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  • 09/05/2013, 02:38PM ET

Biggest heel turn in recent American sports (non-wrestling, that'd be too easy)

Marlins Fan (156-78-31) vs Mil Town Proud (7-1-2)
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I'm going with Johnny Manziel.

Everybody hates on this cat these days but it wasn't so long ago that he was the most popular story in American sports.

Remember this time last year? Nobody had ever even heard of Manziel. He was a freshman QB for a team nobody expected much from in their first year in the mighty SEC.

But then Manziel started dominating and A&M started winning. Heck, Manziel led the Aggies into Bryant-Denny stadium and left Tuscaloosa with a win. Over the soon-to-be National Champions.

All of a sudden people started noticing. How could you not?

Manziel finished 2012 with over 3,700 yards passing and 26 TDs on 68% completion and accumulated 1,400 yards rushing with 21 rushing TDs.

Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman.

And then it all went downhill.

From getting kicked out of the Manning's QB camp to the autograph signing scandal, Manziel was in the news for all the wrong reasons.

And he's embraced it. You see the way he mocked the autograph incident against Rice? That happened the day after Manziel was penalized and talked to his teammates about what he had "learned".

Manziel had the biggest heel turn.


Nope.

The man I am going to select is one of the most decorated US athletes in history.

A former symbol for perseverance through adversity.

Lance Armstrong

7 time Tour de France winner
Livestrong founder
USOC Male Athlete of the Year (4x)
AP Male Athlete of the Year (4x)
ESPY Male Athlete of the Year (4x)
SI Sportsman of the year (2002)

These are just some of the accolades and accomplishments tarnished by his 2013 admission of using performance enhancing drugs.

Say what you want about Manziel, its mostly a case of a kid acting like a kid (albeit a very stupid kid) under intense media scrutiny.

Armstrong, on the other hand, connived and cheated his way into American lore, became a role model for millions battling cancer that they too can persevere against all odds.

Heel turn / fall from grace, no American athlete in history, let alone recent years, has disappointed as many as Armstrong.

His actions did not just damage his reputation, it damaged the organization synonmous with Armstrong's likeness in the mid 2000s and dedicated to supporting those affected by cancer, Livestrong.

September 5, 2013  02:41 PM ET

Recently read an article on sbnation.com which sort of inspired this TD. The article used the term "heel turn" when talking about Manziel's fall from grace.

September 5, 2013  02:43 PM ET

i feel like everyone just ignored the warning signs all along with his drinking and partying and the photos that surfaced. i think we were all just in obsessed with his on the field exploits that we didn't care about him as a person. now during the offseason when he's not playing, there's nothing to distract us from his idiocy. good topic mf.

Comment #3 has been removed
September 5, 2013  06:33 PM ET

That's a pretty good argument from that one TD newbie on the right.

September 5, 2013  06:39 PM ET

Leaning easily to the right.... personally I'd go with Eldrick Tont Woods FTW IMO.

September 5, 2013  06:53 PM ET

feeling right. gonna need a strong argument from MF here

September 5, 2013  07:04 PM ET

Both guys make a good case. Leaning right though because Manziel, stupid as he was, has a real chance to get over his act of stupidity. Armstrong? Not so much.

September 6, 2013  01:00 AM ET

Goddammit.

September 6, 2013  01:00 AM ET

Forgot about Lance.

September 6, 2013  01:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Leaning easily to the right.... personally I'd go with Eldrick Tont Woods FTW IMO.

Really? Everybody loves him again, seems like.

September 6, 2013  01:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

feeling right. gonna need a strong argument from MF here

Not gonna happen.

This ship is sunk.

September 6, 2013  01:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Both guys make a good case. Leaning right though because Manziel, stupid as he was, has a real chance to get over his act of stupidity. Armstrong? Not so much.

Agreed.

September 6, 2013  01:02 AM ET

****, man. I'm up a creek...

September 6, 2013  01:04 AM ET

Sorry, Gus. I can't even **** my way through this one. You've trumped me. I hate to do this but om gonna forfeit.

I can't top Lance. My bad.

September 6, 2013  01:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

****, man. I'm up a creek...

Switch to personal attacks. I hear that right has a tattoo of Justin Bieber on his schwantz. He also drinks Zima with cranberry juice because he has a delicate urinary tract.

True story.

September 6, 2013  01:07 AM ET

The cancer aspect blows everything about Manziel out of the water. Lance Armstrong wasn't just Lance Armstrong. He represented millions of cancer survivors and sufferers, not sure if that's the correct term.

Regardless he was a global icon because of his success story. Huge inspiration.

Major oversight on my part.

September 6, 2013  01:08 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Switch to personal attacks. I hear that right has a tattoo of Justin Bieber on his schwantz. He also drinks Zima with cranberry juice because he has a delicate urinary tract.True story.

Lol. Nice angle.

September 6, 2013  02:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Really? Everybody loves him again, seems like.

No major, no love IMO.... ; >

Cancer versus destroying family values.... a lot stronger than signing an autograph

My other athlete for Biggest heel turn in recent American sports? Antonio Ramiro Romo.

7 years of Fantasy pts bliss, but way short of the Dallas Cowboys folklore.

Good topic though....

September 6, 2013  08:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Sorry, Gus. I can't even **** my way through this one. You've trumped me. I hate to do this but om gonna forfeit.I can't top Lance. My bad.

No problem, man. Keep pumping out topics, I'm sure to pick up another.

 
September 6, 2013  08:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Switch to personal attacks. I hear that right has a tattoo of Justin Bieber on his schwantz. He also drinks Zima with cranberry juice because he has a delicate urinary tract.True story.

So jealous.

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