Every child grows up worshiping athletes as their heroes only rivaled by their love of the Ninja Turtles. But you know what? Most of these children grow up to be bitter and jaded, learning to hate their opponents as much as they loved their childhood heroes. And thus, SUS brings you the third of a series, "Athletes We Wouldn't Piss On If They Were On Fire."
As for my athletes, they all run along the same basic theme: You can't get on a rival for beating your team, but you sure as hell can hate on those who are/were on your team and screw the team over along the way.
1. Jeremy Shockey
Let's just say that his nickname went from "Mancrush" to "He whose name we shall not speak of" quicker than you can say "18-1." When he was going great, he gave the Giants a swagger that was unmatched by very few New York teams. Giant fans looked past the fact that he was frequently injured and dropped passes when healthy because of his ability to catch a pass, break a tackle, and make Roy Williams and Brian Dawkins look like White Boy in coverage. A fair amount of Giant fans thought of him as our favorite player.
1 broken leg later, Shockey got offended when he wasn't treated like a part of the team during their Super Bowl run, nevermind the fact that EVERY NFL TEAM treats their injured players this way. Shockey decided to try and mess with the mojo of a team completing a magical Super Bowl run and vowed to make the 2008 season a living hell if left in New York. And for that, Jeremiah, I hope that you discover some new STD's on Bourbon Street the hard way.
2. Scott Gomez
What separates Scott Gomez from Bobby Holik, John McLean, and Bruce Driver? When the former went to the Rangers, he wasn't past his prime, handcuffing his new team with his contract. No, Gomez was coming off a '06-'07 playoffs where he was the best player on the team, a one man power play unit. As a rule, most offensive forwards get sick and tired of playing in Lamoriello's kingdom, looking for greener pastures elsewhere; yet most players who left the Devils in their prime managed to avoid going to the Devils' chief rival. Not Gomez, who destroyed the Devils in the 1st round last year.
Sidenote: Gomez loves the NYC nightlife so much that I'm shocked Drunk Athlete had no photos of him. Maybe that's because the Drunk Athlete photographers don't frequent the gay clubs.
3. Jason Giambi
The problem with the first two athletes is that they hurt my team by leaving in the peak of a promising career. The problem with Giambi? He continues to stay around and mess with the Yankees. As White Boy has consistently said, a .400+ on base percentage does very little if a) you're only a .250 hitter and b) it takes a few hours for you to advance to second base. Sometime around 2003, when Giambi was having a terrible October (Yup, he was a force for all of one Yankee season, 2002. Lest we forget, for most of the 2k3 playoffs, Giambi, Boone, and Soriano were fairly automatic outs.) Praise Allah that his contract is finally ending after this season.
Oh, and two things:
1. Any Yankee fan who claims that they never wanted Giambi on the team: Are you a liar or do you have an amazingly selective memory? Hindsight is 20/20, Tino was a decent hitter at best in 2k1, and Giambi was coming off an MVP season for the A's. To the common fan, it made perfect sense. To someone who had the sabermetric knowledge to foresee that this would be a bad move-get a life, nerd.
2. During the 2003 World Series, I created what became the Giambi Doctrine which has become prophetic. It reads as follows, The Yankees will never win a World Series with Jason Giambi. Call me Elijah, yo.
And lastly as I write this, Pettite was about to pick off Mike Napoli at first. Pettite threw over, Napoli started for 2nd, and Giambi threw the ball over Jeter's head such that Jeter jumped for it and Napoli slid in safe. And for the record, the same thing happened to Damon last inning and he got thrown out.
LOVE THEM YANKEES!!!