The jerks are back.
The CBSSports.com list of the annual Top 50 Sports Jerks of All Time was such a hit last year, we brought it back at great risk of infecting the world with the highly communicable disease known as jerk-itus.
|Sorry to disappoint you, O.J., but you don't make the list this year. (Getty Images)|
You get your penicillin ready.
To the gamblers, degenerates, cheap-shot artists, performance-enhancers, perverts, Peeping Toms, dogfighters, girlfriend stealers, egoists, nudists, thugs, videographers, spit connoisseurs, stripper lovers and too-sexy-for-your-bad-selves pretty boys, we salute you, jerks all.
Welcome to the sordid, the corrupt, the morbid and the psycho. A la-la land where Bobby Knight is legend, Tim Donaghy head of the Gambling Prevention Department, Bill Belichick the president of Homeland Security, Barry Bonds the president, Ron Artest the vice admiral of fan relations, Mike Vick head of animal control, Robert Irsay the minister of finance and Ty Cobb the secretary of state.
Some of the names have changed from last year's jerk jubilee, so in certain ways this is a whole new level of jerkiness. We removed two murderers -- one convicted, one not -- in Rae Carruth and the reigning top jerk, O.J. "Pass the Steak Knife" Simpson. Why? If you're a murderer, well, you're probably a jerk. Duh.
Two new rules. First, we must have a new jerk each year. Jerks are not like fine wine. They get jerkier with age.
Second, this is all in jest, so have some damn fun.
The scoring system stays the same with each candidate receiving a specific jerkitude score of one to five, with one being your garden variety jerk like, oh, I don't know -- me -- and five being the evil love spawn of Roger Clemens and Tonya Harding.
The Top 50 Sports Jerks of All Time is back and jerkier than ever.
May the jerk be with you.
50. Albert Belle: This remains one of the best written descriptions of pure jerkiness ever conceived. It comes from former New York Times baseball writer Buster Olney: "It was a given in baseball circles that Albert Belle was nuts. ... The Indians billed him $10,000 a year for the damage he caused in clubhouses on the road and at home, and tolerated his behavior only because he was an awesome slugger. ... He slurped coffee constantly and seemed to be on a perpetual caffeinated frenzy. Few escaped his anger -- on some days he would destroy the postgame buffet ... launching plates into the shower ... after one poor at-bat against Boston, he retreated to the visitor's clubhouse and took a bat to teammate Kenny Lofton's boom box. Belle preferred to have the clubhouse cold, below 60 degrees, and when one chilly teammate turned up the heat, Belle walked over, turned down the thermostat and smashed it with his bat. His nickname, thereafter, was 'Mr. Freeze.'"
Beautiful. Jerk level: 1.0
49. Art Modell: Cleveland Browns fans feel Modell's jerkiness is vastly undervalued. Jerk level: 1.1
48. Isiah Thomas: Sexual harasser? Bad enough. Coached like poo-poo? Almost worse. Don't touch your jerk score inappropriately, Mr. Thomas: 1.2.
47. Bill Parcells: Legendary bully who has "retired" 45 times and traded Jason Taylor. Jerk score: 1.3. Let's see you make Dancing with the Stars, Parcells!
|Hey John, turn down the jerkiness! (Getty Images)|
45. Ray Lewis: Led police astray in a murder investigation. Jerk score: 2.
44. The federal government: Selective prosecution in the baseball steroid mess. Hope this doesn't mean I'll now be anal-probed at all airport security checkpoints. Special Uncle Sam abuse-of-power bonus. Jerk score: 2.
43. Diego Maradona: As a player was often more full of himself than Brett Favre. El jerko. Score: 2.
42. Bill Romanowski: Spit and polish your jerk score of 2.
41. Jeremy Foley: Stone, cold bully. Special bully bonus. Jerk score: 2.
40. Lawrence Taylor: Dropped 31 spots from last year because he's massively cleaned up his life. Still this quote lands him in Jerkville. When once asked what he could do better than any other outside linebacker in history, Taylor replied, "Drink." Jerk level: 2.1.
39. Bobby Fischer: Anti-Semitic chess player. Jerk level: 2.2.
38. Scott Boras: The Destroyer. Jerk score: 2.5.
37. Randall Simon: Hit a woman over the head with a baseball bat who was racing as a sausage. What the hell, jerky boy? Jerk score: 2.7.
|Don't let Don King's smile or patriotism confuse you. (Getty Images)|
35. Wilt Chamberlain: Slept with the population of Toronto. Special slut bonus. Jerk score: 2.7.
34. Dale Earnhardt Sr.: Punk on wheels. Jerk score: 2.8.
33. Totally, completely, psychotically overboard fans of Barbaro: It ... was ... just ... a ... horse. Loss-of-perspective bonus. Jerk score: 2.8.
32. Claude Lemieux: Arguably one of the top three dirtiest players in the history of sports. Jerk score: 2.8.
31. (tie) Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick: Here at Jerk Central, we do not discriminate. Jerks come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Stewart and Patrick (she's a new entry and makes a respectable debut) have made a habit of getting into beefs with other drivers. Co-jerk level of 2.9
29. Rasheed Wallace: Mr. Technical Foul. Jerk score: 2.9
28. Terrell Owens: Twenty-five million reasons why he makes the Jerk 50. However, he will be much lower on the jerk list next year after coming to the aid of a reporter who was struck by a car. Very un-jerk-like, T.O. Jerk score: 2.92
27. Stephon Marbury: A married father who had sex with a Knicks intern in the back of a truck after a night out at a strip club. Who says all the romantics are gone? Jerk score: 2.99
26. Kennesaw Mountain Landis: Refused to integrate baseball as commissioner. Jackie Robinson laughs at your jerkiness. Score: 3.
25. Tommy Lasorda: Had one of the great tirades in baseball history and it's so good it's worth re-running here. Lasorda, in May 1978, was asked by a reporter what he thought of Dave Kingman hitting three homers against the Dodgers. Lasorda was not happy with the question:
"What's my opinion of Kingman's performance!? What the f--- do you think is my opinion of it? I think it was f------ horse s---! Put that in, I don't f------ care. Opinion of his performance? Jesus Christ, he beat us with three f------ home runs! What the f--- do you mean, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' How could you ask me a question like that, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' Jesus Christ, he hit three home runs! Jesus Christ! I'm f------ pissed off to lose the f------ game. And you ask me my opinion of his performance! Jesus Christ. That's a tough question to ask me, isn't it? 'What is my opinion of his performance?'"
Mucho foul language bonus. Bleeping jerk score of 3.
|Tyson and Maradona, a match made in jerk heaven. (Getty Images)|
Another: "I guess I'm gonna fade into Bolivian."
Another: "I can sell out Madison Square Garden masturbating."
Another was, speaking to reporters: "I'm on the Zoloft (an antidepressant) to keep from killing y'all."
And the best ever during a post-fight interview: "Lennox Lewis, I'm coming for you, man. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah!"
A well-earned jerk score of 3.
23. Ron Artest: Special starting-a-riot bonus. Jerk score: 3.1.
22. Tonya Harding: Dropped 18 spots because others stole her jerk glory this year. Still a nicely toasted score of 3.1. Please feel free to ask your goons to attack Doyel.
21. Ben Johnson: Muscled-up phony. Jerk score: 3.1.
20. Pacman Jones: Visited a strip club before meeting with the commissioner. Probably could be rated higher, but we're feeling generous. Jerk score: 3.3.
19. Latrell Sprewell: Choker. Cough, gasp, 3.5 score.
18. John Rocker: No longer allowed on the New York subway system. Jerk score: 3.5
17. Ko-Me Bryant: Wanted out of L.A., wanted in, wanted out, wanted in, wanted out, wanted in. Cheat-on-your-wife bonus. Jerk score: 3.7.
16. Barry Bonds: Snarly, snarky and smarmy. The jerk trifecta: 3.85.
15. Reggie Jackson: Loses one spot to Jones but will always have a special place in the Jerk Hall of Fame for being one of the most petulant and nasty athletes ever. Jerk score: 4.
|That's right, Marion, No. 14. (Getty Images)|
13. Mark McGwire: You can hide from the jerk but the jerk will always find you. Jerk score: 4.1.
12. Manny Ramirez: Sometimes makes a traveshamockery out of the game. Just jerky being jerky. Score: 4.2
11. Reggie Bush: Could possibly land the entire USC program in hot water. Jerk score: 4.3.
10. Todd Bertuzzi: Assaulted Steve Moore, causing fractured vertebrae in his neck, a nasty concussion and ligament damage, among other injuries. Cheap-shot artist. Score: 4.5.
9. Robert Irsay: Packed up the Baltimore Colts and moved them under the cover of darkness. All-time coward move, but jerk level dropping since owners are now moving teams more than they change underwear. A still-respectable score of 4.6.
8. Bob Knight: Puts the 'J' in jerk. Jerkitude score: 4.7 news conference temper tantrums.
7. Brett Favre: A hefty I'm-bigger-than-the-game jerk bonus. Score: 4.8.
6. Pete Rose: Otherwise known as Mr. Terrific. Thinks Tim Donaghy is a good guy. Jerk score: 4.8
5. John Daly: Blamed Butch Harmon for his problems. All of them. The many, numerous problems. Blaming others for your own screwups is a key part of the jerk genome. One of the more underrated, epic jerks in sports history. Here's your jerk score baptized in gravy, Big John: 4.9.
4. Ty Cobb: Remains one of the worst jerks to ever wear an athletic uniform -- and that's saying something. Jerk score: 4.98.
3. Tim Donaghy: Referee who took cash payoffs from gamblers. Pete Rose is jealous of your jerkiness. Score: 4.99.
2. Mike Vick: May one day earn his rightful place as king of all sports jerks, but right now is being careful with the soap. Jailhouse rock score: 5.
|The Rocket takes the cake with all his extra credit. (Getty Images)|
Just missing out of the Jerkitude 50: Any absentee father; soccer hooligans; Tim Hardaway (said he hates gays); Chad Johnson; Nick Saban; Curt Schilling; Jose Canseco (rat); Eric Mangini (ditto); Maurice Clarett; Shawn Kemp; Dennis Rodman; Ryan Leaf; Rickey Henderson (Rickey Henderson says Ricky Henderson isn't a jerk); Dave Kingman; Kenny Rogers; Alex Rodriguez; Babe Ruth; Eugene Robinson; Ricky Williams; Shaquille O'Neal (tell me how my jerk tastes); Uga V (Georgia Bulldog mascot that once tried to bite a rival Auburn player); Benny Silman (Arizona State point shaver); Randy Moss; Lawrence Phillips (woman beater); Phil Fulmer; Jeremy Shockey (overrated and mouthy); and Conrad Dobler,
The list will return next year and if any jerk was missed, post a note on my FreeStyle blog.
One last thing. Many of you will undoubtedly ask: Why in the hell isn't Belichick on the list?
Belichick is on 10-year jerk parole. You see, we here at The Jerk HQ in the Demilitarized Jerk Zone deep inside the jerk bunker do not condone Belichick mounting videocams inside the jock straps of his players. Spying is not cool. However, spying like that has been done for years, maybe decades. It's going on as we speak. Belichick is just the one who got caught. Again, this is not condoning, let's make that clear. This is putting things in perspective because Belichick is one of a hundred NFL secret cinematographers.
So we will monitor the jerk news wire and work the jerk sources and if Belichick pulls another Stanley Kubrick, we'll jerk slap him so fast he'll think he's not Bill Belichick but Bill Cosby.
And always remember: Ask not what your jerk can do for you, ask what you can do for your jerk.