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  • 08/25/2013, 11:14PM ET

Top Five American Athletes To Fall From Grace In The 21st Century

HOOTZ (33-14-9) vs OlderthanDirt (88-37-13)
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What we're debating here is the 5 biggest career spirals to occur since the year 2000. To ensure that this topic is reasonably debatable, the following rules have been initiated:

1. No coaches are allowed. We're looking for players only. No Joe Paterno or Jim Tressel.

2. You can only argue American born athletes who achieved the majority of their success in America. Lance Armstrong's 7 Tour De Frances and Marion Jones' medals in the Sydney Olympics are excluded from the debate.

3. You can't argue any athlete who fell from grace prior to the year 2000. No Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe or OJ.

4. You have to present two and ONLY two differences from the five athletes that I list.


My top five athletes to fall from grace in this century are:

Tiger Woods- Fall from grace caused by adultery
Alex Rodriguez- Fall from grace caused by using PEDs
Aaron Hernandez- Fall from graced caused by 1st degree murder
Lenny Dykstra- Fall from grace caused by Grand Theft Auto and Bankruptcy Fraud
Ben Roethlisberger- Fall from grace caused by sexual assault charges

Please state your two changes and give a brief summary as to why you picked them. Good luck.


Based on your guideline I will delete your last two and insert the following:

Ryan Braun and Marion Jones. I thought about using Michael Vick as one.

However, after all the posturing pleading and lying Braun finally had to come clean and admit he DID use PEDs. After throwing the urine sample handler under the bus and putting his job in jeopardy; after swearing on his "life" there was no way that any forbidden substance entered his body; after having athletes to include Aaron Rodgers come to his defense it all came down to the fact; HE WAS GUILTY.

I don't think any other player in the league would have made as big a splash had they been found using PEDs as Braun did AT THE time of his first charge. MVP season tainted with accusations and he vehemently denied the charges.

What a disappointment.

Marion Jones. NCAAB championship with UNC. Five medals won at the Sydney Olympics. And she forfeited all medals won after admitting to using PEDs. While she may not be the household name some of the other celebrities, she was a big time hero for female athletes during her winning era. But now, unlike some of the others she has actually spent jail time for her lying.

MTC GL


Dykstra vs Braun

Lenny Dykstra was one of the grittiest, gutsiest, give it all you got hustlers in the game of baseball. He was a phenomenal player with cat like reflexes and an instinctive baseball intellect with tons of natural talent. He played in two World Series.

Dykstra saw the pinnacle of Baseball success. He earned over $35 million and after the housing bubble in 2008 he was forced into bankruptcy, eventually losing everything he had. Since then he's been charged with 'Indecent Exposure' to women, Grand Theft Auto and Federal Bankruptcy Fraud. Dykstra is sitting in Federal Prison right now...while you and I are enjoying a friendly TD.

With Ryan Braun I see a very different picture. What I'm seeing is a huge redundancy in PED detection throughout MLB in the last decade. When are we going to stop being surprised by it?

How many baseball players have we seen in the news having tested positive to PEDs in recent years? Quite a few. How about Jason Giambi, Manny Ramirez, Melky Cabrera, Rafael Palmeiro and at least 100 others.

Braun is only getting a 65 game suspension. Sure the guy is a scumbag, but has he really had a BIGGER fall from grace than Dykstra?


All you said about his efforts on the field were true. But outside of Philly no one gave a tinkersdamn about the guy. Yeah Philly fans loved him, but other than that , again no one cared. Hell, I even laughed when he got sentenced because if you tracked his off field exploits back in the day you could almost see it coming. He was as reckless with his personal life as he was on the field.

Braun on the other hand won an MVP. He has been an All Star every year since his rookie year. He won Rookie of the Year and he has been on the MVP ballot every year since his rookie year. To say Dykstra was ever as high on the Gracious Totem as Braun is inane.

I apologize for not reading all the way thru and putting an ineligible on my first argument. I will now make the correction as I stated in my FM.

I will select Barry Bonds as my second choice. 14 time All Star, 7 time MVP. At the age of 42 he led the league in walks and OBP. And the man STILL had a OPS+ of 169 that season. And he could NOT get a job the next season. With all the failures at DH in the AL that fact no one would take Barry on in that capacity is simply conspiratory. I believe he was black-balled by the owners and MLB.


Roethlisberger vs Bonds

Len Dykstra first rose to prominence in the city of New York where he had millions of fans. I can promise you that there were people outside of Philly who gave a tinkers damn about him.

Bonds name is synonyms with The Mitchell Report. So are 88 other players. For example, Roger Clemens. Bonds wasn't alone in his fall. My overall point here is that Bonds was never punished by MLB. He had a 22 season career and walked away with ALL of his records intact. He beat the system. He lost little to nothing considering what he did.

Ben Roethlisberger, AKA Big Ben QBed the Steelers to 2 Super Bowl titles while still in his 20s. He quickly became a national icon. You can find his name in the NFL Record book more than once. He had the beginning of a storied career and jeopardized it all more than once.

Roethlisberger's last fall from grace was tremendous. Being accused of rape, even though he was acquitted, assures his fall to be long lasting and not easily forgotten and he will live with that.

In addition, Roethlisberger received a 4 game suspension from the NFL at the start of the 2010 season due to his off field exploits. That's 1/4 of a season.


First let's get the facts straight, Roethlisberger was NOT acquitted. HELL, he was not even charged. The allegations were so preposterous the DA did not even try for an indictment.

Big Ben got married. He and his wife had a kid. And he became an All American Dad . He even told the Steelers when his wife went into labor he would have to miss the game to be there if it were game day. He has done everything anyone could have asked of him since those rowdy youthful days as a bachelor.

You say Bonds got away with everything. What did he get away with? I know you and I both assume that he roided the latter part of his career. But one thing is for certain, neither you nor I or anyone else can place a bookmark on WHEN he did.

When you have as much BOLD INK as Bonds has in the Record Books and you don't get the call to the hall on your first look, That my friend is definitely the biggest fall from Grace a player of his caliber could endure. I think the BBWAA still hope some report or piece of evidence surfaces proving his guilt.


So Big Ben is still starting at QB and Bonds waited five years to announce retirement because he could not find a team. Which one fell?

August 26, 2013  08:56 AM ET

Let me think on this...top 3 are solid.

August 26, 2013  10:18 AM ET

Does the 'B' in NCAAB stand for Basketball?

August 26, 2013  10:21 AM ET

Good topic.

August 26, 2013  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Does the 'B' in NCAAB stand for Basketball?

yeah, maybe should have spelled it out better. I was getting short on the 1200 characters.

August 26, 2013  11:11 AM ET

A-Rod was always a jerk and no one liked him. I guess he was in good graces in the 90's with Seattle, but his fall happened a long time ago, and wasn't in good graces come 2000.

Aaron Hernandez wasn't really in good graces either. He wasn't in bad graces, but I wouldn't consider him falling like say Tiger Woods.

I like both the Big Ben and the Ryan Braun picks, to go with the obvious Tiger Woods. The others, not so much.

August 26, 2013  12:33 PM ET

I thought Marion was supposed to be off limits?

Comment #7 has been removed
August 26, 2013  01:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I thought Marion was supposed to be off limits?

Damn , you are right ...I missed that.....IF HOOTZ will let me I will substitute another....

Good Catch..........

August 26, 2013  01:34 PM ET

Since Marion was put on the "do not use" list...I will substitute Barry Bonds IF approved by HOOTZ.

August 26, 2013  04:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

A-Rod was always a jerk and no one liked him. I guess he was in good graces in the 90's with Seattle, but his fall happened a long time ago, and wasn't in good graces come 2000.Aaron Hernandez wasn't really in good graces either. He wasn't in bad graces, but I wouldn't consider him falling like say Tiger Woods.I like both the Big Ben and the Ryan Braun picks, to go with the obvious Tiger Woods. The others, not so much.

I don't think Big Ben was much of a fall.

Charges were dropped, and he's still popular/marketable.

Vick would've been a much better choice.

Comment #11 has been removed
August 26, 2013  06:37 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Since Marion was put on the "do not use" list...I will substitute Barry Bonds IF approved by HOOTZ.

Approved. Looks like we've got Dykstra vs Braun and Roethlisberger vs Bonds.

August 26, 2013  06:49 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

He ascended to grace for Win Twins.

August 26, 2013  10:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

He ascended to grace for Win Twins.

Nightmares tonight....

Thanks Yoda....

:)

August 26, 2013  11:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

A-Rod was always a jerk and no one liked him. I guess he was in good graces in the 90's with Seattle, but his fall happened a long time ago, and wasn't in good graces come 2000.

I don't mean to split hairs with you Argos, but, A-Rod entered the 2001 season with the highest contract in baseball history at $252 Million... Somebody still liked him.

August 27, 2013  12:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

He ascended to grace for Win Twins.

He ascended something for Twins I am sure. Not sold on it being grace though.

August 27, 2013  12:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I don't mean to split hairs with you Argos, but, A-Rod entered the 2001 season with the highest contract in baseball history at $252 Million... Somebody still liked him.

Personally I found Rodrigurz fairly likeable all throughout his tenure in Texas. It was really only once he got to New York that I found the man intolerable.

August 27, 2013  12:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Personally I found Rodrigurz fairly likeable all throughout his tenure in Texas. It was really only once he got to New York that I found the man intolerable.

I don't know MF. From where I was sitting, he was a two faced phony from day one. Maybe I was the only one, but I shed no tears when he left.

Other than for the $ the Rangers paid the Yankees to take him off their hands.

August 27, 2013  12:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

I don't know MF. From where I was sitting, he was a two faced phony from day one. Maybe I was the only one, but I shed no tears when he left.Other than for the $ the Rangers paid the Yankees to take him off their hands.

I was only like 19 when A Rod became a Ranger, not far removed from my HS career as a shortstop. Long story short, A Rod as a Ranger was just the icing on the cake for me. I had already idolized the guy for his all around domination at such a young age.

 
August 27, 2013  12:54 AM ET

He probably always was a phony, though. Sure you're right about that.

Rodriguez is probably the phoniest athlete in sports, currently. In my opinion, at any rate.

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