Another year has passed us by, but before we get fully engrossed in what’s on tap for us in this New Year there’s some unfinished business that needs some tending to…we need to hand out the hardware for the “Tool of the Year”. Like death and taxes, another sure thing we can always count on in the world of sports is those individuals that stand out above the rest for all the wrong reasons. Before I hand out the Golden Plunger by Binford to the TOTY we’ve got some parting gifts for a few folks that fell short, but not by much for TOTY honors.
“The Padlock Award” – Once again hockey fans find the ponds empty, the owner’s locked out the players and so far nothing offered by either side has come close to getting the season started. Meanwhile, a good portion of the players in the NHL are playing abroad and making bank while others are sitting around just waiting to see when the season will be bagged. I don’t think they’ll be waiting much longer, news should be handed down soon that won’t see them back until the 2013-14 season. Maybe in the New Year Gary Bettman will get hit by a car crossing 5th Avenue and Donald Fehr will be the driver convicted for vehicular homicide…it’s win-win for everyone, Game On!
“Tool Bag of the Year” – Roger Goodell. The NFL commish who makes no bones about flaunting his power recently had the penalties handed down to Saints players for BountyGate overturned by the very man he replaced and his mentor, Paul Tagliabue. Goodell has governed with an iron fist while trying to implement higher safety standards due to concussions. But during this time he’s turned this contact sport into nothing more than the NBA on turf. Don’t touch him, don’t breathe on him…why not just wear flags and take the hitting out of the game altogether? I shouldn’t say that too loud, he might just jump on that next season. I could write a book about this douche, but since everyone already knows his story I won’t bore you with any recap.
“Dumb Ass of the Year” – Bobby Petrino. I can’t even type this guy’s name without laughing. That photo says it all doesn’t it?
“Knocked from the Pedestal Award” – Has there been a bigger fall from grace than Lance Armstrong? This guy literally woke up one day and everything he had was all gone. 7 Tour De France titles – stripped, sponsors dropped him like a bad habit and he was basically banished from his own charity, LIVESTRONG, that upon it’s inception took the country by storm and it seemed like overnight everyone was wearing the wristbands sporting the organizations label. His comeback story from cancer which became the catalyst for his increasing popularity left questions lurking from many that he was doping as he kept winning but there were many in the cycling world that just couldn’t accept that this guy had such a miraculous recovery and then was able to win cycling’s biggest event. In the end his masking techniques caught up with him and he has now gone and buried his head in the sand, yet to admit to cheating…at least Marion Jones had the berries to do so once she was busted. Oh wait, Lance only has one berry…but it still is one more than Jones has.
Now to the Tool of the Year… There are a lot of owner’s of sports franchises that are despised, if you’re from Boston, you went years hating the very existence of Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins. Jacobs was notorious for putting a “decent” team on the ice but never was willing to go deep into his pocket to put together a Stanley Cup caliber team. Then he hired Bruins favorite Cam Neely and things changed overnight. But Jeffrey Loria has now become the new Harry Frazee of the sports world; in fact Frazee’s trade of Babe Ruth may be dwarfed in comparison to what Loria has done in recent months. Hated by Florida Marlin fans and anyone who enjoys baseball or common decency, Loria stooped to an all time low. After getting the taxpayers of Florida to ante up almost $2.5 billion for a new stadium and promising fans he’d field a winning team in exchange for the new digs, Loria ceremoniously began to dismantle the Marlins. It started with Hanley Ramirez going to the Dodgers and Anibal Sanchez and Omar infante sent off to the Tigers for prospects. Then came the curtain call at season’s end, Loria ordered up the U-Haul and loaded it with Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio to the Jays, again for prospects. Can you imagine waking up and seeing this on the sports page? Frankly, if this happened in NY, Chicago or Boston there would be riots in the streets from pissed off fans and really pissed off tax payers!
How this guy is able to even look at himself in a mirror or step outside of his house without wearing a bulletproof suit is beyond me. Talk about having a pair of brass cojones. It’s this very type of behavior that gets you the nod for Tool of the Year and Loria has actually gone above and beyond the call of duty to get his Golden Plunger by Binford. And here I was thinking Miami already had more than enough bullshit just dealing with Wayne Huizenga and how he turns just about everything he touches to shit.