Why another year-end top 10 list? We get enough of these, don’t we? There’s everything from best dressed to worst movie. This list is a little different though. I don’t think anyone has taken a shot at the 10 worst sportsmanship moments. If you have something not listed here, please feel free to express yourself in the comments section or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Without further delay, I give you the 10 worst sportsmanship moments of 2009.
10) The sports media’s attitude toward 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink. Most of the sports media wanted Tom Watson to win. At 59, Watson would have been the oldest man to win a major championship. Instead, he lost a spirited contest to Cink…much to the dismay of those covering the event. Some even referred to Cink as a “villain” for winning. It’s a good thing to give the champion his due even when you didn’t want him to win.
9) LeBron James refusing to shake Dwight Howard’s hand after Orlando defeated Cleveland in the NBA playoffs. James showed the world why he is not worthy of the “King” moniker. While he is rich in talent, he is a poor sport.
8) Phillies fans shining laser pointers in the eyes of Albert Pujols and Julio Lugo. Typical Philadelphia fan behavior – your team is better than the other and you still have to cheat.
7) Brandon Marshall’s antics during Broncos training camp. He wanted a new contract and/or trade. So, he began swatting away passes and punting footballs. He didn’t get traded and he still has the same contract.
6) Bob Knight said that college basketball lacks integrity and cited John Calipari as an example. And which one are you Mr. Knight, the pot or the kettle?
5) Bud Adams displaying a series of middle finger salutes to the Buffalo Bills sideline while Commissioner Goodell was in attendance. The league fined him $250,000, but he lost much more in respect.
4) Keith Ballard knocks out his own goalie. Ballard was frustrated after the opposing team scored a goal, so he broke his stick on the crossbar. He somehow forgot that his teammate was still positioned right next to the crossbar. Tomas Vokoun suffered a severe laceration requiring 30 stitches.
3) Randy Hanson was treated for a broken jaw at an Oakland-area hospital. Raiders head coach Tom Cable was suspected but no charges were filed nor any disciplinary action taken. Maybe Hanson beat himself up. Hmmm….
2) Serena Williams threatens official at the U.S. Open. Williams threatened to shove a tennis ball down the line judge’s throat after a point deduction. The tirade cost Williams another point and the match. She later told reporters she didn’t remember what she said. It’s sad to see the very best at their very worst and then lie about it.
1) Elizabeth Lambert. Serena Williams would have been the runaway winner (or loser) in this case. But Elizabeth Lambert gave a performance for the ages. Her willful disregard for the rules, the game, and the safety of her opponents earned her this very low honor. As a matter of fact, I have attached the video to this blog site because words just can’t do it justice.
Please use this list as an example of what not to do in sports. Have a happy and safe 2010. Until next time…
Be a Good Sport!