07/02/09 — OPINION- Some athletes should fade away

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OPINION- Some athletes should fade away

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on July 2, 2009 1:46 PM

As sports fans we love to cheer our heroes as much as we enjoy despising the star player for one of our beloved team's rivals or that overpaid athlete with an attitude that gets under our skin.

I love rooting for my favorite players as much as the next guy. However, there's some sports stars I would just assume to never see compete again.

Here's a list of athletes the sports world would be better off without:

Kyle Busch: Busch's God-given talent is just as evident as his cocky and brash attitude. With 52 career wins in NASCAR's three major series, Busch is clearly one of the rising stars in the sport.

His refusal to take his sunglasses off for an interview and his insistence on blaming everything on someone else are signs Busch still has plenty of maturing to do.

Hopefully Kyle Busch will learn sooner rather than later that being a professional athlete is a privilege -- not a right.

Brett Favre: As a football fan I grew to love Favre's gunslinger style and his boyish love of the game. What's grown increasingly old is the "will he or won't he" saga that Favre has put fans through the past two offseasons.

After 18 seasons in the NFL, the 39-year-old Favre has already cemented his place in the Hall of Fame. He needs to put his pride or his grudge against the Green Bay Packers aside.

Do us all a favor and stop chasing a dream that's already faded.

Alex Rodriguez: An admitted steroid user and a guy who was once engulfed in rumors regarding his faithfulness to his former wife, Rodriguez has always seemed obsessed with the public's perception of him.

Currently under a $275 million dollar contract with the Yankees, Rodriguez has never displayed the necessary qualities to be the leader of a ballclub. With a .279 batting average and 38 strikeouts in 39 postseason games, A-Rod has yet to show he can be counted on when it matters most.

This is one Bronx Bomber I won't miss when his career is over.

Adam "Pacman" Jones: The former Dallas Cowboys cornerback and kick returner has been arrested six times and been involved in 13 incidents involving police since being drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2005.

With his troubles off the field and declining numbers, it's no wonder why Jones is currently not on an NFL roster. His numbers steadily declined while in Dallas and due to suspensions, Jones has played in just six games over the past two seasons.

The NFL will be better off when Pacman's game is over.

Shaquille O'Neal: O'Neal was once one of the most dominant big men to ever play in the NBA.

At 37, Shaq's brighter days are behind him and his points per game average has declined in seven of the past 11 seasons. His minutes played per game have also begun to dwindle.

In March, O'Neal accused Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy of being a frontrunner. Ironically, O'Neal has made a career of being teamed with some of the NBA's best players in Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and recently LeBron James.

After making a habit of earning nicknames like the Big Aristotle and the Big Cactus, maybe Shaq should now be known as the Big Hypocrite.