I've been thinking of posting a poll on this for a while. I got sidetracked by the insanity at Fenway Park so I'm throwing this up quickly. Here are the choices, with a brief case for, then against:
For - Come on, flaxseed oil? Give us a freaking break! Your head's ten times the size it was at the start of your career, and you're been a totally pompous asshole from the get go.
Against - he's not playing right now.
For - many say he is an over-aggressive driver who doesn't give a crap what anyone thinks, he'll cause any crash he wants whenever he feels like it. he eggs on the crowd during introductions, basically telling booers to bring it. And he wins all the damn time. I'm a casual NASCAR observer, but even I know that he spun Dale Jr. into the wall at the end of a race a month ago and you just don't do that.
Against - to NASCAR detractors it's just a bunch of left turns so some people can't consider him for this poll. I, however, can, and he would get my vote if someone else wasn't on the list. Read on.
For - One of the most polarizing people in the soccer world. Here's a sample of evidence:
Don't forget that he wasn't allowed to enter the United States for a while because of a charge that he beat his wife, and there was probably something else on his rap sheet too. I know fans of nearly every Major League Soccer team, and while each has their rivals, everyone save for Chicago Fire fans share one thing: hatred of him.
Against - Soccer isn't quite in the American Mainstream yet, but does that matter? People who are in the know usually hate him with the fury of 1,000 suns. He was close to getting my vote.
For - He's a prima donna bitch. Plain and Simple. Going to Texas wasn't about the money, he didn't think he slapped Bronson Arroyo's glove like a 6 year old who wants her Barbie doll back in 2004, he decided to announce that he was opting out of his contract just as the Red Sox were wrapping up a World Series title. The biggest phony of them all, he's the pick for me. On principle.
Against - Has he ever come through when he's really needed?
For - he was the one who leaked the opt out of contract garbage.
Against - he did eventually let Varitek and Dice-K sign their contracts.
It pains me to put him on this list, but in order to have a shred of objectivity I have to. The taping of signals thing, I'm over it, it cost the Pats a key first round pick, caused the organization some embarrassment, let's move on. Besides, even after the tape from the Jets game got confiscated, the Pats did pretty well last season.
For - selfish, the rape charge that was dropped. Dubious as it was, those things usually surface for a reason. A me guy for sure. Even if we'll never know the truth, he put himself in the position to be accused of it.
Against - to his credit he has let his play on the court do the talking for him, has stayed out of trouble, and let's face it, he's probably the best player in the world today.
For - an annoying little puke who borderline cheap shots opposing players at will, felt the need to wave a stick in Marty Brodeur's face to try and screen him, allegedly made a callous remark about Jason Blake's battle with cancer in pregame warmups (never proven, as with Kobe officially it's innocent until proven guilty but again these things surface for a reason). Just an obnoxious little punk.
Against - he is effective, and does back up his talk with solid contributions for his team. Occasionally he'll drop his gloves and fight his own battles too.
For - where to I begin. Dancing on the Star in Dallas after scoring a touchdown. The Sharpie incident. The entire saga of him doing curls in his driveway when he was pissed off at the Eagles about his contract. The whole I want to be traded to Baltimore but I don't to go there so trade me to Philly ordeal.
Against - T.O. bashing is so a few years ago. And when he does play, be plays balls to the wall hard. No loafing from him. Coming back from the broken leg in two plus months to have a solid game in the Super Bowl. Yeah, he's good.