When it comes down to it, there are few things I love more than sports and even fewer things I love to hate more than a select few sports personalities.
So with all the debate about all-conference and All-America teams heating up, I decided to ante up and lay my cards on the table. In this game jokers are wild and I've got five of them.
There's enough serious stuff out there and just about every media outlet names its All-Players Whose Last Names End in 'S' Team, but does anyone take the time to recognize the unintentionally humorous figures in sports? I think not.
Jackie Gleason never had any trouble sending annoying people zipping to the moon. Why not me? In the spirit of Gleason, Matt LeBlanc, who is the king of the unintentionally funny (not to mention star of the movie by the same name) and the courageously bald Dick Vitale, I present the 2002 edition of the semi-annual All-Lost in Space team. So without further ado, here are my favorite nefarious sports personalities (upon whom I wish no mortal danger or untimely demise, just lots and lots of quality time miles above the earth) who get a one-way ticket to earth's lonely satellite on a broken-down Russian spacecraft.
First Team All-Lost in Space: These guys are the fixtures, the Paul Shaffers of the Lost in Spacers.
o Allen Iverson - After a brief period of actually liking Iverson, I've decided it's in the best interest of basketball that he spend the next 20 years in orbit. He gives every 12-year-old with a hoop justification for shooting 35 times a game. Honestly, what's so good about him? His shoes suck, he shoots more than any guy in the NBA, rips on his teammates, doesn't get along with his coach and Dr. J let this guy wear his number in the All-Star game? Puh-lease. Iverson's first on board.
o Barry Bonds - I'll punch this guy's ticket myself. What a waste. With a little heart and any semblance of personality, Bonds could have been the greatest to ever lace up his spikes. But as it stands now, he's just Albert Belle with better numbers. I'll go ahead and send his daughter too, for holding up those 'Pitch to my daddy' signs when he was trying to break the single-season home run record last fall. Kids always fly free.
o The New York Yankees - I know, I know, technically not a personality, but it's my shuttle and they're on it - in coach no less. With all this talk of contraction, why not send all the Bronx Bombers (except for Don Zimmer, far and away the coolest individual of all time) away until the Cubs win the World Series. Seriously, 26 World Championships? Call in the trust-busters. These guys always have just enough talent to make it to the Series and then some hoser like Shane Spencer pushes them over the top. Go home, Shane.
o Colin Montgomerie - This overweight Scottish golfer is straight business class. With a reputation as one of the biggest bums on the PGA Tour, I don't think anybody would miss him, especially tournament volunteers.
o The State of Florida - Not a personality, but once again it's my shuttle. Have you ever stopped to consider just how scary this place is? With Gators, Hurricanes, Seminoles, Panthers, Devil Rays, Jaguars, Dolphins (that Flipper is one shifty mammal), Buccaneers and Heat, I think we'd all be much better off without it. Just leave me the Keys and Jimmy Buffett - that's all Florida is good for anyway.
o The Williams Sisters - I'm giving Serena and Venus the hook. Their dad, Richard, gets to go along as well. All this talk of fixing major tournament matches to settle a sibling rivalry is as bad for tennis as Bud Collins' pants. Why can't Anna Kournikova have their talent? Why?Honorable Mention: The following will be seated on a space-available basis.
o Figure Skaters - The only thing that should be played on ice is hockey. And curling.
o Bud Selig - Bad comb-over. Bad commissioner.
o Fox Sports - It's the Worst Damn Sports Network, period. Plus all those space-age sound effects would fit well in the cosmos. Terry Bradshaw and John Madden get to stay for entertainment purposes only.
o NASCAR - Nothing but a waste of gas, rubber and time.
o Sportswriters who come up with column ideas like this one - enough said.