NEW YORK, NY – A little over a week ago, Sports Illustrated came out with its 10th annual list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes. Dubbed “The Fortunate 50,“ this list includes a pretty good cross-section of sports, with the exception of hockey… of course. Those guys always get screwed in the paycheck department. Anyway, when it comes to one man’s monetary success (did we mention that the entire list consists of dudes?) there’s always someone coming out on the losing end of the deal, and this list is no exception. Here then are the First 25 of The Fortunate 50 and their counterparts, the Unfortunate 50 Sports Celebs.
1. Floyd Mayweather. Unfortunate: The sport of boxing. The Mayweather/Pacquiao ship sailed and sank somewhere off Costa Brava years ago. Way to go Floyd!
2. LeBron James. Unfortunate: Cleveland. Does anything ever go right for Cleveland? (They did win the NBA Lottery – again – last night – but there’s no definitive #1).
3. Drew Brees. Unfortunate: Miami Dolphins. Instead of throwing a tiny bit of guaranteed money at Brees because they were worried about his injured shoulder, the Fins instead traded for Daunte Culpepper. How’d that work out for them?
4. Kobe Bryant. Unfortunate: Kobe Bryant twitter and facebook followers. Talk about lost souls.
5. Tiger Woods. Unfortunate: Earl Woods. Poor Earl didn’t live quite long enough to properly share in the windfall of his Frankenstein monster.
6. Phil Mickelson. Unfortunate: Right-handed golf clubs. Mickelson does everything right-handed except the one thing he does best.
7. Derrick Rose. Unfortunate: Chicago Bulls fans. The Bulls were a scrappy team this year. Had Rose been healthy they might still be playing and would have posed a real threat to Miami.
8. Peyton Manning. Unfortunate: Tim Tebow. Manning had a great chance to go to a Super Bowl last year with Denver, while Tebow couldn’t get on the field with the lowly Jets. This year Manning gets another crack at it while Timmy can’t even get a full-time gig in the arena league.
9. Alex Rodriguez. Unfortunate: Everyone. Where to begin? Baseball, his steroid-supplying cousin, every woman he’s ever slept with… Only Alex Rodriguez could make Scott Boras and the New York Yankees seem like unfortunates. At least he’s still the best at something.
10. Zack Greinke. Unfortunate: Bill Greinke. Former cricket player Bill Greinke was easily the most famous Greinke on the planet until Zack came along and spoiled it.
11. Dwyane Wade. Unfortunate: Proficient spellers. Wade’s first name has torpedoed more Scripps Spelling Bee contestants than any other word.
12. Kevin Durant. Unfortunate: The people in and around Oklahoma City. No jokes here, just our sincere wishes for a speedy physical and emotional recovery for tornado survivors in Newcastle, Moore, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
13. Johan Santana. Unfortunate: Let’s just move on, shall we?
14. Felix Hernandez. Unfortunate: Felix Hernandez. The Mariners’ offense is so anemic the guy practically has to pitch a shutout every time out if we wants a chance to win.
15. Vincent Jackson. Unfortunate: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. How the hell is Vincent Jackson the 15th top paid athlete in the country?
16. Carmelo Anthony. Unfortunate: Detroit Pistons. Could have gone any number of ways here, but the Pistons truly dropped off the grid the day they drafted Darko Milicic ahead of Anthony in the 2003 NBA draft. Even if they didn’t like Anthony the next two picks after that were a couple of guys named Dwyane Wade (don’t try to spell it) and Chris Bosh.
17. Cliff Lee. Unfortunate: Cliff Lee’s wife. First she had to deal with obnoxious Yankees fans, now her husband pitches in front of sub-human rabble in Philly. When his career goes into decline, Mrs. Lee’s gonna want to head straight for the nearest FBI office for a new identity and relocation assignment.
18. Mario Williams. Unfortunate: Buffalo. Williams was brought in to help the Bills finally get over the hump and make the playoffs. They responded by going 6-10. His ex-fiancée is now saying that he contemplated suicide, which is actually pretty normal for Western New York.
19. Derek Jeter. Unfortunate: Fred “Chicken” Stanley. Until Jeter, Fred Stanley was known as the greatest ladies man shortstop in Yankee history.
20. Joe Mauer. Unfortunate: Cookie. It’s well known that my MTM Cookie’s Corner colleague has a thing for the Twins‘ corn-fed catcher. Alas, they’re both married and apparently Mr. and Mrs. Mauer are expecting twins (you can’t make this stuff up) in August. I’m sure our own Grote2DMax can offer some sound advice on dealing with a dynamic duo.
21. Carl Nicks. Unfortunate: Carl Nicks endorsement opportunities. Apparently he plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is the highest paid guard in the NFL. Who knew?
22. C.C. Sabathia. Unfortunate: Cows used to make Big Macs. The big guy needs fuel to pitch.
23. Prince Fielder. Unfortunate: Vegetables. The guy’s a 275 lb. vegan fer crissakes!
24. Amar’e Stoudemire. Unfortunate: Yo Gabba Gabba. The guy was a natural as a guest on this Nick Jr. staple. He should give up the hoops already and start running the floor with D.J. Lance, Muno, Plex, Foofa, Toodee, and Brobee.
25. Ryan Howard. Unfortunate: Racist Phillies fans. Go ahead and say something to him, I dare ya.
That’s it for this week. If I have the energy, come back next week for the final 25 or I just may run an Ike Davis blooper reel with the Benny Hill yakety sax chase music behind it.
Cam James, this site’s bad boy, is back manana.
P.s… Here’s even more Benny Hill.