Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.
From phony websites to regrettable tweets to Apple Siri chatter, it's clear athletes and technology often don't mix well
Just because a man or woman can run fast, throw a baseball hard or accomplish some other athletic feat by no means suggests that this same person knows how to tweet, use a smartphone or otherwise employ the latest technologies without getting in trouble. Here's a sampling of 2012's dumbest and craziest sports technology moments, and we're afraid the list will grow throughout the rest of the year.
San Francisco Giant Melky Cabrera, shown here rounding the bases after hitting a two-run homer during the All-Star Game (of which he was name MVP), has been suspended for 50 games after failing a drug test with elevated levels of testosterone. As if that's not bad enough, he allegedly tried to cover up his rule breaking by taking part in a scheme to create a fake product website to show he was duped into taking a product spiked with testosterone.
Greek triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou bounced her way out of the London Olympics after tweeting a comment widely deemed as racist about African participants. She was axed from her team for violating the Olympic spirit. The 23-year-old apologized, after the damage was done, via Facebook: "I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone."
WHAT SIRIUS SAYS
Charlie Manuel, manager of the underachieving Philadelphia Phillies, said during a June press conference that he has consulted with the Apple iPhone's Siri voice technology (or Sirius, as he calls it) on baseball and other matters: "Ask Sirius to marry you. She'll say, 'I don't understand that.' I talk to her every now and then. She don't understand baseball neither. I'll say, 'What's wrong with this guy?' And she'll say, 'I don't know what you're talking about.' She doesn't understand."
Singer M.I.A. flipped off millions of viewers during her performance (with Madonna and Nicky Minaj) at halftime of the Super Bowl broadcast in February. She also uttered (or lip-synched?) an obscenity, which was inaudible. Both NBC and the NFL condemned the act, but the NFL went further, pointing a finger of its own at the broadcaster for an ineffective video delay system that failed to zap the M.I.A. gesture.
ON SECOND THOUGHT, DON’T CALL ME
The Harvard Baseball Team, while not the first to do a lip-synching video to the tune of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," did garner 15 million-plus YouTube views and sparked an unfortunate number of follow-on videos from seemingly every Little League and bowling team in the country.
The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings needed a lot of things to go right during the season on their way to the championship, and none was more controversial than a mysterious clock stoppage during a last-second win versus Columbus in early February on a Drew Doughty goal. While the mistake was recognized shortly after the game, it was too late to fix things. One NHL exec said: "Once the game is over, it's over."
South Korea's Shin Lam epitomized the agony of defeat when she lost her bid for a gold medal Olympics fencing match after officials reset the clock from zero to 1 second, and her opponent bested Lam. Lam then sat on the fencing piste for about an hour protesting (she was required to stay there under official protesting rules) and crying, only to have officials stick with their original decision.
The official social media accounts of several Major League Baseball teams were compromised in August, leading to some embarrassing messages appearing on the Facebook and Twitter accounts and highlighting the risks social media sites can present for the public image of businesses. As Network World's Brandon Butler reported, a Facebook post on the official page of the New York Yankees reported that the club's star player, Derek Jeter, would miss the rest of the season because of "sexual reassignment surgery."
The Boston Red Sox, or more commonly referred to locally as the Dysfunctional Boston Red Sox during this disappointing season, added to their long list of melodramas this summer with a cellphone texting to-do. Depending on which report you read, a player or group of players used first baseman Adrian Gonzalez's cellphone to text Red Sox management with complaints about embattled manager Bobby Valentine.
DIGGING A DEEPER HOLE
Tennessee Titans wide receiver and regular law brusher Kenny Britt has likely made things even worse for himself by posting via Instagram a picture of the nearly $10,000 fine the football team slapped on him for missing a rehab session. The picture was accompanied by the text: "Yu gotta be [expletive] kidding me.. walk back to dis.. Don't dey know I have kids .. I'm tired of did [expletive]."
THE WRONG BROXTON
WCPO.com, a Cincinnati affiliate of ABC, got duped in July by using quotes from a fake Jonathan Broxton Twitter account after the pitcher was traded from the Kansas City Royals to the Cincinnati Reds. Among the bogus quotes: "Brox thanks the good people of KansasTown. You were so nice to ol Broxy. Sorry for eating all the BBQ that one time. And that other time."
COACH FUMBLES WORK PHONE
The University of Arkansas fired football coach Bobby Petrino in April after it was revealed that the married father of four had lied to school officials about hiring his mistress (the relationship came to light after the two were involved in a motorcycle accident). The mess got messier when phone records revealed he and his mistress were in frequent contact via Petrino's business cellphone, with the pair texting each other as much as 91 times a day.
VOTE FOR ME!
Former All-Star baseball player and admitted steroid user Jose Canseco added a little spice to this year's All-Star game when he started a Twitter campaign for fans to write in his name on ballots for this year's game even though he's no longer in the major leagues. He acknowledged during the campaign that like much on Twitter, it was just a joke and "entertainment."
ARN Innovation Awards
Women in ICT Awards