Antonio Cromartie and the 20 Most Arrogant Players in the NFL
Antonio Cromartie may not be the most arrogant player in the NFL, but it's not like he has done much to keep himself out of the conversation.
Between cursing at Tom Brady through the media and struggling to name all of his children, Cromartie's stayed relevant on the arrogance circuit by labeling himself a better playmaker than Nnamdi Asomugha.
While Asomugha hasn't had a glistening start to his tenure in Philadelphia, Cromartie hasn't done anything to surpass him. If anything, he's probably further down the list after giving up a pair of touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1.
The New York Jets have a reputation for being talkers, and Cromartie is no exception. What's worth examining, though, is that the Jets comprise just a small part of the arrogance in the NFL as a whole.
So who else is doing the talking? I have 20 answers to that question:
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
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You're at a restaurant with a person who is making $3 million a year. Which of the following actions would you expect that person to do?
A. Snatch the check from your hand and say, "Don't worry about the meal. I got this."
B. Snatch a $20 bill from your hand, and when you confront him about it he replies, "Do you know who I am? There's going to be consequences."
If you guessed "B", then I feel sorry for you. But that's what Marshawn Lynch allegedly did to the wife of a police officer in January of 2010 in a T.G.I. Fridays.
No "beast-mode" run can negate that amount of arrogance.
Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers
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How did Hines Ward top being voted the dirtiest player in the NFL in 2009? By becoming a contestant on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," of course.
It's an interesting progression, though. After spending over a decade hitting players when the referee's eyes are turned away, Ward decided he actually wanted to be noticed for positive reasons. He was eventually crowned the winner of "Dancing With the Stars" 12th season.
I guess being a model for stellar sportsmanship was far too much to ask.
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
Ever since DeSean Jackson famously dropped the football before what would have been his first career touchdown, it seems like he is forever compensating for what could have been a great moment in his life.
However, it's hard to blame Jackson for milking his moments for all they are worth after having such a rich history of making a fool of himself on big stages. That dates back to earlier than many would imagine.
DeAngelo Hall, Washington Redskins
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A friendly word of advice to DeAngelo Hall: The next time you tell the media that you're targeting a quarterback's broken ribs, don't let said quarterback burn you on 3rd-and-21 in the fourth quarter.
That is all.
Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens
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Between allegedly declaring bounties on Hines Ward and Rashard Mendenhall, and providing an endless fashion show of novelty trash-talking shirts, Terrell Suggs has done a superb job of placing himself among the arrogant elite.
What takes the cake, though, is calling Tom Brady's three Super Bowl titles "questionable."
The only questionable aspect of that scenario is the logic behind someone with no rings speaking about how they are earned.
Until there's a special piece of jewelry on his finger, Suggs can't know for sure.
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
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Squinting while talking to somebody isn't a good way to dispel any accusations of being a world-class jerk.
Chad Ochocinco, New England Patriots
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The media have piled on criticisms of Chad Ochocinco to no end, but for someone who craves the limelight as much as he does, it's hard not to.
Through four weeks, Ochocinco has managed to reel in just seven passes in one of the league's most pass-heavy offenses.
Maybe bull-riding and soccer tryouts don't comprise the ideal offseason training regimen after all.
Terrell Owens, Unemployed
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Terrell Owens may not have a team, but until he files his retirement papers, he's still eligible for this list.
There's a reason Owens isn't in a uniform this season, and it's not because of an ailing knee.
To put it mildly, teams aren't yet convinced that his initialls "T.O." don't stand for—as Skip Bayless puts it—"Team Obliterator."
While players have come to his defense recently, it may just be too little too late.
(And that's the first and hopefully last time I will ever have to resort to quoting Skip Bayless.)
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
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Michael Vick was such a feel-good story in 2010. He got his first real shot at football redemption and responded by taking the NFL world by storm with MVP-caliber play.
The problem is, Vick wasn't faced with much adversity in the 2010 NFL season. It's easy for anyone to go with the flow when things are going well.
In 2011, things aren't going well.
The Eagles are 1-3, and Vick's demeanor is becoming more transparent. After their third consecutive loss in Week 4, Vick snapped at members of the press and has cancelled interviews with a Philadelphia radio station for three weeks in a row.
His last appearance? After a Week 1 win over the St. Louis Rams.
What a coincidence.
Bart Scott, New York Jets
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One would think that a player who was undrafted out of college would have less of an ego.
Bart Scott made his presence known on the football field at an early stage in his career. Unfortunately, he feels the need to parallel that with his mouth.
Taunts like "can't wait" and saying that the New England Patriots "couldn't stop a nosebleed" aren't wise things to do. Good teams will find plenty of ways to beat you without being provided Scott's bulletin-board fodder.
A wake-up call is in order, but I don't expect Scott to answer.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
"We're only gonna score 17 points?"
For the most part, Tom Brady's backed up his cocky demeanor with his Hall of Fame-caliber play. There's no taking that away from him.
But one famous moment during a pre-Super Bowl interview will notch himself a spot in the Arrogance Hall of Fame. Plaxico Burress predicted that the Patriots offense would be held to just 17 points in Super Bowl XLII. Brady responded:
"We're only gonna score 17 points? (laughs) OK..."
To be fair, Burress was wrong. The Patriots only mustered 14.
Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals
This picture shows the unfortunate result of what happens when a person with perpetually bruised knuckles tries to tie his hair back.
With a possible suspension looming for Cedric Benson's alleged assault on his roommate, he'll have plenty of time to brainstorm how to improve future headshots.
Or maybe he should brainstorm ways to avoid starting fights.
Albert Haynesworth, New England Patriots
Being an arrogant egomaniac is not a difficult thing to do. Just follow the Albert Haynesworth method:
Step 1: Sign a $100 million contract with the Washington Redskins.
Step 2: Refuse to work.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Kerry Collins, Indianapolis Colts
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Hopefully, Collins has learned his lesson about dropping the "n-word" in the team locker room.
Fourteen years later, it's a lapse in judgment that bloggers across the spectrum still haven't forgotten. I know I haven't.
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
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With a $90 million contract and endless airtime on sports replays, Peyton Manning still found it necessary to appear in commercials for ESPN, Sprint, Gatorade, Reebok, MasterCard and DirecTV.
And for the love of God, will someone at least tell that goon to un-tuck his shirt?
James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers
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To be fair, I'd be pretty bitter too if Roger Goodell kept taking chunks out of my paycheck.
But what stuns me is Harrison's two refusals to visit the White House after each Super Bowl win with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"I don't feel the need to go, actually," Harrison told Pittsburgh station WTAE-TV. "I don't feel like it's that big a deal to me."
He's right. It's just a congratulatory speech and ceremony in his team's honor that's dedicated to them from the leader of the free world.
Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants
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Brandon Jacobs gave the most literal example of losing one's head in a game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2010 when he heaved his helmet into the crowd of Lucas Oil Stadium.
He complemented that display in a 2011 preseason matchup when he scuffled with New York Jets' rookie defensive tackle Muhammed Wilkerson. Jacobs was promptly fined $20,000.
Until Jacobs can prove he can go at least one season without throwing a temper tantrum, then there will be a wide-open spot for him on this list.
Cortland Finnegan, Tennessee Titans
Cortland Finnegan, or as he's known by a certain Facebook group as "Innegan" has always had a reputation of being a dirty player.
Coincidentally, he hasn't made many headlines since this spat with Andre Johnson in 2010. Perhaps if Johnson fought the other 19 people on this list there would be a much-needed element of humility added to the NFL.
But there just wouldn't be much fun in that, now would there?