Turkeys aren’t known for their grace or intelligence, and the world of sports had its share of such ungainly birds in 2015.
1 of 24Elyxandro Cegarra/Panoramic/Icon Sportswire
Blatter spent decades avoiding the scrutiny of law enforcement but FIFA’s filthy corruption finally caught up to him in 2015.
2 of 24Sean Drakes/LatinContent/Getty Images
Even next to all the fools in FIFA, Jack Warner looks especially ridiculous. Not for taking millions in bribes, but for trying to cite The Onion in his defense.
3 of 24Mike Hewitt/FIFA via Getty Images
Blazer, the former FIFA Executive Committee member most famous for buying a luxury apartment just for his cats, is the guy that set the whole FIFA mess in motion by snitching on all his buddies. Sure, his testimony was unsealed and made public, but he got off without jail time.
4 of 24Mel Evans/AP
The Rutgers football coach got suspended for three games after he inappropriately contacted a professor about a player’s academic performance. Give Flood credit for trying to keep things on the low, though. “I am sending it from my personal email to your personal email to ensure there will be no public vetting of the correspondence,” he wrote in one message. So much for that.
5 of 24Julie Jacobson/AP
IK Enemkpali/Geno Smith
Ever had a dispute with a co-worker? Maybe he/she eats smelly food. Or is excessively loud. Maybe owes you money. But have things ever gotten so bad you punched him/her in the face and broke a jaw?
6 of 24Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire; Greg Fiume/Getty Images
IK Enemkpali got released for punching Geno Smith, so you figure choking a co-worker would also be a fireable offense. Or not, as we learned from Jonathan Papelbon. Sure Papelbon got suspended for a few games after wringing Bryce Harper’s neck, but he’ll be back in Washington next season—barring a trade, of course.
7 of 24Greg Nelson for Sports Illustrated
Ugh, Greg Hardy. On the heels of his alleged domestic abuse incident in 2014, he kept on being a lousy dude in 2015. There was the bizarre first meeting with the media in which he referenced guns and Tom Brady’s wife. There was the sideline dustup with Dallas’s special teams coach. There was the 9/11 joke. There was the time, after Deadspin published photos of Hardy’s ex-girlfriend’s bruised body, that he declared his innocence on Twitter. Not a good year.
8 of 24Brandon Wade/AP
Jones’s decision to sign Greg Hardy was controversial, so you’d figure he would try not to bring much attention to Hardy. Wrong. After Hardy disrupted a special teams huddle, Jones had the gall to call him a leader. The MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas was having none of it.
9 of 24David J. Phillip/AP
After getting skewered for being too lenient in the Ray Rice case, Goodell had two of his suspensions (Adrian Peterson’s and Tom Brady’s) thrown out in federal court. Not a good year for his version of justice.
10 of 24Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire; AJ Mast/AP
Poking an opponent in the eye is not cool. Trying to claim it was an accident when video evidence points very clearly to the contrary is just stupid.
11 of 24Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Jones lost his UFC light heavyweight title when he was arrested on hit and run charges. The arrest came about a month before he was scheduled to defend his title against Anthony Johnson. Instead, the UFC stripped him of the title and Daniel Cormier defeated Johnson to become the new title holder. Jones was reinstated from a UFC suspension in October.
12 of 24Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images
Congratulations to DeAndre Jordan for finding the best way to make sure everyone in the nation’s fifth-largest media market hates your guts forever. Jordan verbally agreed to join the Mavericks before deciding he actually wanted to stay with the Clippers. Now the Mavs start Zaza Pachulia at center.
13 of 24Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET
The ESPN reporter had a rough off-season. He got blasted for saying Mark Cuban was driving around Houston trying to find DeAndre Jordan’s house, begging Jordan’s family for the address so he could try to convince him to honor his verbal commitment to the Mavs. Later, Broussard erroneously reported that Tristan Thompson was signing a three-year, $53 million deal. He did it in such a way that it made it clear he was just going off info from Thompson’s agent. Thompson ended up getting $82 million over five years.
14 of 24John Raoux/AP
UCF football team
The Knights have lost every game this season, and usually by pretty significant margins. Pity the poor souls that tune in to watch them face USF on Thanksgiving night. At least an Orlando bar is still offering free beer until they win a game.
15 of 24Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire
Ryan initially landed a spot on this list because his Saints defense was so laughably bad. Then he went on the NFL Network and said, “Everything in New Orleans is being blamed on me, including [Hurricane] Katrina.”
16 of 24Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW
Stephen A. Smith
It would be exhausting to catalog every dumb thing Stephen A. said in the past year, but his weird rant threatening Kevin Durant and his sexist joke about the Women’s World Cup stand out the most.
17 of 24Jeffrey McWhorter/AP
That SMU basketball coach Larry Brown ran afoul of the notoriously authoritarian NCAA isn’t all that surprising. But when the school gets punished specifically for “lack of head coach control,” that’s a bad look. SMU has a postseason ban for this season and Brown was suspended for nine games.
18 of 24Pavel Golovkin/AP
Russian track and field
This controversy is way too complex to summarize but the gist is this: Russia is banned from international track and field competitions because of widespread doping. The scandal goes all the way to the top, with the Russian government and intelligence service implicated.
19 of 24Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Boston Red Sox
The Sox had high hopes when they signed Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to contracts worth a combined $183 million. Not even rookie sensations Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts could save them from a last-place finish.
20 of 24Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Losing 15 straight games to open two consecutive seasons is pretty impressive, actuall
21 of 24Richard Shiro/AP
Spurrier realized things weren’t going South Carolina’s way this season, so he just up and quit after six games.
22 of 24Loren Orr/Getty Images
Idaho football coach Paul Petrino, the brother of motorcycle enthusiast Bobby Petrino, is having a pretty good season on the field. He got the Vandals to 3–8 through mid-November, after winning just one game in each of the last two seasons. But he lands a spot on this list after angrily confronting a reporter who criticized him.
23 of 24Don Petersen/AP; Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Earlier this month at Martinsville, Kenseth decided to deliberately crash into Joey Logano late in the race as revenge for a collision two weeks prior. The stunt earned Kenseth a two-race suspension.
24 of 24Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images
The notorious headhunter's return after missing nearly two full seasons with knee issues was supposed to be a feel-good story about a chastened man. Instead, the Sharks winger earned a 41-game suspension for a brutal, high hit on Anaheim's Jakob Silfverberg ... in a preseason game.
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