There were a lot of positive stories in 2009. The Yankees gave their fans one less thing to whine about, Tim Tebow proved that annoyingly nice guys sometimes finish first, and Kobe Bryant showed other accused rapists that dreams really do come true. However, even though everyone loves reminiscing about triumphs, nobody can forget horrific mistakes. Much like a car accident involving 17 clowns, two Swedish refugees and Bob Saget - nobody can turn away.
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10. Charles Barkley Combines Donuts, Wine Coolers, Steve Urkel, Blowjobs, and a DUI into one Magical Night
Former NBA legend and suspected porn enthusiast Charles Barkley kicked off 2009 with a bang in Scottsdale, Arizona – a town known for dry heat and an eclectic mix of retirement communities. According to various reports, after a night of partying with Jaleel White, or as the people who refuse to cast him anymore prefer to call him, Steve Urkel, Barkley got into his automobile a tad on the wasted side and began his trek home. Sounds harmless, enough, right?
Unfortunately for the current TNT broadcaster he was pulled over by the cops after running through a stop sign in the middle of a busy street. The reason? After his female passenger left the car, Barkley was trying to chase after her, explaining to the cop that he was “gonna drive around the corner and get a blowjob” noting that “she had given him a 'blowjob' one week earlier and said it was the best one he had ever had in his life, " the policeman explained in one of the greatest NBA-related police reports of the year.
After asking Barkley to exit the car, said officer found a collection of empty wine coolers and bear claw donuts littered on the floor, furthering his reputation as “the Rock Star of his Jenny Craig meetings.” Barkley would later spend a day in an Arizona prison for his deed, where he was ruled too fat to play in a prison yard pick-up game.
9. Instead of Giving a Christmas Bonus, Louisville Coach Rick Pitino Decides to Sleep with His Assistant’s Wife
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Nobody has ever accused Rick Pitino (who looks like he mugged and/or raped Colonel Sanders at a local KFC drive-thru) of being the epitome of class. Especially not the Louisville Cardinals' equipment manager, whose wife accused Pitino of raping her in the back of a restaurant that may or may not have been an Applebee’s. As in most cases where a multi-millionaire head basketball coach is accused of sexually assaulting his assistant’s loved ones shortly after “Half-Priced Potsticker Tuesday,” there are two sides to the story.
Pitino, who preaches good morals to the basketball players he’s been accused of illegally recruiting, told both the media and his family that the entire situation was blown way out of proportion. The coach explained that while he was cheating on his wife with a good friend’s spouse, it was entirely consensual. Hell, he even told ESPN.com that he offered to pay $3,000 for the abortion after he got her pregnant. Quite frankly, it’s amazing that he hasn’t been asked to teach an ethics class or have a small statue erected in his honor.
8. A-Rod Teaches Kids a Valuable Lesson By Winning the World Series Months After Getting Caught For Steroids
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Despite his complete lack of sportsmanship, delightful blonde highlights, and the three separate centaur-themed paintings of himself that hang in the Rodriguez Fortress of Solitude, everybody tolerated the future home run king of baseball for the sheer fact that he wasn't injecting needles into his rear end to get a competitive advantage. Derek Jeter, maybe – but not steroids.
That is of course until earlier this year when the folks at Sports Illustrated scooped Cat Fancy magazine for a story about how Rodriguez failed a 2003 drug test. Following the report, the former AL MVP admitted to the sporting world that much like every single other player not named John Olerud, he used performance enhancing drugs to improve his game. During a touching interview with Peter Gammons (ESPN’s answer to Diane Sawyer), Rodriguez told the children watching that sometimes when he’s counting money with his celebrity girlfriend he feels bad about cheating and that nobody should take “that path.” Eight months later he hammered home his point by winning the World Series. He really helped show that even though steroids may make you rich, famous, and successful there’s no real benefit to taking them. So take your vitamins, stay in school, and one day you could be the head of accounts receivable at a mid-sized insurance firm in Ohio.
7. Michael Phelps Gets High on Life, and then Marijuana
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Shortly after making Americans care about a sport whose ratings usually fall somewhere between Australian midget hunting and a Willem Dafoe comedy special, Olympic Hero Michael Phelps decided to partake in an activity that millions of American’s (and my Uzbekistani grandmother) do on a daily basis. That’s right, he smoked the chronic.
While nobody is going to judge a guy who collects world records like normal people accrue baseball cards or restraining orders, it might have been a smart idea to do so in the privacy of his own home (or at least with a hooker who’s willing to sign a confidentiality agreement in a Vegas hotel room). Instead, the Olympic golden boy did it at a frat party in South Carolina where he was photographed by a young man who clearly didn’t understand how important the 400 meter backstroke is to this country’s military defense program.
Once the photo surfaced, Phelps was suspended for three months by whoever governs international swimming these days (because the biggest punishment you can throw at a pothead is giving him four months to talk about what the moon would be like if it was made of cheese) and forced him to miss the very important “Not the Olympics” swim meet later that month.
6. Marian Hossa Finds a Way to Become the World’s Most Selfish Loser
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During the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals (which were huge in Western Canada and rural sections of Latvia), occasional NHL superstar Marian Hossa watched his boyhood dream of sipping the sweet nectars of Lord Stanley slip away as his Pittsburgh Penguins lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the championship round.
Being the upstanding gentleman and dedicated teammate that he is, Hossa waited 29 whole days afterwards before telling the Penguins to go screw themselves when he signed a one year deal with the Detroit Red Wings – you know, in order to have a better chance at becoming a champion. The joke, however, was on Hossa as the Red Wings and Penguins would meet in the Stanley Cup finals exactly one year later, only this time with a different result. Thanks to a revamped roster that spent months washing the Slovakian stench of Hossa and failure off of it, the Penguins defeated the Red Wings. Hossa did not take a lot of pride in his second straight “runner-up ribbon” and switched teams yet again in July.
5. Sam Bradford Successfully Avoids a Lucrative NFL Career
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In 2008, Sam Bradford was on top of the football world. He had a Heisman trophy, national title appearance, and was about to become the number one pick in the NFL Draft, an honor that would have netted him $70 million – or in NFL terms, enough money to purchase several mansions on a Caribbean Island with loose prostitution laws and a “don’t ask, don’t tell” painkiller policy.
In 2009, however, Bradford gave up a massive payday (or as it’s called on the West Coast – "Pullin’ a Leinart") in order to return to the University of Oklahoma for a chance to win a national title, and to a much, much, much lesser extent, continue his college education. This noble dream lasted about 37 minutes, as Bradford was injured in the first half of his team’s first game of the season – which they lost to BYU. Bradford subsequently missed four straight starts before coming back just in time to play the Texas Longhorns where he was, once again, injured during a crucial loss. The former Heisman winner has since announced his plans to enter the 2010 NFL Draft where he is expected to become the least excited top 15 pick of all time. He ranks somewhere between AIG and GM on the list of biggest financial pitfalls of the year.
4. Soccer Referee Infuriates Traditionally Calm Irish Soccer fans With Blown Call
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If a Hollywood director lost a bet and was forced to write a soccer movie filled with alcohol, controversy, and Colin Farrell, the November 2009 match between the French and Irish national teams would be a great tale to tell. The protagonists (Ireland) were hungry for their first World Cup trip since 2002 and needed a win against the arrogant, horribly unlikeable antagonists (France). Much like any of the Mighty Ducks movies or Ski School IV, the good guys took an early lead when Irish captain Robbie Keane scored late in the first half. The heroes were ahead and on track to win the big game…cue the evil music possibly performed by whichever members of Ace of Base are still alive.
In the 103rd minute of the contest, Thierry Henry (the soccer world’s answer to Tiger Woods and Glenn Beck) pushed the ball ahead with his hand – or as it’s known in the rule book “blatantly cheating.” Shockingly, the deceitful act that the referees did not penalize led to the game-tying goal, and eliminated Ireland from the World Cup. A bit more of an Oliver Stone twist with the bad guys winning, but still a dramatic story. Plus, the movie could end on Henry giving a speech where he admitted to breaking the rules, but is sorry that his disregard for fair play crushed the dreams of an entire nation. Hell, the screenwriters could just use the half-assed apology Henry and the World Soccer Federation gave after they admitted that the referee blunder cost the Irish a shot to riot on the international stage this coming summer.
3. Wacky Canadians Can’t Count to 13
In Regina, every young boy not talented enough to make his Pee Wee hockey team grows up dreaming of playing quarterback for the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. The puke green uniforms, massive five-figure salaries and ability to sleep with either of the province’s women is the stuff that dreams are made of. As someone who grew up in the Canadian Prairies, I can assure you that Saskatchewan football fans are amongst the most dedicated/annoying in the world. Sort of a cross between the Nebraska Cornhuskers crowd and a really aggressive Cuban separatist political movement.
So, in 2009 when the Roughriders (not to be confused with the ol’ Ottawa Roughriders – yep, nine teams in the league and two of them boasted the same name) had a chance to win the Grey Cup, the Saskatchewan villagers were ecstatic. With no time remaining on the clock and the Riders up by two points, their opponents (the Montreal Alouettes) lined up for a long game-winning field goal. Tension and hypothermia filled the stands as some guy whose name I couldn’t care less about had the chance to be a hero. The snap, the hold, the boot… NO GOOD! The ball sailed wide of the upright and the Roughriders had won the Grey Cup, proving that they were better than any of the other eight teams in the league! But wait… there was a flag on the play.
Apparently nobody on the Roughriders’ defense, coaching staff, or fan section counted the amount of players on the field. There were 13 men on the Saskatchewan side, one more than those wacky CFL rules allow. Because of this, the Alouettes moved 10 yards closer, kicked a game-winning field goal and shattered the dreams of a place has a highway sign reading “The Land of Rape and Honey” (true story).
2. Steve Phillips Forgets the Number One Rule About Nailing Interns: Don’t Get Caught Nailing Interns
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Who hasn’t slept with a 22-year-old chubby brunette intern looking to blow her way into an unpaid summer internship? It’s more American than apple pie or having sex with a freshly made apple pie when your parents go out of town. The only thing you have to remember when romancing a young woman who lists “knee pads and stain remover” under the personal interest section of her job application is to make sure your wife, who doesn’t understand that affairs can bring people together (provided that the cheater plays small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers), never finds out about it. Honestly, it’s Infidelity 101, which is a very popular class at Arizona State University these days.
ESPN Analyst Steve Phillips never got that memo (which is a very popular memo at ESPN these days). Over the summer his mistress decided to get a little “single white female” all over the Phillips family and began stalking his children, sending threatening letters to his wife, and casually driving her car on their front lawn while yelling reasons why they should be together, a page right out of the Jennifer Aniston playbook. The relationship cost Phillips his marriage, dignity, job, and keynote speaking honor at the annual “People Who Have Ruined the New York Mets” conference held in Mo Vaughn’s basement every Christmas.
1. Tiger Woods Isn’t a Player, He Just Crushes a Lot
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Tiger Woods is widely regarded as the single greatest half-black, half-Asian golfer of the late 1990s. His monster drives, precision putts, and ability to find exciting new ways to strip away Phil Mickelson’s confidence have been a great source of pleasure for the rich, white men in this country that he is paid to hock watches and cars to. Woods is the biggest name in the sporting world, without even playing something that most people consider a sport. He transcends what it means to be an athlete – except of course when it comes to the whole monogamy thing.
Much like other famous jocks who now have the pleasure of watching their signing bonuses get siphoned into alimony checks, Woods elected to view his marriage vows as more of a suggestion than a promise, and began a decade-long stint of nailing anything with at least one leg and text messaging capabilities.
A parade of mistresses (14 and counting) from Woods’ harem have come out claiming that they have felt Tiger’s roar in the bedroom. 22-year-old cocktail waitresses, 48-year-old soap opera fans, spouses of 9/11 victims - it didn’t matter. Woods never discriminated. It appears the only person he wasn’t sleeping with was his wife. Currently, the golfing prodigy is on an indefinite leave from the PGA and is getting ready for a divorce proceeding that will be an excellent way for the media to piss all over what’s left of his once sterling reputation and give Spike.com favorite John Daly a chance to win the Masters. Go get em' John!