I’m in the mood to get a little snarky and vicious this morning.
Why? Well I’m glad you asked; because I’m a White Sox and Indiana basketball fan, that’s why. And if you don’t follow either of those two teams, let me sum up their performance over the last two years in one simple word: suck.
The unfortunate truth is that there really is nothing in my sports life to feel real positive about right now. Thus, the way I see it, why not spend some time cutting down other people to make myself feel better? (Isn’t that why one starts a sports blog in the first place?)
So, to make myself feel better, I am starting a new series today, which may or may not ever be repeated in the future. Using MSF’s own proprietary Scale of Douche, I am going to highlight extreme douchiness in the sports world and weigh it on a scale of Michael Jordan (zero douchiness) to Jay Mariotti (complete douchiness).
Stepping on the Scales of Douche today: Bryce Harper, Rickie Fowler, Tate Forcier, and someone else who you’ll undoubtedly think is deserving.
Let’s start with Harper, who has been in the headlines a lot recently.
The 17-year old hitting prodigy was taken 1st overall yesterday in the 2010 MLB draft by the Washington Nationals and is renowned as one of the best power hitting prospects…maybe ever. He’s already been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, has baseball’s most selective and powerful agent (Scott Boras) representing him, and skipped his final two years of high school to play JUCO ball and get a head start on his professional baseball career.
Sounds pretty awesome huh?
It is. But then there’s this:
Image credit: Greg Nelson, SI
Ever since I first saw a story about him on ESPN I’ve wondered what the F is up with the kid’s eye black. The guys on the local Dallas radio station were talking about it this morning and said it looked like his mother than given up halfway through trying to complete his KISS costume for Halloween.
Whatever it is, it looks ridiculous and I have a feeling it will stop pretty soon after he gets to the Minors and gets razzed about it or takes a fastball in the back. Guys who have been grinding in the Minors for 5-6 years probably won’t take too kindly to a 17-year old multi-millionaire who they know will undoubtedly be coddled and pushed through the Minors as quickly as possible.
As for the reports of Harper being a bit of a jerk? I couldn’t care less about that. He’s 17 and dealing with everything mentioned above. How would you have handled that at 17? Sure, he could very well be on his way to becoming some arrogant/angry cross between LeBron James and Barry Bonds, but having such an unusual childhood will create an unusual personality. And we should give him the benefit of the doubt until he’s at least 22-23. We were all idiots before then (and many of us still are).
But the eye black just has douche written all over it. For that alone, Harper gets three Mariottis.
This young golfer is one of the “next big things” on the PGA Tour and is still just 20 years old. To give you an idea of his talent, he is the only freshman ever to be named the NCAA’s Player of the Year.
Unfortunately, to give you an idea of Fowler’s douchiness, one needs only navigate to his personal website. There, you will find gems like this on a page set aside for Fowler’s “Style”:
Rickie’s unique sense of style has brought a refreshing new look on to The Tour with his flare for mixing Puma’s golf clothing line with his always cool under pressure attitude.
The result is a look that has fans and the media wondering what he will wear each day on the course and leaving fans wondering how they can capture a part of this unique look.
Now look, I realize that Fowler probably never touches his website and that it’s all his parents, PR people, and manager who craft nonsense copy like what you read above, but that doesn’t change the fact that it comes across as supremely douchy.
I suppose the pre-packaging of athletes who have endorsement potential like Fowler is par for the course (forgive the pun) these days, but count me among those who isn’t a big fan.
Here is more douchetastic copy from Rickie-Fowler.com:
Edgy, non-traditional, yet completely low-key and approachable, Rickie is already well on his way in the world of professional golf. With his than life performances – and belt-buckles – Rickie Fowler is definitely someone to catch… if you can.
Edgy? Really? The guy plays professional golf dressed up like a creamsicle. What exactly is “edgy” about that? Tiger Woods banged porn stars while married. That’s edgy. Dressing up like Layla Kiffin circa 2009 is not edgy.
And is the belt buckle comment really necessary here? And what “larger than life” performances are they talking about? I must have missed those. (Remember, Sergio Garcia was supposed to be a badass too. Where are his “larger than life” performances?)
On the bright side, assuming Fowler has a long, successful, and compelling golf career, which he most likely will, Hollywood already has the actor lined up to play him: Zac Efron. Yeah…that alone has gotta be good for at least a half Mariotti.
Like Harper, Fowler is still really young, so he has time to turn this around. But right now, his turdly home page and ostentatiousness get him five Mariottis.
Next up we go to Ann Arbor, but we are not rating Rich Rodriguez in Mariottis on the Scale of Douche. (That would be too easy; hell, I might even have to change the scale to RichRodriguezes.) Rather, we are going to rate Rodriguez’s young QB Tate Forcier, whose up and down freshman season was a perfect microcosm of the struggles the Wolverines have faced over the last couple of years.
So what warrants placing Forcier on the Scales of Douche? This website and specifically this page, which has Forcier’s “media package” (second half of season!!!). And from what I can gather, by “media package” they mean “why Tate Forcier is the greatest high school quarterback ever…no really! 34 Official Offers!”
Among the revelations of Forcier’s media package are that “I currently lead the country with 34 Official offers, which I can substantiate with Official Letters, Coaches Emails and Phone Numbers.” (What he cannot do, apparently, is make proper use of capital letters.) The media package also essentially claims that “college coaches across the USA” lauded Forcier for everything short of inventing the question mark.
I could go on and on. Just go read it for yourself.
Again, the caveats: Forcier is a young kid; his parents probably had more to do with this than he did; he is clearly 1000X the quarterback I ever was (especially if you listen to “college coaches across America”)…but still, I’m not a big fan of people who create their own personal shrine to themselves. It’s exceedingly douchy and, thus, warrants some Marriotis.
By virtue of the fact that Forcier now attends Michigan and will undoubtedly be influenced by some of Rich Rodriguez’s supreme Powers of Douche, Forcier gets seven Mariottis.
Author of This Post
And now, since I am nothing if not self-aware and genuinely self-deprecating, allow me to turn the spotlight on myself. Let’s see here. Over the past hour I’ve…
- Spent time in Photoshop (though not much) with an image of Jay Mariotti
- Nitpicked one douchy thing about a kid so good at his sport that he left high school two years early.
- Ripped on a golfing prodigy for the egregious crimes of having a bad copywriter and wearing orange pants (yes, the color of the pants I’m actually wearing in this picture, if only it went down further. See? I’ll self disclose.).
- Criticized a pretty good freshman QB from a QB family for something that I’m sure what his parents’ idea and that…you know what? Forget this bullet. That website is complete douchiness no matter how you look at it.
So, for creating a blog post that essentially does nothing but rip on three kids who are much better athletes than I was in even my wildest dreams, whether they are deserving of the ripping or not, how many Mariottis do I get?
I’ll go with six.
Come on…that QBForce website is really lame. I can’t rate myself as more douchy than that without some real self-esteem problems.
Agree? Disagree? The comment section is free for douchecussion below.
* – Rickie Fowler photo credit: GolfBlogger.co.uk
* – Tate Forcier photo credit: Getty Images via NY Post