Fallen from grace
With Tiger and Elin Woods plastered all over the latest magazines and gossip blogs (all of which are spouting the latest rumors that Elin took to Tiger’s luxury SUV with a five-iron), The Reflector would like to count down the top five sports stars and teams who have fallen from their athletic grace.
5. “Black Sox”
During the 1919 World Series that had the Chicago White Sox pitted against the Cincinnati Reds, eight members of the White Sox team were persuaded to throw the series handing it over like a Christmas gift with a big red bow to the Reds. In a highly thought out conspiracy that even involved gangsters ,the newly branded “Black Sox” became the face of movies and books like Eliot Asinof’s Eight Men Out and the 1988 film of the same name. The eight players were banned from baseball for life.
4. Tonya Harding
There’s no doubting that competition gets pretty heated in peoples respective sports but when that competition turns to you hiring someone to bash your rivals knee with a metal rod, there’s a line to be drawn. In 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked while training for the U.S Figure Skating Championships and was unable to participate due to her injuries. This conveniently opened the door for Harding to skate her way to gold. Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and three of his buddies were arrested while Harding was allowed to compete in the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer. Kerrigan, recovered by this time, skated to a silver medal while Harding placed eighth. That’s called the karma gods kickin’ your ass.
3. Pete Rose
With a career batting average of .303, 4,256 hits (all time league leader), 1,314 RBI’s and a managerial record of 412-373, Pete Rose is arguably one of the best baseball players of his time. Being one of the best ball players of the time just isn’t enough when you bet on the game whilst being involved with it. Tsk tsk Pete. Allegations of his betting on ball didn’t surface until after he retired in 1989, although he didn’t admit it until 2004. Rose is permanently ineligible from baseball, which also means he’s shut out of Cooperstown indefinitely. I saw Pete in Vegas a few years back, signing autographs at a store in Caesar’s palace. He can still draw a crowd after all these years and was looking good but rules are rules Rosie…even in Sin City.
2. Tiger Woods
Let’s not view the world through rose coloured glasses here—athletes, and spouses in general, all over the world cheat on their partners. When you happen to be athlete of the decade, gracing the cover of Vanity Fair and arguably the greatest golfer in the world, cheating isn’t just something you can sweep under the proverbial rug. What started as an odd little incident in a driveway led to a shark pool of media frenzy as Tigers indiscretions came tumbling out faster than a ball off a tee. Woods has now lost several endorsements due to the negative press including big names Tag Heuer and AT&T. But despite all the discrepancies Woods’s ex-coach said the big swinger will play in the in the US Open.
1. Michael Vick
We hear stories of athletes who have guns in their lockers and athletes getting shot and stabbed, which is bizarre enough on it’s own but when an athlete crosses the line into animal violence, it’s just a little too much. In 2007 Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons was indicted by a grand jury in a dog-fighting probe and was charged with unlawfully torturing and killing dogs and promoting dogfights. The talented quarterback was sentenced to 23 months for his crime.
After getting out of the big house, Vick returned to the field with the Philadelphia Eagles. Big surprise he was booed the first time playing back in Atlanta where he scored two touchdowns. Let’s let that one go to the dogs.