Today I begin my recap of what has been a sensational year for sport, both in South Africa and in the World. We will review the year over the next 5 days in a series of reviews and lists of the best of the year. We of course start with the people who made the news for all the wrong reasons in 2012. Here is the Jabu List – Biggest Chumps in sport in 2012.
10. Quade Cooper
There is not much you can say about the self-entitled King of Australian rugby that he has not said himself. Quade has seen himself being kicked out of the Australian Rugby side, turned to boxing and then boom he is back. No player is bigger than the team or the sport, but Quade is definitely getting close to the line.
9. Robin van Persie
Okay Manchester United fans; don’t hate me too much here. But Robin van Persie is included on the list, not because he signed for Man Utd, but rather because of the douche he became in his signing interview. Turning around and talking about the boy inside him (dodgy in itself) telling him to move to United a year after RVP had told Gooners and newspapers that he would never play for another club in England. Um, okay.
8. John Terry
Terry is probably one of the best captains in English football, if you put aside the racism and affairs with team mate’s ladies, but the reason he is included in this is for something all together different. Terry was suspended for the Champions League final, but when Chelsea pulled off their historic victory, Terry stripped off the suit in a manner that Clark Kent would be proud of, to show a fully kitted Terry (with shin-pads even!) ready to lift the trophy!
7. Kevin Pietersen
KP could almost be included in this list every year for the past decade. But even though the South African relationships with KP have somewhat improved, he took it upon himself to disrupt the English side at a crucial stage of the Test Series against South Africa. His sms’ing with the South African side looked to undermine the leadership of the English side and ultimately his removal from the squad for the final test.
6. Sports Referees
Mark Clattenburg may have been cleared for racism, but for poor under-performing his few weeks out would have been well deserved following a truly horrific performance in the Man United vs. Chelsea game. I only highlight this because it is a standout in what has become the norm of stupendously bad reffing and umpiring. The DRS in cricket has helped to a large degree, but rugby and football are still falling foul of the level of performance that would be unjust for Under 8 sport. It feels to me that officialdom is quickly becoming official-dumb.
5. Ludwick Mamabolo
South Africans were delighted this year when after 7 years a South African finally won the Ultimate marathon, the Comrades. Two weeks later this delight turned to despair as Ludwick tested positive for something that’s name is not relevant now (methylhexaneamine), as at today he still is the Comrades champion as the tribunal has not made a final decision. The only silver lining is that the second placed Bongmusa Mthembu is also a South African.
4. SA Football fans (after Zambia specific)
Pathetic. That was the simple one word that described the public response to the fan behaviour after our loss to Zambia, the African Champions. Firstly the pathetic attendance of 10 000 in 90 000-seater Soccer City is not good enough for the national team. In is a clear indictment of why Bafana should play more games at our coastal stadiums. But the saddest part of the event was the behaviour after the game, throwing stones at the Zambian bus was a clear indication of the lack of class we have as fans in South Africa at times.
3. Kevin Anderson
Now everyone who reads the blog will know that being Proudly South African is a huge part of my life. I also have no problem with people who move to foreign shores to further their development and careers either. But my problem arises when the traveller turns around and tells South Africa to kiss his, um, yes. Anderson was the only player in the World top 32 that could not play at the Olympics due to missing Davis Cup requirements. He then also remained unavailable for our tough defeat to Poland that would have been a lot easier with our top player.
In 2012 South African sport should have made headlines for the London Olympics. SASCOC of course made sure that our sport made the front page as often as the back page. They also issued All Things Jabu legal papers for the use of the Rhino, seriously, I’m not kidding. Graeme Joffee has been on a crusade to exploit the lies and you can read all his posts here.
1. Lance Armstrong
Probably the biggest fall of all time belongs to Lance Armstrong. Forget the fall of Tiger Woods a few years back, Lance has fallen in a manner that would make Julius Malema blush. He has been uncovered as the biggest drugs ring in sport this year and his previously unheralded 7 Tour de France titles have once again become unheralded. As a result Lance is our ATJ Chump of 2012.