The NBA ref betting scandal. The steroid mess. Dogfighting. It’s a terrible time to be a sports fan, so like we mentioned earlier, we’re taking a trip through sports hell, with the help of Dante.
Part I: The Lustful and The Gluttonous
Part III: The Violent
Part IV: The Fraudulent
The ninth and final circle of hell enslaves the worst of the worst: the traitors. Each of the sinners in the deepest realm–and there aren’t many in the exclusive club–betrayed someone important to them. There are four sections, each progressively worse, with the nadir coming in the final section: those who betrayed benefactors. In Dante’s original, Judas (who betrayed Jesus) suffers with Brutus and Cassius (who betrayed Caesar).
Who will be our un-holy trinity?
Well, which three, ahem, big Bay Area stars betrayed their ultimate benefactor, the sport of baseball?
The Ninth Circle: The Traitors
- Michael Vick: PETA just got mad on behalf of canines everywhere that we lowered dogs to Michael Vick’s kindred level.
- Rae Carruth: Conspiring to kill your lady friend will get you on this list, unfortunately.
- Orenthal James Simpson: If OJ did kill his wife, here’s the circle of hell we’d put him in.
Bay Area Reps:
- The DeBartalo Family: Granted, they haven’t killed each other like the others here, but for heaven’s sake, can’t they get along? Bicker, bicker, bicker! Sue, sue, sue!
- Carlos Boozer: Screwing over a blind man–and Cleveland–is not good for your karma.
- Roger Clemens: Tanked in Boston and then won a ring with archrival New York then “retired” so he could sign in Houston.
- Jeff Kent: Even though he was exactly loved in San Francisco and even though he didn’t go directly to Los Angeles, there should be more Dodgers on this list, nonsensical as it may be.
Bay Area Reps:
- Al Davis: Moving the team to and from LA was a slap in the face of Raiders fans (we hear), and Davis continues to pursue his own interests rather than Oakland’s.
- Chris Webber: No matter what anyone says, it was Chris Webber’s petulance that threw the Warriors into that 12-year nosedive. He went from golden child to problem child nearly overnight, exercising an escape clause in his contract, thus forcing the Warriors to trade him. Imagine a reigning rookie of the year forcing–and getting–a trade in his second year in this day and age. Then imagine if they traded him straight up for Tom Gugliotta.
To Fans: (fans substituted for guests):
- Tim Donaghy and Pete Rose: These sleazeballs broke the most sacred agreement between fan and sports–the agreement that everything you are seeing on the field/court is legit and the result of the highest level of fair atheletic competition. They betrayed the fans.
- Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco: The three sluggers played the three most prominent roles in the whole steroid scandal, dating back to the 80s. Interestingly enough, they each rose to steroid prominence in vastly different ways: Canseco, with his book and being the “godfather” of steroids in baseball; McGwire, “saving” baseball with his pursuit of Maris; and Bonds, with his unprecedented (yet alleged) Molotov cocktail of jealousy, perjury, record book-shattering and indignance. Each of the three betrayed their biggest benefactor: the game itself.