As we say each year at this time, television has its Emmys, music has its Grammys and sports has its dummies.
There were the obvious ones this year: John Daly, O.J. Simpson, Pacman Jones, Terrell Owens, Sean Avery, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, Plaxico Burress, Isiah Thomas. In some cases, too obvious. In other cases, too pathetic.
These are our dummies for 2008:
This item is NOT brought to you by Ben-Gay
The American Family Assn. is a Christian organization with a website called onenewsnow.com. It filters out the word "gay" in online reports and replaces it with "homosexual." That sort of editing doesn't usually get much attention. Those who might be offended aren't likely to frequent the site. But it did create a stir when U.S. sprinter Tyson Gay won the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials.
The Associated Press story, as reported on onenewsnow.com, read: "Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has.
"His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn't count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here's what does matter: Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games and served notice he's certainly someone to watch in Beijing.
"It means a lot to me," the 25-year-old Homosexual said.
Now they call him Tatum Bellhop
Denver's Tatum Bell is a good running back. But beware. He comes with baggage, not necessarily his own. A day after he was released by the Detroit Lions and replaced by Rudi Johnson, Bell was caught on a hidden camera removing two Gucci bags from the team's training facility. They belonged to -- who else? -- Rudi Johnson. After initially denying he touched the bags, which were filled with Johnson's clothes, Bell said it was an honest mistake. Johnson was reportedly "miffed."
A really cheesy promotion
Someone at a Papa John's pizza restaurant in the Washington area had a bright idea: Hand out T-shirts before a Washington Wizards-Cleveland Cavaliers playoff game at the Verizon Center with a photo on the front of LeBron James, a caption that read "Crybaby" and a Papa John's corporate logo. It was soon pointed out to Papa John's executives that they also have restaurants in Ohio -- more than a dozen, in fact, within 12 miles of the Cavaliers' arena. They responded by offering 23-cent pizzas to Ohio residents, with proceeds going to charity.
What do you mean Brits don't have pools?
One of the more unexpected feuds to emerge at the Beijing Olympics was the one between Commonwealth allies Australia and Britain. When Rebecca Addington of Britain won the 400-meter freestyle in swimming, Australia's Olympic Committee president, John Coates, said, "It's not bad for a country that has no swimming pools and very little soap."
The war of words started before the Games. Andy Burnham, Britain's secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said, "Old rivals like Australia . . . are saying they are in danger of falling behind Team GB in the medal table." That provoked this response from Kate Ellis, Australia's minister for sport: "British sportsmen and women in the past have been known to choke under the pressure when up against the Aussies."
Remember when everyone just hated the French?
When the alma mater asks for a contribution, it doesn't mean this
Miami Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter is so prone to collecting penalties, he even picked up a 15-yarder for his alma mater this season. The former Colorado State star was in the end zone watching the Rams play Brigham Young. When Colorado State running back Gartrell Johnson scored the go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, Porter charged into the end zone and gave him a flying chest bump.
The Rams drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Although that flag didn't factor in the outcome, Colorado State lost.
Who's more deserving of the booby prize than Sean Avery? He was suspended indefinitely by the NHL for crude remarks he made about a rival player who was dating one of Avery's ex-girlfriends -- this after promising his coach he wouldn't talk to the media. Avery won't be taken back by the Dallas Stars, who gave him a four-year, $15.5-million contract last summer.
Knocked out on the sidelines
Floyd Mayweather Jr. invoked that old boxing ploy in June by announcing his "retirement" and canceling a scheduled rematch with Oscar De La Hoya. Their first meeting was the most lucrative boxing event in history. So, while on the sidelines, resting at his Las Vegas home and getting victimized by a jewelry heist, Mayweather stood out as the biggest loser when Manny Pacquiao battered the "Golden Boy" on Dec. 6. Mayweather couldn't have been bothered to accept those millions? Against a fading star? Better than the pay-per-view of De La Hoya-Pacquiao would've been to be a fly on the wall watching Mayweather's response to that one-sided outcome.
Satire of what?