Much like gravity and the Easter Bunny, karma is a myth created by greeting card companies and teachers looking to console high school nerds. In real life, great things happen to bad people and the sporting world is no exception. Here's a look at seven cases that show why nobody tests for honesty at the NFL combine.
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7. Chris Pronger’s Wife Makes Him Demand a Trade After Allegedly Impregnating a Reporter. He Then Wins a Stanley Cup One Year Later.
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After nearly sipping from Lord Stanley with the now semi-professional Edmonton Oilers in 2005, Chris Pronger celebrated the team’s improbable run to glory by demanding a trade just weeks after the season ended. Through leaked statements, sources claimed that Pronger and his wife no longer wanted to reside in a city that was named "one of the 117 most tolerable places to live in rural Alberta." (For those who have never had the pleasure of getting stuck in Edmonton, imagine a mid-level security prison, only with more depression and less attractive women.)
However, despite what the Pronger camp said, many reports claimed that the real reason he cried his way out of town was because his wife found out that he had knocked up a reporter who boasted a unique interpretation of the phrase “blowing a lead.”
The demand led Pronger to Anaheim where he won the Stanley Cup 52 weeks later, just as the Oilers began a four-year streak of non-playoff futility.
6. Nick Saban’s Ongoing Commitment Issues Lead Him to the Promised Land
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The phrase “soulless douchebag” gets thrown around all too often in college football and Full House reunion shows. But if you ask the folks in Baton Rouge what they think of Nick Saban, the tried and true expression might be the response of choice.
In 2005, the outspoken coach left Louisiana State to try his luck in the NFL. The professional stint lasted exactly two years before he left the Miami Dolphins (just before they went 1-15 ) in order to jump directly back to the NCAA in order to coach his former SEC rivals in Alabama.
Though they were ultimately filled with a sense of betrayal, LSU fans should take solace in the fact that it took him three whole years before Saban and the Crimson Tide went undefeated and won a national title. (And yes, he’s expected to repeat as the BCS Champions next season.)
5. Bill Belichick Becomes the World’s Most Celebrated Cheater
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You know the expression “it’s only cheating if you get caught?” Well, Bill Belichick got caught and it was still barely considered cheating by the NFL.
Blessed with an acute sense of self-importance and a wardrobe that appears to have been stolen from the pro shop at a local homeless shelter, Belichick has earned the reputation as a “win at all costs” coach. And sometimes, the price of victory may involved a little (or substantial amount of) rule-breaking.
In 2001, Belichick decided that the best way to get a tactical advantage over the heavily favored St. Louis Rams would be to videotape their practice and steal defensive signals – a morally reprehensible strategy that ultimately worked.
Much like a frat boy who high fives his friends after getting laid by a girl he roofied, Belichick celebrated the Patriots win over the Rams. The victory inevitably served as a springboard for his perverse greatness, as Belichick would go on to become one of the most successful bench bosses of the modern football era.
With a slap on the wrist from the NFL, the surly Nashville native proved that much like beauty and alcohol addiction, cheating truly is in the eye of the beholder.
4. Art Modell Moves The Browns, Allegedly Steals Candy from Children, and Then Wins a Super Bowl
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Despite the city’s relative immunity to soul crushing failure and the smell of processed cheese, when Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell decided to move the franchise to Baltimore, the small Ohio town that lists Drew Carey and black market trans-fat as its two biggest exports was mired in depression and slightly more shame than usual.
What made matter worse is that in true “pleasant cities with high obesity rates finish last” fashion, the move paid off big time for Modell and his traitorous band of law-ignoring linebackers when the franchise gave the city of Baltimore a Super Bowl title five years later.
Cleveland ended up receiving an expansion team in 1999, and have been playing like one for 11 years since. They haven’t won a single playoff game after making their re-introduction to the NFL and currently have a roster with more guys on the All-Decade NFL Draft Bust team than Pro Bowl rosters. (Meanwhile the Ravens have been a consummate championship contender and one of the best run franchises in the NFL.)
3. Kobe Bryant Becomes one of America’s Favorite Athletes Despite Being a Massive Piece of Garbage
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For a guy who still collects “thanks for showing other accused rapists that dreams really do come true” fan mail from the featured stars of To Catch a Predator, Kobe Bryant still garners an inordinate amount of support from human beings who generally fall in the “yes” side of the “are adultery and rape wrong?” debate.
The NBA defensive standout (and standout defendant in the Colorado court system) ruined the Los Angeles Lakers' 2004 championship run with his court ordered appearances, ongoing media attention, and unique views on victim’s rights.
Later that year, after telling anybody (including authorities) who would listen that Shaquille O’Neal cheats on his wife, Bryant forced the Lakers to trade the Big Aristotle for Caron Butler and a guy who would eventually marry Khloe Kardashian. (Bryant would later ask the team to trade emerging star Andrew Bynum during a Newport Beach temper tantrum in the parking lot of a woman’s clothing store.) Seriously, what a guy!
Interestingly enough, his rape allegations, roster demands, and general disregard for other people were just what the Lakers needed, as Bryant would eventually win his fourth NBA title in 2009. (Though he refused to acknowledge his fanbase in protective custody during the post-game interview.)
2. Ray Lewis Gets Charged With Murder Before Winning the Super Bowl
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Though the NFL certainly prides itself on hard discipline and gameday gun control, the league sure does have a hard time stopping its best players from killing people (allegedly).
In January of 2000, Ray Lewis made all four of his illegitimate children proud when he collected his first murder charge following an altercation at an Atlanta-area night club. The all-pro linebacker dodged a conviction by turning snitch, and ratted out his two friends who were involved in the attack. (Luckily for them, Lewis wasn’t too convincing on the stand and nobody ended up going to jail.)
The courtroom drama didn’t exactly slow Lewis down, though, as the then-24-year-old would go on to become the Super Bowl MVP 11 months later. Unfortunately Lewis did not earn the traditional trip to Disneyland, as the folks at the happiest place on earth were unsure if they could get Mickey Mouse fitted for a stab-proof vest in time.
Following the ordeal, Lewis noted how he was a changed man and vowed to spend more time teaching kids the value of responsible decision making and police cooperation.
(Note: Convicted murderer Donte Stallworth will join the Ravens in 2010 after a three-week stay in jail last season.)
1. Leonard Little is Also Involved in a Little Death Before Winning the Super Bowl
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As one of the top defensive players in the NFL to have an involuntary manslaughter conviction on the back of his trading card, Leonard Little became a pre-millennium trailblazer in the athletic world’s heroic fight for both preferential treatment and “less ugly people in the stands during St. Louis Rams games.”
In 1998, after consuming enough alcohol to savagely drown a small racehorse, Little took his .19 blood alcohol level behind the wheel of his fancy new Escalade and promptly smashed it into a smaller car - killing a young mother in the process. The somewhat apologetic athlete received a few months in jail before amassing nearly $50 million in salary/bonuses, a Super Bowl title, and congratulatory muffin basket from O.J. Simpson.
Little told various people at his court-ordered community service speeches that he sincerely regretted his actions and would do anything he could to avoid repeating his mistakes.
Ironically, when he was arrested for his second DWI seven years later he made the cops a very similar promise.