The best human train wrecks in sports history

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Raykill
6/9/08 5:00:49PM
This was on Fox sports

Once upon a time, Jose Canseco was one of baseball's most explosive young talents. He brought power, speed and a strong throwing arm to our national pastime.
But he was a knucklehead, too, and he de-evolved into a parody of himself. His career path turned south. He abused steroids, lived in weight rooms and became comically over-muscled.
His personal life had an unfortunate "E! True Hollywood Story" feel to it. Marriages ended badly. He played bumper cars with his first wife, the former Esther Haddad, in one particularly expensive outburst. His bid for publicity and post-baseball income became increasingly desperate.
His next stunt will be to box former NFL special teams star (and current sportscaster) Vai Sikahema in a celebrity bout July 12 in Atlantic City, N.J.
"I imagine the reception will be mixed," Canseco told the Philadelphia Daily News. "But the curiosity factor is going to be incredible. Whether people want to see someone kick my butt, or me kick someone else's butt, I guarantee there will be interest."
In short, he became one of the Top 10 Human Train Wrecks In Sports History.
The curiosity factor is incredible for everybody on this list:

Mike Tyson
In his prime, "Iron Mike" was one of the most feared boxers ever. But then he got old, blew through his $30 million in earnings (feeding his many exotic animals was expensive!) and got a tattoo covering half his face. His spectacular rise and fall was chronicled in a brutally honest documentary film introduced at Cannes Film Festival.
Personal issues: Alcohol and drug abuse, bankruptcy, divorces, litigation.
Legal woes: Dozens of arrests on assorted charges. Jailed multiple times. Did three years in a federal prison on a rape conviction.
Professional lowlight: Bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear during a bout.
Cash-in: Threatening to cross over to mixed-martial arts, perhaps to "fight" Tyson wannabe Kimbo Slice.

Dennis Rodman
This defensive specialist/rebounding champ morphed into a novelty act later in his NBA career. He became better known for his tattoos, body piercings, rainbow hair colors and relentless night-clubbing than his working class basketball skills. He became sort of a male Paris Hilton.
Personal issues: Drinking problems, divorce (Carmen Electra!).
Legal woes: Assortment of alcohol and domestic violence-related beefs.
Professional lowlight: Playing briefly in Finland, for the Torpan Pojat club, in a promotional stunt.
Cash-in: Like Tonya Harding and Pete Rose, turned to professional wrestling. Like Canseco, tried to become an action hero — starring in the unfortunate film "Double Team" with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Colorful personal life was highlighted in a MTV reality show, "The Rodman World Tour," and an autobiography, "I Should Be Dead By Now."

Jose Canseco
His post-baseball dream was to become America's next great action hero. But Chuck Norris he was not. He landed a spot in "The Surreal Life" with other cultural cartoon figures. Acting roles proved hard to come by, though, and he failed to generate Hollywood interest with his life story. Lenders recently foreclosed on his Southern California home.
Personal Issues: Steroid abuse, divorces, financial problems.
Legal woes: Domestic assault, aggravated battery
Professional lowlight: Fly ball caroming off his skull and over the outfield fence for a home run.
Cash-in: Burned former teammates with sleazy tell-all books "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big" and "Vindicated."

O.J. Simpson
One of the great running backs in NFL history is remembered for one of the most famous acquittals in United States legal history. A jury found "The Juice" not guilty of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1994, despite overwhelming evidence against him. Simpson later lost a civil suit filed by family members of the victims. His acting and endorsement deals evaporated. His subsequent quest to "find the real killers" has led him to golf courses from coast to coast.
Personal Issues: Financial bankruptcy, moral bankruptcy.
Legal woes: Acquitted of double homicide. Currently facing multiple felony charges in Las Vegas from his ill-conceived bid to regain stolen memorabilia.
Professional lowlight: A pay-per-view reality show, "Juiced with O.J. Simpson," where he played practical jokes on unwitting subjects. Practical jokes did not include partial beheadings.
Cash-in: Co-authored a book, "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer," explaining how he would have committed the murders had he, you know, actually did. With the Goldman family still trying to collect its judgment, a Florida bankruptcy court awarded it the rights to this book.

John Daly
The long driver continues to make a nice living as the PGA Tour's lone duffer. He chain smokes cigarettes on the course. He pounds beer, despite his long struggle with alcoholism. He travels to events in a recreational vehicle. Recent video footage of the porcine Daly playing shirtless furthered his Hillbilly image.
Personal issues: Alcoholism, divorces, gambling, obesity. Allegedly attacked by his fourth wife, Sherrie, with a steak knife.
Professional lowlight: Suspended by PGA Tour after walking out of 1993 Kapalua International.
Legal woes: Domestic skirmish with ex-wife Bettye. Sherrie Daly did time on a money-laundering beef.
Cash-in: Participated in a reality show chronicling his unconventional lifestyle. Performed on an autobiographical album, "My Life." His book, "My Life In and Out of the Rough: The Truth Behind All That Bull(bleep) You Think You Know About Me" was a New York Times bestseller.

Tonya Harding
Like Daly, she was a blue-collar kid starring in a white-collar sport. She dreamed of making the U.S. Olympic figure skating team in 1994, but Nancy Kerrigan stood in her path. So her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, hatched a plan with Shawn Eckhardt and Shane Stant to literally put a hit on Kerrigan at the '94 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Kerrigan suffered a minor leg injury in the assault but skated on to a stellar career. Harding soldiered on as a "disgraced figure skater." Gillooly added to her notoriety by selling a sex tape of their honeymoon high jinks. Neither proved especially photogenic.
Personal issues: Divorce, financial difficulties, reporting unverifiable crimes against her to police.
Legal woes: Copped a plea to hindering the investigation of the Kerrigan assault. Charged with domestic violence assault for allegedly beating her then-boyfriend with a hubcap.
Professional lowlight: "Fought" Paula Jones on "Celebrity Boxing." (At least she won.)
Cash-in: Dabbled in professional wrestling as a manager. Then turned to professional boxing. Released an autobiography, "The Tonya Tapes," earlier this year.

Pete Rose
During a recent radio interview, baseball's "Hit King" clarified facts regarding his obsessive gambling while he managed the Cincinnati Reds. He bet up to $2,000 per game, up from the $1,000 per game he admitted to betting earlier. So that cleared things up. He has turned a negative — being banned from baseball for wagering on games while managing — into a second career. He is a walking, talking memorabilia machine.
Personal issues: Gambling problem, divorce.
Legal woes: Did time for tax evasion.
Professional lowlight: Getting "chokeslammed" by Kane in World Wrestling Entertainment "matches."
Cash-in: Baseball's all-time hits leader (4,256) does very well on the autograph circuit. Was a successful sports talk radio host. Released an autobiography, "My Prison Without Bars."

Diego Maradona
This global soccer star is best known in the U.S. for, well, hating the U.S. He lived extensively in Cuba earlier this decade at the invitation of Fidel Castro. He has railed against President Bush. He even has a Che Guevara tattoo. He has gone through rehab repeatedly, attempting to control his cocaine addiction. To control his weight problem, he underwent a stomach-stapling procedure.
Personal issues: Drug addiction, alcohol abuse, obesity, divorce.
Legal woes: Tax evasion, drug possession, alcohol-related incidents.
Professional lowlight: Paced himself carefully during a 2005 charity match, then asked friends for a cigar after leaving the pitch.
Cash-in: Became a popular television host in his native Argentina. Released an autobiography, "Yo Soy El Diego."

Denny McLain
Life after baseball has been unkind to this former 31-game winner. When authorities recently came to his foreclosed Michigan home to evict him, they also nabbed him on an outstanding warrant related to a civil case. The twice-imprisoned McLain can't avoid calamity. His stellar pitching career was cut short by arm troubles and suspensions (gambling, gun possession) from Major League Baseball.
Personal issues: Gambling, massive financial problems.
Legal woes: Did time for drug trafficking, embezzlement, and racketeering. That conviction was reversed, but he did more time for embezzlement, mail fraud and conspiracy for a pension-gutting scheme.
Professional lowlight: Finished his baseball career, mostly as a position player, for the semi-pro London (Ont.) Majors.
Cash-in: Recorded two albums of organ music for Capitol Records. Worked as a radio talk show host. Released his autobiography, "I Told You I Wasn't Perfect," in 2007.

Tommy Morrison
He always looked the part of a boxer, which is how he landed his co-starring role in Rocky V. But his actual boxing career was checkered, as was his life away from the ring. He tested HIV positive and lost his boxing license. Later, he attempted a comeback while claiming that he wasn't HIV positive after all. (Shockingly, it appears that his blood tests may have been doctored). Morrison is still out there looking for fights, either in mixed martial arts or off-radar boxing venues.
Personal issues: Alcohol, drug abuse. Also suffering from Hepatitis C, according to a former agent.
Legal woes: Did time for drug and weapon convictions. Drunk driving.
Professional lowlight: At the height of his career, losing to somebody named Michael Bentt.
Cash-in: Still trading off his name as best he can; $16 million in career earnings is long gone.
Rush
6/9/08 5:13:25PM
Ricco Rodriquez could be added as an MMA name.
hotrodttt
6/9/08 5:20:39PM

Posted by Rush

Ricco Rodriquez could be added as an MMA name.



Or Carter Williams
juanez13
6/9/08 6:59:42PM

Posted by Rush

Ricco Rodriquez could be added as an MMA name.



+ Mark Kerr (might be even worse, + he was more talented)
Rush
6/9/08 7:24:05PM

Posted by juanez13


Posted by Rush

Ricco Rodriquez could be added as an MMA name.



+ Mark Kerr (might be even worse, + he was more talented)



I think Kerr appeared worse because we saw the before and after effects in competition. Plus he seems like a hell of a guy.

I never realized Ricco was so bad until he appeared on celebrity rehab and was telling his stories. One of them involved driving drunk and him and his wife/girlfriend got into an accident (Ricco was driving) The offence was violating his probation or something and he actually switched seats with his unconscious girlfriend/wife to try and weasel out of it.
Jackelope
6/9/08 7:31:14PM
I don't think Rodman or Daly belong on the list necessarily. Rodman was just an eccentric guy. He had a very successful basketball career but he got hyped up to be a better player than he was simply because he was on the Bulls. He was just a hard working rebound machine. His personal life was always crazy. Nothing really changed, IMO.

Ricco was VERY, VERY talented, too. He threw away a lot of good opportunity and his life really was/is a train wreck. I'd put him up there long before Rodman
Taylor8766
6/10/08 9:44:31PM
PHIL BARONI!!!!!
D0wnUnd6e6r
6/11/08 11:54:31AM
Mike Tyson, yeah definitely
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