Albert Pujols, LeBron James and the 10 Biggest Sports Betrayals

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IDecember 8, 2011

Albert Pujols, LeBron James and the 10 Biggest Sports Betrayals

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    First, LeBron James took his talents to South Beach. Now, Albert Pujols is taking his talents to Long Beach.

    There wasn’t a TV special announcing his decision, but King Albert abandoned his kingdom nonetheless.

    So, where does Pujols’ departure rank among the top 10 biggest sports betrayals?

    Let’s take a look now.

10. Alex Rodriguez Traded to New York Yankees

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    When the Boston Red Sox were looking for a big hitter in the offseason before the 2004 regular season, they settled on A-Rod.

    At the last second, their archrivals swooped in and stole Rodriguez with a huge contract.

    Fortunately for Boston fans, the Red Sox got the last laugh in that situation.

    But, the Texas Rangers still pulled the rug out from under Boston in this trade scenario.

9. Terrelle Pryor Leaves Ohio State

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    After the 2011 Sugar Bowl, Pryor left school.

    That’s not a bad move in itself, but the circumstances made it bad.

    He was facing a five-game suspension and didn’t want to serve it. So, he made himself ineligible and manipulated the NFL system to become eligible for the supplemental draft.

    Meanwhile, the Buckeyes were struggling through one of their worst seasons in years.

8. Brooklyn Dodgers Flee New York

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    The Dodgers were frustrated with the dilapidated state of the legendary Ebbets Field.

    The city and owner Walter O’Malley couldn’t agree on the best way to build a new stadium.

    That caused the Dodgers to pack up and move to L.A., starting the great western migration of professional sports.

7. Bobby Petrino Quits on Atlanta Falcons

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    Not only did Petrino leave the Falcons after one year to return to the college game, he quit in the middle of a season.

    In 2007, with the Falcons at 3-10, Petrino resigned and took the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas.

    I don’t see how his players can trust him after he’s proven he’ll quit on a team if things go bad.

6. Nick Saban Ditches LSU, Then the Miami Dolphins

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    Nick Saban edges Petrino because he abandoned two teams.

    First, he said he wouldn’t go to the NFL, but lo and behold, he ditched the Tigers to coach the Miami Dolphins in 2005.

    Then, as the 2006 NFL season was winding down, Saban repeatedly said he wouldn’t become the head coach of Alabama.

    What a liar.

5. Brett Favre Plays for Minnesota Vikings

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    The Green Bay Packers certainly needed to move on from Favre, but Favre took things very personally.

    He was traded to the Jets to finish his career, but that wasn’t enough for the ol’ gunslinger.

    He decided to sign with the Minnesota Vikings in order to exact his revenge on Green Bay, much to the chagrin of Packer fans.

4. Cleveland Browns Move to Baltimore

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    Art Modell moved his franchise to Baltimore and the Browns became the Ravens in 1995 after almost 50 years in Cleveland.

    It was just another slight in a long history of Cleveland sports misery.

    The only reason this isn’t higher on the list is that a new Browns team began play in 1999, resuming the franchise’s historic ineptitude.

3. Albert Pujols Takes His Talents to Long Beach

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    In all reality, both parties are better off.

    The Cardinals can’t afford to be tied to an aging superstar. Pujols couldn’t possibly turn down the Angels’ megadeal.

    Though it will leave a bitter taste in St. Louis fans’ mouths, time will heal all wounds.

    So long, Albert. Thanks for the two World Series trophies.

2. LeBron James Takes His Talents to South Beach

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    It wasn’t so much that LeBron left Cleveland, it was the way he left Cleveland.

    Going on national television and stabbing your city in the back publicly is harsh.

    The fact that Cleveland is the most tortured sports city certainly didn’t make matters better for James.

1. Baltimore Colts Move to Indianapolis in the Middle of the Night

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    Robert Irsay literally moved this team from Baltimore to Indy in the middle of the night.

    This is bigger than a single player, a whole team was stolen from a city.

    Baltimore sports fans still cringe at the name “Irsay.”

    And it's justified. Just look at how clandestine the relocation operation really was.