The start of the NFL Season means the continuation of the unbearable Brett Favre saga. This terrible NFL Favre-season (a new synonym for offseason) has reminded me of something. I really freaking hate Brett Favre. I hate the way his name is not phonetic. I hate the fact that John Madden and Peter King verbally fellate him at every opportunity. I hate the way he squandered some really Packers teams because he needed to be a gunslinger and throw off his back foot. I hate that he needs to be the center of attention at at times. I hate the fact that he beat the Pats in Super Bowl XXXI. I hate the fact that he and Dustin Keller were two of the main reasons that my team didn’t make the playoffs this year. But most of all, I hate the utter disrespect he is showing towards Green Bay Packers fans, the best fans in the NFL. The citizens of Green Bay own the team, and agreed to a sales tax increase to renovate the stadium in 2003. Not only do they commit to the team financially, but they pack the stadium, which has sold out every game since 1960. The time that would be spent on the Packers season ticket waiting list if one added themselves today is estimated by some to be 100 years. Lambeau Field has been lauded for its amazing game-day atmosphere, rated by Sports Illustrated as being the best place to watch an NFL game. As much as these people are Packers fans, they were arguably even bigger Brett Favre fans. Whenever you would see a shot of fans going into Lambeau, at least 70% of those who wore jerseys had #4 on their back. He was immensely revered.
There is a Jewish holiday called Passover, which commemorates the freeing of the Hebrews from the tyrannical rule of the Egyptian Pharoahs. (This connects to Favre, I swear.) In one of the more festive parts of the ceremony, the song “Dayenu” is sung. In Hebrew, the word Dayenu ( (דַּיֵּנוּtranslates to “it would have been enough.” Basically, the song lists all the miracles that God gave the Jews on their way out of Egypt, and between each miracle is the chorus “Dayenu!”. The Jewish people would have been perfectly happy with any of the blessings bestowed upon them by God, and are thanking Him profusely for delighting them more and more with each passing miracle. This song was written long before 1938, or the Spanish Inquisition, for that matter. Anyway, I feel that Green Bay fans and Favre are in a bizarro Dayenu situation, except with annoyance instead of thankfulness. If he had only waffled about retirement once, it would have been enough. If he had only held the entire NFL hostage a second time, it would have been enough. If he had only thrown an interception to knock the Pack out of the 2008 playoffs, it would have been enough. If he had only come out of retirement after crying crocodile tears during his press conference, it would have been enough. If he had only attempted to play on another team in the NFC North, to stick it to the Packers, it would have been enough. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Whatever. Brett Favre, you are dead to me.
But I have Bernard Berrian in The Sports Geeks Fantasy League, so I still danced a little jig when his signing was announced.
In this article, I will attempt to find 6 other people almost, equal to, or even more despicable than Brett Favre. One may think that this is a trying task (look at that alliteration!), but I believe that there is enough dickitude in the world of sports for me to do this pretty comfortably. In no particular order:
1 – Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota Vikings
2 – Joey Barton, Central Midfielder, Newcastle United
Okay. This guy would be considered a huge prick solely because of the way he plays soccer. He is not especially technically gifted, but he pays a very defensive role, which amounts to little more than kicking the opposing attackers really hard. He had an astounding number of fouls, bookings, and sending offs. In addition to his negative style of play, He was twice charged with assault and affray upon civilians, and convicted for the latter. And if you thought he was cruel to his opponents and random passerby, he was even worse to his teammates. He punched his teammate Ousmane Dabo in the face, “leaving him bloody and unconscious on the ground.” And he also (prepare yourselves) stubbed out a cigar in the EYE of his teammate James Tandy, which caused permanent scarring and temporary blindness. Really. This guy may be a little worse than Favre.
3 – Gary Bettman, Commissioner, NHL
I should love hockey. It’s fast, it’s physical, there are legitimate rivalries and ill-feeling between rival teams and fans. I have a great local team, the Boston Bruins, and hockey is great to watch live. Despite all these factors, I watch a handful of Bruins games a year, and never take a train to the Garden to sit in the stands. Why? Bettman. He’s been the commissioner of the NHL during two lockouts, moved national coverage to Versus, a channel that some people don’t even have, and helped alienate hockey’s greatest audience, Canada. He blocked proposed franchise takeovers of the Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes by Canadians, because he was afraid the franchises would be relocated. He isn’t necessarily a bad person, but he successfully turned Hockey into a fringe sport. And that sucks.
4 – Antonio Margarito, Boxer
This guy doctored his gloves in order to pummel his opponent’s face harder in a sport that already deals out a good amount of brain damage. Despicable.
5 – Peter Angelos, Owner, Baltimore Orioles
This guy… well, lets just say that I’m happy his team’s in my team’s division. He’s managed to take a team who was a major power as recently as the 90’s, and turn them into the most irrelevant team in baseball. He’s the second most hated person by Orioles fans, closely following Jeffrey Maier. (Or maybe not, I don’t know, the only thing I know about O’s fans in certainty is that they have an irrational love for Boog Powell.) Anyway, he has driven fans away from one of the nicest parks in baseball, put the future of his franchise behind MATT WIETERS, and solidified an almost-permanent last place in the AL East. Good job, dude.
6 -Manny Ramirez, LF, Los Angeles Dodgers.
Manny being Manny. Something that the Red Sox had to deal with for way too long. The constant trade requests, the times when he had a hissy fit and dogged it for two weeks, the constant mental errors. His desire to go to the Yankees, the petulant half-jog to first base when he hit a groundout, the inconsistent fielding ability, the assault of a 64-year-old man. Yeah. Sure, some of the happiest sports moments of my life involve Manny Ramirez, and at his best, he was capable of producing sheer joy.Which make it even worse when he decides that it’s time to quit. The fact that he immediately became the best hitter in baseball when he went to the Dodgers didn’t help his standing with me either. Also, in case you don’t remember, he was suspended 50 games this season for using female fertility drugs. I mean, come on.
Who do you think is the most despicable person in sports? Leave your answer in the comments.