Warning: The following is the result of having no good column ideas…
Hello folks! It’s Joel Hafnor, your sports editor and best friend. This week I am going to rank the top-five modern athletes in a series of random topics. I hope you enjoy but understand if you don’t.
Just to lay a few ground rules, I am only including professional athletes who are either active currently or have played in the past ten years or so. I simply don’t know enough about the old-timers to speak with any confidence about where they would rank in any of these departments. Without further adieu:
The five worst athletes to get into a fist fight with:
Just to clarify, this list does not include professional boxers for obvious reasons. Also this is strictly a fistfight, no weapons allowed.
5. RON ARTEST: Let’s just start with the fact that this guy is nothing short of bonkers. There’s something unsettling about getting into it with a legitimately crazy person. You never know what might come next … it could be a head butt, a drop kick, a double punch to the groin. You can’t count anything out. Oh, and don’t forget Ron Ron was the one who kicked off the famous “Brawl at the Palace” in Detroit six years ago, jumping into the stands and beating the soul out of several fans.
4. DWIGHT HOWARD: He is 6-foot-11, 265 pounds of pure beast. He’s insanely athletic with a wingspan long enough to punch me from several football fields away. I imagine any fight between D-Ho and me would end with him palming the top of my head and shaking me like a piggy bank until I’m dead.
3. ANDRE JOHNSON: Just ask Cortland Finnegan.
2. ALBERT PUJOLS: Along with having the strength to punch straight through my chest and grab my beating heart, Albert also has one of the most intimidating faces in the world. If there was a “Staring Contest” category, I’d put him at the top in a heart beat.
1. RAY LEWIS: Have you seen his Old Spice commercials? Animals want to learn how to talk just so they can hang out with him. At the end of the day Ray gets the nod here because of the whole “he was almost actually charged with murder” thing.
The five athletes you’d trust the least hanging out with your girlfriend:
I should start by giving a nod to The Sports Guy on this one; it’s one of the best questions ever posed so I had to use it here.
5. GREG ODEN: I actually think Oden seems like a pretty nice guy, but he deserves mention here because of the time he sent a picture of his wiener via sext message and it found it’s way to the internet. Whoops.
4. BRETT FAVRE: Speaking of sexting, if you haven’t YouTube’d “Brett Favre What Should I Do?” you really need to. Danny Woodhead.
3. TONY PARKER: He was dating Eva Longoria and still managed to sleep around. Plus, he can always start speaking French and pretty much trick any girl into hooking up.
2. BEN ROETHLISBERGER: He is simply a loose cannon. Never trust him with anything outside of football or you are bound to be disappointed.
1. ANTONIO CROMARTIE: He has nine children with eight women. Could your girlfriend be No. 9? I wouldn’t risk it if I were you.
The Ugliest Man in Sports
Somehow all five of my selections come from the NBA. All of them wound up on this list either for their mustaches or their likeness to extraterrestrials. Except for Chris Kaman, who ended up here for a look that goes well beyond description.
5. ADAM MORRISON
4. SHELDEN WILLIAMS
3. SAM CASSELL
2. JOAKIM NOAH
1. CHRIS KAMAN
The Top 5 Worst Contracts
5. RICK DI PIETRO, 15 YEARS, $67.5 MILLION: Never sign a guy to a fifteen year contract, ever. The Islanders deserve all the bad luck they get from here on out.
4. BEN WALLACE, 4 YEARS, $60 MILLION: Wallace parlayed an excellent two season run with the Detroit Pistons to a massive deal with the Chicago Bulls. Pretty much mailed it in from there.
3. JAMARCUS RUSSELL, 6 YEARS, $68 MILLION: This one just makes me laugh. Sorry Raiders.
2. ALFONSO SORIANO, 6 YEARS, $136 MILLION: A far cry from the player he was in 2006 when he earned the massive contract with the Cubs by hitting 46 bombs and swiping 41 bases for the Nationals.
1. GILBERT ARENAS, 6 YEARS, $111 MILLION: He was coming off two knee surgeries before the Wizards offered Arenas the deal. Then came the whole gun incident and you’ve got yourself the most horrendous contractual mistake in recent memory.
The 5 Weirdest Jersey Numbers in Sports
5. KYLE DRABEK, TORONTO BLUE JAYS: He wears #4 as a starting pitcher. I dare you to find another pitcher in the MLB that wears a single-digit number.
4. BARON DAVIS, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: #85? Really, Baron. You’ve given up completely, haven’t you?
3. MANNY RAMIREZ, LOS ANGELES DODGERS: I was offended when Manny wore #99. That number should be universally retired in honor of the Great One.
2. ANDREI KIRILENKO, UTAH JAZZ: He wears #47 because he thinks it’s cool to be known as the Russian AK-47. I’m serious.
1. RON ARTEST, BULLS/PACERS/KINGS/ROCKETS/LAKERS: In his journey through the league Artest has sported the following jersey numbers: 15, 23, 91, 93, 96, 37 and now he is back to 15. It’s only fitting I start and end this random of a column with Ron Artest.
Sports Editor Joel Hafnor can be reached at email@example.com.