Analysts and color commentators are essential to almost any competition. Realistically, most fans don't know exactly what's going on at any given second during a game and fun facts about players, teams, stats and record make a viewing experience more enjoyable. On top of all that, watching an event with no sound other than refs barking calls and players insulting each other would be boring.
Sportscasters are generally retired athletes, but on occasion there is the odd one who just did his or her homework and knows tons about sports. Some of the female sports reporters are only thought of as eye-candy by viewers, but most are actually very well-informed.What analysts and commentators are not always, however, is etiquette specialists. They may trade pleasantries over the course of a broadcast, but they are meant to be jovial, fun and interesting; manners sometimes take a backseat role.
Most broadcasts go off without a hitch. Everybody on screen throws out some analysis, they share a few laughs and the viewer ends up slightly more entertained and informed than they were a couple of hours before. But every now and again, a sportscaster steps out from behind the scenes and takes center stage. This is usually not a good thing.
If fans are focused more on an analyst than on the game and the players, it is because that analyst did something wrong and is now in trouble. From someone who decided to take out their bad day on a tow truck employee to someone who just wanted a fun night with some hookers, here is our countdown of the top sixteen disgraced sportscasters.
16 Rob Parker
Rob Parker has an impressive resume, which includes a Master's degree from Columbia and experience in print, on the radio and on television. He has mostly been known as a knowledgeable journalist, but has infuriated fans and others in the business a few times, with none being as notorious as his comments on quarterback Robert Griffin III while working for ESPN.
15 Warren Sapp
One of the best defensive tackles of his era and probably of all time, Warren Sapp found himself broke just a couple of years after his retirement from pro football. He failed to pay taxes and alimony for some time and has had a world of financial troubles about which one could write a book.
14 Steve Lyons
13 Andy Gray and Richard Keys
So far we've heard about a couple of men accused of racism and a former star who liked prostitutes. Well, now it's time for some sexism. Gray and Keys believed that their microphones were off during part of a broadcast in 2011 and they decided to poke fun at a female referee. Their friendly banter was deemed unprofessional and, ultimately, the two were fired from Sky Sports. Both have returned to broadcasting, but with a significant blemish on their records.
12 Hugh Douglas
11 Jimmy Snyder
Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder was an old gent back in 1988 and probably thought his comments would be well received and considered intellectual. Nothing could have been further from the truth. He claimed that black people were naturally better athletes than whites and other races because of selective breeding going back to the days of slavery. Some athletes and colleagues defended him, saying that he was not a racist, but did , on occasion, make comments about issues of which he was ignorant. In 1991, he stated that if blacks took over coaching jobs it would be the end of white people in football.
10 Craig James
9 Britt McHenry
Britt McHenry has played the role of eye candy for Fox and ESPN in the past few years. She's a gifted interviewer and one of the best looking women in the business. Earlier this year, however, a video surfaced on the internet that looked and sounded more like a high school bullying session than a conversation between two adults. McHenry's car had been impounded and she took her frustration out on the towing company lot attendant, calling her every manner of cruel name, insulting her job and looks.
8 Don Imus
7 Jason Whitlock
A college football player who excelled in journalism at Ball State University, Jason Whitlock has over 20 years of sports reporting experience. He also has plenty of experience offending people. In his defense, he's a funny guy and there is nothing wrong with wanting to make people laugh. But at the same time, he made an inappropriate joke on Twitter back in 2012 after NBA player Jeremy Lin scored 38 points. He said "some lucky lady in NYC is gonna couple inches of pain tonight." This is a racist jab at Lin based on a manhood stereotype. He thought it would be funny, but it just ended up offending people. He later issued one of the least sincere non-apologies in sports history.
6 Damian Goddard
Number seven takes us to Canada, for a story of a sportscaster who tweeted against same-sex marriage a few years ago. Whether or not Damian Goddard was really "disgraced" back in 2011 is somewhat subjective and really depends where you stand on religion. He's a Catholic and, as such, tweeted his opposition to NHL player Sean Avery (now retired) who was outspoken in his support for gay marriage. Agent Todd Reynolds had indicated that he was not in support of gay marriage and Goddard, somewhat unnecessarily threw his two cents onto the internet, tweeting "I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage."
5 Don Tollefson
By his own admission, Don Tollefson has suffered from addiction from an early age. He has claimed that he started drinking heavily in his youth and did not stop until he was in his 60s. With that said, he was found guilty earlier this year of theft by deception and violating charity regulations. In short, he stole and committed fraud. He basically sold out of town travel packages for sporting events that were never delivered and then failed to turn the money earned over to the charity he was trying to support.
During his trial, it became clear that Tollefson was an emotional and mental wreck. He had abused alcohol and prescription medication for years and tried to do too much, ultimately costing him part of his reputation and a lot of money on his part, and that of the causes for which he was supposedly raising funds.
4 Marv Albert
This is a hard case to make because Marv Albert is one of those names that is so big in the sports world that it is hard to criticize him at all. He's covered everything, from Super Bowls to Stanley Cups. With that said, he sexually assaulted two women. It was back almost twenty years ago, but he was accused of unwanted biting and some very aggressive behavior and pleaded guilty to an assault charge, receiving a suspended sentence instead of prison time.
3 Marvell Scott
2 Stuart Hall
1 Vince Marinello
One of the most well-known sportscasters in the New Orleans area, Vince Marinello was a local celebrity until he murdered his ex-wife back in 2006. He shot her twice in the head and did a poor job covering it up. His vehicle was seen on camera and found later at his home, his alibi was basically transparent, and police found a "to-do" list related to the murder, along with records of him purchasing the type of bullets used for the murder.
After a brief trial, he was found guilty and is now serving a life sentence.
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