Top 50 Sports Jerks, Part III: Hard to fit 'em all

by | CBSSports.com National Columnist
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Freeman: Top 50 Sports Jerks: Part II | Part I

We are surrounded by jerks. Jerks in politics. Jerks in cars. Jerks in planes. Jerks at sea. Jerky actors who get all the jerky ladies. Jerky writers (hand raises furiously). Jerkity jerks that spill their jerky oil. The jerk that rolls his eyes when you order a venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha with extra caramelized Halle Berry.

But, most of all, there are jerks in sports. There are enough jerks in sports to start a new species of man: sportus homus jerkus.

Save us the tears jerk, you know you'll be playing football this season. (AP)  
Save us the tears jerk, you know you'll be playing football this season. (AP)  
The jerks in Hollywood look at the jerks in sports and say, "Wow, you guys make us look good."

CBSSports.com has dutifully compiled the 50 Biggest All-Time Sports Jerks for years now and in this particular jerk season the list is more diverse than ever. There has never been a more diverse sample of sports jerks than right here, right now.

The jerks in sports are so abundant we named an entire state a jerk.

The only difference between this year and others is we've kept the murderers off the list, so O.J. Simpson and Rae Carruth will have to celebrate their jerkiness alone in the depths of jerk hell. Jayson Williams, Donte' Stallworth, and Leonard Little have their own little special jerk place as well.

Also, George Steinbrenner will receive a temporary jerk pass due to his recent passing.

Otherwise, all manners of jerk remain fully locked and loaded.

There are so many new and deserving jerks on this year's list that Pacman Jones fell out of the Top 50 and into the honorable mention category.

That should just about say it all.

50. LeBron James: He was an ego maniac with that horrid television special and James deserves to be Immortalized In Jerk (IIJ), but we at Jerk Central can't get too irritated about it. There was plenty of blame to go around for that one and James' sycophants as well as ESPN deserve co-jerk honors.

49. Cleveland fans: For putting up this billboard weeks after James signed with Miami. C'mon guys. He left. It hurt. Got it. Roger that. Now time to move on.

48. Sean Payton: Treats media members like dirt then peddles his book to them.

47. Tim Floyd: Eternal, all-time cheat.

46. Pete Carroll: Fiddled while the Trojans burned.

45. Nick Saban: Declared he wasn't coaching Alabama until he was coaching Alabama.

44. The sport of boxing: Only boxing could screw up the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.

43. The state of Arizona: Conductors of the immigrant bigotry express. Choo! Choo!

42. Bill Parcells: Retired, not retired. Retired, not retired. Retired, not retired.

41. Ron Artest: Was once ranked higher after triggering a riot but efforts to redeem himself lower his jerk score.

40. Alexander Rodriguez: Smarmy.

39. Roger Clemens: Investigated for lying before Congress over alleged steroid use.

38. Bill Romanowski: 'Roided up yokel.

Belle, a feared hitter, was a little insane in the ol' membrane. (Getty Images)  
Belle, a feared hitter, was a little insane in the ol' membrane. (Getty Images)  
37. Albert Belle: This remains one of the great sports anecdotes of all time. 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.'"

36. Mixed-martial-art fighter Jon Koppenhaver: Read this (but don't let your kids). Just ... read it.

35. John Calipari: Needs no explanation.

34. Rick Pitino: Too easy.

33. Travis Henry: Populated China.

32. Bobby Fischer: Anti-Semitic chess player.

31. Eugene Robinson: Busted by an undercover cop for soliciting prostitution on eve of Super Bowl. Apparently the pay-per-view on the hotel television was malfunctioning.

30. Ty Cobb: Hardcore bigot and jerk despised by many in baseball.

29. Mike Tyson: Normally higher on the list but in recent years coming off as a nicer guy. Yes, we said nice.

28. Kobe Bryant: Winning has lowered his jerk rating but he still earns a respectable spot.

27. Scott Boras: Enabler.

26. Tommy Lasorda: Had one of the eternal tirades of all time. Lasorda, when he managed the Dodgers, was asked by a journalist in 1978 what he thought of Dave Kingman hitting three home runs against his team. Lasorda responded: "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?'"

25. John Rocker: On the 7 train to jerkdom.

Chamberlain was known for his off-the-court exploits as much as his basketball ones. (Getty Images)  
Chamberlain was known for his off-the-court exploits as much as his basketball ones. (Getty Images)  
24. Wilt Chamberlain: Epic drive and we're not talking about his dunks.

23. Kennesaw Mountain Landis: Refused to integrate baseball.

22. Jose Canseco: Truth teller who de-evolved into bitter jerk.

21. Ben Johnson: 'Roided his way to gold.

20. Reggie Bush: Almost single-handedly tarnished the USC football program.

19. Barry Bonds: Jerk and flaxseed oil go well together.

18. John Daly: Phony.

17. Claude Lemieux: One of the dirtiest players in the history of sports.

16. John McEnroe: Yes, we are serious!

15. Don King: Part of the reason boxing is a broken sport.

14. Dale Earnhardt, Sr.: Even jerks need pit stops.

13. Randy Moss: Plays hard when he wants to play hard.

12. Bobby Knight: Hated the media, now part of the media.

11. Marion Jones: Finally admitted she cheated.

10. Tiger Woods: On some planets, having numerous girlfriends while married is cherished. On Earth, not so much.

9. Bob Irsay: A coward who moved the Colts under the cover of darkness.

8. Ben Roethlisberger: First-time entrant into the jerk scene but well earned.

7. Lawrence Phillips: Scoundrel.

6. Tim Donaghy: The more you hear about him, the worse it gets.

5. Lawrence Taylor: Taylor had previously been turning around his life then, suddenly, a motel beckoned.

4. Tonya Harding: Don't get her angry. You wouldn't like her when she's angry.

3. Pete Rose: Deny, deny, deny until ... it's time to sell a book!

2. Mike Vick: Pooch killer.

1. Brett Favre: Easily the top choice for this year's jerk award show. He's quite possibly the most egotistical and disingenuous athlete who ever lived and that's saying something. And he'll be back playing football again this year and on the jerk list next year.

Just missing out of the Jerkitude 50: Manny Ramirez, Lane Kiffin, Drew Rosenhaus, BALCO, Phil Fulmer, Roy Williams (Captain Insincere), Sergio Garcia (whiner), Brandon Marshall, Chad Ochocinco (vain name change equals jerk bonus), Ray Lewis, Diego Maradona, Art Modell, Pacman Jones, Tony La Russa, Michael Irvin, Latrell Sprewell, Conrad Dobler, Al Davis, Ryan Leaf, Christiano Ronaldo, Todd Bertuzzi, Isiah Thomas, Stephon Marbury, Bill Belichick, Maurice Clarett, Uga V, and Jeremy Shockey.

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