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Who Would You Most Like to Whack?

This was the discussion that dominated my appearance with the Fighting Ungers this past Tuesday. Marc Unger came up with a great idea: a seeded tournament, a la March Madness, to find out who is the “Most Annoying, Vile, Hated, Needs to Be Punched Sports Figure Of All Time”.

Read his original post on it here.

Hate is a critical component of sports fandom, so much so that I’d argue sports can’t function without it. We need to define the “other”, to not only have teams and players we are for, but to have those that we are against. And, in fact, it’s a concept that extends far beyond sports — the notion of the “other” is a key component of academic culture studies. It is, as you might expect, both a good and bad thing.

This contest, though, is all good. I love the idea of trying to figure out — amongst names like Bonds and Clemens and Woods and Jeter and Coach K — just who most deserves a good, solid whack. I’m way into the idea of having fun with the idea of what we’re against in sports, as opposed to the more traditional approach of just whining and bitching and going negative all the time.

The plan, I believe, is to narrow the list down to a field of 64, seed them up, and go from there. So feel free to fire away with your own ideas about both who should be on the list and who would be your Final Four/Champion. Let’s see where it goes from there.

30 comments to Who Would You Most Like to Whack?

  • ryan

    Would it be bad to say that I’d like to whack Drew sometimes?

    But seriously folks, I’d like to whack Pedroia.

  • neal s

    Before someone asks: yes, Marc asked if I would talk about this. But the truth is that I think it’s a fun idea, and in a more general sense I like the idea of making light of the negatives in sports.

  • neal s

    Ahh, Pedroia — excellent choice.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    i think oj deserves to be whacked, but more in a sopranos kinda way.

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    i’ll go with jeremy shockey

  • neal s

    Shockey is a damn good choice as well.

    Although I don’t think he’d deserve to win a contest, I’d like to add Mike Shanahan (sorry, Ryan) to the list. And our old friend Brian Billick would probably get a few votes if we threw his name into the mix…

  • Big Ben's Motorcycle

    eh, billick already got whacked.

    plus – say whatever you want about him, but i’ll go to my grave thinking…knowing brian billick did a masterful job of managing one of the most complex team situations in the history of sports. i firmly believe he was the right man at the right time.

    his time was eventually up is all.

    seriously – pick a hall of fame coach and honestly assess whether he could take a team with some of the most extreme personalities ever, who didn’t score a touchdown for five straight games, whose star was just in a fucking murder trail, and go on the road in the playoffs to the toughest places to play with the country against them and win it all.

    i know you hate to admit it, but there just aren’t any coaches that come to mind.

    he was an absolute master of chemistry that year. unfortunately he became mad with his chemistry set, mixed the wrong chemicals, and BOOM!

  • since coaches are allowed, i am assuming owners are too?

    what about sportscasters? wonder who would be first on that list for everyone here? (sarcasm)

    Despite baltimore’s biased lovefest for all that is Art Modell…i would love to slap him 10 times over. and for good measure (and out of local respect) lets put Irsay in there too…for the same thing.

    as for players…hmm…albert belle, manny being man…dumb, tyson, gibbons, chris henry, marvin harrison, peyton manning (i am the only one on the planet who hates this guy? god, every time they go for a field goal and he cries like a little bitch for not going for it i wanna throw something at the tv), eli manning (i know the tv networks are trying to get you to believe he has arrived because of some sort of miracle super bowl…but i don’t buy it…kid still looks like he gets driven around by his parents).

    i would add romo in there, but it’s always great to see him botch things at the end of the year…so it almost makes dealing with him worth it. Favre for making me have to hear his name every 3 seconds for 3 months. brian westbrook for sitting down on the 1 yard line last year (the first “team” decision i have ever seen from a professional athlete make, thus making me lose in the semi-final of my FF playoffs by .5 pts….THWACK). Reggie Bush because he sucks without deuce and i have to hear about him during 90% of any saints game that is covered nationally. tom brady for turning into belichick jr. with that *%&*% eating grin on his face all last year.

    i could keep going…

  • Tomás

    I second Tom Brady all the way.

  • Greg

    Baseball figures that need a swift kick in the pants:

    Dustin Pedroia
    Coco Crisp
    Alex Rodriguez
    BJ Upton
    Gary Sheffield
    Milton Bradley
    Jose Reyes
    Manny Ramirez
    Johnny Damon
    Jeff Kent
    Barry Bonds
    Jose Canseco

  • Ryan

    “I’d like to add Mike Shanahan (sorry, Ryan) to the list”

    Until I see what happens this season, I’d agree with you. The bowling in his alley in his brand new home isn’t seeing enough use. Perhaps retirement will help.

  • dan the man

    Jonathan Papelbon.

    Kevin Youkilis.

    A-Rod, not even for the typical A-Rod stuff, but for just not living up to his own hype as the best MLB player in the world and, if he continues to put up numbers, possibly the greatest EVER. And yet, he’s not out there being an ambassador for the game. He’s not really doing anything but choking in the clutch for the fucking Yankees while collecting the biggest baseball paycheck in history. I don’t want this guy being remembered as the greatest ballplayer of our generation and possibly in history because there’s nothing substantial or lovable about him.

    Erik Bedard.

  • dan the man

    I’ll also add Gilbert Arenas for the boneheaded move of riling up Lebron James before the playoffs last season. Although it was classy that he offered to cut his paycheck to keep the “big three” together.

    Dirk Nowitzki for just being a chump.

    Mike Mussina.

  • Joe the Guy

    A-Rod because he would cry.

    Peyton Manning because he would probably cry, but then Eli would notice and run across the playground and jump on my back while I was punching Peyton.

    Brett Favre for ruining Sportscenter.

    JD Drew, but he would probably end up on the DL on the way to the fight and have to forfeit.

  • sci

    For me, it’s Clemens #1 by a lot. Then Bonds. Then the Steinbrenners. Then Jerry Jones. Then a lot of random Yanks, Sox, Cowboys, Dukies, etc.

  • Joe the Guy

    How about Pacman Jones?

    And on that note, Roger Goodell.

    I CAN’T believe that Pacman gets to play, on WEEK ONE for christ sakes.

    Security guard Tom Urbanski (43 years old) is still paralyzed from the waist down.

    Jones can change his name and behave well for 2 months and all is forgotten?

    If Urbanski changes his name and behaves himself for the next 2 months, he’ll still be paralyzed.

  • Tomás

    OK OK, really the Steinbrenners are my #1, especially after I read about this crap. Talk about Evil Empire.

  • Chris

    yea, if I hear that certain insignificant AM talk host at the very end of the dial talk about how his insignificant station has fixed the O’s, I might just have to drive down to the station and whack him myself.

    anyone read his drivel from the other day where he calls the O’s good listeners because they’re hosting the ravens on 9/7 and he says it was his idea?

    pathetic.

  • Brendan

    Jeffery Maier deserves the beat down of the century. If I had any energy left it’d have to go to Kobe.

  • dan the man

    Man, how could I forget Michael Vick? He deserves a hungry Rottweiler and a steak tied around his balls.

  • dan the man

    I don’t have sound at my computer at work, but this looks like it has some interesting content. For whatever reason, I just like that Buck Martinez has a masn blog.

    http://masnsports.com/2008/08/buck-martinezs-video-blog-buck.html

  • random dude

    Maier hands down. And I would also throw Hines Ward in the mix. I just REALLY hate that guy.

    Unrelated… anyone notice that Cal Ripken bought a minor league team for Tampa Bay, and threw out a first pitch for the Rays??? I personally had no problem with what Millar did in the offseason, but I do have a problem with this. Not so much hatred or anger, but confusion and dissapointment. I just don’t know what to think of it.

  • dan the man

    From my understanding, Ripken was wearing the jersey of the minor league team, which is very similar to the Ray uni, but I can’t be sure.

    I mean, ultimately, who cares? It’s a business decision and probably a smart one. But it does raise a few questions – for example, why didn’t he buy an Orioles minor league team (who knows if that was even possible, though). It’s hard to be critical of something like this when no one really knows the details of it. However, you have to wonder if Ripken just kind of sees the Rays as the next big AL East powerhouse, or if he think they just handle their shit better than the Orioles. Overall, though, I give it a big “meh” until we know more.

  • dan the man

    But wait, Ripken owns the Ironbirds right?

  • neal s

    Yeah, he does.

    I think this is kind of lame, but Ripken is a businessman first and foremost now and he made the right business move. Plus, it’s the Rays so it’s not really a big deal.

  • Mike L

    this is completely different thatn what millar did. Millar is still playing, went back to boston to do it, and in a playoff game none the less. it odd seeing a picture off him in the rays uniform, that maybe isnt necessary. But it’s business now.i’m sure chicago fans dont mind that michael jordan has his hands in the charlotte bobcats FO, or LA fans since Gretzky had been in the Pheonix FO, and now head coaching.

    you know when the O’s are back in the playoffs, Cal will be be right back home throwing out the first pitch sometime.

    ultimately i’d love to see Cal manage the O’s one day. no disrespect to DT. But I enjoy seeing him still being involved in the game.

  • neal s

    I don’t think Cal would make much of a field manager. Aside from the fact that great players generally don’t make great coaches/managers (though there are exceptions), Cal’s talents seem tilted to the organizational end of things. I can see him being a fine GM or owner, and I’m fairly certain he’ll end up in that role somewhere, someday.

  • random dude

    Yeah, the more I think about it, the more i give it a ‘meh’. It is weird looking at the picture though.
    Just to play devil’s advocate, though… The argument that Millar was still a member of the team obviously has some merit, but just doesn’t fly with me considering we’re talking about a stop-gap below average first baseman compared to a Baltimore sports legend. The legend should be held to higher standards, whether that’s fair or not.
    Again, ultimately not that big of a deal. But I do think those who criticized Millar should at least be somewhat heated about this.

  • Greg

    It’s different when you are out of baseball. Ripken is a business man now. It doesn’t affect how the Orioles play baseball, and I don’t see it as a thing where Ripken’s alliances are in Tampa now. He just bought a team in Florida, and he would look silly throwing out a pitch in an Orioles uniform.

    Millar did his business with a rival team while playing for the Orioles. You would expect and want your hometown players to care the most about their own team and have allegiances only to the hometown while they are representing it. If Cal threw out a pitch for the Rays in a uniform while still at SS here in Baltimore, I wouldn’t treat him any differently than Millar got.

    Basically, at this point in his life Cal is an ambassador for baseball, and not necessarily just the Orioles anymore. I think there is a distinction to be made between active and retired players, and the standards are not the same.