MARLBORO, NY– Yesterday marked the Chinese New Year and ushered in the Year of the Rooster. With a little assistance from the old dictionary is the word rooster: roost-er (NOUN), a male domestic fowl; a cock. With that is the brainchild of today’s column as we address some of the biggest roosters (ahem!) in sport today and yesterday.
That smarmy, rah-rah crap from head coaches has always gotten under my skin unless your name is Jimmy Johnson and you deliver Super Bowl Championships. The Seattle Seahawks Pete Carroll is a very youthful elder statesman in his profession but he is still a male domestic fowl in my book.
There are dirty players but then there are the likes of the next two individuals that take transgressions to another level. I don’t know who keeps tabs on these things but I’ll bet that Ndamukong Suh and Vontaze Burfict are some of the highest fined players in the NFL. If Suh isn’t taking off opponents helmets and stomping on their groin, there’s Burfict who is head-hunting, bumping officials, and twisting ankles while in the pile of humanity. The two of ’em are douchebags if not cocks.
I could give a list a mile long in a sport where cheapshots and dirty play is a way of life rivalling that of professional wrestling. Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade. What The Little Ball of Hate, Brad Marchand, does while on the ice for my beloved Boston Bruins has gotten him fined once again this past week for his signature slew-footing. He’s also been on the receiving end of a high-low hit or ten that puts opponent’s bodies in peril. He deserves mention here but I still love the guy even if he’s a rooster.
I can’t put into words the disdain I harbor for former defenseman Ulf Samuelsson. This rooster-sucker helped curtail the playing career of Hall of Fame power forward, Cam Neely with a knee-on-knee hit that kept the Bruins from advancing to a Stanley Cup Championship in 1991. Apparently, the hit has had further repercussions as Neely can’t get out of his own way making one befuddling move after another as President of the Bruins.
It’s hard to find male fowl in a game like baseball. I mean there isn’t the opportunity to rub the opponent the wrong way unless you go way out of your way to be a pain in the arse. The name A.J. Pierzynski always seems to be mentioned when broaching the subject and while I don’t know the reasons, I’ll just go by what baseball people report. Jose Bautista bat-flips and Chase Utley take-out slides will always draw the ire of people and they deserve mention for their merits.
There has never been an athlete more deserving of being called a cock than former Detroit Pistons center and Bad Boy, Bill Laimbeer. Hard fouls, flying elbows, and fights were part of his NBA dossier. He was to the Pistons what Danny Ainge was to the Boston Celtics.
Happy Year of the Rooster to all you cocks out there. Don’t be afraid to chime in on the comments with your own sports roosters.