the accidental shooting of his driver.

No. 8: Roger Clemens

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    Clemens was a first ballot Hall of Famer before his PED use. After, he probably won't be. And that's the irony of the situation.

    However, it's not only his PED issues, but a supposed sex tape scandal that really has pushed Clemens down as well.

    What was supposed to improve his game and land him as one of the best has landed him in the courtroom and away from Cooperstown most likely for good.

No. 7: Floyd Landis

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    Landis would have gone down as the story of the Tour de France, perhaps of all time underdogs for the race. However, Landis failed the most important test of his life after what was the crowning achievement of his life.

    His appeals and begging didn't work, as Landis has since become Mr. Irrelevant in the cycling world.

    It appears that Landis will not stop until everyone else hits rock bottom with him. 

No. 6: Tonya Harding

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    Living proof that the world of figure skating can get vicious. We all thought that Tonya Harding was a sweet, kind girl in her skating outfit ready to go put it on the line for her country.

    Instead, we found out she was a backhanded cheater who lacked the confidence to try and beat Nancy Kerrigan straight up.

    Drugs and alcohol on an athlete are unattractive, but Tonya Harding's actions on another athlete surpass those.

No. 5: Marion Jones

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    She did everything for America. She had a country on its feet.

    What did that country get in return? A straight-faced liar who repented only after denying repeatedly the PED allegations.

    She not only cost herself, but her teammates and country, a lot of pride.

No. 4: Mike Tyson

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    Is there anything that you can't say about Mike Tyson.

    He was supposed to be a godsend for the sport of boxing, and instead turned into a psychotic freak.

    His drug issues and depression weren't a helping factor in his life, and his attempted comeback was thwarted by that whole biting a person's ear issue.

    Overall, Mike Tyson effectively ruined everything that he could have had, but still has part of what he ruined.

No. 3: Pete Rose

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    His fall is disputed. Some say that he never bet against himself, the ultimate showing of confidence. Others say that he still broke the rules.

    However, many people agree that his habits should not have impacted his entrance to Cooperstown. He didn't cheat to collect over 4,000 hits, he just bet that his hitting could help his team (and that his team could bring him around the bases).

    Honestly, his fall is amplified by the ignorance of Bud Selig, and hopefully can be limited once Bud leaves the commissioner's office.

No. 2: 1919 White Sox

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    While this could probably have many reasons to be the biggest fall from grace, it's not like the White Sox were this iconic figure. They were the best team in the American League, but still not ahead of Cincinatti. They were a favorite, but they still hadn't reached the status of larger teams today being so storied.

    What they did was still wrong. In fact it was beyond that, and the players banned earned that deservedly so.

    However, there is just an element that sets the 1919 Black Sox Scandal behind the largest fall from grace in sports history.

No. 1: OJ Simpson

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    Going from Hall of Fame running back to convict and murderer(possibly), OJ Simpson by far has fallen further than anyone else in the world of sports.

    Although he was found innocent in his trial involving killing his wife, he wasn't found innocent in a memorabilia theft case that had Simpson holding a gun.

    Really? Over some trophies and balls?

    New rumors have OJ going even further down, as supposedly Oprah may (or may not) have received the confession that she has said would be her dream interview.