Day of infamy: Goats of
By David Lee
Ah, the beloved goat. Where would professional
sports be without you?
2003 had its fair share of goats, jackasses and
other assorted barnyard animals. In no particular order, here are
The Gazette's most infamous athletes, spectators and bystanders
from the past year:
Namath, the former New York Jets quarterback, was invited to the
team's "our decade team" celebrations last December. And
so it came to be that a visibly intoxicated Namath was interviewed
on the sidelines by ESPN's Suzy Kolber during the Patriots-Jets
tilt. When asked what the recent struggles of the Jets meant to
him, Namath replied, "Iwant to kiss you." Kolber responded
by saying "Thanks, Joe. A huge compliment." After he again
said he wanted to kiss her, the interview was cut short. Namath
Ostensibly trying to out-do the 49ers' Terrell Owens for most egotistical
touchdown celebration ever, the Saints' wide receiver was fined
$30,000 for his Dec. 16 antics. After scoring the second of an eventual
four touchdowns in a 45-7 victory over the New York Giants, Horn
made a call from a cell phone hidden in the padding of the end zone
uprights. After learning of the penalty, Horn? agent called the
fine excessive and remarked that "this is not a murder case."
PEDRO MARTINEZ & DON ZIMMER
During 2003's ALCS featuring the Red Sox and Yankees, the bad blood
between the rivals surfaced. The clearest example was the bench-clearing
pseudo-brawl after a series of bean-balls and brush backs. As Yankees'
bench coach Don Zimmer ran towards Martinez to confront him, Martinez
threw Zimmer to the ground. The sight of a wounded Zimmer summarily
ended the scuffle, as Yankees players rallied around the senior
citizen with concern. The incident only furthered Martinez's reputation
as a vindictive goon.
Do we really need to set this one up? If you were following the
baseball playoffs at all, you know who "The Bartman" is.
After getting in the way of Cubs' outfielder Moises Alou -who was
attempting to run down a foul ball late in Game 6- Bartman became
the latest scapegoat in the Cubs' painful folklore. Within hours
of the Cubs' demise, it was clear Bartman had become the best known
baseball fan since Jeffrey Maier.
Selig could make this list for years to come without even trying.
It seems MLB's commissioner is constantly mismanaging the league
in negotiations or on-field decisions, such as the 2002 All-Star
game that ended in a tie. This year, though, Selig found himself
in the cross-hairs for funnelling approximately $13 million of his
own money into the Milwaukee Brewers.
With a view to increase ratings, ESPN gave Limbaugh a chance to
return from obscurity to a new job as a football analyst. Instead
of using his position to give insight, Limbaugh immediately alleged
that Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback, was given
preferential treatment by the league and the media because of his
race (McNabb is black). Following the comment, controversy predictably
erupted and Limbaugh was forced to resign.