Posted: Friday July 1, 2005 12:51PM; Updated: Friday July 1, 2005 2:47PM
Top 15 Hotheads
1. Ty Cobb
Gun-toting cuss battled players, management, umpires, fans, even police ... he once jumped into the stands to punch and kick a heckler. The fan was unable to fight back because he had only one hand. Cobb's manager in Detroit had to shift him from center to right because Cobb feuded with his team's left fielder. In 1921 the Georgia Peach took on umpire Billy Evans under the grandstand after Cobb took issue with two close out calls at the plate.
2. Albert Belle
Throwing a baseball at a fan? Check. Beaning a Sports Illustrated photographer? Done it. Giving diminutive second baseman Fernando Vina a forearm shiver? Sure. Berating NBC reporter Hannah Storm? You betcha. Using your Ford Explorer to try to run down a group of teenagers who egged your house? Just an ordinary Halloween in the Belle household. Was there any act of aggression Angry Albert didn't master?
3. Mike Tyson
Once the most feared boxer on the planet, Tyson is now among the most vilified athletes in the world. The former champ is a convicted rapist. His ear-chomping assault on Evander Holyfield remains one of the most heinous acts of hot-headedness ever captured on film. And he once threatened to eat Lennox Lewis' children. Though Iron Mike chased down and beat an autograph seeker in 2003, his angry act looked rusty in his recent loss to Kevin McBride.
4. Bobby Knight
The General lost his job at Indiana after years of embarrassing tirades. A basketball despot, he once fought with a cop, tossed a chair across the court, was caught on tape grabbing a player by the throat and was later accused of branding soiled toilet tissue in front of his team.
He found redemption at Texas Tech, but proved he hadn't softened his ways by engaging in what must have been the most heated salad bar debate in history.
5. Ron Artest
Even before he incited last November's Pistons-Pacers brawl, Artest was considered a loose cannon. Nicknamed the "Beast" by teammates because of his intensity, the Pacers forward has been suspended more than 10 times and ordered to undergo anger-management therapy for threatening a former girlfriend. He was suspended for the season after the Michigan melee, but you have to admire his work ethic. Just days after his involuntary sabbatical began he appeared on the Today show to hawk a rap album.
6. Mike Ditka
Big and intense, "Da Coach" was defined by his sideline blowups. The flat-topped throwback collared his quarterbacks, dressed down opponents, baited refs and yelled at fans. Yet he was so beloved in Chicago that Bears owner Mike McCaskey had to hire bodyguards after firing him. Ditka was at cigar-chomping best when he played himself in this year's Kicking & Screaming.
7. Billy Martin
His near fight with Reggie Jackson in the Fenway Park dugout was memorable, but hardly a one-time blowup. A carouser as a player and unrepentant as a manager, he was instrumental in getting George Brett to go ballistic in the Pine Tar Incident. Martin also fought two team traveling secretaries, two of his own pitchers, and a marshmallow salesman. Though he is one of the few men to go toe-to-toe with George Steinbrenner, the "Boss" hired and fired Martin five times.
8. Ilie Nastase
He taught John McEnroe how to be rude, insulting and boorish. "Nasty" Nastase spit, he cursed, he yelled, he once assaulted a journalist. At the 1982 Dutch Open, upset over a call, Natase grabbed a vendor's load of ice cream cones and chucked them at the linesman -- nailing some fans who were in the way. Nastase teamed up with fellow bad boy Jimmy Connors for 12 doubles matches one year. They won five and were disqualified in the other seven.
9. Dennis Rodman
Few athletes successfully segue from kicking a cameraman in the groin or head-butting a referee to wearing a white wedding dress, but even among angry athletes Rodman is in a class of his own. His mercurial personality is matched only by the chameleon-like changes of his hair color. Yet perhaps Rodman's greatest affront to fans was not on the court but rather at the Cineplex when he starred in the action flick Double Team.
10. Dale Earnhardt
Rival drivers who hacked off "The Intimidator" had to watch their backs. Tough and uncompromising, Earnhardt would chase after the ingrates and spin them out. He also flipped off many a driver on his way past them and was never shy about swapping paint with anyone. This spring Junior took heat from his NASCAR compatriots for his bump and draft maneuvers. Like father, like son.
11. Charles Barkley
Today he is the large jovial man on TNT broadcasts, but there was a time when Charles Barkley was not as civilized as he seemed during the Right Guard commercials. Six games into his NBA career he was suspended for fighting. In 1991 he spit on an 8-year-old by accident as he was aiming for a heckler. A year later at the Olympics he elbowed an Angolan player who appeared to weigh no more than Lindsay Lohan. Charles topped off his playing career by throwing a fan through a plate-glass window in 1997. Bravo!
12. Vernon Maxwell
Before Ron Artest wreaked havoc in the NBA, there was "Mad Max." In 1995 Maxwell jumped into the stands in Portland and punched a heckler. Several teammates claimed the sharpshooter was literally "crazy." During the 1994 championship run with the Houston Rockets Maxwell was tossed from five games and accrued 20 technical fouls. He also served time for a pot possession conviction and was fined $1,500 for carrying a concealed weapon in a Luby's Cafeteria parking lot.
13. Earl Weaver
Among umpires, the fiery Baltimore Orioles manager was one of the most hated skippers in the game. The Hall of Famer's spit-spewing diatribes, which often took place just inches from an ump's face, once prompted an umpire to call him a "militant midget."
14. Carl Everett
Everett hasn't made many friends during his 13 years in the major leagues. During a 2000 tirade Everett hit an umpire on the head with his helmet. In the July issue of Maxim, Everett continued to do damage with his mouth, going off on gays, dinosaurs and Wrigley Field. It's no wonder this model citizen has played for seven different teams.
15. Tommy Bolt
In the genteel world of golf, "Terrible" Tommy Bolt was like a heckler on the 18th green. He was volatile, could curse a blue streak and was so adept at throwing his clubs that he even criticized his fellow pros for not tossing them correctly. Unlike Happy Gilmore, Bolt would have kicked Bob Barker's butt.