Nice and naughty

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When St. Nick completed his list this season, categorizing Earth’s seven billion people as either naughty or nice, he had plenty of sports personalities in both columns. There have been charitable and decent men and women who will receive all the lucrative contract extensions, trips to Disney World, rings and relaxing retirements they could’ve ever hoped for.

But, from domestic violence transgressors to drug-laced cheaters, there was plenty of naughty going on in 2014. This year had its share of scumbags and shysters who should be expecting enormous lumps of coal in their stockings this Christmas morn.

Of all the jerks and twerps that made headlines this year, there are two, now forever joined due to incident, that deserve to be shackled together in a dank cave somewhere so that they can forever mine the coal doled out to their like-minded ilk. A veritable tie goes to Donald Sterling and his sworn enemy, TMZ, for the naughtiest couple.

In most versions of the events that happened last April, Sterling is painted as a racist-chauvinist-billionaire-villain, which seems reasonable considering the venomous comments he made to his mistress, V. Stiviano, about the company she kept. 

What’s unbelievable, and perhaps even more despicable than the comments themselves, is that, with Sterling the villain, TMZ was able to slide into the part of hero in this twisted tale.

Good thing nothing gets by old Santa Claus. He knows when you’ve been bad or good; and TMZ, operating under scrupulous conditions, has been very bad. They’ve completely deconstructed the notion of journalism while, at that moment, attempting to sway, entice and rile-up the court of public opinion — though, all for the sake of clicks, views and swipes.

Donald Sterling said despicable things in a private conversation, and TMZ used unauthorized and un-vetted information to damage his image and subsequently his livelihood. For that, these two land at numbers 1 and 1a on St. Nick’s Naughty Sports list. (Numbers 2 through 40 largely occupied by National Football League personalities.)

I wish all of you a happy holiday season and remember: be good, for goodness sake. You never know who is listening.

Nic R. Krause was born a cranky, curmudgeon of a child in a Minnesota suburb. He was plucked from the muggy tundra and relocated to Colorado Springs 22 years ago. From intramural jai-alai, to his complicated relationship with the Minnesota Vikings, Nic, plainly stated, is bonkers for sports. Follow him on Twitter @NicRKrause.

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