We’ve already taken a look at the Top 10 Celebrity Flameouts and with that fresh in our mind, we here at Heavy have decided to turn our eye towards their cousins: Professional Athletes. Indeed, famous athletes are celebrities too and as such aren’t immune to the scandals that rock the celebrity world. If anything, athletes have proven time and time again that they aren’t afraid to go buck wild, and as such they deserve a special list of their own. Now, in order to qualify for this list you have to be fairly well known and have some degree of public adoration. That’s why you won’t find someone like Rae Carruth on this list even though he hired a dude to put a few bullets in his pregnant girlfriend. That’s right, athletes are raw as hell. But sadly for Rae, he’s not famous enough for this exclusive list. But the nine men and woman on this list are famous and they have collectively been very, very naughty.
10. BEN ROETHLISBERGER
It’s been a stunning fall from grace for Big Ben, who up until a few months ago was best known for winning multiple Super Bowls as the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Today, he’s best known as the dude whose pants mysteriously slide down whenever he’s near a lady. It wasn’t that long ago that the public was willing to believe Roethlisberger when he claimed that a woman who said he raped her was lying. After all, he’s a Super Bowl winning quarterback and we like to believe that our heroes are strong and virtuous, and not all rapey. But then Roethlisberger was accused of whipping it out and trying to push past some poor lady’s line of scrimmage again. This time, the public is decidedly against him and even though no charges have been filed against Big Ben, the NFL apparently felt that the accusations had enough credibility to suspend him for several games for being a degenerate. It’s going to be a long road back for Roethlisberger. Even if he guides the Steelers to another Super Bowl, it will be almost impossible for many fans to separate him from that image they have of a drunken Big Ben staggering around in a bathroom with his dick hanging out while some poor girl struggles to get away.
9. EVERY BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE LAST TWENTY YEARS
Whether its Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa or Roger Clemens, every star player who has laced up his cleats in the “Steroid Era” is considered suspect by a disgusted American public. Personally, I don’t care if players start mainlining the contents of the adrenal gland of a Velociraptor. Whatever lets those balls fly out of the stadiums. But baseball purists, those guardians of the game, are all up in arms about America’s pastime being sullied by a bunch of juiceheads. They sit next to their musty old baseball cards and in between sniffing a piece of leather taken from Mickey Mantle’s glove and combing their handlebar moustaches, they find time to condemn Bonds and company straight to hell. They complain that somehow their children have been corrupted by the fact that a man hit a ball farther than he normally would be able to. Oh, good heavens! But if there’s one group of people that you don’t want to piss off in our grand society, it’s the THINK OF THE CHILDREN brigade. And unfortunately for every player who put on a uniform in that chemically enhanced era, they’re all on that group’s crap list.
8. DENNY MCLAIN
Denny McLain is best known as the last pitcher in baseball history to win thirty games, winning 31 in 1968. This should have made him a legend and a name worthy of reverence and awe amongst baseball fans, but unfortunately for McLain, his name will always have a dark cloud hanging over it. And for good reason, once you take a look at his “resume”. It would seem that Denny became hooked on sweet, sweet gambling sometime in the 1960′s. It’s even rumored that the foot injury that he suffered, causing him to miss a chunk of the 1967 season, was the result of an organized crime figure stomping on it after McLain failed to pay off a bet. But that was only the beginning for McLain. The list of McLain’s shameful exploits is too long to go into here in any detail, so here is just a quick summary of life for Denny McLain outside of baseball: He was accused of running a bookmaking ring; he once disappeared in the offseason only to turn up in Las Vegas giving organ recitals; with teammate Jim Northrup he tried to organize a nude calendar featuring baseball stars; he was suspended after dousing reporters with water in the locker room and for carrying a gun even though he was on probation; he reportedly once accepted $100,000 to fly a wanted felon out of the country; after retiring he ballooned to 330 pounds and made money by hustling marks on the golf course; he was imprisoned for drug trafficking, embezzlement and racketeering thanks to associations with men like John Gotti, Jr.; and after he got out of prison, he was sent back on charges of embezzlement, mail fraud and conspiracy in the theft of $2.5 million from a pension fund. Whew! And that doesn’t even include McLain’s spectacular career implosion which saw him go from a 30 game winner to a 20 game loser within only a few years thanks to arm troubles, or his feud with the legendary Ted Williams, McLain’s manager in Washington after he was traded by the Detroit Tigers. I know that’s a lot to take in, but needless to say, if Denny McLain was found in a dumpster one day, naked and beaten, no one would be that surprised. Now that’s a hell of a flameout, wouldn’t you say?