It might be a bit unfair to expect grown men to, once a week, psych themselves into a frenzy, pound on each other like they're going to war, try to dominate another person for 60 solid minutes, and then shower, dress nicely and act like Mr. Rogers. Unfortunately for the hundreds of guys who don the gear of an NFL player on bright, cool fall Sundays, that's exactly what we expect.
If pro football players were paid like, say, coal miners, we may extend them a break--a courtesy, if you will. We might allow for the table manners of a farm animal, the sensibilities of a longshoreman and the family life of a reality TV star. But these athletes are paid well, far beyond the income of the average fan that watches them, while devouring the products which the NFL's sponsors pay huge dollars to place in front of their faces. Thus deeply invested, it is our option to expect these gridiron warriors to be examples to our kids by staying off drugs, not driving with a blood alcohol level 20X the legal limit, and especially not knocking their wife or kids around their spacious ranch with the four car garage.
Here are 15 current and recent NFL players who are fortunate to only be called morons.
15 15. Justin Cox: Bringing his Tools to the NFL
14 14. Jay Cutler: Arrogance Above and Beyond the Call
13 13. Sheldon Richardson: A Fool and his Money
12 12. Tom Brady: Just Shut Up
Yeah, yeah. You've won four Super Bowls. You're a multi-millionaire. You have great hair. You married a model. You're still one of the best QBs in the game after 15 seasons. We're tired of hearing it. Hearing what? ANYTHING.
11 11. Michael Vick: Open a Savings Account
10 10. Aldon Smith: Throwing it All Away
The 49ers, for the better part of four seasons, were blessed with two of the most dominant defensive players in the league. They were both strong, savage and relentless, both former Missouri Tigers and both named Smith. One of them had a long, tremendous NFL career. His name was Justin Smith. The other...well..not so much.
9 9. Terrell Suggs: A Special Kind of Stupid
Hit and run. How self-centered must a guy be to hit someone or something with his vehicle and then flee the scene like a five year old who just broke mom's favorite vase? Suggs did that and was even too dumb to cover his tracks.
Only a few short weeks ago, the Baltimore Ravens stud linebacker/defensive end was driving his BMW 750Li in a parking lot in Scottsdale, Arizona when he struck something. The loud "crash" may or may not have woken him up. While the police have said he was not impaired (of alcohol one presumes) clearly his judgment had been impaired for quite a while since he was driving on a suspended license which was suspended for lack of payment on speeding tickets.
8 8. Greg Hardy: Lone Star loser
When a normal guy hits his girlfriend, that's pathetic. When a fully formed NFL athlete does it, that's as cowardly and nauseating a level to which a man can possibly lower himself. While with the Carolina Panthers in 2014, Hardy was arrested for abusing his now ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder. The 6'4" defensive end threw her into a bathroom, slammed her against a wall, and drug her out by her hair, all while calling her vile names unworthy of his worst enemy.
Holder, when talking with police, said "“It doesn’t matter. Nothing is going to happen to him anyways.”
7 7. Ray McDonald: Domestically Challenged
Arrested for assault on a woman 1/2 his size? Check. Released from jail, restraining order issued? Check. Released from current team and picked up by another? Check. Broke restraining order and assaulted same woman? Check. Yep, this is an NFL player story alright. Not satisfied with having one player with a photo constantly on the police station wall, the 49ers also employed McDonald who doesn't mind throwing his strength around when he and the little woman get into a tiff.
6 6. Brandon Spikes: What a Role Model
Nothing says hero like causing injury to a family- including a child- and then running away from the accident. Spikes is a real sweetheart, alright. In June of last year, he was speeding and swerving in and out of lanes when he rear ended an SUV on a highway near Foxborough, MA. Nice. His vehicle had On Star installed and the operator asked him what happened. He told them he hit a deer. Awesome. Next, the former Patriot abandoned his vehicle and fled the scene, leaving the family, including their 12 year old son, mildly injured and searching for answers. Bravo!
5 5. D'Qwell Jackson: Do NOT Ask Him to Validate
When you're a 6 foot, 230 pound athlete, you want to park your car, and someone parks in your spot, what do you do? That's right: pummel the guy. Because you really don't want to walk that extra 30 feet to your destination. Jackson allegedly took umbrage with one of those heinous pizza delivery drivers when he pulled into Jackson's choice of parking spot. After an argument, the irate Indianapolis Colts LB punched the man on the side and then the back of his head. Charged with simple assault -and presumably contributing to the delinquency of an entree-Jackson was released the same night and had to appear for sentencing.
4 4. Dan Marino: All his eggs in one basket
These stories are all over the media. NFL player goes broke. Most of them involve lavish lifestyles and dumb investments by naïve players who listen to people who don't really care about them. Marino doesn't really fall into that category, exactly. It appears that he took the vast majority of his wealth and invested into one enterprise.
3 3. Vontaze Burfict: Far From Purfict
It took a while but the NFL finally suspended this dangerous individual for three games for "repeated violations of safety-related playing rules." Burfict has nearly perfected the ability to turn his body into a weapon and smash parts of it into opposing players' heads. His most recent effort came in the Bengals humiliating playoff defeat against the Steelers where he and Adam (don't call me PacMan) Jones took turns giving the game away via personal fouls. With 22 seconds left and Cincinnati leading, the Steelers' Antonio Brown went over the middle for a pass which was out of his reach. Burfict clocked him going the other direction, singlehandedly demonstrating exactly what all the safety rules are in place to prevent. Brown could barely get up.
2 2. Terrell Owens: Jackwagon on Several Levels
1 1. Ndamukong Suh: King of the Hill
If you've made it this far down the list, for the previous fourteen entries you had to be thinking "Where's Suh?" Here he is. The hands-down winner of the NFL's Jackwagon Award, seemingly every year.
This man is outside his own mind. From stomping on Aaron Rodgers--one of the NFL's prized products--to delivering a wrestling-type take down of Jay Cutler or sending his cleat into Matt Schaub's nether regions, Ndamukong Suh is very clearly quarterback hater. Not satisfied with feeding them their U.S.R.D.A. of turf on a weekly basis, Suh likes to get in at least one extracurricular attack per game. He's unquestionably one of the best defensive linemen in the game. But being under constant threat of suspension as well as fined for violating NFL game-safety rules seven times, it can reasonably be questioned whether his brain is in the 'on' position after the opening kickoff. He's on a Mike Tyson trajectory and if the league doesn't reign him in, one of their football-throwing celebrities is eventually going to be put out of commission permanently.
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