When Bill Belichek and the New England Patriots were exposed for filming the sideline last weekend, it rightfully became the biggest story of the week. Of course we all know that Mangini used the story to defer attention away from the fact that his team was crushed by his former employer, but is it really the worst scandal in sports history?
Nearly every coach in the NFL came out to defend Bilichek, including John Madden himself. So for those of you wanting to anoint Belichek in to the Cheating Hall of Fame can relax for now. If you want the real dish on the worst cheaters in sports, just read on, but don’t expect to find Uncle Bill on the list.
10. Danny Almonte – 2001 Little League World Series
Danny Almonte exploded on to the national stage at then 2001 Little League World Series, which pitted the world’s best twelve year old ball players against one another. But Almonte was a force of nature from the mound, dominating every game with every pitch. Was he a physical freak? A prodigy? Nope. He was fourteen and had gone through puberty. Not only was he dumb enough to enter a competition so he could beat up on prepubescent children, he forgot to shave his mustache.
9. Rosie Ruiz – Boston Marathon
How do you win the Boston Marathon with a team just over two and a half hours? You name yourself Rosie Ruiz, hide in the crowd for a couple hours then sprint the last half mile of the marathon. How did she qualify for the Boston Marathon then? She rode the subway to the finish line at the New York Marathon.
8. Pete Rose – A Bad Gamble
Is betting on your team really cheating? Maybe not. But destroying the integrity of America’s favorite past time is a crime that Rose’s hands are blood red for committing. We’re talking about a guy who injected himself in to a lineup to cost his team a pennant (allegedly) when there were far better players available to pick from instead. ‘Nuff said.
7. Joe Niekro – Minnesota Twins
Niekro was one of the most dominant pitchers of his generation. But when an umpire asked him to empty his pockets during a Twins game in 1987, a nail file fell out. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he tried to claim that he was giving himself a manicure in the dugout. Thank god the umpire didn’t find any Vaseline on his person because who knows what his excuse would’ve been then.
6. Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds
Ok fine, so neither one has been caught, but are you really going to believe that neither of these guys cheated? The only thing these two blasted farther than fastballs was the reputation of the game itself, which has been a mess after these two heroes were linked to scandalous pharmaceutical companies.
5. Tim Donaghy – NBA Referee
Donaghy was one of the referees during the famous Brawl at Auburn Hills, when Ron Artest went crazy and Steven Jackson one-punched Turtle from Entourage. If you thought Donaghy had trouble getting that game under control, you should see how he managed his gambling problem. Donaghy made errant calls during NBA games so he could control the points spread because he was betting on NBA games, a fact that was discovered during an FBI investigation on the mob.
4. Ben Johnson – Hero to Zero in Under Sixty
Johnson was the first major Olympian medalist to be stripped of his medal after the jacked up, jaundice eyed Canadian tested positive for steroids. The best part of this whole thing? Johnson tried to cash in on his infamy by starting a clothing line which brandished the motto “Catch Me”. Unfortunately for Johnson, the authorities already did.
3. Tonya Harding – The Whack Heard Round the World
When someone suggests that you beat your opponent until they don’t have a leg to stand on, you’re not supposed to take it literally. But Tonya Harding did when she hired a thug to club Nancy Kerrigan in the knee in an attempt to take her out of Olympic contention. Harding later confessed to helping cover up the attack and was banned from competition.
She has since called the police to fabricate stories of kidnapping to cover up the fact she had driven her truck into a tree, ordered to stay away from booze after throwing a hubcap at her boyfriend, been caught for countless DUI’s and currently lives in a trailer park. She has been used as the perfect case study for why no child should ever be forced to figure skate in their lives. Not only will everyone at school pick on you while you bedazzle your tights, you’ll turn in to a crazy, white-trash, boxing lunatic.
2. The 2000 Spanish Paralympics Team
Spain sent a team of perfectly healthy athletes to beat up on paralympians in Sydney at the 2000 Paralympics. Turns out that the only mentally disabled members of the team were the morally inept officials of the Spanish Federation for Mentally Handicapped Sports, who put the squad together.
1. 1919 Chicago “Black Sox”
When Eddie Cicotte and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson admitted to throwing the 1919 World Series after eight players on the White Sox organization and baseball itself. This is, by far, the worst occasion of cheating in the history of sports. Not only did they destroy the integrity of the game, they also cheated to lose a World Series.
The 2007 and beyond!