warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Turkeys In Sports: The Worst Of 2014

Hailey Tucker |
November 26, 2014 | 3:24 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Philadelphia 76ers

Not only have the 76ers started this season at an underwhelming pace of 0-14, but they are undoubtedly one of the worst teams to ever play in a Jerry West-adorned uniform. The Sixers finished the 2013-2014 season with the surprising record of 19-63, but this team looks much worse.

Philly traded two of their legitimate players, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes, before last season’s trade deadline. Nerlens Noel is not the city of Brotherly Love’s savior. Prior to this season, he had never played an NBA minute. Seeing as he isn’t the next Magic Johnson, there is no way he can single-handedly carry this team to relevance in his rookie season.  

The Sixers could easily break the NBA record for fewest wins in a season which stands at seven currently. They couldn’t even beat the Lakers, so getting a win anywhere in the future is not guaranteed.

NFC South

The NFC South is going to contribute a division champion to the 2014-2015 playoff picture.  The question is who will represent the subpar division. The surprisingly competitive South consists of the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  At this point in the season, all of the teams in the South are well below .500. The Falcons and the Saints are currently tied in this pitiful playoff race at a whopping 4-7 (.364 win percentage).  

All teams currently boast a losing streak with the Panthers hitting the bottom the quickest, now having lost five straight. It is still mathematically possible for a team that finishes 5-11 to win the division.  The only redeeming quality this pathetic display of football gives us is the possibility for a reform of the NFL playoff system requiring every team to be about .500, which doesn’t seem to be too much of a claim to make when other division in the NFC could provide much more competitive playoff match-ups.  

Derrick Rose

Since winning the MVP award in 2010-2011, Derrick Rose, one of the NBA’s most dynamic players has touched the floor in only 55 games of a possible 257. Rose has endured injury after injury, and every time Chicago Bulls fans have been patiently waiting for their superstar to return to top form. They will have to keep waiting, as Rose has admitted to thinking about his future health, and maintaining that it is his first priority. There isn’t an issue with that.

The issue is that no one ever lost his ability to walk from a strained hamstring. Rose has consistently let down the fans of the knitty gritty Bulls who welcome warriors with open arms. Rose’s dedication to his team has been openly questioned and critics and fans alike have wondered why he isn’t willing to work harder to be get back on the court. Rose simply hasn’t been the same since tearing his ACL in 2012.  He took his continual slide into irrelevancy further this season by showing his priority is simply not the game. Analysts have even gone as far as question Rose’s love for the game. That’s an image issue he will have a hard time over coming.  

SEE ALSO: NFC South Is Bad, But There's No Need To Overreact

Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers were not the worst team in the MLB, but they were certainly one of them. Coming into the season with playoff expectations, the Rangers brought up the rear of the AL West with a fine winning percentage of .414, losing nearly 100 games.  In contrast, they almost won 100 games the season before when they went 91-72.  The Rangers had won 90 or more games in each of the last four seasons.

Texas's high expectations were not even close to being met.  Yu Darvish didn’t play from August on citing elbow discomfort as the reason.  Prince Fielder had season-ending neck surgery in May.  An onslaught of injuries left 19 players on the DL. The Rangers' implosion resulted in one of the most drastic letdowns in the MLB.  They not only failed to make the playoffs; they weren’t even close.

Tiger Woods

Woods has been off his game since his promiscuous personal life came to light in 2009, and he failed to win a single tournament this season.  In the seven events Woods competed in, he missed the cut in two and withdrew from two. Of the three events that he actually finished, Woods placed in the top 25 only once: the Cadillac Championship where he placed 25th. Woods' underwhelming performance this season was accompanied by consistent injuries and celebrity gossip as he and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn continued their relationship.

Tiger still has the all-time major win record of Jack Nicklaus (18) hanging over his head as he has won “only” 14.  Woods has been winless in a major since 2008, a lifetime for someone who could only win for years on tour. He is still regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time, but has his career stalled in a way that can only be seen as one of the biggest chokes of all time?

Jameis Winston

Jameis is famous, but not for all the right reasons.  

Winston is the second youngest Heisman winner in the history of the award behind Johnny Manziel.  Since his sudden rise to fame, Winston has absolutely gone off the deep end.  He was accused of sexual assault in 2012 and this came to light in November of 2013.  The drama that followed the Winston case was rife with suspicions of blackmail and improperly following protocol.  In September, Winston was seen in Florida State’s student union shouting profanities about women while standing atop a table.  Not exactly a low profile thing for such a high profile guy.  Winston was suspended for the game following his inappropriate slurs, and has since been a nightly fixture on SportsCenter as the sports media follow the saga that is his daily routine.

Winston is a criminal and if someone does not show he that he is not above the law, the Seminole won’t just be a loser now, but he may well be a loser in a jail cell.

Roger Goodell

The commissioner of the NFL has never seen as much air time as he has for the recent handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case.  Goodell has taken heat from nearly every media outlet and sponsor with half a brain for his wimpy punishment of Ray Rice.  Controversy swirling around the NFL, he made a complete fool of himself, and created the image of an authority figure less intimidating than a labrador puppy.  He let the players of the NFL run completely out of control and was finally caught for it.  To award him for his atrocious lack of leadership, he landed at number six on GQ magazine’s annual list of The Least Influential People of 2014.  As the commissioner of the most popular sports league in America, one would really expect someone slightly more influential.  Goodell has made his opinion completely and irrevocably irrelevant.

SEE ALSO: How Florida State Managed To Alienate Its Fan Base

Donald Sterling

This year, Donald Sterling has done more than just embarrass himself with his hideous haircut. Sterling, ex-owner of the Clippers, brought a racist cloud over the NBA in one seemingly insignificant conversation with his thirty-one year old lover, V Stiviano. Long story short, Sterling didn’t want to see Stiviano bring any of her black friends, specifically Magic Johnson, to Clippers games.  

Sterling’s comments, recorded by Stiviano, incited incredible hatred towards him, and created a certain amount of distrust across the sports world. To complete his personal tragedy, Sterling tried to hang on to everything he had. He couldn’t scrap up an ounce of dignity to walk away with.  After receiving a lifetime ban from the NBA, courtesy of brand new commissioner Adam Silver, Sterling threw a temper tantrum.  He single handedly disgraced the entire NBA and offended every player regardless of his ethnic background.  

Stereling was forced to sell his team, and nasty lawsuits with both the NBA and his wife have ensued.  

Spain’s World Cup Team

In a mjor upset, the defending world champions failed to make it out of Group B play. The Spanish started its Cup campaign by losing in a title rematch against the Netherlands, 5-1. After falling to Chile, the Spanish did beat the Australians, but still finished group play at 1-2 ,which was not good enough to advance.

For a team with such incredibly high hopes and superior skill, it is easy to pin them as one of the biggest losers in Brazil’s games.  Spain’s veteran, albeit aging, team was shown up by much younger and hungrier competitors.  Though the world's age did not disappoint, Spain certainly did.

Reach Staff Reporter Hailey Tucker here



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.