Mark Madsen voted worst dancer ever
Raise your hand if you remember when the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship nearly a decade ago in 2001.
Whom do you remember the most?
Was it Kobe Bryant, who looked so incredibly young during the championship parade and celebration?
Was it Shaquille O'Neal, who commanded that celebrating crowd and looked so strong and physically fit?
It was Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen, who proved forever and beyond a doubt that white men shouldn't even try to dance.
And the memory of his effort must be burned into your eyeballs because Mad Dog ran away with first place in our call for votes to build our latest list: "Top 10 Best/Worst Dancers in Sports." And nobody who voted for him suggested his effort was the "best."
As far as your ire, other than Madsen, the person criticized the most was, uh, me. Apparently I offended a good number of you by suggesting the "John Wall Dance" was, in any way, related to the "Dougie" dance even though Wall, the NBA rookie guard from Kentucky, did do a version of the "Dougie" at the Washington Wizards' home opener.
"Jlane318" may have said it best when he accused me of being "culturally clueless." Perhaps so, but it did not stop the rest of you from building an outstanding list -- although there were far more votes for the worst than the best. So let's get to it with a comment on each dancer from one of you:
Top 10 Best/Worst Dancers in Sports
1. Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen -- "At the 2001 celebration, Madsen can't be said to have 'two left feet' because that would be too insulting to left feet everywhere," said Bill P. from Tualatin, Ore.
2. 1985 Chicago Bears -- "The Super Bowl Shuffle is one of the great NFL mysteries because how did guys with so little coordination win a Super Bowl? It's like watching baby deer learn to walk," said Ben M. from Peoria, Ill.
3. Joakim Noah -- "His spastic dance after Florida won the title is truly frightening although your own Tony Kornheiser called it 'a good dance but not a classic dance.' What?" asked Frank H. from Little Rock, Ark.
4. Jonathan Papelbon -- "I despise all things Red Sox, but after seeing this debacle of a 'river dance' after their 2007 World Series title, I couldn't help but feel genuine sympathy for them," said Chris F. from New York City.
5. Kenny Mayne -- "No man has shown more courage than Kenny Mayne when he dared to go on 'Dancing With the Stars' and show us his misunderstood interpretation of two children lost in the woods," said Fran K. from Los Angeles.
6. Shaquille O'Neal -- "At the 2009 NBA All-Star Game, Shaq danced with the Jabbawockeez. Unfortunately, I let my children watch and they still wake up crying about the big man in the white mask. Kidding -- but it was strange entertainment for the NBA," said Bob M. from Louisville, Ky.
7. Billy "White Shoes" Johnson -- "You said 'Best' or 'Worst' and nobody was better than 'White Shoes.' Today's athletes just show off but when you watched him, you saw the joy that comes from doing something well. Long live the Funky Chicken!" said Mary L. from Houston.
8. Deion Sanders -- "Prime Time is both the best and worst because you loved his moves if he was on your side and hated them if he was not," said Matt J. from Fort Collins, Colo.
9. Al McGuire -- "You've got to go back to 1996 to see the few seconds when Al McGuire showed us some dance moves that had never been seen before and never been seen since -- truly a precious moment," said Beverley M. from Miami Springs, Fla.
10. Gheorghe Muresan -- OK, this one is mine (Jerry Greene) because in 1997 the 7-7 NBA player did an ESPN commercial in which he busted some incredible moves along with Karl Ravech and, yes, the incomparable Kenny Mayne.
Just missing the Top 10 were Reggie Miller (who just missed last week's list, too), Wes Welker, Dan Reeves, Randy Moss and Fred Lane. Also getting support were "Rudy Huxtable" from "The Cosby Show" and "Peter" from "Family Guy."
Oddly enough, there were no votes for Emmitt Smith, Apolo Anton Ohno and Helio Castroneves -- the three sports stars who have proved they really can dance by winning in "Dancing With the Stars." Apparently that kind of actual dancing doesn't count.
Jerry Greene is a retired columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org