It’s that time of year again. As in, the New Year. Which for us at TribLIVE Radio means, reflecting on who the biggest Jagoff was in sports over the previous twelve months.
As our listeners mostly bring a local bias, the vote getters throughout the years tend to have a distinct Pittsburgh slant in the accusations. However, it’s not a requirement: sometimes national Jafoggery can overcome.
The 2014 Jagoff of the Year, for example, was NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, largely for his handling of the Ray Rice elevator-violence incident. ‘Ginger Roger’ beat out local candidate LeGarette Blount, who had fought with Steelers teammates in the preseason, led rookie LeVeon Bell on a high-drive on McKnight road, then walked out on his teammates after a win and earned his release to flee back to New England.
In 2013, our ‘winner’ was international in scope as Dennis Rodman won Yearly honors after singing happy birthday to Kim Jong Un in North Korea. Not to mention, Rodman appeared on CNN and insinuated that an American who was being held captive in Korea after merely giving tours deserved what he had gotten.
In 2012, though, the voting was distinctly local in ire as the Pirates’ management trio of Bob Nutting, Frank Coonely, and Neal Huntington were together named TribLIVE Radio’s biggest losers after ‘Epic Collapse II.’ The Buccos that year became the first team in MLB history to be 16 games over .500 with a season 108 games old and yet finish with a losing record (for the 20th consecutive year).
And in 2011, departed Pitt coach Todd, a.k.a. ‘Fraud’ Graham was a slam-dunk winner after fleeing the program just one year into his reign of terror.
So who will it be in 2015?
As I go to press time here, in the midst of our two-day vote on the air at TribLIVE radio, here appear to be the leading candidates:
1 – Roger Goodell (again). 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?
2 – NHL management. The league, run by Gary Bettman but of course directed by many stubborn and old-school owners, has allowed the great sport to regress back to a second Dead Puck era. As our emailers often say, “best sport, worst league.” How many 2-1 games can a viewer take?
3 – Johnny Manziel. On one hand, the guy appears to have a serious drinking problem which deserves some sympathy. On the other hand, the behavior is the behavior: Jagoff-ed from top to bottom. 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.
4 – ‘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.”
5 – Joe Maddon. The new Cubs manager irritates opposing fanbases just with his wannabe Hipster vibe alone. But after Chris Coughlan took out Pirates second baseman Jung Ho Kang with a dirty take-out slide at second base, ending Kang’s season with serious knee damage, Maddon said after the game that he’d heard Kang only had “plantar fasciitis.” Pay no attention, Joe, to the gruesome knee buckling and wailing from Kang on the field a few hours earlier. It probably was just a chronic foot ailment.
These might be the favorites, but the possibilities are vast and varied. Who gets your vote? Make a difference! Email us: email@example.com