As many of us are getting ready for the Super Bowl, we've shared some sports news that has the sports world laughing, along with a few people wincing. On Wednesday, we announced our 2012 winner of the Tank McNamara Sports Jerk of the Year contest. None other than your favorite cyclist, Lance Armstrong, won the race from the public's votes over the past month. See the comic strip announcement here:
Thanks to everyone for voting, following along and checking in on the tallies. It was our first year hosting the voting using a Twitter hashtag (#sportsjerk) and our readers responded en masse. Here is the breakout of the top candidates:
4th Runner-Up: Donald Fehr, Executive Director of the NHL Players Association.
Looks like hockey is far more popular than we anticipated, with hockey reps taking two of the top five spots in our contest. For the second time in nine years, the National Hockey League has experienced a work stoppage. Depending on your team vs. owner perspective, passionate puck fans are blaming either the "greedy owners" or the "standoffish players association," the latter being represented by Fehr. Adding to Fehr's legacy is that he had a hand in two major league's work stoppages, having repped the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1994 during the only cancelled postseason in professional sports due to a labor dispute.
3rd Runner-Up: Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
*Picture from Bloguin.com
"Judge, jury and executioner" is one of the more polite phrases/monikers that is used to describe "The Commish" over the past year. Some of the lowlights associated with the NFL during his 2012 reign include a referee strike (resulting in several erroneous calls by replacement officials, including a famous one on Monday Night Football, affecting a game's outcome) and an increased focus on fining players for uniform inconsistency. Most of all, he was the face of the charges brought against members of the New Orleans Saints, resulting in their head coach, general manager and several current/former players and coaches being suspended from the league – many of which were later overturned when an independent arbitrator was brought in for resolution. The buzz in New Orleans this weekend, home of the Super Bowl, is that Goodell isn't welcome in the bars around the French Quarter. I'm guessing he'll be going straight from the hotel to the Superdome and back.
2nd Runner-Up: Bob Costas, NFL/Olympics Broadcaster
Politics can definitely polarize a nation, especially when unexpectedly being brought in to people's living rooms. Many of Costas' votes centered around his December monologue on Sunday Night Football about gun control, a day after an NFL player committed a murder-suicide involving the mother of his child. The masses have spoken: When watching a sport, fans want to hear about said sport and not a personal political stance.
1st Runner Up: Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner
See the 4th Runner-Up, Donald Fehr, for the alternative perspective. While this is Fehr's first lockout with the NHL, this is Bettman's second in the past 9 years (third in total), including a full-season work stoppage for the 2004-05 season. Fans' vitriol for this year's delayed hockey season and many of the public barbs have been directed toward Bettman. The ice is a cold, cold place for Gary Bettman – he was even booed while presenting the Stanley Cup.
AND THE WINNER … Lance Armstrong, Cyclist and Triathlete
After years of denying that he used any performance-enhancing drugs or blood-doping to win 7 Tour de France races and an Olympic gold, the truth caught up with him. His hypocrisy caught up with him, after suing those who testified against him. I think that this video summarizes why so many people voted to make him the Sports Jerk of 2012:
What you do you think? Anyone who should've made the top five that was omitted?