|Classic Hockey Hair. Classic fashion crime.|
Time to wrap it up. But before that, a note of thanks to the crew (Spencer, Cathal, Raju, Mrs. JABS, Aneurin, John, Mark and Cathy) that I bounced this off, and contributed their ideas and even some submissions that made the cut. On to the final 10:
10 Soccer hooligans. Antisocial, alcoholic yobs with dental and obesity problems, but just developed up from microbes enough to destroy it for everybody. Other than that, just a fine bunch of blokes that’d blend in with any Raiders crowd.
9 No doubleheaders. An entire generation has grown up unwarmed by the prospect of doing a Ferris Bueller trip to the ballpark for a double dip (the '77 Jays played 16, for cryin' out loud), or actually watching a World Series game to the end. You reap what you sow, Bud.
8 Mullets. Did the mullet lead to hockey, or the other way around?
7 Home runs. At least, the home runs from about the time Jose Canseco came in through the 1998 McGwire-Sosa to Barry Bonds’ 73-homer season.
6 Pete Rose betting on baseball. And refusing to admit it for 15 years. Recently signed “I’m sorry I bet on baseball” autographed balls and got huffy when they ended up in an auction. To make matters worse: From Wikipedia, was "stink-faced" by Rishiki. (Not sure what that means, but it sounds terrible.)
5 ESPN. Nightly dunkathon highlight packages that have helped destroy hoops fundamentals, ESPies that celebrate and recycle those inane in-game celebrations, Chris Berman, chucklehead anchors, Bonds on Bonds AND Stump the Schwab.
4 Personal seat licenses. The ultimate cash grab - here’s your season ticket, after we pay them to sell it to us. If the team stinks, you’re stuck with it. And if they’re good, well, why would you want to get rid of it, ya sap?
|No doubleheaders = No Ferris day at the park.|
3 Pushy sports parents. Yelling at referees, threatening coaches and other parents, dreaming NHL/NBA/etc. dreams and riches while bullying kids who just wanna have fun: this is more than just losing the plot. It’s abuse.
2 Harold Ballard. Squeezed one storied franchise, let another one wither away, went to work on a third: In order, the Leafs, the Jr. A Marlboros, the Tiger-Cats. Transgressions from rascally rapacious (turned off the water when the Beatles came to the Gardens to sell more soda pop) to reptilian (the pedophilia ring that worked under his watch). Not just a local thing, but the most grotesque model of the dinosaur sports owner.
1 Steroids. “Money” is too diffuse to put in here (the lure of luchre is all over this list, actually). Other candidates fail the smell test for various reasons – the list is of the Worst Things to Happen TO Sports, not in sports (if it was the latter, Michael Jordan would be nowhere near it). Drugs -- stimulants, primarily -- have been around sports forever. But 'roids, and EPO, and HGH and the like have transformed the landscape, cast clouds of suspicion and outright rejection over a number of sports and had fatal consequences for users. Worst Thing to Happen to Sports? Absolutely.