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9 Biggest Douchebag Athletes of 2010
Enough romanticizing the awesome aspect of sports. Let’s take our last list of the year and end on a way-down note. Who were the worst people to inhabit professional athletics this year? Since Tiger was mostly 2009 news, that leaves the door wide open for a whole new crop of supervillains. Some are criminals, some are pervs, and some are just jerks. Regardless, we’ve all been sufficiently jaded by the internet age to have a long, hard look at the seedy underbelly of pro sports. Let’s roll.
9. Brett Favre
Golden boy no more. Favre has never been known for his fashion sense, but the outfit he donned when “shooting” his text messages to Jenn Sterger is quite simply beyond reproach. If you want more details on the incident, try clicking any random link on Deadspin or ESPN for the story. The internet is already brimming, and I don’t want to overload it. Amongst all the turmoil in the Vikings organization this year, Favre lost his “most favored nation” status and became just another football player in a sex scandal. And sadly, it appears his career is too far along to clear it up with on-the-field success.
8. Randy Moss
Yikes. See here for a long look at why Moss is included. This guy has the stench on him more than Pig Pen ever did. You want to see the same guy two year in the future? Look at Allen Iverson’s career. Hope they play football in Turkey.
7. Gilbert Arenas
Granted, his weapons charges stemmed from an incident in very late 2009, but the fallout was all 2010. He made light of the incident on Twitter, which again begs the question why any pro sport league would allow athletes, especially the likes of Arenas, to use any social media, ever. He spent his whole career mired in self-promotion, giving himself nicknames such as Hibachi and Agent Zero, but rather than move towards establishing his brand, Arenas’ publicity team will probably be more concerned with damage control from now till forever.
6. Albert Haynesworth
Haynesworth’s inability to pass a basic conditioning test after being awarded one of the more handsome contracts in the history of the NFL gave ammo to not only every Skins fan, but everyone who has ever tossed around the argument that pro athletes are complacent jerks. Sadly, in this instance, they were right.
Looking a gift horse square in the mouth, Albert bitched about the new defensive scheme, then, like a toddler, decided he was taking his ball and going home. Not directly, mind you, but by phoning in every aspect of his presence on the Redskins football club. Rarely do you see a players fall from grace happen in such short order as we did with Haynesworth.
5. Sean Avery
Well, if anyone can think of why this guy shouldn’t be the perennial “douche of the year” for the NHL as long as he’s wearing a uniform, please leave a very compelling argument in the comments. He’s done a fairly good job of keeping his name out of the headlines this year. He hasn’t referred to sloppy seconds or gotten an off-season internship at Vogue, but he’s still far and away the most hated man in the NHL. This guy is a born villain, despite his diminutive stature. 5’ 10” isn’t all that intimidating, unless you’re known for sucker punching opponents as they skate away, as Avery has done several times this year. It might not make headlines, but it’s the same old Avery.
4. Ben Roethlisberger
Pro Bowl quarterbacks normally don’t get brought up on assault charges in Milledgeville, GA. They might hit on Suzy Kolber in front of stadiums full of people, but there’s a big discrepancy between the two. Ben, during his short reign as a superstar, had ushered in repeated complaints and legal charges regarding his treatment of women far off the field. While the allegations never led to criminal charges, the court of public opinion came back with a swift verdict. The guy is a douche. The NFL commissioner agreed, and although his suspension was shortened to four games, it was still one of the more powerful indictments of non-criminal behavior pro sport has ever seen.
3. LeBron James
The Decision. With a capital “D.” This story has been beaten into the ground so many times that I’m falling asleep relaying it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was the biggest sports story (among sports fans) of the entire year. Rather than leave the perpetually battered wife that is the city of Cleveland without incident, LeBron made a spectacle of the whole affair with his 45-hour long special on ESPN. His heart was in the right place, having donated all ad revenue to charity, but his head was…well, his head wasn’t around for this decision.
2. Manny Ramirez
Manny has proven douchiness over the past few years with his petulance during the twilight of his Red Sox career, but in 2009, it was game over when he faced a 50-game suspension for steroids while with the Dodgers. It’s one thing to be caught using steroids. Hell, in baseball it’s practically the price of admission to superstardom, but his failure to even resemble his former self during the 2010 season of clean living should leave no doubt as to why the Dodgers dropped him like a hot potato.
1. Floyd Mayweather
Oh, Floyd. You’re just an ass. Theft charges of a lady-friend’s cell phone stemmed from a domestic abuse arrest in September of this year. That on the heels of an absolutely insanely racist video in which Floyd called out Manny Pacquiao for God-knows-what. While the logistics of an anticipated fight between the two have been enigmatically obscured from public eyes, the fact remains that Floyd doesn’t seem in a hurry to fight the number one contender, which makes the video all the more head-scratching. Also: Sushi doesn’t come from the Philippines, Floyd. That’s probably the most obnoxious aspect of the whole feud.
We will catch everyone Monday in 2011, with a line of new d-bag candidates around the block. Have fun this weekend.