Most Overbearing Parents in Sports

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIMarch 19, 2013

Most Overbearing Parents in Sports

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    Your kid has a shot at the big show. It's wonderful! Amazing! A dream come true for the whole family. But beware; predators lurk, scavengers hover. Everyone wants a piece of that seven-figure paycheck. 

    It's clear that your budding star needs your wisdom. And though they may not know it yet, they need you to make the big decisions.

    You fed them. Nurtured them. Encouraged them. And half that talent comes from you. So you're entitled to a say of how things go, right?

    So runs the mind of overbearing sports parents.

    Click on to see the most monocratic moms and despotic dads in the world of sports.

Honorable Mention: The Shaolin Dad

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    This kid is either going to become the greatest Shaolin monk of all time, a real-life super hero crime-fighter, a real-life super villain, the next Yogi Coudoux, or the first person ever to be pardoned for first-degree patricide. 

Aleta Kiel, Mother of Gunner Kiel

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    You've heard the adage: "Mother is always right." No disrespect to mothers the world over, but ignore those words.

    Gunner Kiel was a prized recruit. A promising future seemed in store for him at LSU, the university in which he made an oral commitment to on Dec. 27, 2011.

    But apparently, Gunner's mother Aleta made an emotional plea for her boy to attend Notre Dame. Where did a year with the Fighting Irish get him? Not past No. 3 on the QB depth chart.

    In March 2013, Gunner decided to move on. Perhaps now to Ivy Tech Community College right in his hometown of Columbus? Wouldn't that make mama so happy!

Piotr Wozniacki, Father of Caroline Wozniacki

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    Just take a look at this video to see Piotr, Caroline Wozniacki's father/coach, lecturing his daughter during this timeout between sets.

    You don't need to understand the language to sense the tension. Caroline is utterly silent as her father blathers on, punctuating his on-camera tirade with angry gestures. Eventually, at about the four-minute mark, Caroline seems to tune him out altogether. 

    Or watch this video, where Piotr looks ready to leap from the stands and gnaw on the chair ump's throat (starting at about 1:35).

Andrea McDonald, Mother of Alex Collins

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    In what Business Insider has called "the oddest story of college football's National Signing Day," star high school running back Alex Collins was unable to commit to his first pick, the University of Arkansas.

    It wasn't because of injury, natural disaster or imaginary girlfriend issues.

    Rather, his mother allegedly wanted him closer to home, and she ran off with his national letter of intent. You know, that little document you need to make everything happen?

Mike Agassi, Father of Andre Agassi

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    The younger Agassi has said that because of his overbearing father, he hated tennis "with a dark and secret passion."

    In his autobiography, Andre goes on to paint a colorful picture of his father, and it closely resembles Francisco Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son.

John Paul and Michelle Manziel, Parents of Johnny Manziel

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    According to an article in The New York Times, "Johnny reports to his father John Paul, who vows he will make a man of his son, even if Manziel’s boyish persona—the carefree way he plays—is a large part of his appeal."

    And the guy isn't bluffing either.

    The same article mentions a time when Johnny was picked up by police on suspicion of underage drinking. Johnny's dad pulled the classic let-him-spend-the-night-in-jail-and-sweat-it-out routine, but he didn't stop there.

    He also sold Johnny's car and asked the judge to double Johnny's community-service sentence.

Dwyane Wade Sr., Father of Dwyane Wade Jr.

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    Go to the games and support your kids, moms and dads. Get passionate in your cheering.

    But when things aren't going your kid's way on the court, just be sure those four-letter words you are spewing out are along the lines of poor and foul.

    Or choose from a fine palette of G-rated five-letter words of disgruntlement: lousy, awful, petty.

Pamela McGee, Mother of JaVale McGee

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    Former WNBA star Pamela McGee has declared her son JaVale to be "the future of the NBA."

    Here she is watching "the future" at a May 2012 Lakers-Nuggets game and incinerating a ref's uniform with her laser-fitted cyborg eyes. 

Francesc Fàbregas Sr., Father of Cesc Fàbregas

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    Back in 2010, the elder Fàbregas managed to really tick off fans when he meddled in Cesc's trade negotiations—or at least misleadingly spoke about them on the radio.

    In a blog post about the incident, the writer calls Cesc's parents "domineering" and says they gave him "the impression that they didn’t want Cesc thinking that he was something special."

    The writer goes so far as to compare Daddy Fàbregas to the godfather of controlling fathers, Mr. Joseph Jackson himself.

Floyd Mayweather Sr., Father of "Money" Mayweather

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    Here's a neat father trick: Be absent and still earn your overbearing badge.

Tony Rasmus, Father of Colby Rasmus

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    You might just be an overbearing parent when articles titled like this pop up in the news media: Colby Rasmus trying to keep his father out of his game.

Walter Bartoli, Father of Marion Bartoli

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    If overbearing were defined in a picture dictionary, this would be the defining image. 

    But hey, it's the modern era. Picture dictionary? Pfffft! How about a video dictionary. Now we're talking.

    Great, then use this juicy little clip in which Marion ejects her own coach/father from the game.

Sharon Curry-Drew, Mother of Larry Drew II

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    In 2011, after losing his starting position as UNC point guard, Larry Drew II left his team in a lurch, making a sudden transfer to UCLA. 

    Although there is some speculation that former NBA player Larry Drew Sr. had some involvement in the decision, the bigger meddler was Drew's mother, according to a Seth Davis column in Sports Illustrated.

    Davis wrote that Drew's mother "would call the coaches to complain about how many minutes her son was playing or how many shots he was getting." Also, she voiced displeasure about how many tickets she was getting to games and where her seats were. 

    The topper, though, is that once upon a time, her "meddlesome tactics" resulted in Drew's younger brother Landon getting booted off his high school squad.


Dumitru Moceanu, Father of Dominique Moceanu

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    The famous Olympic gymnast says that she was "plagued by her overbearing parents, who had both been athletes and wanted their child to have an interest in the same."

    Things got so bad that Dominique filed for emancipation from her parents. But wait...the drama isn't quite finished. She was even granted a restraining order against her father. 

Trudi and Marv Marinovich, Parents of Todd Marinovich

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    You know that old comedy Twins, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger's character Julius Benedict was part of an experiment to create the perfect child?

    Well, Todd Marinovich was like that. A Sports Illustrated article called him "America's first test-tube athlete." From the earliest age, his parents controlled his diet, his conditioning and his daily activities, with the notion of creating a sports megastar. 

    According to the article, "Marv owns an athletic research center—a sort of high-tech gym—his true occupation has been the development of his son."

    And the fruits of the their labor? One of the top draft busts of the modern era.

Bonnie and Carl Lindros, Parents of Eric Lindros

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    "As pain-in-the-ass parents go, the Lindros are first-team All-World, riding shotgun with Richard Williams into infamy," wrote sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski in a 2001 article for ESPN.

    According to the same article, Lindros' parents reportedly dominated the draft discussions, doled out tongue-lashings and, get this, kept charts on which Philadelphia teammates regularly passed the puck to Eric and which didn't.

Richard Williams, Father of Venus and Serena Williams

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    A documentary film about the Williams sisters premiered in the fall of 2012. Serena and Venus withdrew their support of the film and were allegedly enraged by the portrayal of their father as an overbearing parental figure.

    But with the vehement denials, one can only wonder if the filmmakers touched a nerve.

John Hernandez, Father of Keith Hernandez

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    According to a 1994 article in New York Magazine, “Hernandez loved the game, but one reason he played it with such fury was that his father never stopped hounding him." After Keith went pro, his dad monitored every swing via a satellite dish.

    A 1986 Sport Illustrated article says that the elder Hernandez pushed and rode Keith so hard that the two were barely on speaking terms.

Helicopter Hockey Parents

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    They drive hours and hours a week, commuting across state lines so that their kids can play on the best teams.

    They wake up in the middle of the night and make their kids skate sprints across frozen ponds.

    They drop thousands on the best gear.

    They even have been known to leap onto the ice and clock pint-sized players.

    They are the insane hockey parents of the world. Do not incur their wrath.

    You have been warned.


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