Sunday, July 6, 2003

Bad Boys Hall of Fame


These guys give their sports a snarly face. But the bad boy of croquet? C'mon!

By Ryan Ernst
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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As we can see with Tonya Harding, some things never change. This former Olympic skater couldn't settle for just whacking Nancy Kerrigan. She had bigger things to pursue, like weed-whacking for community service.
(AP file photo)
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Ever heard of Mik Mehas? Well, you will. It just so happens that Mr. Mehas is "the bad boy of croquet." Read that last sentence again. That's right, croquet now has its "bad boy." Somewhere, we clearly lost our way.

The term "bad boy" has been thrown about in sports print so much over the past decade, it's become clichè. Ironically, journalists are taught to avoid clichès.

And if you think we at Top of the Second would exploit this fact simply to bang out an easy page over the Fourth of July weekend ... you're more right than Brian Bosworth on Cinemax.

Let's have a look at the baddest of the "bad boys":

• You really can't have this list without Dennis Rodman. The outlandish behavior, the dyed hair, the wedding dress, the failed marriage to Carmen Electra. If those two crazy kids can't make it, the rest of us don't even have a shot. By the way, we've got November 2004 in the "Rodman Goes to Rehab" office pool.

• Speaking of rehab, we can't forget the bad boy of golf, John Daly. Long John not only admitted to losing $51 million while gambling, he also suffered from delirium tremens on a golf course - during a tournament.

• Mike Barnes was known as karate's bad boy in Karate Kid Part III. And boy, was he ever. He made the Cobra Kai look like a Cub Scout den.

• Pete Weber, the bad boy of bowling, taunts fans and opponents. He makes what some consider to be obscene gestures and cusses at the crowd, the ball, the pins, whatever. Add a ball with a rose in the middle of it, and he's Bill Murray from Kingpin, only you're laughing at him for different reasons.

• And, of course, we have the bad boy that started the bad boy fad, John McEnroe. Let's let Johnny Mac argue his own case. To a tennis judge: "I'm not having points taken off me by an incompetent old fool. You're the pits of the world." To a fan: "What other problems do you have besides being unemployed, a moron and a dork?"

• We'll just go ahead and call Tonya Harding the bad boy of figure skating. We know. She clearly is not a boy. But she ain't exactly a lady, either.

• Bosworth also makes the Bad Boy Hall of Fame. Everything about him was bad. He was a bad tackler, a bad actor, a bad dresser, an utterly, utterly bad draft pick - and the haircut was just plain bad.

• Sure, we guess Mike Tyson can still be considered the bad boy of boxing. But really, hasn't it gone beyond that? Isn't that kind of like calling David Berkowitz the bad boy of postal workers?

• Gary Hall Jr. was known as the bad boy of swimming, basically for being cocky. His grandfather, Charles Keating, was the bad boy of savings and loan scandals.

• At least half a dozen soccer players have staked a claim to the sport's bad boy title. We know, we know, you're very bad. Now put on your little shorts and run around on the pitch.

• Blaine Wilson was the self-proclaimed bad boy of men's gymnastics. Yeah, the previous sentence is just wrong on sooooo many levels.

Tell us this fad is coming to an end.

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E-mail rernst@enquirer.com




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ENQUIRER PAGE TWO
Bad Boys Hall of Fame
Tale O' the Tape
Page Two power rankings

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