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MY 'BOTTOM 10 SPORTS STORIES OF 2005' Print E-mail
by Mike Fisher    Tue, Jan 10, 2006, 07:54 AM

     Didja hear the one about Eric James Torpy, sentenced to 30 years in prison for robbery and shooting with intent to kill? His favorite athlete is Larry Bird. Good ol' No. 33. So Mr. Torpy asked an Oklahoma County District judge to reconsider that 30 years. ... and to instead increase his jail time to 33 years.
       While the rest of the world basks in the optimism the new year brings by offering "Top 10 Sports Stories of '05,'' I'm more amazed with the darketr stuff. So you get my "Bottom 10 Sports Stories of '05'':
      10) Baseball's steroid ugliness pops up like pimples on Mark McGwire's back. You've got Rafael Palmiero wagging his defiant finger before Congress and swearing he was clean, you've got Barry Bonds readying for a life with glow-in-the-dark privates and you've got Sammy Sosa so under the influence of steroids that it caused him to forget how to habla Ingles. But the juice was like a truth serum for one guy. We meet The Last Honest Man In Baseball. And whoda thunk it'd turn out to be Jose Canseco?
       9) Hockey returns to assume its rightful place in the Pantheon of TV Sports: a notch up from Celebrity Poker featuring Gabe Kaplan, and a notch down from anything featuring Skip Bayless.
       8) The avalanche started in January, when a player pantomimed mooning fans in Green Bay during a playoff game, and holier-than-thou Fox announcer Joe Buck said, "That's a disgusting act by Randy Moss, and it's unfortunate we had it on our air live." ... and not long thereafer, on Fox's air, live, was "The Littlest Groom'' and "Stacked'' with Pam Anderson and "That 70's Show'' and "COPS'' and stuff that apparently didn't offend Buck, because those shows pay his salary.
And riding the wave, now every single sports personality on TV and radio now pontificates, absolutely knows the answer to every question, demands that all coaches get fired and all players get retired, and YELLS AT ME!!!
           7) Terrell Owens vs. the Eagles had everything: Money and power and ego and even sex (if we stretch back a little bit to TO's Monday Night frolic with Desperate Hussy Nicolette Sheridan). The topper: an offer to mediate the dispute between the troubling receiver and his old mates from. ... Rush Limbaugh?! Who let Rush have the keys to the medicine cabinet again!?
               6) Lance Armstrong heads the loooong list of sports figures who blame their retirement on their children. Armstrong wins, like, his skillionth one of those French bike races and then says he's going to retire to spend more time with the kids. (I bet his now-ex-wife wishes he would've thought of that a few years ago before spending so much time with Sheryl Crow.)
             5) NFL players sometimes act naughty. Who knew?
            4) A woman named Danica Patrick drives a car. She does so without simultaneously putting on makeup, talking into her cel phone and failing to signal as she weaves between lanes. For that she is named Rookie Driver of the Year.
          3) Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers pushed around cameramen. It was the only exciting thing I've seen occur on a baseball field since. ... ever?
           2) USC and Texas face off in the championship of football for, ahem, "amateur student/athletes.'' Of course, the amateur student/athlete star QB of the Trojans, Matt Leinhart, took one class all year: ballroom dancing. And the Longhorns may have attended class, but a couple of them allegedly still pulled off the double-major of "robbery'' and "assault''
              1) What of the next generation? How will they possible follow our act, so future "Bottom 10 Sports Stories'' in future years can exist, nay, thrive?
In California, a high-school football coach is caught on videotape moving a sideline yard marker so his team gains a first down and eventual "victory" in a league title game. In Connecticut, a man allegedly beats his daughter's high-school softball coach with a bat for benching the daughter after she skipped practice to attend her boyfriend's prom. In Pennsylvania, a youth baseball coach allegedly pays one of his players $25 to bean an 8-year-old teammate with autism to keep him out of a game and aid thus the team's chance to win. Here in Texas, a high-school football coach dismisses the teenagers from his squad and instead sneaks bigger, faster, college-age athletes into a game against another high-school team. ... and still loses.

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