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The Sports Hall of Shame, an Idea Long Overdue

OJ's bronco hangs from the ceiling like the Spirit of St. Louis.
OJ's bronco hangs from the ceiling like the Spirit of St. Louis.

A week or so ago, you may remember, I wrote a post about the auction for Bobby Petrino's crash-damaged motorcycle. The majority of the post was an outline of my idea to turn the crumpled-up love machine into a profit center by selling photo opportunities for fans to pose on the bike.

At the end of the post, I wrote the following:

This needs to happen. And once the "posing on the bike" novelty has worn off, we can move the bike to the Hall of Shame that I plan on opening someday. Yes, someday I envision there being a building where artifacts from the sports world that symbolize scandal, scumbaggery and soul-crushing defeat are all gathered and are able to be viewed museum-style. The place would crush, trust me.

But the Hall of Shame, that's another idea for another post.

Well, this is that post.

Most people love to travel, and sports fans generally like the historical aspect of their favorite sports. The concept of a "Hall of Fame" in each sport is built on those two consumption patterns. Whether it's Cooperstown, New York, for baseball, Canton, Ohio, for football, or Springfield, Massachusetts, for basketball, fans of those sports have spent decades making the pilgrimage to each of those places so they can reminisce and/or learn about their favorite pastimes.

There's only one problem. By and large, these hallowed halls accentuate the positives of each sport, the do-gooders, the truly great. Whether by design or not, the fact of the matter is that you come away from each of these places with a happy, flowery image of each sport soaked into your brain.

Now, one trip to the headlines section of any sports Web site is enough to shock you back into reality and remind you that, whether we like it or not, much of what shapes the sports world is actually spawned from scandal, defeat and, yes, even death. My contention is that we need a building that specifically houses artifacts and reminders of the imperfections and blights on the sports world.

Hence, my idea of the Hall of Shame.

It's a concept that I've espoused privately to some friends for some time; the auction of the Petrino skank cycle merely gave me the impetus to discuss it openly on the radio and in this space. As for broad strokes on location and concept, obviously a house celebrating sin like this one would need to be erected in Sin City, so Vegas, congrats! You're the home of my Hall of Shame!

With alcohol being the source of so many poor decisions in the sports world, I think it's only fitting that drinks are available frequently throughout the facility, so beer tubs at every corner manned by lookalikes of some of sports' most infamous females are also a must (Kim Kardashian, Jessica Simpson pre-kid, Anna Benson, to name a few).

Naturally, my listeners decided to weigh in with items and features that they would like to see displayed, so I'll give the floor to them to begin the process of stocking display cases and building content-specific wings on this bad boy.

Here we go (Twitter handles in parentheses, if you want to give any of these tweeps a follow; also, my comments are preceded by a bold "SP:"):

Aggie Doug ‏(@AggieDoug) -- Evander Holyfield's ear lobe Todd Faber ‏(@barnztormre) -- Amare's fire extinguisher, a Hooters receipt signed by John Daly, and a gallon of purple drank signed by Jamarcus Russell. Tony in Albuquerque ‏(@MastTerBase) -- Marv Alberts Victoria 's secret values shopper card Scott Smith ‏(@alpacinoswig) -- Mike Price's strip club tab

SP: Starting to see a recurring theme? People want to see receipts or copies of tabs from scandalous figures or events. A wing or book of all of these is certainly a possibility. Other items in this category would be the receipt from the night Tony Larussa got a DWI, any Carlos Lee receipt from Golden Corral and the receipt from any night that Josh Hamilton fell off the wagon.

Tim Haraden ‏(@TimHaraden) -- Larry Eustachy red solo cup

SP: I believe you mean his Natty Light can.

Cody Stoots ‏(@Cody_Love) -- a collage of Cromartie's kids birth certificates

SP: The first of several Antonio Cromartie submissions, the volume of which was enough to consider giving Cromartie his own traveling show, like the King Tut exhibit that travels the country from museum to museum.   Wade Garrett ‏(@thowgar) -- Kobe's wife's ring after the scandal

SP: Probably a little pricy.

Matt Martin ‏(@MatthewLevi) -- I'll go with Kobe Bryant's room key

SP: That's more like it.

Tim Collins ‏(@htowntc) -- A copy of VY's wonderlic test

SP: An entire Wall of Wonderlic with every single-digit score from the NFL combine works for me. Player portraits (with Photoshopped dunce caps) with framed front pages of the graded tests would adorn the wall.

Cody Stoots ‏(@Cody_Love) -- A-Rod and Melo's self portraits Double Ought ‏(@Double_Ought) -- Petrino deserves a double entry into #HallofShame 1) #SkankBike 2) the hand written coward letter to Falcons..w/scotch tape Mike Donley ‏(@vansmak45) -- Rick Pitino's table cloth

SP: I would argue a re-created scene of the room in Porcini's where Pitino unleashed his 15 seconds of glory would be in order. Disturbing, but in order.

Big Dumb Pete‏ @NOPeteHere -- You could build a re-creation of the bathroom Roethlisberger was in. Also his bike and helmet #7Wing

SP: EXACTLY. Like that.

Jody Smith ‏(@JodySmith_) -- A display with Roger Clemens' hypodermic needles and bloody gauze would be a powerful deterrent fans wouldn't misremember Peter Burns ‏(@PeterBurnsRadio) -- OJ'S Broncos would hang like the Spirit of St. Louis from the ceiling Only A Bill ‏(@rights_of_bill) -- no display would be complete without Ozzie Guillens copy of the Communist Manifesto Chris LaFosse ‏(@LSUlala) -- The condom that has been in Cromartie's wallet since '92

SP: More Cromartie....

Gary Rind ‏(@garyrind) -- how about the Najee Davenport laundry basket? Brian ‏(@btr_ight) -- Brett Favre's crocs? #4 Jose Silva ‏(@The_HoZay) -- Greg Odens phone used during nude picture #DongPic Daniel Eggert ‏(@midnightyell) -- gotta incl. Plaxico's Glock & sweatpants in the #HallOfShame!! Big Dumb Pete (@NOPeteHere) -- baton used to hit Nancy Kerrigan Ling Ling ‏(@LING_LING1970) -- Ugueth Urbina's machete #HallofShame

AMUSEMENT AREA SP: A few of the submissions made me think that perhaps some interactive displays, where you can feel, touch and role-play as if you're one of the stars, would be a good idea. Listener suggestions that go with that started:

Wade Garrett ‏(@thowgar) -- Joba Chamberlain's trampoline Only A Bill ‏(@rights_of_bill) -- How much for a ride on Moises Alous treadmill? Rolando ‏(@Rolandotx) -- Will there be a Hall of Shame exhibit where you can compare your junk to athlete's, like the NBA hand & shoe HOF exhibit?

INFAMOUS VIDEO MOMENTS SP: I got a few suggestions for certain infamous YouTube clips to be played on an endless loop at the Hall of Shame, which got me thinking that there might be a way to implement video in a more organized fashion.

You know how places like Disney will have certain attractions that are basically 25-minute short films where they march patrons into a theater in rows like cattle, you stand the whole time, then when it's over you're marched out the other side of the theater and promptly backfilled by the next 200 cattle? Well, a 25-minute mashup of infamous athlete moments on YouTube played on the silver screen would be awesome. Hell, you could even charge $5 to get in and make it an additional profit center. Listeners suggested some videos:   Cristina ‏(@PinkValkyrie) -- Rex Ryan's homemade foot porno Scott Smith ‏(@alpacinoswig) -- Antonio Cromartie trying to remember his kid names playing on a continuos loop in a screening room

SP: I would add Delonte West sitting in the drive-through at KFC, Chester Pitts and Raheem Brock's awful prank-call video, Chris Bosh's All-Star campaign video from his Raptor days, and every Eastern Motors commercial involving an athlete ever.

WAX MUSEUM SP: Who doesn't love a good wax statue of a real person, right? Not creepy at all. (Trust me, if you say it enough times, you start to believe it.) Well, apparently a lot of you want to see wax figures of actual sports people:

Denise ‏(@DENISE__98) -- #HallofShame Suggestion wax statue of Andre Johnson wailing on Cortland Finnegan. Andy Wade ‏(@HouCounterplot) -- It would cost extra for admission into the wax museum with all of Antonio Cromartie's neglected children. Trey Rishe ‏(@RebelTrey69) -- Lawrence Phillips is the wax statue that greets you on the way in

SP:....and takes a wax swing at you.

ctemple75 ‏(@ctemple75) -- Jeff Gillooly frozen in carbonite. #showcasepiece

SP: Sports criminals frozen in carbonite? I might travel cross-country to go to a museum full of just those. Genius.

HOLLYWOOD ARTIFACTS SP: Finally, as an homage to Hollywood, the suggestion below by my buddy Danny Vara got me thinking, "Why not an entire wing full of fictional items from seminal sports films?" I mean, it's MY Hall of Shame, I can do what I want, right?

Danny Vara ‏(@heydannyv) -- The Power of Attorney Paulie signed. And maybe Sage Stallone.

SP: As an aside, the significance of this particular piece of history from the Rocky movies is somewhat muted by the final movie in the series (Rocky Balboa), which essentially erases Rocky V and turns the post-Drago Balboa into a somewhat punchy restaurateur, as opposed to the near braindead boxing manager that was relegated to the dirt-poor Philly south side in V.

Other items in the Hollywood wing of the Hall of Shame would include:

-- Roy McAvoy's seven iron from Tin Cup -- Charles Jefferson's trashed Trans Am from Fast Times at Ridgemont High -- Jimmy Chitwood's Chuck Taylors from Hoosiers -- Rod Tidwell's Camel Chevrolet cardboard cutout from Jerry Maguire -- Rudy Ruettiger's slew of rejection letters from Notre Dame (and from women)

Seriously, I could list 100 more things in the Hollywood category. How about you weigh in? Feel free to leave any suggestions for any portion of the Hall of Shame in the Comments section below!

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.


Follow Hair Balls News on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews.


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