Mike Lantry, 1972
The Most Loathsome People In Sports: 41-50
So, yeah, this is a ripoff of the annual NY Press nastiness.
50-41: The Merely Annoying
For putting this list together. What a bitter, jealous, lonely, unsuccessful person I must be.
49. Bill Simmons
Unlike most of the howling masses of the blogosphere, I don't HATE HATE HATE Simmons, but good lord the man has gotten irritating over the last year. Some of that is merely familiarity with his work breeding contempt -- Rocky references just don't have the same punch they used to -- but most of it is his nigh-constant self-aggrandizement. Ok, Bill, you invented the "running diary" and it's very gracious of you to not get angry when other people ape your unique format, but don't you think that's a lot like taking a bottle of whiskey and inventing "whiskey in a glass"? We're not exactly talking calculus here, and even that was independently invented by two guys.
48. Christiano Ronaldo
No doubt he's being furiously scribbled in at #1 on the British analogue of this list, but since America won't see him for another four years he's stuck down here. Ronaldo symbolizes everything that the US hates about soccer: diving, whinging, pouting, infinite useless stepovers, and ridiculous greasy hair. He was the worst offender on a Portuguese World Cup team that inspired hundreds of "Beautiful Game Turns Ugly" headlines in every language from English to Esperanto. It would have been justice if Rooney's errant foot had struck home on Ronaldo.
A heaping hill of unknown losers stringing for prep tee-ball and Jason Whitlock, SportsJournalists.com overflows with riveting topics like the irrelevancy of the Internet, the charms of towns that had a horse until they ate it, and people wondering whether or not they're making more than minimum wage. They're the only group on the Internet more self-congratulatory than bloggers.
46. Jenn Sterger
Okay, we get it: your fake ta-tas and faux lesbianism bring all the boys to the yard. No doubt Myron Rolle will get an outsanding education from you sooner or later. But what separates Jenn from thousands of other nubile young sorostitutes across the country? Nothing except front-row seats at Florida State games and an exhibitionary streak unusual even for hos. Why, then, is Sports Illustrated running an advice column "by" her? And why won't she respond to my emails?
45. NFL Owners
For many reasons, but primarily for confirming once and for all that their idea of fun is a Soviet one by cracking down on touchdown celebration impresario Chad Johnson. Thanks for giving Johnson's various props, dances, and signs a patina of outlaw cool, but maybe the stick in your collective ass could be whittled into something less all-encompassing.
44. Colin Cowherd
A blogospheric persona non grata after the MZone incident, Cowherd manages to combine stupendous ignorance with a propensity for ALL CAPS EMAIL that marks him indelibly as one of the internet retarded. Probably wouldn't have made the list without the plagiarism but his sins go so much deeper than that. Ask Fire Joe Morgan:
I wish I could convey his strained, howling voice...the condescending way he makes his points, as if he were speaking to a four year-old...the way his arrogance and self-assuredness positively oozes through one's car speakers as he blathers on.
43. Dennis Rodman
JUST GO AWAY.
42. Sean Avery
The NHL has a rich tradition of employing little hateable bastards, but Sean Avery takes it several steps too far. Avery's no-class on-ice demeanor extends to his daily life, whether it's blithering on like he's not two steps away from one of those Geico commercials with the cavemen during the lockout about lies, calling the NHL's French Canadian players visor-wearing nancyboys or terming Edmonton Oiler Georges Laraque a "monkey." No-talent midget Avery is the NHL's most hated player, which is saying something.
Add in his inexplicable success with primo Hollywood ass like Elisha friggin' Cuthbert (@ right) and a list without Sean Avery is no list at all.
41. Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire
Who was stupid enough to recreate "The Odd Couple" and pair them as color announcers for nationally broadcasted football games? Well, the same man who was stupid enough to hire Stephen A. Smith, but more on both of them later. Theismann and Maguire -- the nation's foremost argument against gay marriage -- expend more energy needling each other than paying attention to the game. On their own, they're annoying, but together they form a Voltron-like vortex of suck that threatens to consume any who stumble across the critical late-season Lions-Browns matchup.
The moderately good news is that these two tools no longer have to sit in close proximity to each other for three hours at a time every week; the bad news is that now they're split up it's that much harder to avoid them. The spectre of Maguire now haunts college football. Pray for us.