Welcome to our annual list of the 15 Biggest Turkeys in Sports.
Don Garber is the commissioner of Major League Soccer, and is on this list for the second consecutive year. That's because Garber still hasn't learned his lesson. Once again, Garber scheduled the MLS Cup Final on a Sunday night in the fall, going head-to-head with the NFL. Even my dog could have predicted that the television ratings would bomb (they did).
Ironic that they make this list, as it is their new-found competitiveness that will make the Thanksgiving games among the best in recent memory. But for a team that hasn't had a winning season in more than 10 years, they are awfully cocky. They also boast what may be the dirtiest player in the NFL. People should be rooting for the Lions. Instead we loathe them.
Bill Hancock is the executive director of the Bowl Championship Series. He is the man that oversees a system that will once again screw several deserving teams out of a shot at proving that they are the best team in college football. And if you are hoping for a playoff system to be implemented when the current contract expires in 2014, he says forget it.
Thanks to an off-season of free agent spending that led Vince Young to call the Eagles the 'Dream Team,' the Eagles were one of the favourites to win the Super Bowl at 8/1. Now they are 4-6 and two games behind the division leaders and in danger of missing the playoffs all-together. Andy Reid has survived a lot in Philly, he might not survive this.
The Dream Team came up short in the NBA Finals last season, and the NBA lockout is threatening to derail the 2011-12 season. And if anybody hasn't noticed, Dwyane Wade will be 30 next season. James is going to have a hard time winning that eighth championship when Wade is 37.
Urban Meyer retired from the University of Florida, leaving the program in disarray, in order to spend more time concentrating on his health and watching his kids play sports. Eleven months later, he is about to accept the job as head football coach at Ohio State University. Apparently, even kids can take a backseat to $40 million.
David Stern, the Commissioner of the NBA, and Billy Hunter, the head of the players' union each deserve their own spot on this list, thanks to a labour negotiation that is threatening to cancel the entire 2011-12 season. But if they don't want us watching basketball, we don't want to talk about the NBA anymore than we have to.
It is not easy to make Tiger Woods look like the victim, but Williams has managed to do it several times this year. It is happening so frequently, it is almost as if Williams is still purposefully trying to deflect negative attention away from Tiger and towards himself just like he always did on the golf course as Tiger's caddy. Wait a minute! Nahhhhhhh.
Mario Balotelli is so crazy, he makes Terrell Owens look boring. Among his many antics this year, he threw darts at some youth players, he karate-kicked an opposing player, he started a fire in his home when he tried to shoot fireworks from a window, and famously got benched for trying to showboat with a back-heel in a friendly against the L.A. Galaxy.
He got to marry Kim Kardashian, which should have been a good thing. But the marriage (sham or not) lasted just 72 days. And in the end, she gets to keep the $2 million ring, and the $17 million from their televised wedding. Oh yeah, and right now, Kris doesn't even have a job. That's a rough couple of months.
On September 6, the Red Sox had an 8-game lead in the Wild Card, and a 99.4 per cent chance of making the playoffs. 20-one days later, they had completed one of the worst collapses in sports history. And the fallout was tremendous. They lost their manager, and their general manager. And nearly two months later, they are so desperate for a new manager, they interviewed Bobby Valentine.
Let's see. His tenure with the Tampa Bay Rays lasted a whopping five games and one basehit before he tested positive for a performance enhancing drugs. This was the third positive test for Ramirez. And rather than serve his suspension and return to a playoff contending team in July, Manny chose to retire. But now he wants to play again, but nobody is going to sign him because he still has to serve his suspension. MLB won't let him play in the Dominican Republic. And Japan doesn't want him. Oh yeah, and he got arrested for domestic assault. Not the best year ever.
In a matter of weeks, Joe Paterno went from one of the most loved figures in college football, to fired and hiring a criminal defence attorney in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. It is still unclear how much Paterno was involved in the cover-up at Penn State, but he was the one in charge when it all went down. And now new reports that Paterno fought the school over player discipline doesn't paint a pretty picture for JoePa, the Biggest Turkey in Sports for 2011.
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