EIGHINGER: Remembering sports morons on Super Bowl Sunday - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

EIGHINGER: Remembering sports morons ... and let's not forget Norman's brother, Albert

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I like to take a break once a year from the norm when it comes to our "Morons of the Month" selections, instead offering somewhat of a special edition to celebrate questionable actions, speech and overall judgment.

Since it's Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest day of the year on the sports calendar, why not pay tribute to some of the all-time knucklehead athletes? We'll count down our favorites, saving the medal winners for the end.

Honorable mention: The late Alan Kulwicki, a former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, once was asked about racing Saturday nights as opposed to Sunday afternoons.

"It's basically the same, just darker," he said.

We'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he didn't totally grasp the question.

Honorable mention: NFL defensive back Antonio Cromartie is best known not for his on-field talent, but for the fact he has fathered 12 children with eight different women. (I have absolutely no idea about what sort of smart-aleck comment would best serve this particular situation.)

Honorable mention: Aqib Talib, also an NFL defensive back, was involved in a fistfight with a teammate in 2008, assaulted a taxi driver in 2009 and fired a gun at his sister's boyfriend in 2011.

One of Talib's teammates may have described him best when he said, "He is just an overall terrible person."

For the record, no one ever refuted that statement.

Honorable mention: Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett ran into his fair share of trouble off the field, which cut short what looked to be a potentially brilliant career with the Buckeyes.

Before he was kicked off the team, Clarett enjoyed a spectacular freshman season, leading Ohio State to the 2002 national championship. During his brief stay at OSU, Clarett tried to keep things in perspective.

"It's a humbling thing being humble," he said.

Anyone wonder why Clarett is now out of football?

Honorable mention: Former Ohio State quarterback Bob Hoying was ecstatic after the team won the Big Ten title a few years ago.

"I'm really happy for Coach (John) Cooper and the guys who've been around here for six or seven years, especially our seniors," Hoying said.

So what's the big deal? Doesn't every school have a seven-year graduation plan?

Bronze medal

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson could fill this entire list himself, but in fairness to all other candidates, we settled on this particular action. Tyson once erupted at a writer when asked a question about his character.

"(He) called me a ‘rapist' and a ‘recluse,' " Tyson ssid. "I'm not a recluse."

Tyson followed that comment up with: "I am many things. I am an animal. I am a convicted rapist, a hell-raiser, a loving father, a semi-good husband. You don't really know me."

Well, Mike, I beg to differ. We actually know you pretty well.

Silver medal

Darrel Chaney was a backup infielder most of his big-league career, known most for playing with the Atlanta Braves. He was once asked how management could keep the struggling Braves on their toes.

"Raise the urinals," Chaney said.

Such is the stuff of legends. Moronic legends.

Gold medal

Former NFL quarterback and TV analyst Joe Theismann developed a history of malaprops while on the air. This was possibly his finest moment:

"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

I hear his brother, Albert, was a pretty sharp guy, too.

-- seighinger@whig.com/221-3377


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