Enough with the glory and positive reflection. Let’s examine the guys that just sucked. Sure, some sucked because they failed to meet expectations, and some sucked because they just sucked. But one look at these entrants, and you’ll see there was no shortage of professional sports disappointment. And we’re not even counting the NBA owners and players. What can we say? We love a challenge.
This is one of many instances on this list of a player not being “absolutely bad,” but rather sucking in the context of their old self. Ovechkin and Crosby entered the league dueling for the title of “best hockey player ever” at the ripe old age of 19. Ovechkin has regressed from being his old, dominant self to fading away, only offering sporadic examples of the type of player he is/was. The fact that he’s locked into a 13-year contract extension that saddles the Caps with $10 million per season is enough to cause fans to not request, but rather demand, the old Ovechkin back.
9. Alex Ovechkin
Even though he was able to notch a “W” at year's end, it’s safe to say that Tiger’s decline in 2011 marked the death rattle of his career (at least for the foreseeable future). After the scandal, eyes were focused on him to see what kind of player and what kind of man he would become. Two years later, he’s just as boring, with only one middling title to his name. Not only have fans largely given up on the guy, but it seems as though golf has lost its poster boy, instead relying on guys named Rory and Phil and other dudes with “III” after their name. Goodbye, mass-marketed golf.
8. Tiger Woods
In 2010, Dunn got a 4-year $56 million contract with the White Sox. He ended the 2011 season with a .159 average, 177 strikeouts, 11 HRs, and 42 RBI. Yuck. He also has the dubious distinction of leading all active left fielders in career errors with 60. Nice work, Adam. Sure, there MIGHT be worse players in Major League baseball, but none this disappointing.
7. Adam Dunn
He might not be the worst player in the league, as evidenced by the fact that the Nets ponied up $8 million for him even after he was no longer Mr. Kardashian. As mentioned in yesterday’s list, Humph will be forever regarded as the worst athlete in the history of athletics ever, if only because he married a Kardashian. Sure, he averaged a double-double, but he will have to average a double-double-double-double (even I’m not sure what that means) if he want’s to be taken seriously. Signing this guy to your team is the real-world equivalent of putting a smiley emoticon after your team name.
6. Kris Humphries
Is it totally unfair to call the posterboy for the NFL a “bad athlete” for, in the late-prime of his career, injuring his neck so badly that he was forced to take the year off? Yeah. That’s pretty unfair. But here’s the kicker…his absence also sabotaged the defense. That’s a pretty bad season right there. Peyton had such a BAD season that not only did the offense suffer in his (admittedly) understandable absence, but he somehow managed to torpedo his team’s defense as well. He’s like Albert Haynesworth, only if Albert had been some totally great guy all along, then totally sunk his sport by revelaing his true colors as a jerk.
So he’s basically like Tiger Woods, only instead of being a horrible person, he just sustained a bad neck injury.
5. Peyton Manning
This guy is just the worst. All the talent in the world, and he has spent the past two years squandering it because he’s a baby that can’t get his head or heart back in the game. The Redskins spent an ungodly amount of money to resign him last season, only to deal him away after he proved to be a petulant jerk. The Patriots, always one to pick up a lost cause, took a flyer on Haynesworth hoping that Belichick could whip him into shape. If Bill can’t do it, no one can. Well, it appears that no one can, as the Patriots waived him after Haynesworth got into an altercation with coach Pepper Johnson. He’s now the Bucs’ problem.
4. Albert Haynesworth
It’s unfortunate that someone with so much potential (much of it realized, save for the Cups) , gets hung up on injuries. In a sport like hockey, toughness is an asset unlike that in any other, but it’s hard to say that Crosby’s concussions are the result of anything other than dumb luck, and perhaps the misfortune of having a bull’s eye on his back since the day he entered the league. That said, he’s still come up short and not been the player his team needed him to be throughout the season. It’s not like his rival has done much better, though. (See: Ovechkin, Alex.)
3. Sidney Crosby
All snide remarks aside, this is a story of a player who went from being a multi-purpose threat to awful and disgruntled. Judging from this list, it would seem that football players, though not any more or less likely to have an off year, seem to suffer from prima donna symptoms more than any other sport. DeSean Jackson is the encapsulation of that tendency. While fortunes can change quickly in football, DeSean was in every sense, master of his domain, as he suffered an off year that began with a holdout and ended with a substandard performance that included a temporary deactivation due to his generally bad attitude. If there was one player that owes an apology to his fantasy stakeholders, it’s Jackson.
2. DeSean Jackson
Chris Johnson doesn’t deserve to be at the top of this list, but as I said in the introduction, much of what goes into a disappointing/bad season is the ability to deliver on expectations. Sadly, no one had higher hopes than last season’s premiere running back. Until something monumental happens, or Manny Ramirez finds his way back into baseball in the number four spot, no one will have higher expectations than last year’s number one fantasy pick. Or last season’s Madden coverboy. Unfortunately, due to the truncated life expectancy of NFL backs, and the platooning strategy to which most teams adhere, no running back can ever deliver on expectations, and this year, that poor bastard is Chris Johnson who will struggle to break 1,000 yards, despite being the 2009 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.