I apologize if you feel I am making this post more about me rather than any specific topic in sports. Although you are one-hundred percent correct, I’m hoping to entice you enough to read. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate time to make this post. We are in the midst of the NBA playoffs, the MLB season is finally in full swing, and the U.S Open for both golf and tennis are right around the corner. When making my list, I could have listed the entire Boston Celtics team, but decided I’d get a little more creative. Pending on what season we are in, this list may fluctuate. For now here is my list of least favorite athletes.
10. Rafael Nadal, Spain – Nadal is a bit of a stretch in my top-10, but I had to shake it up with some different sports. I think when it comes to Nadal, I really do admire his game. Don’t get me wrong, he is an absolute stud on the clay, but how big of a stud can you be when you’re wearing capris? He plays the “pretty boy” role better than Fabio and his antics after a win remind me of someone winning a life-time supply of toilet paper on the “Price is Right”. I’m sorry, but you can’t drop to your knees in disbelief after a second-round win at the Dubai Open and expect people to believe you pulled an upset. I see him working with the whole emotional European act, but when you are suppose to win the French Open every year and you do, rolling around the court like your on fire should not be your go-to celebration.
9. Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers – The only reason Hines Ward isn’t higher on the list is becuase he isn’t that good. Everything about Ward, from his name, Hines, to the fact that he defines the shameless Pittsburgh Steelers, is uneasy to me. Unlike other Steelers, like Ben Rothlisberger or Troy Polamalu, Ward doesn’t bring much production to the field anymore. He still brings a gutless cheap shot and an unpleasent grin that never seems to leave his face.This alone lands him on my list. Being a Bengals fan, nothing was worse than seeing him re-arrange Ketih River’s chin and smile about it. Hopefully he retires soon and doesn’t pursue a career as a broadcaster. Putting him on CBS every Sunday morning with Deion and Dan the Man would be an injustice. The sight of him wearing that silly vest on all those Dancing with the Stars commercials was just reinforcement to adding him on the list.
8. Sergio Garcia, Spain – Once a spot reserved for Phil Mickelson, has now been passed down to fellow golfer, Sergio Garcia. The good thing about Phil no longer being on this list is that I found I still have a heart. Watching Phil rejoice with his wife after the 2010 Masters was a special moment for everyone watching and I couldn’t help but feel for the guy. Fortunately, this opened the door for Sergio. Serg has been on the honorable mention for this list for a solid decade now, so it’s been a long time coming for him to finally get over the hill and onto the list. Unlike Phil, Sergio gives fans no reason to care or feel bad for him. After about a five-year absence from the leaderboard, I watched this year in Augusta and noticed he’s still the same grumpy Spaniard that keeps finding new ways to lose. I personally love a golfer with a short fuse, but Sergio’s temper is flat out embarassing. Aside from locking himself up at the eight spot on the list, he has also locked himself up as the modern-day Colin Montgomerie. I’m not sure what will come first, an American who likes this guy or a major victory for Sergio. My guess is neither.
7. Kobayashi, Japan – I consider myself very loyal to America, a patriot if you will. With that being said there is nothing less American than a 5’7, 130 pound Japanese child slamming 50 hot dogs on July 4th. The fact that he is out-eating a dozen fat, sweaty Americans is also very troubling. His six-year championship run at Coney Island from 2001-07 was about as cool as overalls. Maybe I’m bitter that someone can become that famous for eating, but hearing Joey Chestnut chomp his way to victory on ESPN was music to my ears. Kobayashi made headlines this past year when he got arrested at the 2010 Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest. Kobayashi, who was not a participant in the event due to a contract dispute, decided to leave his mark anyway by storming the eating stage. I was unaware that the sport of eating came with so much glamour and attention to where its biggest star is able to enter a holdout. Either way, Kobayashi’s holdout makes him the only “athlete” to make my Top Ten Least Favorite list and Top Ten Favorite list.
6. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins – The lone hockey representative for this list, Sid the kid comes in with a decently hateful resume. His nickname is literal. He is literally a 13-year old kid. He whines, he complains, and overall just bugs everyone. It helps that he rivals Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin is a fan favorite and lives a lifestyle that most of us can adore. Fast cars, partying and women is what Ovechkin is about, while Crosby looks like he still has a weekend paper route to take care of. Above all else, Crosby shattered America’s dreams in the Olympics with his overtime goal to give our top-hat…errr…Canada a gold medal. I’m not a huge hockey fan, but that was easily the most invested I have been in a hockey game that the LA Kings were not in.
5. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees – Can’t stand the fake Cuban/Domincan accent. I couldn’t tell you which accent it techinically is, but Rodriguez is from Florida so it shouldn’t be an issue. Really the only thing I truly like about Rodriquez is his nickname, A-Rod. Does it get much easier to make fun of? I love looking at signs when the Yankees are on the road. Literally you could insert just about anything and connect a “- Rod” to the end of it and I’ll probably laugh at it. To his credit, Rodriguez was doomed for criticism the second he signed that fat contract with the Rangers. That wasn’t his fault, everything after that was. From steroid use to wanting to play on the Domincan team rather than with the Americans in the World Games, Rodriguez looked as if he was being advised by Lebron James’ consultant. It doesn’t help that he is constantly battling with Derek Jeter for the Yankees spotlight either.
4. Vince Young, Tennessee Titans – Another case where if this guy was a better player he might be higher on the list. Yes, he shredded USC in the Rose Bowl and that was a tough pill to swallow, but that is not the only reason to dislike a guy who treats the strip club like a boxing ring. I hate to beat a dead horse here, actually I don’t, the guy got a whomping six on the Wonderlic test. SIX. I don’t know if I am more frusterated that this delinquent is a millionaire or that a guy who couldn’t connect the dots beat my favorite team in the Rose Bowl. If he had answered “A” for all 50 questions he probably would have at least beat Dan Marino and we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Got to give Vince credit though, he somehow convinced the NFL he was worthy of a top-ten pick and convinced the Tennessee Titans to draft him ahead of fellow draft-bust Matt Leinart. I’m still going to give Leinart the nod on this one though, simply because he can read at a high school level and can take beerbongs faster than Kobayashi can eat hot dogs.
3. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics – Really no surpise here. We will start with the fact that he’s the lead man on the Boston Celtics. I can’t stand the Celtics and thus can’t stand Pierce. We continue with the horrendous sherade he pulled in Game 1 of the NBA Finals with the wheel-chair incident. The sight of Pierce after the injury suggested that his career might be in jeopardy. The reality of the injury was that Pierce was only plotting to go “legend” in the second-half by gutting it out with a broken something (no word on the injured body part). The only problem was that no one believed he was injured in the first place. The act proved to be grosser than his facial hair – barely. I will also take this opportunity to call out Pierce’s work ethic in the gym. How does somebody have that sloppy of a body and play shooting guard in the NBA? Lebron James is pointing and laughing at you. The only good thing that comes from Pierce’s marshmellow muscle definition is that it gives overweight youngsters hope that they too can play in the NBA someday. It’s called celery, Paul, not Snickers. .
2. Lebron James, Miami Heat – If it weren’t for a retired juice head, Lebron James would have been an excellant choice for the top spot. Arrogant, out-spoken, and easily rattled, Lechoke almost forces you to root against him. In the history of sports, I don’t think there has been a guy go from favorite to villian faster than Lebron. “The Decision”, which proved to be a very poor one, was undoubtedly questionable by the Lebron “camp”. I remember watching ESPN, Lebron sitting in his directors chair, sharing with the world he was to take his talents to South Beach…almost as fast as the city of Cleveland blowing up was Chris Bosh sighing in relief that he now has two superstars to cover for him. As if he hadn’t pissed off enough people already, Lebrick went on to state his plans to win seven rings. Was the guy who told Lebron to do “the Decision” the same guy who told him to say that? Better yet is there a warrant out for that airhead’s arrest? Or was it Lebron hismelf who decided to write the book on baffoonery? Give Lebron credit for being able to stay in the media, just don’t give him the ball in the 4th quarter.
1. Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants – I told myself I would try to keep this list to current players, but any opportunity to write about my hatred for Bonds is an opportunity I need to take. I hate the Giants, but it was bittersweet to see the NoCals win a World Series without him. He was in the seats pretending to be proud, pretending to be excited, rather than on the field playing for it. Sitting there in the front row with his inflated head, blocking the view of those behind him, he cared for that World Series about as much as he cared about the fans’ views he was obstructing with his dome-piece. His piece may obstruct views, but it’s also a dead giveaway that Bonds indeed used steroids and then lied about it. No one’s head naturally gets that big over time except Magic Johnson’s. At the end of the day, Bonds is the ultimate villian. A guy who battled with the press, ownership and even fans. He lied to just about everybody including himself. Above all else, anyone who has an issue with Jeff Kent has an issue with me.
Honorable Mention: Chris Bosh, Buster Posey, The Phillies, Rory McElroy, John Cena, Kevin Garnett.
That’s my list. Hopefully there were a couple athletes on the list who some of you can relate to. I plan to follow up with my Top Ten least favorite teams list next. I urge readers to give me some feedback as well. Feel free to post some of your least favorite athletes…
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Written by Mick Moody