Joe Flacco, Ed Reed and our list of top sports drama
In advance of the most important game of the season, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed decided to be critical of his teammate, Joe Flacco, on SIRIUS NFL Radio. You would think that going into a game as difficult as the one the Ravens face Sunday in Foxboro that he would want to encourage his quarterback. Nope. Instead he decided to trash his performance against Houston.
This isn’t uncommon. Teammates, just like many co-workers in America, throw each other under the bus from time to time. The difference is that when athletes trash each other, everybody in the nation knows about it. That’s how we’re bringing you a list of top athlete verbal and physical abuses of all time. Props to SpreeGoogs, HardaMullin, Vernon Thorry, Toni Pippen and others for contributing to this list. Let us know if we missed any feuds in the comments.
Ed Reed vs. Joe Flacco
Reed: “They had a lot of guys in the box on him and they were giving [the pass] to him,” Reed said. “I think a couple of times he needed to get rid of the ball. It just didn’t look like he had a hold on the offense. I don’t know how much of [that was] the play calling … but it just didn’t look like he had a hold on the offense, you know, of times past … It was just kind of like they [were] telling him [what] to do — throw the ball or get it here, you know, get it to certain guys.”
Translation: Our quarterback had a diaper on when he was playing on Sunday. Ed could have said that and been much more succinct.
Oguchi Oyenwu vs. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
There was no dancing around the issues here – this was a good ole’ fashioned backyard brawl. Or soccer field brawl. Gooch and Zlatan went at it in practice after Gooch took offense to a slide tackle Zlatan made on him. Onyewu, who was rehabbing a seriously injured left knee, probably didn’t like that Zlatan put him at risk for another injury and also that he called him a “giant American.” Zlatan would later say that they “almost killed each other” in the brawl that suspended practice and took 10 teammates to break up. This is all according to Zlatan’s autobiography, “I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic.” Riveting read, I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Kobe Bryant vs. Andrew Bynum
Kobe wanted to the Lakers to trade Bynum in 2007 for Jason Kidd, and he let it be known to a couple of guys in the parking lot. Imagine where the Lakers would be right now if they had actually made that trade. On the upside, the Lakers wouldn’t have to start Derek Fisher at point guard, just someone a year older.
Everyone on the Jets vs. Everyone on the Jets
This one is just spiraling out of the control. First Mark Sanchez is the problem. Now it’s Rex Ryan. Soon it will be Vinny Testaverde somehow. It’s gotten to a point where even the fourth string quarterback is running his yap. So much has been said that I don’t even know who to level the boom on. And you thought things were bad when Favre was texting crotch shots to Jenn Sterger.
Latrell Spreewell vs. P.J. Carlesimo
I can only empathize with P.J. on this one. You might point out that Spreewell lends his name to this blog. We choose to only acknowledge the accomplishments of Spree on the NBA Jam stage, not his antics in practice.
Barry Bonds vs. Jeff Kent
Their long-standing locker room tension finally boiled over in a brawl in the dugout in 2002. If they hadn’t been broken up by teammates, my money would have been on the guy taking more steroids. Wait, which one was that again?
Terrell Owens vs. Jeff Garcia
In 2004, when asked if he thought his quarterback, Jeff Garcia, was gay, San Francisco 49ers receiver Terrell Owens said “Like my boy tells me: ‘If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, by golly, it is a rat.’ ” This might have been a weird attempt to get the ball thrown to him more. My view of Owens has been well-documented (alright, maybe just one post), so like my boy tells me, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
Kobe vs. Shaq
This one is famous enough to have a Wikipedia page. I’m convinced these guys didn’t actually talk to each other in person, but instead decided to talk to the local beat reporters to express how they were truly feeling. Basically it boiled down to the fact that these two guys had about the complete opposite personalities – Kobe, the cold-blooded killer who demands perfection of everyone around him and Shaq, the goofball who tried as long as he was the most dominant player on the court and everyone deferred to him. Even Los Angeles, the most sprawling metropolis in the U.S., wasn’t big enough for these two egos.
Will vs. Carlton
And of course, the sports controversy that transcends all other controversies: