The Poor Sportsmen of the Year for 2006

It was another banner year for sports in 2006. Barry Bonds passed Babe Ruth on the all time home run list, only to be booed mercilessly for doing so. Barbaro seemed poised to be the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 18 years, but then broke his leg in the opening seconds of the Preakness Stakes and barely avoided an on-the-spot execution.

The Winter Olympics made their quadrennial appearance, but were overshadowed by Bode Miller’s drug scandal. Terrell Owens tried to kill himself—uh, allegedly—and then capped off his year by spitting in an opponent’s face. And, to really get people in that Christmas spirit, George Karl called Isaiah Thomas a “jerk” and an “asshole” after their two teams brawled in mid-December at Madison Square Garden.

Great. And these were just the tip of the iceberg. Here, we honor the cream of the crop—those athletes and other sports-related figures who did their best in 2006 to embarrass themselves, to bring shame upon their families, to let their teams down, and to stain the honor and dignity of their respective sports.

10. Joe Cullen

We start our list with what is, at least to our knowledge, a new crime in the annals of sports misbehavior: driving while nude. On the night of August 24th, Detroit Lions Defensive Line Coach Joe Cullen pulled his SUV up to Wendy’s and picked up his burger, fries and Coke totally naked.

“The suspect did nothing obscene, other than being naked at the drive-thru,” said the Wendy’s employee who called the cops on him. Toss in the fact that a week later Cullen was arrested for drunk driving—clothed, unfortunately—and we’ve got a budding star on our hands.

9. OJ Simpson

It’s good to see OJ back on track, isn’t it? After keeping mostly quiet for the past few years, The Juice returned to the scene this past November and hit a new low by agreeing to a $3 million joint book  and TV special about the murders of Ron and Nicole, entitled “If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened.”

Unfortunately, FOX and Regan Books caved to public pressure and cancelled the deal—meaning now we’ll never know how OJ would have done it, although we can probably safely assume it involved knifing two people to death.

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