ESPN posted a list entitled: “Top 25 sports villians- The most adversarial realationships in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college football” It’s a fun read, but it gets some things very, very wrong.
Start with #25, LeBron James vs. Miami Heat are you kidding me? The guy stabbed his hometown team in the back on national TV, came to Miami and went to four-straight Finals while winning two and then returned home and you feel something to gripe about?
#24- Royals vs. multiple teams should be higher. They are getting under the skin of most of baseball.
#23- Lundqvist vs. Devils is only on the list so they can say they covered hockey. Brodeur vs. Rangers was a thing. This isn’t.
I’lll skip ahead a bit
#20 Roger Goodell and Gary Bettman vs. NFL and NHL fans. First off, this should be higher. Second, they should be separated. Bettman continually has tried to ruin hockey and remains the commissioner of the only sport to ever cancel an entire season. Goodell doesn’t seem to realize that hitting a woman is 1,000 times worse than deflating a football. Both belong separately in the Top-10.
#8- Saban versus LSU is a good one, but where is Pitino versus Kentucky? Or for that matter Jim Harbaugh versus everywhere he has coached in the past?
#5- A-Rod only squeaks into the Top-5!? This guy should get a pass into the Top-3 for the next five years at least.
#2 DeAndre Jordan versus Dallas. I have lived in the Metroplex and there are two seasons- Cowboys Football season and Cowboys offseason. The Mavericks are a nice distraction, but their fans are generally very polite and well-behaved. They will boo like crazy, but nothing like the reception any opposing QB will get when they walk into Cowboys Stadium.
#1 Tom Brady versus the NFL. I get it, this has turned into a farce, but let’s not pretend that both sides will make nice the minute things are settled. I believe Brady ordered the “code red” and asked those guys to deflate the footballs. I also believe that it is the equivalent of a pitcher scuffing a baseball or a hitter corking a bat. It’s cheating, but it’s not the kind of cheating you should lose a quarter of a season for. One game seems right to me.
On a side note, I will say that Brady has a bit of A-Rod in him and that may explain why he is on top of this list. He can’t help himself come off as somewhat unlikeable with his words and actions. If I were a major sports star, I would call up Derek Jeter and ask him for advice on how to handle the off the field stuff. Jeter was a master at handling the press and keeping his private life private.
Anyway, this is a joke that he is considered the biggest villain in sports. And when the NFL Playoffs roll around, and they feature ads with Brady it will prove my point.
Finally, it is worth noting what is not on the list. Players who are accused, or have been convicted of domestic violence, child battery, and other crimes. The NFL itself in the ongoing CTE controversy. Those are the true “villains” of the sports world, and we should all remember that.