Tank McNamara editor Clint Hooker shares the results of the annual Sports Jerk of the Year Award.
The nominations for the 2015 Sports Jerk of the Year rolled in by many avenues — Twitter, Facebook, email, GoComics, YouTube, even gravitational waves. OK, that last part's not true, but it's still pretty cool.
Second Runner-Up honors went to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The commish, who took the "top" honor as the 2014 SJOTY, was an early leader in the voting, and I thought he was a lock for a repeat performance. Seriously, two in row? That's a Hall of Jerkdom kind of jerk. Fallout from Deflategate and the league's numerous scandals and inconsistent stances continue to define Goodell's recent time atop the sports world.
But it wasn't meant to be.
This year's nominations took a remarkable international turn thanks to the actions and inaction of one man — former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter. And Tank McNamara readers displayed their cosmopolitan chops by pushing Blatter to the No. 2 spot in SJOTY voting. And the man deserved every vote. After overseeing the governing body of world soccer for nearly two decades of greed, graft, corruption and cronyism, it all came crashing down in 2015. Indictments, arrests and accusations flew throughout the summer, but Blatter refused to budge. Finally, FIFA members red-carded him themselves, banning Blatter from any FIFA activities for eight years.
But even the jaw-dropping, billion-dollar global transgressions of Blatter's regime couldn't take down our 2015 Sports Jerk of the Year — Johnny "Football" Manziel.
I don't know where to start, and no one knows where it will end. Johnny's roller coaster year rocketed along an unfinished track, and the result was pretty much inevitable. Run-ins with heckling fans, his girlfriend and the police became national news. A video surfaced showing him partying in Texas during his team's bye week, and he allegedly compounded the issue by lying to coaches about it. That episode cost him the starting job in Cleveland. And as 2015 turned to 2016, the mess has only continued to grow. Manziel looks to be the early favorite for next year's award, but as Roger Goodell surely knows, nothing is guaranteed for a Sports Jerk.
Thanks for the record-setting number of nominations! We can't wait for next year!