A look at sports 'heroes' whose stock has fallen

A look at sports 'heroes' whose stock has fallen

Credit: Getty Images

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: (L-R) Heisman finalists quarterback Johnny Manziel of the Texas A&M University Aggies talks to linebacker Manti Te'o of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish during a press conference prior to the 78th Heisman Trophy Presentation at the Marriott Marquis on December 8, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)


by Michael Solomon / KMOV.com


Posted on January 31, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 20 at 10:04 PM

(KMOV) -- The hits just keep on coming from our “idiot idols,” sports figures that we want to look up to and want to emulate, but who just keep disappointing us.

The last few weeks brought us Lance Armstrong’s half-hearted apology. We’re not really sure if he knows the difference between right and wrong. Unfortunately, because he lied so easily and did not seem remorseful about the people who he “ran over”, we are not sure that all the good Armstrong did for prostate cancer through his Livestrong Foundation was done because he genuinely wanted to help or he just needed to have a front to hide his cheating. It has been reported since his “coming out” on The Oprah Show that he is still lying about trying to bribe the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Not a smart move. Not a way to get back fan trust.

But, of course there was lots more bad behavior from our idols. Whether it was lying, alleged criminal activity, entitlement or just overall taking advantage of their status as role models, our “idiot idols” were in fine form. Michael Crabtree, the San Francisco 49er who immediately checked in to a hotel after the Green Bay game with three women, was not charged with sexual assault. Still, you wonder why someone who had an upcoming NFC Championship game (in which he performed poorly) would put himself in such a position. Coaches got into the action as the coach of the Wenatchee Wild, a lower tier Junior hockey team in Washington, was tossed from a game, but came back to center ice pretending to be blind, with dark sunglasses and a hockey stick he used as a cane to make fun of the referees. Let’s add incredible insensitivy to our list of idiot idols. Not to be outdone, even the wife of Wes Welker couldn’t resist making a fool of herself. After the New England Patriot’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens, this former Hooter’s Girl Hall of Famer called out Ray Lewis on Facebook bringing up the legal trouble he avoided years ago. No matter what you think of Mr. Lewis, this was mean-spirited. Of course, she later apologized.

So here are other lowlights from our heroes of sports:

“Her Death Was a Personal Tragedy For Me. Oh Wait, I Never Really Knew Her. Oh Wait, She Just Called Me. She’s Not Dead. Maybe I Should Go See Her. Oh Wait, I’m Too Busy.”—Manti Teo, Notre Dame Linebacker and Potential First Round NFL Draft Pick.

There has been so much written about this bizarre hoax and still no one knows the truth. The more he is interviewed, the less we know (and the less he seems to know), and the more we assume. Still, wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall at Mr. Teo’s first interview with an NFL team, especially after his embarrassingly poor performance against Alabama in the National Championship game, after he knew the story would break? How about the sports journalists that get to write about his first round selection in the draft? Here’s a guy who never wanted to see his girlfriend(remember this relationship went on for years), didn’t want to go to her purported funeral and didn’t inquire how she miraculously reappeared after dying—but sure told everyone, especially Heisman Trophy voters, how important she was to his life—especially after she died. Can you imagine what Teo will think when one of his opponents says they don’t plan to run the ball? Or maybe that they don’t plan to show up? What will Teo do without all the protection that the Notre Dame administration has provided? And then what can we think about the hundreds of sportswriters that failed to do any due diligence, including looking for a Facebook page or even an obituary for his non-existent girl friend? Teo may become the best linebacker ever (don’t think so), but this will always be part of his sad legacy. And by the way, isn’t it interesting that the family had planned to go public with the hoax, just days after the website Deadspin released the story. Sure they were.

“Sing Her Glory and Sound Her Fame”—Notre Dame Administration’s Response to Manti Teo’s “Tragedy”

These are some of the words to Notre Dame’s renowned “Victory March.” The Gold and Blue seems to be tarnished now with “glory” and “fame” clearly not in evidence. The core of the mission of Notre Dame, one of the top schools in the country, is “to cultivate in its students not only an appreciation for the great achievements of human beings but also a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many. The aim is to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.” Jack Swarbrick, the athletic director and those who stand behind him, probably didn’t think about these words (or think at all) when they jumped to the defense of their star football player. They immediately called for and fielded an investigation, in which Mr. Teo was never even interviewed and was over in two days, while decrying the “tragedy” he suffered. A school spokesperson, when asked about why it only took two days to complete an investigation and why the investigator did not talk to Teo, said that the scheme was uncovered and the perpetrators were found so quickly (four years is quick?) that “there was no need for an interview.” Really? Swarbrick also called this hoax a “tragedy.” Compare this to the administration’s response to the real tragedy of Saint Mary’s student Lizzy Seeberg who killed herself after a Notre Dame football player was accused of sexual assaulting her during the football season of 2010. Notre Dame Police waited 15 days before interviewing the player, whose roommate had sent Ms. Seeberg threatening emails about the assault. While the administration tripped all over themselves to reach out to the Teo family, Reverend John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame refused to meet with the Seeberg family for months after the suicide. The issue is still unresolved. That’s not a concern for the “common good” as stated in ND’s mission statement. That’s putting football first—with a “do no wrong” mentality. We already saw at Penn State what happens when you put football above everything else. How sad for the hundreds of thousands of upstanding graduates of those universities. How sad if the administration is not waived….quickly.

Dude, It’s a Loaded Gun. –Andre Smith, Cincinnati Bengals.

Wouldn’t you know that it would be a Cincinnati Bengal to be the first NFL player in the off season to be arrested. The Bengal’s starting right tackle tried to carry a loaded gun through security at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport. The gun was loaded. Was Smith? Security found the .380 caliber handgun, and Smith was detained. He is now free on $3,000.00 bond and quickly hired an attorney. Smith, of course, says he had no idea that the gun was in his possession. That should make him marketable now that he is a free agent after his rookie contract ($21 million) expired this year. With time on their hands, expect to see more players get in more trouble. As reported on this website ( http://www.kmov.com/sports/188023801.html), Dallas Cowboys starting nose tackle, Jay Ratliff was arrested a few days ago for suspicion of DWI when he refused a Breathalyzer test after he crashed his pickup truck into a guardrail after sideswiping an 18-wheeler. Pickup truck vs. 18-wheeler….not a good matchup for Mr. Ratliff.

The Rooney Rule or the Looney Rule? –NFL Teams with Coaching Vacancies.

Doesn’t seem like anyone in the NFL is really paying attention does it? With eight coaching vacancies and seven GM vacancies after the end of the season, not one African-American was hired, although some teams did interview several candidates adhering at least in principal to the Rooney Rule. It is hard to imagine that several talented African-American candidates did not so much as get a chance. Jim Caldwell, who took the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl as head coach and present Baltimore Ravens’ Offensive Coordinator, did not even get an interview. Based on the Ravens’ performance, it is not like he doesn’t have a great future in Baltimore, but it would sure seem that some team might actually like to vet this veteran, or at least pick his brain. Lovie Smith, the former Chicago Bears coach and defensive whiz who was released after winning 10 games this year (something only about 11 teams per year accomplish), did interview for a few teams. One hired a college coach with no NFL experience and a .500 record, while the one which hired a defensive head coach never interviewed Smith or any African-American candidate. Now the NFL goes into next year with only three African-American coaches, the least in the last 10 years. Concussions. Bounty Scandals. Jerry Jones. Failure to respect the Rooney Rules. America’s most popular sport seems to be heading for problems.

San Francisco Fans Give Philly Fans a Run For Their Money—Fans Behaving Badly

We’re coming up on Super Bowl weekend, a time that fans and players are sometimes at their rowdiest. Of course the 49er fans have already started doing their game day preparation. During the game against Green Bay, 92 people were ejected from Candlestick Park while another 25 fans were arrested for public intoxication. Good thing their team won 45-31. Fast forward to the Championship game in Atlanta where there was a fight right outside the stadium after the game that resulted in one person being stabbed. According to a TV report from Atlanta, fans of both teams began arguing and allegedly a 49ers fan pulled a knife and stabbed a Falcon fan. Knowing the mentality of his own fans, even the mayor of San Francisco encouraged people to stock up and watch the Super Bowl at home and not go out to bars. He obviously remembers the millions of dollars of damage from fans after the Giants won the World Series. San Francisco is doing everything they can to make us forget about the legendary Philadelphia fans, who once booed Santa Claus.

So finally let’s leave you with a good story, of which there are plenty in the world of sports. On this past Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, New York Knicks Amare Stoudemire purchased lunch for workers at Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks play. His wife and kids were with him as they fed the employees, talked with the crew and signed autographs. This was the second time that Stoudemire bought lunch for the approximate 600 employees. As he told espn.com, “They are our biggest fans…..It’s great to bring everybody together for a nice cause.” Obviously we need more stories like this.