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Hartselle Enquirer

My top 10 list of sports biggest whiners

By Staff
Lindsay Vaught, Guest Columnist
Sports, it seems, is full of whiners. Maybe its because athletes are so pampered. I remember when I was in college, the athletes were told where to live, eat, study, and hang out.
In the pros everything is provided for them from transportation (first class of course) to hotel rooms, to their food. So when events on the field don't go right it's second nature for them to complain.
This list was pretty easy to put together considering the constant complaining we hear on everything from referees to the media. My final list:
10. Rick Neuheisel, the former University of Washington football coach is relatively new to my list.
He committed an unforgivable sin in the eyes of the NCAA. Not wife beating or dealing drugs but gambling. He then begged for his job back claiming an email lead him to believe it was ok to bet $5,000 in an office pool on the NCAA basketball tournament in which he won $20,000.
I mean come on Rick you expect us to believe that. It was a lame excuse and AD Barbara Hedges fired him anyway but at least he was a good sports bettor.
9. Tiger Woods looks for an excuse every time he hits a bad shot.
A fairway iron misses the green, an easy putt slides by the cup, or he hooks a drive and it goes into the rough, then it's because a bird chirped, a car horn blew, or a spectator coughed.
In the recent US OPEN Tiger blamed a bad shot on a whistle. Never mind that he was trailing by 5 strokes.
8. Jim Harrick, the former Georgia basketball coach thought he would skate by when his son took the fall and was fired for academic fraud and providing extra benefits to players.
He lied in an interview on national television, denied he knew about the improprieties, and complained his son was being made a scapegoat. Ultimately he resigned in disgrace.
7. Pat Dye, while head football coach at Auburn, couldn't stand for anyone to question his coaching decisions.
He once derided a fan on a call-in show who had the nerve to ask why the offense was so bad.
Dye shot back asking the caller if he had ever played quarterback in the SEC. Of course the answer was no.
In Dye's mind if a fan didn't play football in the SEC they shouldn't question coaches.
I wonder if that extends to buying season tickets and contributing to the university that still pays him a salary.
6. Jessie Jackson isn't a sports figure but he injected himself into the Alabama coaching situation when he happened to be in Birmingham during the search process for the next coach at Alabama.
He questioned the hiring process at The University of Alabama, organized a march in Montgomery that fizzled for lack of interest, and complained publicly about the lack of black head coaches in the SEC.
Ultimately he was outflanked by Mal Moore when Mike Shula was quickly announced as head coach on May 9.
5. Red Sox fans are long suffering but they are also habitual complainers.
They get depressed thinking about Bill Buckner allowing a ground ball to roll between his legs that would cost Boston the 1986 World Series, or the Yankees Bucky Dent hitting a lucky home run in a one game divisional playoff in 1978, or a great catch by Cincinnati's Caesar Geronimo in the 1975 World Series.
The fact is they lost so accept it.
4. Mike Price jumped into my top ten when he filed a $20 million lawsuit against SI to try to rebuild his tarnished reputation.
The funny thing is Price admitted to being drunk in public, patronizing a strip club, and having a woman whom he didn't know in his hotel room the next morning.
These alone were enough the get him fired for embarrassing the university in violation of the conduct clause in his contract.
He pleaded for his job before being fired. Price then attended and addressed a news conference he wasn't invited to and has now sent a letter to Tide players and their parents saying how sorry he is.
3. Doug Franz and Art Clarkson take ref bashing to a new level on the af2 Vipers radio network.
They never miss a bad ball spot that costs the Vipers a yard or refs marking off ten yards for an offside penalty.
"These guys don't have a clue" is Clarkson's favorite line. Franz takes a more educated approach, pointing out that the refs were out of position or blames it on confusing rules drawn up by some suits sitting around a conference table.
2. Bobby Cox comes in a close second.
He has a well-earned reputation for complaining to umpires about balls and strikes. So far this season Cox has been ejected six times.
Five for arguing balls and strikes.
Cox wants every close pitch and if he doesn't get it he whips off the cap and yells expletives at umpires.
The Braves have won 11 division titles with Cox, a sure Hall of Fame manager, whining. It works, his pitchers have gotten away with expanding the strike zone for years.
1. Pete Rose easily tops this list.
Fourteen years after accepting a lifetime ban from baseball for alleged betting on games while a player and manager, he still denies gambling.
Instead of coming clean, accepting responsibility, and seeking forgiveness from the baseball public he instead complains about treatment from the commissioner.
Card shows, talk radio, and self-promotion tours are where you will find the all-time hits leader.
He should be in the Hall of Fame but not the dugout.

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