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Crash and Burn - Sports Players’ Downfalls

Tiger Woods has every reason to be worried Tiger Woods has every reason to be worried

They are at the top of their game and the top of the world - but it’s not enough. Sports players can make more money, receive more adulation, and fall harder than most other people on the planet . When they go down, the go down hard.

A hydroponics garden requires careful attention to every detail, and depends on a carefully balanced environment to be healthy and strong. One little carelessness, and the whole garden can be destroyed! So it is in the world of big celebrity, and who are more well known and looked up to than the best of the best in the world of sports? These players got too complacent and their actions and careless disregard ruined their careers.

Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

Let’s take a road trip back in time… to 1919. Shoeless Joe Jackson was at the top of his game, and the White Sox were favored to win the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. When the Sox lost in a totally unexpected upset, Jackson and seven of his teammates were accused of having thrown the game. Joe admitted to having been bribed to muff catches and throw short - and that’s why the player with the third highest batting career average is banned from the baseball Hall of Fame. (Jackson’s family is trying to have this decision reversed.)

Charlie Hustle

Switch hitter Pete Rose, who played for and managed the Cincinnati Reds in the eighties, was bitten by the gambling bug. Although he won three World Series rings, two Gold Gloves, three batting titles and was named MVP and Rookie of the Year, it wasn’t enough for Rose, who bet on (and possibly, against) his team more than once (a big no-no for a manager) - and then followed up with tax evasion, for which he served time.

Juiced Up

Rafael Palmeiro played Major League Baseball for nearly twenty years, rising to fame and becoming one of only four players to ever get 500 home runs and 3,000 hits. In 2005, he tested positive for steroids - only months after standing in front of a Congressional committee and swearing under oath that he never ‘juiced’. Although Palmeiro staunchly claimed to the bitter end that if he ‘never knowingly’ took steroids, his career was effectively over.

Sexed Up

No story on the downfall of sports figures would be complete without the mention of Tiger Woods and his downfall. He, too, was at the top of his game when his peccadilloes caught up with him and his then wife reportedly attacked him with his own golf club. What else is there to say about Tiger? His comeback from disgrace was well orchestrated, but he never returned to the heights in the game of golf that he reached before the scandal became public.

Dog Eat Dog

Michael Vick was the first African American to be picked first in an NFL draft when he was promptly snapped up by the Atlanta Falcons. He led the team to playoffs twice, and ranks as second among quarterbacks for career rushing yards. Vick let fans down and caused the Falcon’s to first attempt to trade, then finally to release him when he was found guilty of running a five year dog fighting ring. Upon release from prison, Vick managed to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles, despite testing positive for drugs at one point. He is booed at many games when he enters the field.

Moral of the story: gamble on the game or use steroids, you’re out - but rampant animal abuse is a forgivable offense - as long as you’re a star quarterback!

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Shoeless Joe Jackson museum in Greenville, South Carolina
Last modified on Friday, 21 September 2012 17:17

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