We rank 'em. You react. That's how the Daily List rolls.
2/08/2008 01:57:00 PM
Biggest Liars in Sports
Kevin Hart put a lot of effort into his lie.
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
We don't know the truth just yet, but we do know either Roger Clemens or Brian McNamee is lying. Why? Well, they each have reputations to uphold, one a bit more storied -- perhaps literally -- than the other. Sometimes life makes us say strange, untruthful things, and sports is no exception. Sometimes you get caught, sometimes you don't. Here are my top five busted liars in sports...
1. Michael Vick/Bobby Petrino: Vick insisted he wasn't involved with dog fighting...until it turned out he was. Then, after vowing to help the Atlanta Falcons return to respectability, head coach Bobby Petrino bolted for Arkansas in the middle of the night, causing the Falcons to call him everything from a "coward" to a few words that are unprintable even on the internet.
2. Pete Rose: For nearly 15 years, Rose steadfastly maintained he never bet on baseball. That changed in 2004 when Rose finally 'fessed up...conveniently timed to coincide with the release of a new book.
3. Marion Jones: Years after winning three gold medals at the 2000 Olympics, Jones found herself accused of using steroids. She denied it for years, only to tell the truth last fall when faced with jail time.
4. Kevin Hart: After explaining that he'd researched all his options and put a lot of thought into his decision, high school offensive lineman Kevin Hart recently announced that he'd be accepting a football scholarship from Cal-Berkeley. Only problem was Cal had never recruited him. Or any other school, for that matter.
5. Nick Saban: After bouncing from LSU to the Miami Dolphins, Saban repeatedly claimed he had no interest in moving to the University of Alabama. Until he moved the University of Alabama.
Who's your biggest liar in sports? Let us know below...
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com.
Ben Johnson. As a Canadian I was embarassed by his blatant cheating. Regardless of the fact that others may have been enhancing themselves as well, his utter disregard for the way he went about his business was reprehensible. Floyd Landis as well for his absolutely idiotic assertions.
George O'Leary. Days after being hired as Notre Dame coach in 2001, it was discovered that his resume contained two major lies: 1. He did not have a master's degree in education, and 2. He never played college football, despite his resume's claim that he had played three for New Hampshire. The shocking thing about this lie is, "How did he ever expect to get away with it?" The information he was lying about was too public to try to cover up.
Felipe Almonte. Filed a falsified birth certificate so that his son Danny could play Little League for the Bronx Baby Bombers. The Bombers placed third in the 2001 Little League World Series before the lie was uncovered and they were stripped of their victories.
Jeff Kent. During spring training in 2002 the Giants' (now Dodgers') second baseman showed up with a broken wrist. He initially claimed that he broke it when he slipped while washing his pickup. The lie was soon uncovered: He had broken it while popping wheelies on a motorcycle, which was a violation of his contract.
Rafael Palmeiro. A few months after waving his finger in the air for emphasis and proclaiming that he had never used steroids, results of a steroid test were released showing that he was juiced. He claimed that he was telling the truth to Congress, at least to the best of his knowledge, and that he must have unknowingly ingested the steroids when he swallowed vitamins given to him by teammate Miguel Tejada. Tejada denied any involvement. But regardless of who is lying, Palmeiro's stature with fans and teammates was ruined. He was either a liar or a rat--or both.
Dora/Hermann Ratjen. I have to mention this one only because your list referred to Hitler's over-zealous quest for gold in 1936. "Dora" Ratjen, a German competing in the women's high jump, was disqualified when it was discovered that "she" was actually a man. This wasn't one of the modern "ambiguous chromosome" tests but rather an outright fraud/lie. Hermann Ratjen (his real name) claimed that the Nazi Youth Movement forced him to lie about his gender and compete as a woman. Hitler liked that sort of thing.
The media is what forced Nick's hand. He had no intention of leaving until the media butting in. He knew they "Bama" wanted to talk to him, but he told them at end of year. The media heard some scuttle and next thing you know he had to decide, his calling or his fins. He chose his fins... THen after the season ended, you guys reminded him of why he should.
You put some kid ahead of Saban...Hart's lie reflects more on how much we all get into recruiting that a kid felt the need to do this kind of thing...Saban is my top liar...then Rose...then the 'roid users...
That's easy.........the Official who called Rich Karlis' 33 yard attempt "good" during overtime in the 1986 AFC Title Game. That puppy was wide left, and if the upright had been another ten feet higher, there would have been no debate.
Bobby Petrino at #1? Bobby Petrino above Pete Rose and Saban?? Maybe Lang Whitaker should be at #1. For some reason Petrino's leaving a ghetto organization is detestable to the press, who change jobs as often as migrant workers.
Sammy Sosa- Mark Mcguier- Rafe Pal -I never had sexual intercourse with that woman Clinton-under oath to senate committees. They didn't receive any punishment, so I doubt anything will happen in the Clemens- G Busch Jr.-Texas Rangers and White House Balt Colts moving in middle of night to Indy. Will these liars enter the Hall-of-Fame? It's too bad the youth who watch this learn that their heros are liars and cheats. They learn this and the foul language and take that to Little League-Babe Ruth-Pee Wee football-high school-college-then it becomes their way too
Bob Stoops, OU. In recruiting Adrian Peterson Stoops supposedly said if AD went to Texas he'd never win a national championship. UT had one and OU and Peterson didn't. Imagine Young and Peterson on the same field.
To lie about academic degrees to get a job at a university is as dishonest as it comes. It's nothing short of a multi-million dollar slap in the face to those faculty who busted their butts for years EARNING their degrees.
Cheers to Notre Dame for doing the right thing and sending this liar packing.
Hisss to Central Florida for allowing him on campus.
After reading the comments, I'm sure that the biggest liars anywhere are that the American system of education is not broken. (Can we all learn to spell and use the correct grammar of our native language? Please?)
uhhh...Barry Bonds? Palmeiro? Whoever the joker was that commented on Karlis' FG in the 1986 AFC championship game being wide and the official that called it good being the cheater...quit whining, it went in. You should start blaming you defense and your entire crowd for not getting after Denver more during that 90+ yard drive and OT. The crowd went silent and Elway dismantled them.
I've never left a comment on a CNNSI.com post, nor have I felt even remotely compelled to. But today, after reading your top-five list, I just can't help it. I recognize the tidy, convenient nature of lists and rankings, and editorially I can't argue with them. But I can argue with including a high school student amongst the names of grown men who make or made millions with their ruses. Dragging that kid into the mix for even more humiliation is just plain mean. In sports there are hundreds of easy targets - I think it'd be great for you picked from those who are able to drink alcohol, rather than pander to the seemingly insatiable desire to further kick this kid while he is down. I don't know him, and he might be a real jerk, but he's 18. Which is a great reason to lay off. In summation...shame on you Mr. Whittaker for prolonging the nation's obsession with throwing stones at a kid who screwed up – but is a kid just the same. The story is almost dead - let it be, and edit your list as soon as possible.
I just don't understand why sports reporters blast guys like Nick Saban for saying he wasn't interested in a job and then going. Isn't that what almost every candidate for another job in the college football world does? I can name several off the top of my head: Tommy Tuberville, Rich Rodriguez, etc. Why Saban is worse than others is beyond me. I would have put George O'Leary on the list for Resumegate or at least Palmeiro.
"He has weapons of mass destruction."--George Bush
Based on that quote, you need to add to the list John Kerry, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Al Bore and pretty much every democrat and republican in congress, as well as the intelligence services of several nations.
Manfred Ewald - former head of athletics in East Germany. For years he oversaw the systematic doping of the East German athletes, the most notable example being the women's swim team. I don't blame the women on the swim team. Some were only 13 when they were subjected to the doping regime. They were little more than children. East German athletic supremacy was a state sponsored lie.