Culture of Hoops

Top 10 Worst Sports Stories of 2014

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Along with the beauty of sports, comes the ugly relentless media coverage of certain stories that seem to be repeatedly beat over your head until you just cave in and accept them. With the end of the year just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at the 10 worst, most annoying, non-stop, make you want to pound your head against the wall stories of the 2014 year.

10. Johnny Manziel AKA Mohnny Janziel

Everything Johnny Manziel sucks, including him. He proved exactly that on Sunday in his shameful performance against the Cincinnati Bengals. What’s the over/under on the length of his career? Short, just like him. Sorry, Cleveland. LeBron isn’t bringing you a title either.

9. The Ray Rice Case

Obviously what Ray Rice did was heinous and the media coverage was very worthy of the crime. However, enough is enough. How many times do our children need to see the video evidence of a scumbag? The worst part about it is that Rice even avoided being in the public eye and managed to lay low. But that’s just how the media roll these days.

8. The Adrian Peterson Case

On the other hand, Adrian Peterson still can’t stay out of the headlines. OK, AP, we get it. You don’t think you did anything wrong by beating your child and you feel that you are being punished for how you yourself were raised. Fortunately, I cannot speak for anyone who grew up that way and I will not even attempt to. However, my annoyance with Peterson now stems far beyond child abuse. He made a mistake, but can’t move on. He hasn’t gone away. He hasn’t let us forget. He hasn’t let us forgive him. Instead, he appeals every single possible detail that he can. Meanwhile, Ray Rice is already going to be allowed back on the field. Adrian, just go away and let time heal your legacy.

7. Jameis Winston Has Crabs

There are a lot of reasons Jameis Winston could be on this list, but the crab theft is what lands him on here. Way back in March, the Heisman Trophy winner and national champion took it upon himself to five-finger some crab legs. And what a casual crab bandit he was! It’s almost as if he’d been there and done that before. I don’t get it, why didn’t he just use all the money that he makes at Florida State to purchase the shellfish? And what, no butter? No lemon? No seasonings? And most importantly, no booze? What are you thinking Jameis? It’s not like you don’t stand out or anything.

6. Kobe Bryant > Michael Jordan

The most recent awful story of 2014 has been Kobe Bryant passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list. I mean, it’s pretty spectacular and all, but why must we go so overboard with the coverage of one of the most anticlimactic feats of all time? Of course Kobe passed Jordan, it’s the only thing he has to do in his life besides berate his teammates publicly and pretend that he still has hair. Bryant is shooting a cool, and I mean cool, 38 percent from the field and 27 percent from beyond the arc this season. Jordan shot 45 percent at 39 years of age in his last season in the league with the Washington Wizards. Please do not argue who is better, it shouldn’t even be a discussion.

5. Jim Harbaugh Will Get Fired For Being Jim Harbaugh

The 49ers front office doesn’t care about winning anymore now that they have their new stadium, yet now they make a valiant effort to let everyone know how much they do, in fact, care. Is Jed York purposely sabotaging “his” team? Does he just want everyone to be reminded that it is “his” team? Or is the franchise just going full Santa Clara on us? Probably a bit of all three. But in my experiences at the new Levi’s Stadium, especially when I decided to spend my Thanksgiving with them, I got the feeling that football was last on everybody’s priority list except Harbaugh’s. Is it possible that Jim just cares too much?

4. The Kevin Love Sweepstakes

As I wrote way back in July, Kevin Love isn’t the answer—at least for the Golden State Warriors. Whether or not he will be the answer in Cleveland remains to be seen. But that’s my point. Why should it take this long for an alleged “superstar” to start ballin’ out and turning heads? Because he’s not really a superstar. Don’t get me wrong, Kevin Love is a great player and is having a good season, but he’s not going to win you a championship. He makes much more sense alongside LeBron James than in Los Angeles or Golden State. I think the Warriors are doing just fine without him and have no regrets about keeping Klay Thompson. Can’t say the same for the Lakers, though. For all the offseason talk about Love, I sure haven’t heard much about him in-season.

3. LeBron James’ Redemption Story

Why are we supposed to pretend like LeBron still isn’t a scumbag for the whole “Decision” fiasco? He bounced on his hometown in the worst way possible to go hang out with the biggest villain in the league, Dwyane Wade, and the second-most annoying player in the league, Chris Bosh. (Chris Paul is the most annoying player in the league.) Then James went on to win two titles thanks to the help of multiple other Hall of Famers. It’s a good thing Jesus Shuttlesworth is a traitor too and bounced out of Beantown to salvage LeBron’s Finals record. 2-3 is a lot better than 1-4. I will admit that I think it’s cool that he went back to Cleveland, and I do think he should have left because he wasn’t ever going to get it done there, but the whole “Decision” will never allow me to root for the self proclaimed King again. And you can thank Jim Gray for that.

2. Anything Yasiel Puig

First and foremost, I am a Giants fans. And no, not one of those “2010!” fans. I have never worn a panda hat. I have never dyed my beard shoe-polish black. I don’t ride a scooter. I didn’t start liking Tim Lincecum until he started declining. I too think that Buster Posey is soft behind the plate and the rule change of no longer being able to block the plate took away the best part of baseball. And I don’t refer to the team as “we.”

But enough of that.

No more endless Yasiel Puig coverage. He is not Mike Trout. He will never be Mike Trout. Let’s have endless coverage of Mike Trout.

1. Derek Jeter‘s Endless Magical Mystery Retirement Tour

There’s not much to say. I’ve always been a huge Jeter guy. I remember my grandpa giving me a Yankees hat the first time Jeter won it all way back in ’96 before the Yankees became unanimously annoying. He’s one of the greatest players of all time, but not even close to being the greatest Yankee of all time. He’s a class act, but that’s only because we don’t have any idea what he does in his personal life. He’s a 14-time All-Star, but probably shouldn’t be. But seriously, he’s retired, not dead.

Dishonorable Mention – Donald Sterling and His Little Bunny Rabbit V. Stiviano

No one likes an old, lying, racist, sexist, senile bigot. No one likes a young, gold digging, sex-for-fame, haggard, welder’s visor wearing hack. Please go away forever. The world is much better without you.

Sincerely, everyone.

Follow Rich Peters @Tricky_Roma.

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