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Naughty or Nice? Santa Checks His Sports List

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“Oh you better watch out, you better not cry. You better not pout, I’m telling you why. He’s making a list, and checking it twice. He’s going to find out whose naughty or nice.”

That’s the old saying from ol’ Saint Nicholas, and it was true for for many young kids growing up.

Meanwhile, since it’s almost Christmas, ESPN 99.1′s own Sam Tastad has compiled a list of athletes that may be on Saint Nicholas ‘naughty and nice’ list.

Naughty: 

Manti Te’O - The former Notre Dame linebacker disappeared in the BCS title game against Alabama, and made news by playing for dead girlfriend, Lenny Kukua. Later,Te’O said he was hoaxed, but there can be an argument for Te’O to be on the naughty list. He was an inspiration at first, but in the end, many thought it was to grab attention.

Lance Armstrong – The former seven-time Tour de France winner is a cancer survivor, and began the Livestrong Foundation. However, in 2013, he was stripped of all his titles after he admitted to doping for almost a decade. Armstrong integrity took a big hit this year.

Ryan Braun – The former MVP once said he never took performance-enhancing drugs, but then late in the 2013 season, Major League Baseball suspended him for 65 games for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Alex Rodriguez – the New York Yankees third baseman was a villain again in 2013. After admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs in 2009, Rodriguez was suspended for 211 games at the end of the season yet again this year. Rodriguez hasn’t served any of the suspension, and is now claiming he was duped.

Mike Rice – the former Rutgers coach was fired for videotapes showed Rice throwing basketball’s at player’s heads, for shoving players, and for using abusive language around his players.

Richie Incognito – Incognito was suspended by the Miami Dolphins for bullying teammate Jonathan Martin. Incognito called Martin the n-word, and other inappropriate voicemails. The situation in South Beach brought hazing and bullying to the forefront in the NFL, and is a issue that shouldn’t be tolerated in locker rooms.

NFL players last summer – The NFL had a black eye last summer, as there were 31 arrests made during last year’s offseason in the NFL.

Aaron Hernandez- the former New England Patriots is currently in jail and waiting trial. Hernandez was charged for murdering Odin Lloyd.

Oscar Pitorius – Pistorius made headlines at the 2012 Summer Olympics, but in 2013, he was accused and arrested of shooting and killing his girlfriend.

Nice:

Boston Red Sox – The Red Sox were pretty un – “beard” – lievable in 2013. They were “Boston Strong” after coping with the tragic Boston Marathon bombings last spring. Then, after losing 90 games in 2012, they won 90 games, the pennant and a World Series title all in 2013.

Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens – Lewis retired on top, and won his second Super Bowl ring, as the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31.

Chris Davis, CB, Auburn Tigers – Davis saved one last prayer at Jordan-Hare to beat No. 1 Alabama. The cornerback did the unthinkable in the Iron Bowl, and returned a missed field goal 109 yards to win.

Kevin Ware and the Louisville Cardinals – Ware broke his leg in the Elite Eight. Then, he got to cut down the nets, as the Cardinals beat Michigan for the NCAA Division I basketball championship.

Mariano Rivera – Rivera hung up his cleats in 2013, and was the last Major League Baseball player to wear No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. One of the most memorable moments happened when Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte came to the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays to take Rivera out of the game.

Athletes giving back at Christmas -

  • Andre Johnson – the Houston Texans have struggled in 2013 after making the playoffs last season, but Johnson isn’t letting that stop him from giving back this Christmas. In Johnson’s seventh annual toy giveaway, he spent over 17,000 on toys for kids.
  • New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley dressed up as Santa and Rob Gronkowski, as an elf to surprise children at a Boston children’s hospital.
  • Russell Westbrook gave kids backpacks and Jordan shoes for part of his Why Not? foundation.

If I missed any athletes that belonged on the ‘naughty or nice’ list, feel free to comment.

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