It's end of year time, which means it's time for stupid lists. And if there's anything you guys have learned about me, it's that I like stupid lists. So I present this year's Top Ten WTF Moments in Sports for 2008.
10. The Cleveland Browns suspended tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr. for conduct detrimental to the team. Winslow's detrimental conduct was pointing out to the press that he missed a game not because of swollen testicles, as the Browns had told the press, but because he was suffering from a staph infection. This was a rather big deal because Winslow was at least the sixth Brown in three years to come down with staph infection.
9. The final game of the World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia was played over three nights because of bad weather which caused the game to be suspended in the middle of the sixth inning on a Monday night and did not allow for play on Tuesday night. The game ended on a Wednesday night when it picked up where previous play had stopped.
8. Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada, already under investigation for possible steroid use, was outed by ESPN as actually being two years older than he has claimed. So Tejada aged overnight from 31 to 33 and played most of the season like he was 63.
7. Dallas Cowboys defensive back Adam "Pacman" Jones, knowing that he was on not so secret double secret probation, got into a fight with one of his bodyguards, which resulted in the revocation of that probation and a six game suspension.
6. Showing that its priorities were in the right order, the NHL suspended Dallas Stars player Sean Avery for insulting an opposing player for dating his "sloppy seconds." Avery's six game suspension for an insult was nearly as many games as Anaheim Duck Chris Pronger, who only received an eight game suspension for stomping on another player, thus showing that, with the NHL, the health and safety of the players is secondary.
5. Pro golfer and all-around good ole boy John Daly was arrested outside a Hooters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at 2:17 a.m. on a Saturday night. When police arrived on the scene, Daly was so drunk that he was being treated by EMS technicians since he had earlier lost consciousness. Daly got to sleep off his drunk in jail.
4. New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, one of the heroes of the Giants upset victory over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, decided to spend a Friday night out clubbing. And being a high-profile superstar in New York City, Burress decided he better have his gun on him in case any trouble arose. And arise trouble did, but it's doubtful that Burress thought the trouble would arise from his shooting himself in the thigh with his own gun while at a ritzy New York night club. It got better as Burress invented an alias, Harris Smith, convinced the hospital to not report his injury to authorities, claimed the incident happened at an Applebee's, and implicated a teammate in the cover-up of the incident.
3. Houston Astros pitcher Shawn Chacon, upset at being removed from the starting rotation, got into a fight with GM Ed Wade. Wade was saved from a choking by one of the other players who witnessed the fight in the clubhouse dining room. Wade, of course, denied all responsibility, and the team dumped Chacon the next day.
2. Former Detroit Piston great (and former New York Knick coach/GM failure) Isaiah Thomas overdosed on sleeping pills. Or at least claim police, medical, and EMS officials. Thomas claimed that it was his 17-year-old daughter, which caused the police to publicly label Thomas a liar.
1. There were a great many WTF moments involving Roger Clemens in the past year. But I think my favorite was when he appeared before Congress and, with his wife Debbie sitting just behind him, outed her to the country as a user of HGH - which she took without Rocket's knowledge, which she received at their house, and with injections that she received from Rocket accuser Brian McNamee.
-- John Royal
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.