by Angry Ward
DALLAS, TX – Welcome everyone to the grand opening of the Professional Sports Hall of Jerks, located in beautiful Dallas, Texas. This hallowed hall of hateful heroes wouldnâ€™t have been possible without the generous support of billionaire benefactor, and gigantic jerk, Jerry Jones. Just a word of warning, Jerry likes to skimp on architects and contractors, so if the walls of these halls start shaking, head for the hills. Without further ado, hereâ€™s your inaugural class, as voted on by Angry Ward (a bit of a jerk himself).
â€¢ Billy Smith: NY Islanders goaltender during their glory years. Was fond of hacking anyone within 10 feet of the crease, using his shoulder to pick the goal off itâ€™s moorings whenever a shot was close to dribbling in, and drinking his beer on the rocks (which was shown in a Sports Illustrated photo.) Nuff said.
â€¢Butch Johnson: The Dallas Cowboys have had so many jerks on their teams over the years that itâ€™s hard to pick just one. In this case weâ€™ll go with a guy whose Cowboy career high for tds was 5 but still managed to showboat after every catch with his horrid “California Quake” routine.
â€¢Bill Laimbeer: Detroit Pistonsâ€™ whiner and cheap shot artist extraordinaire. The definitive NBA jerk. In retrospect, though he was clearly a despicable character, he was also someone who drew the attention of both fans and opponents the entire game.
â€¢Hector “Macho” Camacho: Boxing lightweight who was heavy on the histrionics. He enjoyed announcing himself with “itâ€™s Macho time” and you just couldnâ€™t wait for that time to end. Reportedly heâ€™s still yelling this phrase out in certain Harlem neighborhoods at three in the morning. Letâ€™s just call him the annoying car alarm of boxers.
â€¢Jimmy Connors: Sure John McEnroe got all of the press for his bad boy behavior but what about Connors? He was every bit as insufferable plus he had that awful Prince Valiant haircut. At least McEnroe sported the Don Stanhouse White-Fright Fro.
â€¢Jose Canseco: Cansecoâ€™s played every role in the Sports Jerk Universe. Rookie a-hole, Jerk, d-bag, mega-d-bag, smug steroid a**bag, annoying-veteran-who-wonâ€™t-go-away, HERO, aging jerk, and currently, insufferable best-selling author.
â€¢Vince McMahon: Maybe he makes the list because I finally caught up with “The Wrestler” but this guy made a fortune off of guys who were willing to sacrifice their bodies and, in some cases, their lives through drugs for some fleeting fame. I preferred this so-called sport when it was on at midnight on Channel 9 and featured such doughy grapplers as Stan “The Man” Stasiak, George “The Animal” Steele, and Chief Jay Strongbow. Funny, McMahon and Bud Selig donâ€™t seem all that different.
â€¢Tonya Harding: A three sport star (figure skating, boxing, and amateur porn) and dreadful at all three. Youâ€™ve got to know your limitations.
â€¢Hardy Almahurst: A horse I bet on at Yonkers Raceway one night. I donâ€™t want to talk about it.
â€¢Every Single Poker Player and Announcer Ever Seen on ESPN: A building collapse tragedy at the World Series of Poker would be like someone telling me that a cruise ship full of Bernie Madoffs just sank.
â€¢Duane Sutter: Yet another New York Islander. God, what was it with that team? Perhaps this museum should have been located in Nassau county. Anyway, the perfect snapshot of this cement head, someone once wrote of Sutter, “Heâ€™s the kind of guy that would crosscheck his own Grandmother and elbow her on the way down.”
â€¢ Martina Hingis: What can we say about the “Swiss Miss?” Well, for starters, she was born in the former Czechoslovakia and not Switzerland. She won five Grand Slam Singles titles but, later in her career, tested positive for cocaine and retired. Prior to that though, she was an arrogant snob who once corrected an announcer after a U.S. Open match that she won the match in ten fewer minutes than he had announced. Nice.
â€¢Dolfan Denny: Worst mascot ever. This reject who routinely appeared at Miami Dolphin football games looked and acted like Jimmy Buffetâ€™s gay uncle. (No offense to homosexual, parrot head pigskin fans everywhere, I just didnâ€™t know how else to describe him. See for yourself.)
â€¢Mark Gastineau: Sorry Jets fans, the guy was a tool.
â€¢Mike Francesa: The quintessential New York blowhard know-it-all, who has little to no patience for dissenting opinions and an annoying delivery to match his demeanor. A perfect description of Francesaâ€™s voice came from New Yorker contributor Nick Paumgarten back in 2004 who wrote this: “Francesa, who is from East Atlantic Beach, on Long Island, speaks with a thick Long Island accent, in a deep-timbred head-cold tone that makes words like “Giambi” and “Isiah” sound as though theyâ€™d been dunked in onion dip.”
Clearly there are so many more that deserve to be first ballot inductees in the PSHOJ: Pete Rose, M.L. Carr, and, Rex Oâ€™Rourkeâ€™s favorite, John Sterling immediately come to mind. So, whoâ€™s getting your vote? Currently in the on-deck circle, Maria at Bat is swinging for the fences tomorrow.