By now, you've probably read countless "year in review" pieces written by sports journalists, praising the accomplishments of men like Lance Armstrong, who overcame testicular cancer and this year won an unprecedented seventh Tour de France. Or Matt Leinart, the USC Quarterback who passed up millions of dollars in the NFL draft to stay in school, finish his senior year, and lead his team to another undefeated season. And Joe Paterno, the 79-year-old Penn State coach who this season resurrected his program and is now gearing up to play in one of college football' premier bowls.
These men, we are told, represent what sports is all about-heart, character, hard-work, iron will.
Oh, really? Screw that. Here at CRACKED, sports and sportsmen are represented by an entirely different character set: greed, arrogance, disrespect for the law, womanizing and general disregard for the common good. And so, we present CRACKED' 2005 Sportsmen of the Year- those athletes who did all they could to reinforce the stereotype of the athlete as a brutish caveman.
8) Mike Tyson:
Verbalizing what most CRACKED readers think to themselves in the deepest, darkest hours of the night, Tyson declared before his June fight with Irishman Kevin McBride: "My whole life has been a waste. I've been a failure. I just want to escape. I'm really embarrassed with myself and my life"ÃÆÃ¯Â¿Â½ÃÂ¯ÃÂ¿ÃÂ½ÃÆÃ¯Â¿Â½ÃâÃÂ¦I believe I'll die alone. I'm really a sad, pathetic case." We hear that, Mike. Then, after throwing in the towel in the sixth round of his bout with McBride, Iron Mike said: "I don't have the guts to be in this sport anymore. My heart is not into this anymore." You couldn't have told us that before we paid the fifty bucks to watch the fight?
7) The NHL:
Thank God the NHL is back, after last year' season was scrapped due to a work stoppage. How did we get by without seeing the Columbus Blue Jackets and Atlanta Thrashers battle it out on the ice for 60 minutes, culminating in an exciting 0-0 draw? If TV ratings are any guide, people are taking notice that pro hockey is back.
reported in October: "Things looked a bit bleak after Monday's Panthers-Rangers game drew 0.1% of the Outdoor Life Network' households and - this isn't a joke - finished in an eight-way tie for the 386th-ranked TV show of the night. But Tuesday's Bruins-Canadiens game provided a much-needed boost: It tied for 195th."
Makes the list by default, but we still maintain that retired Eagle Hugh Douglas
had no business walking into the locker room and accusing T.O. of faking an injury. In October, the washed-up lineman strode into the Eagles' training room and, in front of star receiver Owens who was rehabbing a bad ankle, declared, "I know there are people in here faking injuries." Oh yeah, Hugh? I know there are people in here faking that they're still on the team. Don't stick your beak in. Your comment sparked a fistfight that ended with Owens being thrown off the team. Eagles fans have Douglas to blame for their miserable season.
5) Kenny Rogers:
In June, the Texas Rangers' left-handed pitcher broke a bone in his right hand after punching a water cooler in the Rangers' dugout. A week later, after being pressed on the incident, Rogers assaulted two cameramen on the field, sending one to the hospital. That earned him a 20-game suspension. Said MLB Commissioner Bud Selig:
"Mr. Rogers' behavior was unprofessional, unwarranted and completely unacceptable." Seems to us that "unprofessional, unwarranted and completely unacceptable" could be the motto for just about any professional sports league in America. Nice work, Mr. Rogers.
4) Paul Bryan:
Bryan had been an assistant coach with the San Pedro High (CA) football team for 23 years. That came to an end in October. With his team trailing in the fourth quarter, Bryan, after a crucial fourth down play had been whistled dead, surreptitiously moved the first down marker back a few yards to ensure that his squad got the first. Little did he know the whole thing was being recorded. After being caught, Los Angeles school officials banned him from coaching for life. What? Why? We think the Coach should be applauded for giving that extra effort to help his team win. You have to wonder how many times in his 23 years Bryan pulled the same stunt without getting caught.