2014’s Worst In Sports

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2014 has been a surprisingly upbeat and inspirational year for sports. From Super Bowl celebrants refusing to jaywalk to a jaw-dropping Ohio State injured quarterback being consoled by *gasp* *shock* the rival Wolverine quarterback.

Sports is the great inspirer, the great uniter, and the great social joy. When sports are right, they make us better. 2014 has been a great reminder of why we watch sports.

Alas, it was also the year of sports monsters.

I’m speaking of those individuals who, intentional or not, made sports worse. Individuals that made CraveOnline Sports’ “Worst of Sports” list. Not to be hyperbolic, but these “worsts” made my soul darker.

numbers_set_10NFL Shop & Bengal Babies

nfl shop

All season long, an omnipresent NFL Shop commercial has plagued televisions coast to coast with anti-American propaganda. It shows a family of Vikings fans who slowly lose their children’s’ team loyalty. One daughter meets Emmitt Smith and becomes an instant Cowboy fan. One son moves to Pittsburgh and eats one too many Roethlis-burgers. One son marries an Eagle girl and makes Bengal Babies (??!?!?).

Being a Los Angeles NFL orphan myself, I understand how picking a team works when you have none. But, But, BUT…. The NFL Shop is telling everyone that a lack of loyalty is okay.

Sure, they make money from the bandwagoning disloyal buffoon who needs to buy a new Manziel jersey to replace his Tebow jersey that replaced his miserable Falcons jersey. It makes them evil and anti-Sports.

numbers_set_09Luis Suarez

FBL-WC-2014-MATCH39-ITA-URU-COMBO

Giants’ Juan Maricial hitting Dodger John Rosebro with a bat.

Kermit Washington cold-clocking Rudy Tomjonavich.

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

Joining the historic list of dishonorable acts on the field of play, is World Cupper Luis Suarez. I’m not sure which is worse. The fact that Suarez bit someone during a match for the third time in his career or that there have been claims Suarez tried to bite Chiellini a year prior. In a World Wide wrestling sort of way, Suarez has transformed himself into a sports heel.

I guess you could say he made his (bite) mark on sports history.

numbers_set_08Sports Commentators

The Paley Center For Media 2014 Spring Benefit Dinner

Richard Sherman speaks his mind and the sports talking heads lose their mind. Marshawn Lynch doesn’t want to speak his mind and they criticize him. Make up your mind, talk show hosts. I just want to watch some football. Stop getting mad when people give or don’t give opinions when asked. This is America afterall – stick to analyzing what was said, not IF it was said. 

numbers_set_07EA Sports & NCAA

Keyshawn Johnson Hosts LG Electronics Party At The 2010 Esquire House

The video game company shelved this year’s NCAA College Football because (guessing) they don’t know how to make up new stats, hometowns and faces for the players. I am very, very pro ‘living wages’ for college athletes, but more than anything, I am pro playing college video games.

Get it together and take my money.

numbers_set_0676ers owners Will & Jada Pinkett Smith, Joshua Harris & Magic Johnson

Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers

We are all in agreement that in sports you want to win, right? There should never be a scenario where you want to lose on purpose to improve your draft status. This principle is what made “Major League” work as a comedy.

Watching teams like the Philadelphia 76ers purposely tank is not only bad for the fans, it is bad for the league and it is bad for America in general. The NBA commish, Adam Silver, needs time to fix it, so let’s place full blame on very famous and very silent minority owners Will Smith and his wife Jada. Speak out on an issue for change, Will.

Oh, let’s not forget HOFer Magic Johnson for encouraging the Lakers to lose.

numbers_set_05Washington TBDs Owner Dan Snyder

New York Giants v Washington Redskins

First off, Dan, no one says you can’t keep using your racist, disliked logo and name. The law just says that everyone can use it.
Second, you say that you stubbornly refuse to change because of team history, honor and tradition. That’s all well and good but your actions don’t back it up. You have the worst stadium experience and tickets are now being re-sold for less than a high school game.

The Capitals, Nationals, Wizards and United are playing pretty good lately. How much longer when the season ticket holders no longer wish to have your version of tradition?

numbers_set_04UNC Athletics

North Carolina Wins NCAA Basketball Championship

Eighteen years of encouraging student-athletes to cheat is pretty monstrous. College sports is a unique balance between fans rooting on fellow students who get a supposed equal college education. A pro fan doesn’t have the same connection.

What happens when a university such as North Carolina breaks the promise and perception of providing a college education? The student fans will see those athletes less as peers but as individuals who are devaluing the prestige of a university degree from their alma mater and/or not want to support the athletic department.

If I were a student, I may as well watch more Carolina Panthers…. Ugh, you’re the worst if you make that happen UNC.

numbers_set_03Former Clippers Owner Donald Sterling

BKN-CLIPPERS-OWNER-DONALD STERLING

Sterling became the weird uncle who made Thanksgiving uncomfortable with unpleasant talk that turned offensive. When you have players no longer wanting to play, the owner slips into a real life version of Monty Burns.

numbers_set_02NFL Commish Roger Goodell

Green Bay Packers v Seattle Seahawks

No number of tasteless jokes could make enough light on what Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson did to include them on this list. What they did had nothing to do with sports — other than harm some fantasy teams. What makes Goodell worse than any player who misbehaves off the field is that he made victimizers into victims.

He bumbled the handling so massively he turned casual fans into non-fans. He made it so fans have to defend wanting to watch the NFL.

Goodell is so bad of a leader that he made Sterling and Snyder look like Teddy Roosevelt in comparison. Speaking of which, teddy bears have a bigger backbone than Goodell and less stuffed with fluff.

numbers_set_01FIFA President Sepp Blatter

FIFA Press Conference

Sepp Blather is the living embodiment of a cartoon villain that is so ridiculous that it is almost unfathomable that he actually has a pulse (proof pending). His evil list in 2014 falls into two buckets.

First, the deep level of corruption charges and accusations that the 2018 Russia and 2022 Qatar World Cups were fraught with bought votes. He has done nothing to change the perception and the reports.

Secondly, the reports that modern-day slavery is building the Qatar stadiums with 4,000 projected deaths have been largely ignored.
Whatever you think of your favorite coach, owner, league… it pales in comparison to Blatter, who looks, sounds and is named like a Bond villain.

Brian Reddoch is a CraveOnline reporter and rabid fan of all teams Seattle. You can follow him on Twitter @ReddReddoch or “like” CraveOnline Sportson Facebook

Photo Credit: Getty