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Biggest athlete fall from grace?


Spaceman Spiff

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If the Pete Rose scandal happened under today's Twitter-journalism it would be #1 IMO.  Baseball was king in the 70s/80s and Pete Rose was huge back then.  OJ was long after he played so a bit different in that he wasn't really an athlete at the time. 

 

He wasn't an athlete, (any more), but he had parlayed his athletic fame into Hollywood fame. 

 

OJ Simpson was Michael Jordon.  (Not Jordon, the basketball player.  Jordon, the celebrity.) 

 

Trivia I read, once, on IMDB. 

 

When the producers of The Terminator were doing preliminary discussions about the movie, one of the actors they considered to play the Terminator was OJ Simpson.  (They wanted the terminator to look like Joe Ordinary.)  But they rejected that idea, because OJ was "too nice", and nobody would believe him as a cold blooded killer. 

 

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I was going to come into this thread, and say "Pete Rose".  But decided to read part of the thread.  And yeah, it's OJ.  Nobody else is close.  Because nobody else had as far to fall as he did. 

 

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Edit:  Does Joe Paterno count?  I could see him as being one of the few people who were up there in the clouds. 

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I can't quote on this computer but if everyone who follows cycling knew Lance was cheating, that means six Americans knew Lance was cheating.

 

Fact: Lance Armstrong sold 45 trillion bracelets and Americans collectively watched 45 minutes of his athletic performances. I was a huge Lance Armstrong fan and looked forward to the three minutes I watched of his exploits on SportsCenter every third day for one month in the summer when I was usually drunk. So many memories.

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Aaron Hernandez belongs on the list IMO.

Outside of fantasy football, what did he do?  He had potential, but he wasn't even the best TE in the league at any point in his career.  He doesn't belong on the list.

 

edit - he had one great season, 2011 where he finished top 5, but he wasn't even the best TE on his team.  In 2010 he finished like 16th and in 2012 like 18th among TEs (could be reversed those years on where he finished).

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I would go:

 

OJ

Rose

Armstrong

 

Huge gap

 

Carruth

Hernandez

 

The three at the top fell from a realm of celebrity that few people ever experience to a level of notoriety few experience.

 

The other two were young millionaire athletes who threw it all away and faced decades in prison.

 

I just can't Woods on the list, because at the end of it, he just became a multi-millionaire top ranked golfer with an ex-wife - like pretty much 50 percent of the PGA Tour. It hurt his image - and certainly injured his private life - but it just ultimately made him mortal.

 

The thing with Woods was that it was so easy for him to get most of it back. Come back and win at Augusta, and the story would have become his superhuman focus and will to win and whatever else Jim Nantz could have come up with. If his body hadn't betrayed him, we would probably be well into his redemption story.

 

I've seen Paterno on here, and in the moment he got fired, it was pretty bad. But so many parties are walking back from the reaction at Penn State that I think he will be largely rehabilitated within a decade. I actually think that if he were alive, the NCAA would have restored his wins already.

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I'll second Joe Jackson. Let's not forget he was the idol of school boys around the country and was sold as this simple, humble country boy made good. By all accounts, he was a good man, though he was illiterate and wound up in the middle of the single biggest sports scandal of the 20th century. He's a close second to OJ.

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Except it was 1919 and most of America had no idea what Joe Jackson even looked like. I think the only reason we even know his name today is because he was so good that a cadre of baseball historians kept trying to preserve his legacy and the legend of that "Say it ain't so, Joe" story became one of baseball's great myths.

 

Like another poster mentioned, no one remembers the name of any other member of the Black Sox unless they really loved Eight Men Out. Jackson's story is one of redemption at this point more than anything. How many dead ball era players are remembered at all?

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I would go:

 

OJ

Rose

Armstrong

 

Huge gap

 

Carruth

Hernandez

 

The three at the top fell from a realm of celebrity that few people ever experience to a level of notoriety few experience.

 

The other two were young millionaire athletes who threw it all away and faced decades in prison.

I just cant put Hernandez on the list.  He wasn't at the popularity level of the likes of your top three and plenty of other athletes.  Hernandez had one great year.  That's it.  When you ask me about the TE position and great players, the names that pop into my head before Hernandez are plentiful.  

 

He only got big money right before the 2012 season, where he didn't perform at all and it was based on his 2011 performance.  Probably one of the only times the Pats looked like idiots.  

 

Ray Carruth wasn't that popular, after his rookie season he was injured and didn't do ****.  Living in Charlotte, the only reason his name ever came up after 1997 (from what I remember) was when he hired someone to murder his pregnant girlfriend, then the manhunt and caught hiding in the trunk of a car in TN.  He wasn't on the national media love like an OJ, Rose, Armstrong, Tyson, etc.  

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Outside of fantasy football, what did he do?  He had potential, but he wasn't even the best TE in the league at any point in his career.  He doesn't belong on the list.

 

edit - he had one great season, 2011 where he finished top 5, but he wasn't even the best TE on his team.  In 2010 he finished like 16th and in 2012 like 18th among TEs (could be reversed those years on where he finished).

Well, in his defense, in 2011 Gronk was the best in the league.  Hernandez finished 4th in the league. Pretty darn good.  NE was creating all kinds of mismatches with that 2 TE set and Welker in the slot and NE had plans to continue down that path. (He actually put up bigger numbers than Carruth did).  The year he was arrested, he was just rewarded with a big contract extension and it turned out to be the year Gronk only played 7 games.  He was in a great position to have another big year and as LKB said, he "threw it away".    Obviously not top of the list, but from promising NFL career to high profile murder suspect... list worthy IMO.

 

I would go:

 

OJ

Rose

Armstrong

 

Huge gap

 

Carruth

Hernandez

 

The three at the top fell from a realm of celebrity that few people ever experience to a level of notoriety few experience.

 

The other two were young millionaire athletes who threw it all away and faced decades in prison.

Totally agree.

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I think Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe didn't really deserve it. They should both be reinstated and HOF.

There is evidence Joe Jackson was innocent (says people who look at the scorecard from the series ). Pete Rose bet on his own team to win, so that doesn't seem SO bad to me.

Neither of them did anything like kill his ex.

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gotta be OJ Simpson.

Superstar athlete, one of the first black athletes to achieve major commercial success.   people really liked OJ..  and he seemed really likable. People looked up to OJ because he did break down some barriers while hurdling through airport lounges for Hertz.

 

~Bang

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Barry Bonds?

You could argue that he was the greatest baseball player in history (i don't think he was, but you could argue it with a straight face)

and then... nobody would sign him

Before steroids, he was the best all around player. True 500-500 guy. He got jealous of McGuire and Sosa and decided to roid. Shame, because he could have gone down as the greatest all around player ever without hitting 700 HRs.

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All 3 of those guys are locks to get in.

 

Yeah, that much I knew. I just wasn't sure if they are considered "Steroids Era" players, but after looking I see it is considered to be from the late 80s through the late 2000s. That puts a lot of guys from that time period, that were never suspected of juicing, who should make it into the HOF.

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gotta be OJ Simpson.

Superstar athlete, one of the first black athletes to achieve major commercial success.   people really liked OJ..  and he seemed really likable. People looked up to OJ because he did break down some barriers while hurdling through airport lounges for Hertz.

 

~Bang

 

 

I agree with this, but would add HE MURDERED SOMEONE.  Pete Rose gambled and got banned.  Lance cheated and got all his accomplishments stripped.  OJ KILLED a person.  

 

 

(Yes, i am aware he was not convicted in criminal court.  He WAS found to have done the deed in civil court and he wrote a book about doing it.)

 

If_I_did_It_2.png

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Not sure when exactly the steroid era is considered to have occurred as far as a timeline goes, but Mariano Rivera and Jeter come to mind. Chipper Jones?

 Biggio is already in.  Verlander will make it (he reaches back that far), Randy Johnson, Pedro, Shilling (maybe), Bagwell (maybe), David Ortiz, Jim Thome, etc.

 

The one guy who should make it, but probably will not is Fred McGriff.

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