Some athletes fall into the category that you are glad they are on your team because they help you win, but you’d hate them under any other circumstance. A couple qualifications to my list is that you have to be good and actually have won a championship or held a record. Ndamukong Suh falls in this category but he’s on the lions and they stink. The only athletes people remember 20 years down the road are the winners and the hall of famers, everyone else falls in between. This list compiles players from various sports who are considered “dirty” or “cheaters” but they win and that’s all that matters in the end.
The player that spurred this post. I watched the ESPN 30 for 30 on him and his epic 1986 World Cup run. Hell, it wasn’t a run, it was an Argentinian championship. He single footedly carried his team on his back against England in a huge semi final game that must have been unbelievable to witness. The clip below is from the England semi-final game and his two goals are shown.
The first one is the “hand of god” goal in which he uses his hand to knock the ball in the net and the refs missed it. I’m not sure how HE cheated on this goal but that followed him for the rest of his life. The second goal is even crazier with him dribbling past 6 defenders and he said the only way he was able to do it was because “England played the proper way.” A key point to take out of his playing style is this, “During the course of the tournament, Maradona attempted or created more than half of Argentina’s shots, embarked on 90 dribbles some three times more than any other player and was fouled 53 times winning his team twice as many free kicks as any player”. Acting and flopping was his forte. Maradona is considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time and I heard about him last night.
After watching the Bad Boys 30 on 30, I started to understand Bill Laimbeer. He grew up from a wealthy family in a Chicago suburb which has to attribute to his cocky, take no shit attitude. He had the backs of every one of his teammates and hated every other player out there. He played to win and ended up taking a Pistons team, led by Isiah, to 2 championships in 89′ and 90′. It was his physical nature that broke the other team down emotionally where they stopped caring about winning, and only cared about fighting Laimbeer. He was a real bad ass who played as hard as he could and every fan and opposing player hated him. Read Legend Larry’s thoughts on Laimbeer in an interview with Bill Simmons:
Bill Simmons: You left the bad blood on the court for the most part but not with Laimbeer? You never really ever liked Laimbeer in any social situation.
Larry Bird: No, It’s because he’s a dirty player. He had to do what he had to do and I understand that but take Ricky Mahorn, he’d hit you and all that but he’d hit you and you’d know you were going to get hit, but he wasn’t trying to maim you. Bill tried to hurt you. He was one of the guys you’d shoot jumpers and he’d try to slide his foot underneath your ankles so you’d twist your ankle. Watch any of our old games and Parrish was always twisting his ankle against the Pistons. So one time I shot a jumper and Laimbeer did it to me and I stepped on his foot, I stepped on it high and didn’t twist my ankle. A quarter or two later he shot the jumper and I slid my foot under and that was the last time he ever did it. He had to play the way he had to play and we all understood that but if you carry too far and carry it over the line, you got to protect yourself.
A notorious and controversial figure in baseball. When Mark McGwire shattered Roger Maris’ home run record of 61 in 1998 by hitting 70, the world was turned on its head. Maris’ record had stood for 40 years and Mark McGwire explodes it by 9 homers. 3 years later, a new champion emerged. Barry Bonds hits 73 dingers at the age of 36 in 2001. Where did this come from?
Take a second to think about how many home runs 73 is. The all-time home run record, also held by Bonds, is 762. Barry hit almost 10% of his homers in one season of his illustrious 22 year career. This next table shows why Barry Bonds is the most hated record holder in all of sports…he roided up. 2001 is the opposite size of his shriveled up dick. Numbers don’t lie Barry. People never forget.
Bruce Bowen is a prime example of an athlete who can do nothing more than be dirty and play defense. If you took a magical season where Bruce put up his best totals over a 13 year career he’d average 8.2 pts, 3.9 rebs, 1.6 assts, 1.4 steals, and can’t shoot better than 65% from the line. Lebron almost averages those numbers in a quarter.
So how does someone who is remarkably average stay in the league for as long as he did while managing to win 3 titles with the Spurs? For one he gets selected to 8 All-NBA 1st and 2nd defensive teams. He was a decent 3 point shooter hitting around 40% for his career. And finally, he’s fucking dirty. Ever watch the jump kick before?
Looks like it’s a Liu Kang jump kick from across the room. Or how about these cheap moves on Vince Carter. It’s like watching a mediocre talent take his game to the next level by mastering the rules and how to bend them.