2015 is just about to fade away as we rush out to buy the perfect gift for that special person….or a last minute meaningless gift card for the cousin we’d like to forget we ever met. One of the best things about Christmas and the New Year’s holidays is the fact that there are a lot of games on TV and lots of time to reflect on the year in sports.
With the holidays, we actually get a break from work and have time catch more NFL games and start to get involved in NBA action as it heats up. As the calendar turns to 2016, we also get a chance to ponder which athletes lived up to the hype and which ones ended up disappointing their fans and themselves.
Some athletes even made themselves look downright stupid, after overdosing on their own hype.
Let’s have a look at the most disappointing athletes of 2015. Being on this list isn’t all bad. If nothing was expected of them, they would not be able to disappoint. Also, just making an infamous list does not mean they can’t rise from the ashes in 2016.
Well, some can.
10. Peyton Manning is not so much disappointing as he is simply old. Fans of the greatest regular season quarterback ever should just accept that Father Time has laid a whooping on Manning. No different than any NFLer before him or after. Most folks knew that 2015 would be Peyton’s last shot at Super Bowl glory, but his decline was shockingly sharp as he was statistically one of the very worst starters in the League until he went out with an injury.
Folks hoping for a miracle as the playoffs begin are going to be more disappointed. Denver is going as far as Brock Osweiler takes them. Manning would be a detriment to the offense were he to get his QB1 job back.
9. Ndamukong Suh was paid a truckload of money, $114 million for six years, to help Miami become a defensive force to reckon with. I reckon team owner Stephen M. Ross expected more than a 30th ranked defense after scratching a check like that. Suh has just 4.5 sacks and 37 tackles with just two games left.
8. LeBron James wasn’t supposed to win a title in his first year back in Cleveland. Most followers of the game knew it would take a couple years before the Cavs would be contenders again. The team took a big hit when the “King” left the city for Miami in 2010, not to mention the fans wanting to burn the city down.
But to LeBron’s credit, he took his Cavs to the NBA Finals in the summer of 2015. Even though it was an overachievement, the big media desperately wanted James to get another ring. If it were up to ESPN, they would have just forced Golden State to forfeit so LeBron could have the greatest homecoming story in the history of sports. Unfortunately for James and ESPN, Steph Curry and company enjoy winning as well and disposed of the Cavs in six games. Due to the hype around James, this has to be considered a top ten disappointment.
7. Does Tiger Woods even like to play golf anymore? He certainly isn’t good at it anymore. So I’m left to wonder why he keeps trotting himself out there for more embarrassment. Everyone in the golf community keeps waiting on his return to greatness, but it ain’t happening folks. Best jump on the Jordan Spieth bandwagon to avoid further disappointment at the hands of the toothless Tiger Woods.
He is washed up forevermore and short of Bagger Vance making an appearance out of the fog to take a gig with Woods; no redemption is on the horizon.
6. Greg Hardy is about as hard to like as anyone in sports. It’s hard to drop further in public opinion after his disaster of a 2014 season when he was accused and convicted of beating on his girlfriend. But Hardy overcame those lowlife limitations and made himself look worse by allegedly bribing his girlfriend to stop assisting with his prosecution. He also had a couple of sideline tirades that made him look like a maniac with no control over his emotions.
And let’s not forget the Tweets that were meant to make himself look like the victim in all this.
Hope it was worth it for Jerry Jones, signing the devil and all. Hardy has helped Dallas to a 4-10 record with his 5.5 sacks and 21 tackles.
5. Johnny Manziel has been a huge success this year.…if you consider being a social media star a success. As for his NFL career in 2015, it has been a big disappointment. The kid was handed the starting job in Cleveland with about half a season to work with and threw it away to party with some skanks and moochers. He’s only back to QB1 status now because the team was out of options.
I predict Manziel will end up as a regular panel guest on MTV’s Ridiculousness in under 24 months.
4. Matt Ryan turned a great 5-0 start into a sewer explosion in Atlanta. New head coach Dan Quinn was riding high in his rookie campaign until his star QB started treating the red zone like a dart board in a dark closet.
Ryan may not fit with Kyle Shanahan’s system, so that means something has to change. Even though Ryan has been the disappointing figure, he isn’t going anywhere. He’s been paid a ton of guaranteed cash. So Kyle best adapt to what he has under center.
3. Jon Jones was the pride of the UFC and had a shot at being held above Anderson Silva as the greatest MMA fighter ever. His personal life went off the rails though making it unlikely he will ever reach that level again. I can see the guy winning his belt back once he gets a shot at the lightweight crown, but he has yet to take full responsibility for what he’s done over the past couple of years. Look for Jones to let his fans down for the foreseeable future until he can accept that he is his own worst enemy and needs help to overcome himself.
2. Manny Pacquiao put on a poor showing against Floyd Mayweather in what was billed as a Super Fight. I put no blame on Mayweather as a disappointment. He fought the same fight as always, a defensive style that has led him to an unbeaten record. Why would he change?
The disappointment came from Pacquiao, who never pressed the action to make Floyd fight toe to toe, not even for short spans. Buyers of the PPV were treated to a boring fight with the same result as every Mayweather event, the “bad guy” winning. Pacquiao didn’t deliver on his promise to take the fight to Mayweather and had the nerve to say he thought he won the fight afterward.
- Ronda Rousey was a media sensation whom everyone wanted to interview. She was in movies, commercials, and beating the hell out of her opponents on a regular basis. There was even talk of how she would fare fighting against men in the UFC.
Like most athletes that are hyped beyond anyone’s capabilities, it all came crashing down in November of 2015 when Rousey was taken apart by Holly Holm. Unless you live like a Buddhist monk, there is no way to avoid believing your own press clippings and Rousey had fallen prey to just that. She believed she was unbeatable and focused more on going undefeated for her career than she focused on the fight right in front of her.
She paid the price with her face as Holm tagged her over and over, eventually knocking her out to the thunderous applause of many sports fans who had grown tired of Rousey’s arrogance.
We all love a good sports story and Rousey was perfect. She rose from nothing to become super successful in a sport that didn’t even want her initially. She became the top draw for the UFC, then saw it all implode just as she had reached the top of the heap.
With a rematch set for 2016, it’s possible that Rousey will bounce back and make her way to a better list next year after the disastrous end to her 2015.