The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Editor’s note: The following column from the Best of West collection was originally published in the Port Arthur News on Dec. 20, 2006.
Barry Warner, my longtime friend who happens to be the most insightful media person in Houston, wraps up his weekly column in the Saigon Tex News with a sports Moron of the Week award.
It’s a clever way to poke fun at the seemingly non-stop procession of high salaried athletes with too much testosterone who regularly prove that no amount of money can buy class or common sense. Also eligible are coaches and sports executives who do dumb things to sabotage their own teams.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know it’s been a vintage year for morons.
One of Warner’s favorite whipping boys in 2006 has been our local gunslinger, Stephen Jackson. Others apt to pop up on the moron list at any time are golfer John Daly, anybody with the Houston Texans involved in taking Mario Williams over Reggie Bush and Vince Young and, of course, Terrell Owens.
T.O., as a matter of fact, is pretty much in the running on a weekly basis. But it’s a sad indictment — what a perfect word for these knuckleheads — that seldom is Owens an easy winner in the crowded moron field. Take this past week for instance.
Among those under consideration were:
• Detroit Lions assistant coach Joe Cullen. Cullen has been suspended by the NFL for two arrests — one for drunken driving and one for driving nude while under the influence of alcohol.
• Anybody and everybody in the New York Knicks-Denver Nuggets brawl, especially Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony whose 15-game suspension hurts his team much worse than it does him.
• Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson, a serial moron who was arrested for the third time in 18 months after police found two assault-style rifles, three powerful handguns and a .308 Winchester hunting rifle — all unregistered — during a raid on his home.
Once out on bail, Johnson went to one of his favorite Chicago hangouts with friend and bodyguard Willie Posey who wound up getting shot and killed.
Last, but certainly not least, in what must have been a full-moon-week for morons, there’s T.O.
He spits in the face of Atlanta defensive back DeAngelo Hall, goes on television with Deion Sanders and admits he launched the loogie because Hall’s comments were annoying him, then, after he learns there’s no video evidence, recants the confession.
Perhaps, since he’s already a noted author, Owens’ next step will be to write an O.J. type, “If I did it” book revealing how he would go about spitting in another player’s face without getting caught.
T.O., being a moron nominee on an almost weekly basis, whether it be for overdosing, sleeping in meetings, saying he didn’t pay attention when Bill Parcells was talking about what it takes to be a champion or whining about locker room snitches, drags accomplices into the moron fraternity.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might well deserve to be Moron or the Year for injecting such a locker room cancer into his team, and paying $10 million for the privilege. The Cowboys didn’t need him to win in the pitiful NFC, and Parcells clearly never wanted him.
Mass morons, meanwhile, are any and every adult who shell out $100 bucks, or whatever the going rate is for a T.O. jersey, then proudly wear them in public. If that guy’s their hero, I’d hate to see who they don’t respect.
Others up for MOY consideration include:
• Heralded sociologist Michael Irvin for suggesting on ESPN that Tony Romo must have gotten his athletic ability from one of the females in his lineage having hooked up with “a brother” in the barn. If a white guy had said something like that, he’d have been fired on the spot.
• Former Houston Rockets No. 1 draft pick Eddie Griffin for being involved in an auto accident while allegedly watching a porno movie on the TV in his luxury vehicle.
• Former University of Miami receiver Lamar Thomas, while working on the Hurricanes’ radio broadcast team, for saying he’d like to be down on the field in the middle of the brawl between Miami and Florida International players.
• College presidents for continuing to deny coaches, players and fans a true national champion in Division 1-A football, making it the only sport in the collegiate spectrum without a playoff setup.
• Bonzi Wells, who turned down a five-year, $36 million offer to stay with the Sacramento Kings, saying he was insulted and could do better elsewhere. Wells wound up signing a one year, $2.5 million deal with the Houston Rockets, then promptly climbed into head coach Jeff Van Gundy’s doghouse.
• French soccer star Zinedine Zidane for head-butting defender Marco Materazzi away from the ball in the World Cup final, leading to a loss to Italy. Zidane explained his costly action by saying Materazzi insulted his mother and sister.
• Former Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal, with a Cincinnati Bengals team under heavy fire for numerous players being arrested, getting arrested on alcohol and drug-related charges in Houston.
As you can see, it’s not the meek but the morons who are inheriting the earth.
Sports editor Bob West can be e-mailed at email@example.com.