Chris: It may be highly-circumcised that “Forbes” released a list of the 10 most disliked athletes in sports the weekend before Valentine's Day. In years past I have written poetic tributes to Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, detailing why neither individual will ever receive a heart-shaped box of candy or even a half-eaten breadstick from me. The "Forbes" list caused me to consider ballooning some sonnets, and due to the fact that I was sitting in the bathroom, I had time to ponder.
Ralphie: I was glad to see Michael Vick on the list. I don’t like Michael Vick. I like dogs a lot, and he doesn’t treat them the way they ought to be treated.
Joe: Lists, by their nature, are arbitrary. In this instance, most of the athletes are disliked because of their arrogance, not necessarily because of their acts.
Brad: I think it's kind of funny, but then you think that these are the people me and my friends want to be like in a few years, and they really are not that good of role models.
Ralphie: I don’t know many of these players, but it sounds like they are not very good role models.
Joe: I dislike Tiger Woods, not because of his infidelities but because of his arrogance over the years before the so-called scandal was revealed. He is a great golfer; he has climbed to the heights and sunk to the lows. In my opinion, he is still aloof and arrogant.
Chris: I think it’s outstanding that a business and financial magazine can publish a list that Snidley Whiplash would aspire to achieve, had he been an athlete. This puts us in pole position for an after-school special on the 10 most disliked CEOs in America.
Ralphie: I don’t like athletes who break the law. Athletes should be role models because lots of kids like me look up to them.
Brad: Michael Vick definitely makes my list. Come on dude, we are supposed to treat animals like part of the family, not promote fighting. I really don't like Big Ben. Who does he think he is doing whatever he pleases on his own time, knowing it could interfere with his game, like the motorcycle accident. Ok yeah, he didn't mean to get into an accident, but he should have been wearing a helmet since it was during the playing season.
Joe: Take Ndamukong Suh from the “Forbes” list, caught in the act of stomping on an opponents arm; he tried to rationalize it, denied it and ultimately forgot about it. I say let’s forget about him.
Chris: I would have to guess that Michael Vick’s dogs, Evan Dietrich-Smith and the missing skin plugs from his arm, Plaxico Burress’ leg and every person from the city of Cleveland were on the voting panel. In fact, Dietrich-Smith’s plugs of skin that were removed by Suh’s cleats may have done something shameful inside the voting booth with the hanging chads.
Ralphie: I was sad that Lebron James was on the list. It’s not that I like him; I just have an autographed basketball card of his. Now, I kind of want to get rid of it.
Brad: I think I dislike the law breakers more, but I also don't care for poor sportsmanship. Stop acting so stupid. Stop breaking the law. Stop acting like you are the greatest thing that has ever happened to the sport you play.
Joe: We all commit errors in judgment, some of us admit our stupidity and demonstrate remorse and try not to repeat the errors. The athletes need to be real people and act like the rest of mankind. In two words--"Grow Up."
Chris: I’m not entirely sure the difference between “tragedy” and “travesty,” though I am almost certain that not including foreign athletes on the list was one of those two words. Based on their behavior, John Terry, Mario Balotelli and Genghis Khan are disappointed not to be mentioned. What did Kurt Busch do anyway? Fail to use a turn signal? They have those in NASCAR, right?
Joe: Bad acts, breaking the law and pretending one is above the law reflect one's true character. Enough said!
Brad: I don't think some of them would be so bad if they hadn't broke the law. If my dad went and had an illegal dog fighting ring, he would be in jail, not donating money to the Humane Society and then back to work. All the stuff takes away from the game and their game abilities.
Ralphie: They need to use being famous to do nice things for people. They have a lot of money, and they’re very famous. It’s sad not to do good things with that.
Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.