Villains: characters whose evil actions and motives are essential to the plot, whatever that may be.
In the sports world, villains take on many forms; the star we absolutely love to hate, the controversial coach, the trash talker, the fighter who wins it all but puts himself (or herself) to shame with insatiable greed and gluttony in the ring of life, the athlete who pulled a ridiculous stunt that one time and has had their career tainted ever since, the list goes on and on.
This year, we’ve seen a lifetime’s worth of villainy. Personal / team biases (mostly) aside, here’s a list of some of the most contentious players in the game.
Actress. Bronze medalist. Combat fighter. Shit talker. Rousey captivated us all in 2015, transforming her persona and emerging as one of the most hated / loved figures in the sports sphere. She defeated Brazilian Bethe Correia in just 34 seconds, became the second woman to ever be featured on the cover of The Ring, and did I mention that she talks a big game too? So when she faced her first KO defeat at the powerful hands of Holly Holm, haters had a ton of ammo.
Rousey is also a total badass breaking into a male-dominated sphere – her Reddit AMA takeover showed us that she’s nutty but she rocks; “For any woman trying to break into a male-dominated career, I’d say the greatest thing you can do is always keep in mind that you always have the right to be there.”
Chilean defender Jara gets a spot on the list of villanos for the incident that went down in the 63rd minute of La Roja’s quarterfinal matchup against Uruguay. The dude got himself banned for the remainder of the tournament (which Chile went on to win) for attempting to stick his finger up Edinson Cavani’s backside. To make matters worse, he acted like he had just been KO-ed by Rousey when Cavani gently pushed him away. Oh boy. At least it’s clear that the two have mostly put it past them, as was evident in Uruguay’s 3-0 goleada over their CONMEBOL rivals last month.
Miguel Piojo Herrera
El Piojo started this year as a savior, a hero, a coach whose “capillary-bursting facial contortions and berserk sideline shenanigans” had turned him into a meme legend. Little did we know, Herrera would swiftly fall from grace – a tweet in support of the Partido Verde; a sending off in Copa América group-stage action against Ecuador (thanks to “los tres tontos” or the referee squad as per Herrera’s choice words); and, of course, the punch heard ‘round the world to the neck of TV Azteca commentator Christian Martinoli, ended El Piojo’s reign in the public eye. Fired from his spot at the helm of El Tri – because “la afición mexicana merece respeto y figuras íntegras que representen al fútbol nacional” – Herrera was unemployed for months before being called upon by Xolos de Tijuana.
He’s a controversial figure – no doubt – which makes looking back on some of his craziest outbursts, tantrums, and moments of madness a good time.
When I visualize the word “evil,” or think about clear manifestations of villainy on Earth, The Special One in a sith lord-like hood is often the first thing that comes to mind. “There’s a campaign against Chelsea” he says, when in reality the only crusade against him is in opposition to the immense boredom that comes from watching the Blue’s defensive, park-the-bus anti-fútbol style of play. Mou would undoubtedly respond to my comments here by repeatedly stating, “I have nothing to say,” because there’s not much else you can do when you’ve already gone through your extensive list of excuses.
Between stadium bans and individual legal claims from former club doctor Eva Carneiro accusing him of using derogatory language and demoting her from first-team duties, Mourinho’s gone from the pinnacle to rock bottom in a matter of months. (His side is quite literally at the bottom of the EPL table.) So, it’s only natural that we take any and every chance we get to troll the hell out of Chelsea and its recently sacked boss.
(PS: remember that time when Chicharito suddenly became the answer to all of José’s problems? When his equally evil clone Diego Costa just couldn’t seem to find the back of the net? Yea.)
Although it’s hard for me to qualify ranking anyone as more evil than Blatter, Mayweather assumes the role of villano número uno for his ugly history of violence towards women, for his crass, gluttonous and money-obsessed persona, for stealing Cinco de Mayo, and for putting fans to sleep in the most disappointing “Fight of the Century” imaginable. Homies chanted “Manny” like fans at Goodison Park at the end of Creed when our Filiprimo went up against Mayweather.
That wasn’t the public’s only display of animosity towards the boxing champion, either – he was also booed by fans when his face popped up on the jumbotron during last season’s NBA playoffs. LOL. There’s just no denying that you’re evil af if you’re being booed at a sporting event that you have z e r o connection to.
Mayweather also tried to profit on Mexican Independence Day, setting up a fight against Andre Berto to reach victory #49. He’s just trash. We can thank the Remezcla fam for providing us with a list of seven Latino boxers who would easily kick his ass, and a post on Oscar de la Hoya calling him “boring af.”
Do I even need to go into detail here? Sepp Blatter is the modern day mafia boss par excellence, and thanks to the FBI’s probe into FIFA corruption, his villainous ways are finally seeing the light of day. Blatter announced that he will step down from his post as FIFA head honcho amidst charges of racketeering, bribery, wire fraud, money laundering, and in the most epically classic fashion, he got showered in fake money at the announcement presser.
In September, the Swiss attorney general decided to open up criminal proceedings against Blatter (#ByeSepp), and he was provisionally suspended for 90 days barring the criminal proceedings the following month.
TODAY, Sepp and old-time buddy Michel Platini were banned from taking part in any soccer-related activities for eight years. EIGHT YEARS! Looks like the heroes are coming out on top this year, fam.