2015 Jagoff of the Year – Johnny Manziel – In just the latest event to ring in the new year, Manziel was in Las Vegas during Week 17 while on concussion protocol, reportedly wearing a blonde wig and going by the handle ‘Billy’ to avoid discovery while partying into the wee-hours in nightclubs, skipping his required check-in with team medics. Earlier in the season, he responded to being named the team’s starting QB by hearing back out to Vegas to party. Just another year in Cleveland: help wanted signs for quarterbacks, head coaches, and general managers.
(Voting on Wed/Thurs Jan 6-7)
Tied for 2nd place:
Roger Goodell – This year, it was a whole new bundle of blunders: the DeflateGate sting and ensuing Wells Report, the Greg Hardy incident, the Adrian Peterson scandal, the ongoing league concussion battles, sub-par league officiating, and so much more. Not since the days of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell have we had a repeat JOTY winner. Is this the year? Is Goodell the worst commissioner in sports history?
‘The Puck Schmuck,’ a weekly winner during 2015. On October 29, a middle-aged fan at the Penguins – Sabres game behind the glass intercepted a puck that was tossed from Buffalo coach Dan Bylsma and intended for a young kid. The puck-stealing fan later left with the biscuit despite reportedly being verbally assailed by nearby fans to give the young lad the souvenir. Not only would he not cooperate, he reportedly taunted the kid as well. Paul Steigerwald said it best on the telecast coverage, “He’s probably out in the parking lot playing with his puck.”
NHL/Bettman 4th – Low Scoring ‘Best sports, worst league’
Joe Maddon 5th – Cubs manager for calling Jung Ho Kang’s injury on the Chris Coughlan takeout slide as ‘plantar fasciitis’
Jan 13 – Pacman Jones – After the Steelers 18-16 win in the Wild Card playoffs, narrowly beating on Vontaze Burfict, whose predatory hit knocked Antonio Brown out. Pacman threw a punch at Joey Porter and hit an official, drawing a flag which gave the Steelers a 35-yard field goal. After the game, Pacman posted an Instagram rant ripping the refs for a horrible f’ing job for letting “Jerry’ Porter on the field. Then, he said Antonio Brown winked at him and faked his injury, deserving a ‘Grammy’ (not an Oscar) on the Dan Patrick Show. The ‘Paht-na’ also beat out Jeremy Hill, who had taunted William Gay two plays before fumbling to give the Steelers another chance. Bengals Fans for boorish behavior were 3rd, Deion Sanders 4th for defending the Burfict hit.
Jan 20 – Ken Laird – For #YELLOWKNIFE, as Ken thought Joey Porter screaming “Y’all Want None” during the Steelers 2005 Super Bowl run was in fact “Yellowknife”, a mythical section of Denver where Porter got shot.
Jan 27 – Rob Rossi – The Trib Columnist beat out strong contender the Turnpike Commission (after cars were stuck on the PA Turnpike in snow for over 24 hours), as Rossi penned a love-letter to former GM Ray Shero with the NJ Devils in town.
Feb 3 – Neal Huntington – The Pirates GM won his 5th Jagoff of the Week award in his career, this time for appearing on Brand X radio and insinuating that if more Pirates fans showed up to games they’d be able to spend more on payroll.
Feb 10 – Cam Newton – For multiple complaints about his behavior during and after Super Bowl 50: Not diving on a fumble on a 3rd and 9 with 4 minutes to go in the game (16-10 score), for leaving the postgame press conference early, and then two days later for defending his actions by saying his leg would have been in danger of being “controrked” and that he’s a sore loser and anyone who isn’t is a loser.
Feb 17 – ESPN’s Michelle Beadle, for posting private messages from Mark Madden. Beadle was upset that Mark called her out for reconciling with Triple H – longtime friend of Floyd Mayweather – less than a year after taking a major public stance against Mayweather for his serial domestic abuse record
Feb 24 – Barry Bonds, back in baseball with the Florida Marlins as their hitting coach, saying that “God knows I’m a Hall of Famer”
March 2 – Scott Boras, Gerrit Cole’s agent, for putting Gerrit in an uncomfortable situation by complaining about Cole’s salary and questioning Bob Nutting’s policies.
March 9 – Henrik Lundqvist, who flipped the net over during a Penguins game to get played stopped after he was injured by one of his own players sliding into him. He was upset the refs didn’t stop the action for him. Marc Andre Fleury called it “baby stuff” after the game.
March 16 – Martavis Bryant – Upon news of being suspended for a year over skipping an appointed NFL drug test.
March 23 – KDKA’s Richie Walsh, for reporting that Sean Miller was in town and close to a deal to become the new Pitt coach. Miller was seen shortly thereafter in Arizona.
March 30 – Pitt AD Scott Barnes, after Pitt’s introductory press conference announcing new coach Kevin Stallings. Barnes got snippy with people questioning the hire.
April 6 – Wayne Simmonds, Flyers forward, for an elbow to the head of Kris Letang and a stick to the throat of goalie Matt Murray during a Flyers – Penguins game.