Least Fun Athletes to Watch
SI.com asked its staff which athletes are the least fun to watch. Here are some of their responses. <br><br> A human sound bite, or shriek bite, for every network. He makes each game sound like it's him against 11 guys. Especially at home. How many times have you heard, "Not in Our House!" Has this guy gotten his real estate license yet? And then he gets blocked, and falls into a tackle 10 yards downfield, and gets up pounding his chest. Watch the guys around him when he's doing one of those bench jobs, you know, one of the inspirational numbers. They look embarrassed, as if theyd rather be somewhere else.
His defeatist body language on the mound is where it all starts. He often shrugs his shoulders like a whiny little leaguer when he gives up hits or fielders make mistakes behind him. Ask Mariners fans if he's any fun to watch.
She may be tennis's It Girl, but her tennis isn't worthy of a pin-up. A lot of raw, unimaginative banging from the baseline and, lately, lots of double faults thrown in for good measure.
There are those guys you love to hate and those guys you hate to hate. Shevchenko is firmly in the latter group. The Ukrainian forward is a good guy and his talent is obvious -- 191 goals as a professional. But his failure to fulfill the promise of a jaw-dropping $60 million transfer from AC Milan to Chelsea has made watching him painful. Your heart literally breaks with every near-miss.
The Barry Bonds of the NBA. Athletic, talented and one of the game's all-time great dunkers. So why can't he lose the gloomy expression and try to pretend like he's enjoying himself?
After years of hearing Waltrip's shameless self-promotion, the world has finally been freed of listening to him list every sponsor possible in his post-race interview; that's because he failed to qualify for 11 of 12 races as of late May. With everything from a cheating scandal to a possible DUI keeping Waltrip in the news, he's become one of those punching bags that loses its luster. At some point, you just get tired of beating it up.
Volatile, argumentative and no favorite of the referees, the 6-11 Pistons forward is a walking volcano ready to erupt at any time. Too bad, because he's a rare talent who can score inside and out, pass and defend.
They must have had this former U.S. Open champ in mind when they invented Tivo. His preshot routine includes a full dress rehearsal of aiming and setup, at which point he backs away from the ball and starts over. <i>Borring</i>.
A smart, thoughtful, witty guy off the court but his tennis is something other than artistic, a display of power serving, a power forehand and little else.
You like to watch a fringe Hall of Famer give up on his route, not once, not twice, but for a whole game, if the mood seizes him? How about the old wave at the ball and then yell at the QB routine? He's got that move down pat. The fact that people say that now that he's on a contender he'll really be trying makes one sick. You get paid, you're supposed to try, but a different set of rules seem to apply to this guy.
The Philadelphia Flyers defenseman remains a "warrior," but he is sooooo last century. He competes hard, yes, but simply doesn't skate well enough to be a force in the NHL in 2007. And at his worst, the towering, lumbering Hatcher delivers blows to the head. We hate watching that.
He overthrows a receiver by five yards, or bounces one, or throws one wide. Then on the bench you'll see that hangdog look, Huck Finn just caught swiping cookies. Gosh, this game sure is tough, isn't it? He's a nice kid. His teammates seem to respond to him, when he's on his game. The fans don't, though. They've had it with his scattershot arm. They're in a rebellious mood this year. If he doesn't start quickly, you're going to hear more booing in the Meadowlands than you heard since the days of Joe Pisarcik.
Who is he? The world champion in the 50-kilometer race walk. To manage this feat, he needed only 3 hours, 38 minutes and eight seconds of repetitive speed waddling. The trick is managing his feet. Half (21 of Kirdyapkin's 43 foes) dropped out of the tedium from fatigue or were DQ'd for bad form. ZZZ.
It's not that Kenseth isn't talented - this 2003 Nextel Cup champion has won 15 times over his seven-year career. It's just that the way Kenseth wins is usually a slow, methodical march to the front...the type of gradual rise through the pack that leaves fans reaching for the snooze button. And while those who know him understand his very witty sense of humor, it's rare Kenseth is able to convey it to the public.
Sure, he's headed for Cooperstown, but Kent has got to be one of the least enjoyable stars of his or any other generation.
Anyone on the U.S. Men's Basketball Team
Apart from the fact that they often have to be cajoled into participating by the NBA and their own sponsors, U.S. players arrive ill-prepared for the international game, looking for one-on-one opportunities to show off their skills and unwilling to adapt to the strategies of international play. Remember, Argentina beat them at the last Olympics.
He's a pleasant, engaging guy off the course, but his tournament demeanor is as stiff as a stone idol. When Goosen holes a long shot for eagle, he celebrates by inhaling.
Boogaard is emblematic of a lot of one-trick ponies among the fighters in the NHL. He plays ridiculously short minutes for the Minnesota Wild because the only aspect of the game at which he excels is fighting. Not that we advocate the abolition of fighting, but our preference is for players who blend it with genuine hockey skills, such as Calgary's Jarome Iginla, Toronto's Darcy Tucker and Anaheim's François Beauchemin.
A gentle giant, Dydek is the WNBA's version of Shawn Bradley: a 7-foot-2 finesse player. Her career rebounding average (6.6) is lower than her height. In five years she's averaged double figures only once. She's highly skilled but maddeningly inconsistent.
When Mike Hargrove was a player he was called "the human rain delay" because of his propensity to step out of the batter's box between pitches. Trachsel is the pitching version of Hargrove, the man you absolutely don't want to be stuck seeing on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of August. It's not that Trachsel is an awful pitcher, it's just that he's agonizing to watch. He works so slowly that he threatens to get everyone but the beer vendors vexed with him by the third inning.
In sports, nothing is as frustrating as an inconsistent genius. On any given day, you never knew if the Apache was going to score a wondergoal or disappear for 90 minutes. Granted, the distraction of his dubious transfer from Corinthians to West Ham cost the club about $11 million. In the end, his seven goals in March and April miraculously saved the team from an embarrassing stint in relegation purgatory.
Like the guy, even love the skill. The problem is the Montreal Canadiens right winger only teases fans with his exceptional talent. For every superb game he deigns to play, he disappears for three. He also has a tendency to hang on to the puck for an eternity, rather than using teammates. Of course given the linemates he often has had to play with in Montreal, maybe we are being too harsh.
It's not that he's a bad player, per se, but every time you watch him, you can't help but feel there are 10 other right backs in Italy who could do just as well. He's reckless in a challenge -- three red cards this past season -- and lacks discipline to stay home when necessary. Worse, he's a trained hairdresser. What? Is that in case his World Cup- and Champions League-winning soccer career doesn't work out? Ultimately, you have to say: He's no Paolo Maldini.
Like Sharapova, there seems to be an inverse relationship between the WTA's starlettes and their games. Lots of brute force, but her game has little variety and the net is terra incognita.
Sometimes, aggressive driving can be fun; just not when you're a danger to yourself and others. When Gordon's car is not quite right, you better believe he'll be knocking down every wall in the building -- or into someone else's car -- before the race is over to take out his frustration. It's a game of Russian Roulette no one should be playing, especially a man who was outside the Top 25 in Nextel Cup points as of late May.