Page 2 Jerky Awards
By Jim Armstrong
Special to Page 2

Everywhere you look across this global village of ours, it seems like somebody is working overtime at being a jerk. Which brings us to today's cybertopic. It's early, of course -- we're not quite 30 months into the next 100 years -- but there are already some definite leaders in the clubhouse in the race to succeed O.J. as Jerk of the Century.

Mike Price
Some may say it was bound to happen -- that it was destiny.
In fact, there are so many jerks out there, Page 2 has decided to recognize the biggest and best jerks since the dawn of the new millennium. We give you the Jerky Awards. Or, as they're destined to become known, the Jerkies. Some of the candidates ought to be called other four-letter words, but, this being a family website and all (well, sometimes), we'll keep it to jerk.

1. Mike Price
The man not only disgraced himself and his school, he broke the Golden Rule of SEC football coaches: cash-only for girls and recruits. In retrospect, the most shocking aspect of Price's story was his naivete. What, like nobody was supposed to know who he was in that strip joint? Which brings us to Destiny, the most famous stripper in America now that Monica isn't working the Oval Office anymore. Turns out 'Destiny' was just a nickname. Her real name is Lori. And in a related story, Price's wife has a new nickname for him: Mud. Want to know what the real tragedy is in all this? The Alabama players will never get to hear Price's trademark halftime speech: Win one for the stripper.

2. Larry Eustachy
You've got to give Eustachy one thing. At least those hotties whose cheeks he was sucking on weren't wearing g-strings. There hasn't been a scandal like this in Ames, Iowa, since the bottom fell out of the hog-futures market. Through it all, Eustachy has assured everyone that he'll coach again. Right. I'm thinking Alaska-Anchorage might be perfect for him. News travels by dogsled up there.

Ron Artest
"C'mon man! I'm trying to break 'Sheed's record!"
3. Ron Artest
Talk about your nut cases. In the past year, Artest has been suspended more often than the Flying Wallendas. When he isn't dismantling TV monitors, he's trying to dismember opposing players. He even tried to mess up Pat Riley's hair. Came away with nothing but a handful of grease.

4. Najeh Davenport
According to cops in Miami, Davenport slipped into a co-ed's dorm room while she was asleep, squatted down in a closet and laid some serious cable in a laundry basket. After hearing about Davenport's quick disappearing act after the . . . uh, other act, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. must have wished he'd graded him higher in the 40. Davenport didn't do much as a rookie, but you wonder: If he ever turns into a player, will he have his own bumper sticker in Green Bay? 'Najeh Happens.'

5. Richard Williams
Venus and Serena's dad refuses to acknowledge the American flag, saying it represents racism. I don't know about you, but, if my daughter had a $40-million endorsement deal for swinging a tennis racket, I'd be singing 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' in the shower.

6. Qyntel Woods
What would the Jerkies be without a Jailblazer on the list? OK, so Woods is a kid and kids make mistakes. But don't you think you at least ought to try to play by the rules? Not our man Qyntel. When he was pulled over for speeding by a Portland cop, he had nothing in the way of a license, nothing in the way of registration and less than nothing in the way of remorse. He did, however, have his rookie hoops card -- he showed it to the cop as I.D. -- and a fresh roach in the ashtray. When the cop asked him about the jay, Woods said he was trying to quit, but had resigned himself to being a ''marijuana addict.'' No wonder he was a first-round pick: He got ganja.

7. Abe Pollin
So the rumors were true. The Wizards' owner couldn't wait to kick Michael Jordan out to the curb. But first, Pollin pocketed untold millions from Jordan's presence. OK, so MJ made some shaky decisions as a GM. Before Jordan arrived, Wes Unseld had forged a career out of making shaky decisions. Why wasn't MJ accorded the same respect as Unseld? We don't know. On the day he canned the best thing that ever happened to the NBA, Pollin was unavailable for comment.

8. Randy Moss
Randy Moss. Yo, Randy, it's generally not that good an idea to drive down the street with a cop on your windshield. The guy has more talent than any other wide receiver ever, Jerry Rice included. Now if he just had a little respect for anyone but himself.

9. Tonya Harding
Tonya hasn't skipped a beat since the 1990s, when the Nancy Kerrigan fiasco left her on the short list of nominees for Jerk of the Century. Since then, she's tried to decapitate an ex-boyfriend with a hubcap, been nailed for DUI, and spent time in jail on a probation violation. It's a wonder she found time to launch that stellar boxing career of hers.

10. To be determined
Hey, it's still early in the century ...

Jim Armstrong, a sports columnist for the Denver Post, is a regular contributor to Page 2.



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