By Patrick Hruby
Page 2

Take the porn flick out of your SUV's dashboard DVD player. No need to drive pantsless through a Wendy's drive-thru.

When it comes to sheer sports ignominiousness, this year was what we thought it would be: the absolute worst yet, stomping on previous nadirs as surely as Albert Haynesworth stepped on Andre Gurode's helmetless noggin.

Bode Miller opened his mouth. Terrell Owens cleared his throat. Barry Bonds charitably collected unused medical equipment. O.J. Simpson felt the sharp, stabbing pain of literary rejection.

From Maurice Clarett to Marcus Vick, from the scholar-athletes of Miami and Florida International re-enacting the Battle of Thermopylae to Ron Artest making Kevin Federline look like Elvis, the last 12 months were ridiculous. Preposterous. Downright peerless – at least until 2007.

And now, on to Part 1 of our 2006 Ignominious Effort Awards:

Maurice Clarett
AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato
Maurice Clarett will not be one of those ex-Buckeyes on the sidelines for the national title game.

New Year's resolution: avoid pesky ATM fees

Former Ohio State halfback Maurice Clarett was charged with robbing two people at gunpoint in an alley behind a Columbus, Ohio, bar on New Year's Day.

He thought they were boosters

Clarett allegedly showed the victims a handgun tucked in his waistband, then demanded they empty their pockets.

Actually, the bottle was half-empty

Clarett was later arrested following a highway chase that ended with police subduing him with mace then finding four loaded guns and a half-full bottle of vodka in his SUV.

For instance, Iraq

Said the coach of a semipro football team Clarett planned to play for: "I've seen far worse situations than this."

No wonder they lag behind their Italian counterparts

ESPN reported that Clarett was bankrolled by an alleged member of the Israeli mob.

Mo Clarett has the same problem. Sans the skin burns and compresses part

Russian hurdler Yuliya Pechonkina claimed she missed most of the season due to skin burns caused by vodka-soaked compresses.

THE YEAR IN TYSON
Thereby finding someone he can still knock out
Former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson visited Mao Zedong's tomb.

And this differs from his last three fights how?
Tyson announced plans for a "Mike Tyson World Tour," a series of four-round exhibition bouts intended to help him get out of debt.

Which would at least make him No. 1 at something
Former Hollywood madame Heidi Fleiss reportedly claimed that Tyson wanted to work at her planned Nevada brothel and be "her No. 1 stud."

Much like the Mike Tyson World Tour
Fleiss' publicist told the Las Vegas Review Journal that the brothel report was a "ridiculous hoax."

Evander Holyfield wasn't available
Tyson said that one of his exhibition bouts could be against female boxer Ann Wolfe.

Told you he'd end up fighting Mao!
PRIDE FC, a Japanese mixed martial arts organization, announced that Tyson would fight in a New Year's Eve show, possibly staged in China.

He's No. 1!

Pittsburgh Steelers fans reportedly gave linebacker Clark Haggans an ovation after he exited a training camp porta-potty.

See? We didn't make the last item up

Steelers fan Terry O'Neill went into cardiac arrest following a Jerome Bettis fumble near the end of the Pittsburgh-Indianapolis playoff game.

See? We didn't make the last item up, either

Two days before the Pittsburgh-Denver playoff game, Pennsylvania high school teacher John Kelly made a Broncos jersey-wearing student sit on the floor during a midterm exam, then had other students pelt him with paper.

No child left unhumiliated

Said Kelly in the Denver Post: "If he felt uncomfortable, then that's a lesson; that's what [the class] is designed to do."

If the rock made him feel uncomfortable, then that's a lesson; that's what potentially deadly projectiles are designed to do

A rock was thrown through the window of NFL official Pete Morelli's home following his crew's overturn of an apparent Troy Polamalu interception in the Steelers-Colts playoff game.

Forgot? He just didn't want a rock through His stained-glass window

After the game, a Pittsburgh victory that saw Indianapolis kicker Mike Vanderjagt miss a potential game-tying field goal, Vanderjagt said: "I guess the Lord forgot about the football team."

Guess the Lord forgot about the television audience

In a Washington-Stanford college basketball game, six timeouts were called in the final 5.9 seconds.

Because you can't have a Rainbow Coalition without … leprechauns?

The Rev. Jesse Jackson was named the co-national manager of the Jockey's Guild.

Bucs cheerleaders
Matt Stroshane/Getty Images
Disgraceful! No, not the uniforms ... or the girls ... oh, never mind.

Tact: Acute sensitivity to what is proper and appropriate in dealing with others, including the ability to speak or act without offending.

During halftime of a New Orleans Saints-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, Bucs cheerleaders danced to "Rock You Like a Hurricane."

Well, excluding the ones for alcohol

The NFL announced plans to cut ties with erectile-dysfunction drug advertisements.

Yes, but did he give anyone herpes?

Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick was kicked off the team for stomping on the leg of Louisville's Elvis Dumervil during the Gator Bowl.

Curiously, the interview was not in Spanish

The stomp occurred while Vick's older brother, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, gave a television interview on the Virginia Tech sideline.

Back off, Hamburglar!

Two days after his dismissal, Marcus Vick was arrested and charged with three counts of brandishing a firearm for pointing a gun at three people in a McDonald's parking lot.

Because if anyone knows acceptable behavior, it's Marcus Vick

A 17-year-old girl sued Marcus Vick for $6.3 million, claiming that Vick sexually abused her over the course of a nearly two-year relationship, persuaded her to have sex with Vick and another man and assured her that sex between an adult and a "child of her age" was acceptable.

Dirty Bird

Michael Vick was fined $10,000 for flipping off fans in Atlanta.

Nacho Lecter

Mexican police arrested a female wrestler, Juana Barraza, on suspicion of being a serial killer who targeted elderly women.

"And considerably more strength not to scream like a little girl"

Said an arresting officer: "She threw people in our way as we were chasing her. Once we reached her, my partner and I took one of her arms and she grabbed us in the groin. It took considerable strength to get her into the patrol car."

Thereby ensuring a second career in Mexican wrestling

Reggie Evans
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
If you look closely, Reggie Evans is about to grab Chris Kaman in a very bad place.

Denver Nuggets forward Reggie Evans was fined $10,000 for grabbing Los Angeles Clippers center Chris Kaman between the legs and "pulling hard" during a playoff game.

Don't they all?

A Missouri dodgeball game ended in assault charges.

Unlike, say, dogging your way out of Toronto

New Jersey Nets guard Vince Carter said that Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's 81-point game could send the wrong message to children about not playing basketball within the team concept.

Another wrong message for the children … and pretty much everyone else

A Golden State Warriors media relations staffer was fired for sending an e-mail to dozens of newspapers and reporters titled "Ghetto Prom," featuring photos of African-American teens in skimpy formal wear and running commentary on their attire.

Some of her best friends are black

The staffer claimed the e-mail was meant for his wife.

Sentimental attachment

THE YEAR IN CANSECO
Substitute "head" for "ball"
Former MLB player Jose Canseco signed a contract to be a designated hitter and knuckleball pitcher for the independent San Diego Surf Dawgs.

Surprise of the Year
When the Associated Press called Canseco for a comment, they got the following message: "Hello, Jose Canseco. I have lost my cell phone. If you can, please leave a number when you call. Thank you."

The retired batter promptly killed himself
Pitching in the Golden Baseball League All-Star game, Canseco gave up four runs, three hits, one walk and retired one batter in one-third of an inning.

Like Gatorade, but injectable
Canseco announced plans to hawk "Juiced: the Drink."

If his film production skills are as good as his knuckleball, we're totally there
Canseco also announced plans to produce a movie adaptation of his tell-all book "Juiced."

Former MLB player Albert Belle allegedly tracked his ex-girlfriend with a GPS device he stuck to her car.

"Such as ensuring that this GPS device works, in case my ex-girlfriend gets lost while driving on the face of Mount Hood. Which could totally happen"

Said Belle when contacted by the Associated Press: "You guys never report the good stuff that I do."

Nobody's that dumb …

News outlets mistakenly reported that University of Texas quarterback Vince Young scored a 6 on the 50-point Wonderlic Intelligence Test.

… see?

Young actually scored a 16.

Even Vince Young can pass one of those

An Indian runner who won an Asian Games silver medal in the women's 800 meters failed a gender test.

Arbor Daze

The Stanford Tree was ejected from a basketball game and later was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.157.

"With the 20th pick in the 2007 NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select the Stanford Tree"

The Tree also was suspended from the NCAA Tournament after refusing to clear the floor following halftime of a game.

"With the 11th pick in the 2007 NFL draft, the Minnesota Vikings select Latrell Sprewell"

Former NBA player Latrell Sprewell allegedly attempted to choke a woman while having sex on his boat.

This Bud's for you. Literally

Nigel Thatch, the minor league pitcher who played "Leon" in a series of Budweiser commercials, was traded for 60 cases of Bud.

Plus a condiment to be named later

Romanian soccer club UT Arad traded defender Marius Cioara for 33 pounds of meat.

But only after balking at NBC's initial offer: 60 cases of Bud and 33 pounds of meat

Oswald the Rabbit
Disney
Mariners GM Bill Bavasi is reportedly offering up Ichiro straight up for Oswald.

ESPN traded broadcaster Al Michaels to NBC for, among other things, the rights to Oswald the Rabbit, a 1927 cartoon character.

Angelos might have noticed, too, had he not been busy counting their ticket receipts

Nearly a thousand Baltimore Orioles fans walked out of a home game to protest the leadership of team owner Peter Angelos.

In related news, America announced plans not to watch

Former USC running back Anthony Davis announced plans to broadcast his gastric bypass surgery on the Internet.

OK, so maybe live gastric bypass surgery doesn't sound so bad after all

The Winter Olympics opening ceremony featured a 12-minute scene from an Italian Renaissance court, Yoko Ono making an appeal for world peace, 35,000 fans spelling Y-M-C-A, Peter Gabriel singing "Imagine" and disco music during the traditional March of Nations.

Get out!

Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams failed a NFL drug test.

No way!

Former NBA player Isaiah Rider was arrested on charges of kidnapping a female acquaintance.

Say it ain't so!

Former MLB pitcher Dwight Gooden flunked probation for cocaine use.

Who woulda thunk it!

Rider subsequently was arrested on charges of felony cocaine possession.

In other words, Tuesday night at Isaiah Rider's place

American figure skater Johnny Weir described the tempo of a competitor's short program as "a vodka-shot, let's-snort-coke kind of thing."

Wait – sequined shirts aren't macho?

Said Weir: "I am very princessy as far as travel is concerned and having a nice room and things like that. Sorry to say 'princessy,' but that's what we do."

Correction: a young Polish princess

Weir also told The Washington Post that in a former life, he was a young Polish girl during the Holocaust.

Thankfully, we have no idea what that means

Mark Cuban
Tim Heitman/Getty Images
Is it possible Mark Cuban is about to say "bucket boy" in this photo?

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban claimed that Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson "must now be considered my bucket boy."

Regrettably, we know exactly what that means

At a hockey game featuring Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, a female fan held up a sign reading PUT IT IN MY FIVE HOLE SIDNEY.

Put it in his five hole

While playing in a charity soccer game, British Parliament member Boris Johnson dove headfirst into a German player, spearing him in the groin.

Provided the ball is airborne

Explained Johnson: "I'm a rugby player … there was no malice. I was going for the ball with my head, which I understand is a legitimate move in soccer."

A legitimate move in brawling – assuming you're Doug Christie's wife

During a bar brawl, New Zealand rugby player Tana Umaga allegedly hit teammate Chris Masoe with a woman's handbag.

Sorry, but that's totally princessy

Masoe reportedly burst out crying and had to be calmed before being escorted from the bar by Umaga and a female bouncer.

Sorry, but that's also totally princessy

A Los Angeles man sued the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for age and sex discrimination after he was denied a free tote bag at a Mother's Day giveaway.

Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and … BOOM! OH GOD I CAN'T FIND MY LEGS!

A group of Russian fishermen accidentally blew up a train with the same dynamite they planned on using to help them fish.

Ironically, he threw the bat for a strike

Durham Bulls outfielder Delmon Young was suspended 50 games for throwing a bat into the chest of an umpire who called him out on strikes.

Hey, no cheering in the jury box!

A Washington state judge was disciplined for ordering a cheer of "Go Seahawks!" before issuing a manslaughter sentence.

Big deal, the same thing happened in the Valerie Plame leak case. It didn't? Our bad

The lead prosecutor in an assault case against Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor was forced to step down amid charges that he used the case to promote his side job as a Miami nightclub DJ.

It was that, or wait for Darryl Strawberry to violate probation again

The Florida state corrections department gave former minor league baseball player Mark Guerra a no-show job so that he could help prison guards win a softball tournament.

Plan B: Assemble a roster that can win without cockamamie subterfuge

A sexual harassment suit filed against New York Knicks coach and team president Isiah Thomas alleged that Thomas pushed for Sunday home games at noon so he could steer opposing players to clubs where he had connections on Saturday nights, the better to make those players sluggish the next day.

Is Isiah Thomas reading this?

Following consecutive losses, the coach of a Russian soccer club had Mafia thugs beat up three of his players.

Is Matt Millen reading this?

In an effort to bring about good luck, a struggling Bulgarian soccer team sacrificed a lamb, then used the lamb's blood to paint their goal posts.

Really? We thought it was because he neglected to kill a goat and rub the entrails all over his cleats

Ronaldinho
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Really, we're just surprised Ronaldinho even showed up for the games.

A British tabloid reported that Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho's poor World Cup showing was due to staying up late in his hotel room, where he made love to his French model girlfriend and played marathon sessions of PlayStation 2.

If there's one thing Playboy.com knows, it's fakes

A Playboy.com investigation revealed the Ronaldinho story to be fake.

"I've also shot crumpled-up paper into a wastebasket. That counts, right?"

Asked if he had ever played any sports other than golf, Tiger Woods said: "I've done other things – I've thrown a baseball a few times and thrown a couple of coins here and there."

Asked if he had ever played any sports other than driving, Michael Waltrip said "no"

NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip tossed the first pitch at an Atlanta Braves game into the dugout.

Ciao!

Upset over Italian soccer club Inter Milan's unexpected elimination from the Champions League, a group of masked fans attacked the team's players at the airport.

Throw-ins

English soccer team Liverpool apologized to rival Manchester United after its fans pelted United's players and fans with coins, food and human excrement during an FA Cup match.

Their arms got tired

Liverpool fans also attacked an ambulance that was taking injured Manchester United player Alan Smith to the hospital.

Seriously, is it too much to (expletive) ask?

During the Little League World Series, a broadcast microphone caught a player for the Staten Island squad imploring his teammates to score "one [expletive] run."

If dead eels tied to ropes are outlawed, only outlaws will have dead eels tied to ropes

British authorities banned the sport of conger cuddling, which consists of people attempting to knock each other off small wooden blocks by swinging dead conger eels tied to ropes.

Top 10 signs you may need a cup of coffee: (1) Comparing Africa's problems to a Rubik's Cube; (2) Counting on George Clooney to fix them; (3-10) See 1 and 2

During a San Diego Padres telecast, former MLB pitcher and ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe gave a slurring, rambling interview in which he said of Africa and actor George Clooney: "Yeah, he's up there with the Congress, he's trying to get everybody to go over there and solve that thing."

Mascot of the Year

Preparing for an influx of prostitutes during the World Cup, the city of Berlin announced plans to distribute 100,000 free condoms and use a woman dressed as a condom to promote safe sex.

Shoulda bought the rights to the woman dressed as a condom

A toy manufacturer that paid $33 million for the rights to World Cup mascot Goleo filed for bankruptcy before the tournament began.

It's soccer. Why would you expect a lot of scoring?

According to The New York Times, German brothels were disappointed that the World Cup did not produce an expected surge in business.

Yeah, 20 minutes does seem sorta long

Said a German prostitute, who blamed spotty business on the tournament's social nature: "For most people, it's just too complicated. It's difficult to say to your friends, 'I'm going to leave you now and go to a brothel for 20 minutes.' That's not normal behavior."

Wait – Kevin Costner is alive?

Actor Kevin Costner and his band played a free concert at the Iowa baseball field where "Field of Dreams" was filmed.

Arianne Caoli
WireImage
Hmm ... maybe we need to start covering chess more regularly.

Wait – there's an Anna Kournikova of chess?

British chess grandmaster Danny Gormally attacked fellow grandmaster Levon Aronian after Aronian danced with 19-year-old chess prodigy Arianne Caoili, nicknamed "the Anna Kournikova of chess."

Wait -- Jake Plummer hit something he was aiming at?

In a road rage fit, Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer reportedly put his vehicle into reverse and rammed the vehicle behind him.

Wait – there's an American Decency Association?

The American Decency Association launched an e-mail campaign asking the Detroit Pistons to recall a swimsuit calendar featuring the club's dance team.

Obviously, she's never been to a World Cup

Said a spokeswoman for the group: "To me, this is a form of prostitution."

Where's the American Decency Association when you really need them?

Former NFL quarterback and Fox football analyst Terry Bradshaw appeared in a nude scene in the movie "Failure to Launch."

Where's the American Decency Association when you really need them?

Said Bradshaw of filming the scene: "The penis sock was so awkward and humiliating."

Which is almost as awkward and humiliating as a penis sock

After police arrested Florida State basketball recruit Jon Kreft for marijuana possession, he produced a bag of cocaine from the "crevice of his buttocks."

Hey, it's not like it would fit in the crevice of his buttocks

University of Texas running back Ramonce Taylor was suspended after police found five pounds of marijuana in his car.

Cool. How about showing ticket holders the same courtesy during the regular season?

The Oakland Raiders barred the media from the team's opening minicamp sessions.

That would be wrong

The head of the Nigerian Football Association declared that referees can take bribes from clubs but should not allow the money to influence their decisions on the pitch.

This sort of thing would never happen in Nigeria

Kurt Busch
AP Photo/Russ Hamilton Jr.
Kurt Busch and girlfriend. No, we don't have pictures of the actual fight.

Juventus, the most popular Italian soccer club, and three other Serie A teams were implicated in a wide-ranging scandal involving alleged match fixing, illegal betting and crooked refereeing.

Beer commercial sport produces beer commercial situation

The girlfriend of NASCAR driver Greg Biffle was reprimanded for a pit-row confrontation with the fiancee of driver Kurt Busch, which took place after the two drivers wrecked in a race.

All citizens must wash hands before returning to work

A guidebook for 2008 Summer Olympics citizen manners released by the Chinese government instructs readers to "remember to flush."

Remember, it's your tax dollars that ultimately will bail the company out. In the meantime, enjoy the free trip!

On the same day American Airlines announced a $92 million first-quarter operating loss, the company gave away 20,000 free flight vouchers at a Dallas Mavericks game.

Safe driving tips: Pay attention to traffic –

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Eddie Griffin crashed his SUV into a parked car outside a Minneapolis store.

… keep your wits about you …

Griffin, who lacks a driver's license, allegedly was drunk at the time.

Eddie Griffin
Eddie Sherman/Getty Images
When he's not driving his SUV, Eddie likes to play pro basketball.

… and always hold the wheel with two hands

Police said Griffin was masturbating to a pornographic DVD playing on a dashboard-mounted screen.

Goal!

The CEO of a British clinic said that addiction to Internet pornography is a growing problem among Premier League soccer players.

"Unless they're trying to drive a car at the same time. But who would be that stupid?"

Said the CEO: "It must be stressed that if a 21-year-old is scanning a bit of porn and accessing pleasure from it, doing that once is not unusual and nor is it a problem."

Well, at least they're not addicted to Internet porn

Four Premier League soccer players were embroiled in a sex scandal following the release of a seven-minute tape that shows the players involved with a female fan.

Better idea: set them up outside locker rooms

English sperm banks announced plans to set up mobile sperm banks outside soccer stadiums on game days.

For instance, chafed skin

According to The Times of London, British soccer players began freezing their babies' stem cells in the hope of treating future injuries.

Which would have been stylish in 1992

THE YEAR IN O.J.
If?
O.J. Simpson reportedly was paid $3.5 million for a book and tie-in Fox television special titled "If I Did It," in which Simpson would tell how he would have killed ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman had he, in fact, committed the murders.

Project slashed
News Corp., the parent company of Fox and publisher HarperCollins, canceled publication of the book and television special due to widespread public disgust.

Beats being illegally dead
Said Simpson of the fiasco: "I would like nothing better than to straighten out some things that have been mischaracterized. But I think I'm legally muzzled at this point."

The living part was key
Said would-be book publisher Judith Regan: "I was told the money would go to [Simpson's] children. That much I could live with."

Or if his name was Officer Mark
Simpson showed up at the Kentucky Derby and picked Lawyer Ron to win, stating: "If his name was Lawyer Johnnie, I would have bet my house on him."

Hip-hop horse culture? Didn't Hammer go broke?
Added Simpson on the Derby social scene: "You got better parties here than you do in Miami at the MTV Awards. It's the No. 1 event of the year. The hip-hop/movie/horse culture is all here."

"Trust me, she gets great highway mileage"
Simpson appeared in a pay-per-view program called "Juiced," in which he pulled Candid Camera-style pranks such as pretending to sell his famous white Bronco at a used car lot.

And also an innocent man looking for the real killers
Other practical jokes included Simpson disguised as an Elvis impersonator, a vagabond selling oranges for money and an elderly man leading a Bingo game.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Marko Jaric ran onto the court wearing his jersey backward.

In his defense, he isn't the most attentive fellow

As the other players on the Timberwolves bench laughed, Eddie Griffin peeked inside his shooting shirt to check his own jersey.

For that special sadist on your holiday shopping list

A figurine depicting former Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk after his jugular vein was slashed on the ice sold for $40 on eBay.

Ho-ho-horrible

One month after New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was killed in a plane crash, the Danbury Mint offered a Christmas ornament featuring the team's logo and Santa Claus piloting a plane.

And with that, John Daly's dream of becoming a Thai boxing champion went kaput

Thai officials ordered Olympic boxing champion Manus Boonjumnong to "steer clear of bars, gambling and women and focus on getting in shape."

Oddly enough, the announcement came before Yao was stuffed by Nate Robinson

A Chinese businessman announced plans to use the name Yao Ming as a trademark for a women's sanitary napkin.

Fox Sports: more responsive to public sentiment than the current presidential administration

A Fox Sports practical joke on a Carolina Panthers fan – saying he had won a new car, then giving him a toy model – backfired when subsequent public outcry forced the network to give the fan a new Ford pickup.

Surprisingly, Jeff Kent's pickup had nothing to do with this

NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson broke his wrist when he fell off the roof of a golf cart he was riding on at celebrity golf tournament.

Ten years? Was the ball made of Polonium?

English cricket player Mark Vermeulen received a 10-year ban for throwing a ball at some hecklers.

And with that, Philadelphia sports fans handed in their membership jackets, knowing they were no longer the meanest hecklers in sports

Among the hecklers' reported comments: "If you take your sunglasses off, then maybe you'll be able to see where you're bowling!"

The bad news? Kid Rock just flew into a jealous rage. The good news? He forgot all about "Borat"

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers used the names of famous actresses, including Pam Anderson, as audibles.

Yeah, God forbid anyone go without nicotine for 90 whole minutes

FIFA encouraged Mexican soccer coach Ricardo Lavolpe to use a nicotine patch after he smoked on the sideline during Mexico's 3-1 World Cup victory over Iran.

Can you blame them?

Russian police mistook a rugby match for a brawl and arrested the players.

"Committed" sounds about right

Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban turned down an invitation to dine with President Bush because of "training camp commitments."

He subsequently was invited to Miami Dolphins training camp

Northern Colorado backup punter Mitch Cozad was arrested for stabbing teammate and starting punter Rafael Mendoza in the kicking leg, the better to move up the depth chart.

EA Sports: If it's in the game, it's in between your shoulder blades!

A Georgia man allegedly stabbed his wife's cousin for beating him in PlayStation football.

You know, in America we only stab each other over truly important matters – like punting and PlayStation

A minor league soccer player in South Africa pulled out a knife and stabbed a teammate who had been sent in to replace him.

What ever happened to stabbing each other over video game football?

A South Carolina man fatally shot his friend in a dispute over a $20 bet on the South Carolina-Clemson football game.

What ever happened to shooting each other over two-bit college football wagers?

Law enforcement officials announced that an Internet message board post claiming that seven NFL stadiums would be hit with dirty bombs was a hoax inspired by a "writing duel" between two men.

Whatever happened to writing duels?

The provincial government of eastern Pakistan banned kite-flying after kite strings reinforced with wire and ground glass – the better for kite dueling, a popular local sport – killed seven people in a two week-span.

Note to aspiring burglars: always case the joint ahead of time

A Japanese burglar was subdued by a dozen sumo wrestlers after breaking into their training compound.

Unless they want to cook him dinner or something

Keith Hernandez
WireImage
Keith Hernandez: "I love you gals out there!"

Said New York Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez after spotting the San Diego Padres' female massage therapist in the team dugout during a game: "I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout."

Oh, that fixes everything

Added Hernandez: "You know I am only teasing. I love you gals out there – always have."

He's Keith Hernandez!

Asked if Danica Patrick was aggressive enough to compete in NASCAR, Indy League driver Ed Carpenter said: "I think Danica's pretty aggressive in our cars. I mean, you know especially if you catch her at the right time of the month, she might be trading plenty of paint out there."

Was Mardy Collins involved?

A hair-pulling player brawl forced the cancellation of a Brazilian women's handball national semifinal.

Correct. Except for the sad part

In a written statement, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner dubbed his team's playoff defeat a "sad failure."

The NCAA subsequently made him a football replay official

A Brazilian soccer official was suspended for allowing a goal scored by a ball boy.

Since when does Terrell Owens work at McDonald's?

Dallas Cowboys passing game coordinator Todd Haley sued a McDonald's for $1.7 million after claiming his wife and their family's au pair found a dead rat in their salad.

Finally, a way to fill Madison Square Garden during Knicks games!

The Web site HireAFan.com promised to match sponsors with participants who would be paid $5 to watch a game and support a specific team.

Uh-oh …

A soccer match in England was halted when a steel crossbow arrow landed near some players.

… phew!

Officials restarted the game after determining that the arrow likely came from outside the stadium.

Cheer up: in South Korea, it's still Apolo Anton Ohno. Probably

Bode Miller
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Hey, it's not easy to win gold when everyone hates you.

American skier Bode Miller marveled at being "apparently the most hated Olympic athlete in history, or something."

"You guys are doing a heckuva job"

Prior to the U.S. soccer team's desultory 3-0 World Cup opening game loss to the Czech Republic, President Bush called to wish the squad good luck and tell them they were "well prepared."

"Special greetings to Bode Miller, the only person here with a lower approval rating than my own"

Welcoming the U.S. Winter Olympics team to the White House, Bush referred to them as "dudes and dudesses."

Dudess of the Year

Coasting to an apparent victory in Olympic snowboardcross, American snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis tried a trick on the next-to-last jump and fell, allowing Switzerland's Tanja Frieden to win the race.

Absolutely True, 100 Percent Nonexaggeration of the Year

Televangelist Pat Robertson claimed on his Web site that he can leg press 2,000 pounds.

Diplomatic Overture of the Year



Faith in Humanity Restoring Act of the Year

Someone in Cleveland's Dawg Pound stole the wheelchair of Browns fan Levi White, who is afflicted with spina bifida.

Unconvincing Aquaman Impersonation of the Year



Injury of the Year

Atlanta Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur blew his nose so hard that he dislodged cartilage, triggering an infection.

Damn

The inaugural World Series of Strip Poker, set for next year, was canceled.

Come back Wednesday for Part II of our 2006 Ignominious Effort Awards, in which Shaquille O'Neal auditions for "Dateline," Vice President Cheney patriotically exercises his Second Amendment rights and Zinedine Zidane demonstrates header fundamentals.

Patrick Hruby is a columnist for Page 2. Sound off to Page 2 here.




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IT'S IGNOMINIOUS