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Biggest athlete fall from grace?


Spaceman Spiff

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Lawrence Taylor, not the biggest probably.  But look at how big of a mess he got his life into after revolutionizing the linebacker position (book about all the horrible **** he did, then the hooker stuff, etc.).

 

Mike Tyson comes to mind too, but he has regained popularity due to his movie appearances in the Hangover. 

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5. Tanya Harding

 

I think this one might be a good #2 behind OJ. People will forget about steroids from relatively lesser known olympians or cyclists. People suspected lance for years. The Harding thing came from out of nowhere. And she's White trash, so its REALLY easy to hate her.

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My list based on age and what I have witnessed first hand.

 

1. Lance Armstrong

2. Tiger Woods

3. O.J.

4. A Rod

5. Gilbert Arenas

 

 

That list is bananas. Really, the top five should be

 

1. OJ

2. OJ

3. OJ

4. OJ

5. OJ

 

Maybe because he became such a weird pop culture d-lister because of the trial, but OJ was one of the most famous and beloved human beings in America for something like 30 years. Considering how much more narrow the culture was in the 70s and 80s, he was probably more recognizable than Lebron and certainly more likable. He was in Roots. He flew threw airports in commercials. His sports broadcasting career was very successful and it semed almost like an after-thought.

 

So...imagine if Lebron never made the decision AND appeared in a real role (not a cameo) in The Avengers AND appeared in Adam Sandler movies AND gave speeches at corporate retreats AND had Kenny Smith's job on Inside the NBA AND still appeared in all the commercials he currently does AND had a small role in 12 Years a Slave......and then was accused of basically chopping the head off his wife.

 

That would be a big story.

 

 

After that....I dunno....accused of a double murder and currently in jail on some kind of strange kidnapping charge after being the most popular ex-athlete in history. I don't really even know how to put that in context with the rest.

 

This poll needs to have a non-OJ category.

I think this one might be a good #2 behind OJ. People will forget about steroids from relatively lesser known olympians or cyclists. People suspected lance for years. The Harding thing came from out of nowhere. And she's White trash, so its REALLY easy to hate her.

 

Except where the hell did she fall from?

 

She was relatively unknown and broke....and then she was famous and broke.

 

If anything, she weirdly went up in the world.

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Rae Carruth has got to be top 3

 

That's actually a pretty good pick. He still has 4 years left on his sentence.

 

 

Lawrence Taylor, not the biggest probably.  But look at how big of a mess he got his life into after revolutionizing the linebacker position (book about all the horrible **** he did, then the hooker stuff, etc.).

 

Mike Tyson comes to mind too, but he has regained popularity due to his movie appearances in the Hangover. 

 

Those guys were always disasters.

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I know OJ had a great career as an athlete, but as a kid growing up in the 80's who didn't really follow football until 6th grade, OJ was more an actor/celebrity than a football player. I think of him as "that funny guy from The Naked Gun who killed his wife" rather than "that football player that killed his wife".

 

I think Lance has to be number one. Cycling might not be as big a sport as football, but the guy was a household name. And now his legacy is "that doper who had all of his accolades stripped away in disgrace".

 

Everybody else--yes, maybe they had some crazy off-the-field issues that ruined their public image, but it doesn't erase what they did in their sports career.

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1. OJ

2. Lance

3. Tiger

4. Marion Jones

5. Tanya Harding

 

That's roughly what my list would look like.  Although I don't think I'd put Tiger on there.  Nobody cares about the affairs anymore.  He's just not playing very good golf, and that's why he's not in the news.

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That's actually a pretty good pick. He still has 4 years left on his sentence.

 

 

 

Those guys were always disasters.

They were disasters, but I'm looking at it from their popularity in their sport.  Tyson had mental issues, still does, but he was the biggest star in Boxing since Ali in the modern era (talking Heavyweights).  He was on top of the world and boxing.  Then Don King ruined him, he gets beat by Buster Douglas, convicted of rape and goes to prison, gets released and tries to make a come back and bites off part of Evander's ear, etc.

 

It's not the biggest fall from grace, but the only things left that could have gone worse for Iron Mike would have been some fatal/chronic disease or death for the most part.  Wasn't he bankrupt too?

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O.J. was 20 years removed from his playing days.  Not the same as a guy like Tiger or Lance who fell during their peaks.  Different circumstances.

 

If that doesn't matter, OJ is #1 obviously.  Let's not forget Pistorius nowadays.  Then there was that skateboarder who commited a murder or something.  But obviously he wasn't known.

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