We have many things to be thankful for in sports from the past year. The following 15 people are not among them.
Don Garber is the commissioner of Major League Soccer. And while there are many casual sports fans in the U.S. that want to embrace soccer, it will never happen if Garber continues to schedule the MLS Cup final on a Sunday night in the fall. Football is king in this country, and most Americans would rather watch a Bills-Lions matchup than soccer.
Mick Cornett is the mayor of Oklahoma City. He is also the person responsible for banning lingerie football, when the Lingerie Football League wanted to expand to Oklahoma City. No word yet on whether Cornett will also ban women from city-owned swimming pools.
Robert Nutting is the owner of Pittsburgh Pirates. And earlier this year, when some of the Pirates financial documents were leaked, it proved what many had long speculated: that some teams can turn a profit just by being really really bad at baseball. During one two-year span, the Pirates turned a $30 million profit despite not having a winning season since 1992.
Harvey Perlman is the Chancellor at the University of Nebraska and the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee Chair. 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. This year, there could be as many as four undefeated teams, and two of them will be left out in the cold.
Jay Mariotti, a former ESPN personality, was charged with domestic abuse and later plead no contest. This came after years of newspaper columns in which Mariotti trashed athletes for various indiscretions including domestic abuse.
Roger Goodell has taken his dictatorship to new levels this season with fines and suspensions for both on- and off-the-field behaviour. And now, there is growing concern that the NFL, a multi-billion industry, will lockout their players next year forcing their loyal fans to watch the MLS Cup.
James Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks had positioned the once-proud franchise to sign LeBron James this past off-season. Instead, they ended up with Amare Stoudemire, Raymond Felton and another season of meaningless basketball on what should be the NBA's biggest stage.
Tony Parker is certainly not the first high-profiled athlete to (reportedly) cheat on his wife. But he managed to take it to a whole new level by: a) cheating on Eva Longoria; and b) cheating with the wife of a teammate.
Jim Joyce may have made the biggest umpiring gaffe in the history of a sport filled with well-known blown calls. One out from what would have been just the 19th perfect game, Joyce's missed call cost Armando Galaraga a place in history.
The NCAA once again proved that they don't care about the one thing they are responsible for protecting: fairness. This time, the NCAA placed USC on probation, penalising dozens of young and honest student-athletes, for something done by a player that is no longer there (Reggie Bush) while under the supervision of a head coach (Pete Carrol) that ran when the heat was turned up.
For the second time in less than a year, Ben Roethlisberger was charged with sexual assault. And while no charges were ever filed, there was enough evidence of inappropriate behaviour to warrant a suspension from Roger Goodell.
Brett Favre once again had to be coaxed into coming back, and for the first time he might be regretting that decision. So far this season, the Vikings are 3-7 and Favre is under a cloud of scrutiny for alledgedly sending pictures of his junk to former Jets employee, Jenn Sterger.
The year started with LeBron James as one of the most loved athletes in sports. Then there was 'The Decision' to take his talents to South Beach. Now, LeBron has taken a backseat on a team that is 8-7 for a franchise that has resorted to trying to teach their fans how to be fans.
What a year for Tiger Woods. Last thanksgiving, Tiger was married, with a nice family, was the best golfer in the world, had a million endorsements and a gadzillion dollars. A year later, and Tiger has none of these things. But he does have one thing he didn't have a year ago: Title as this year's Biggest Sports Turkey. Well played Tiger, well played.
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