We aren’t going to name names (actually, that's exactly what we're going to do), but there’s nothing sadder than a fallen champion. One minute you’re the greatest of all time, the next you’re whoring yourself out on Dancing With The Stars talking about how this is more exciting than the Super Bowl.

Without giving the list away, the last week has been full of moments where sports fans everywhere have said to themselves, “Just hang it up already!” Whether the player is no longer effective, putting himself in serious physical danger or driving us crazy with speculation on when he will retire, here are the athletes we most want to retire:

10. Chris Webber: You know you’re washed up when the 76ers are paying you over $20 million this season to not play for them. Sure he looked good in the regular season with the Pistons when nobody plays any defense, but those creaky old knees caught up to him in the playoffs. The highlight of watching Webber, 34, play last year was watching his teammates make fun of how he can barely dunk anymore. C-Webb couldn’t jump over a candlestick right now. We love how Webber recently said he won’t play in Greece this season because he doesn’t want to disrespect the game. You know what’s disrespecting the game? Playing ZERO defense for the past 5 years.

9. Dikembe Mutombo: The question with Dikembe is never “How much does he have left in the tank?” but rather, “Who wants to sex Mutombo?!” He claims to be 41, but who really knows with this guy? Given that Yao is going to miss at least half the season, the Rockets just signed him to a one-year deal. We know Dikembe had to talk to the commish about the Finger Wag, but when was the last time he actually got to use it in a game? All jokes aside, Mutombo did average 6.5 RPG last year and came up huge after Yao went down.

8. Roger Clemens: We’ll spare you the stats about how much Clemens cost the Yankees this season per strikeout, win, etc. etc. You don’t need to be a Rocket scientist (pun intended, bitches!) to figure out $28 million for a 6-6 record and 4.18 ERA is a bad investment. Whether Clemens (45) officially retires or not, there needs to be a media embargo on this guy come spring training.

7. Kevin Willis: Listed as the oldest active player in the NBA, the 44-year old was the 11th overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft (yes, that’s the same one as Olajuwon, Jordan and Barkley). Currently without a team after joining the Mavs for the postseason, he’s the second oldest player in NBA history behind Nat Hickey, who played until he was 46. You know, the Celtics could use some frontcourt help…

6. Vinny Testaverde: You can’t complain about this Heisman winner not lasting in the NFL. After winning it in 1986, Vinny’s been around so long he even played in these uniforms (pictured - man those were beautiful...). He joined the Patriots for the 2006 season, but Vinchenzo was cut in training camp (on a side note, how screwed are the Patriots if Brady goes down? Their backups are two guys that couldn’t hack it in Division I-A – Matt Cassel & Matt Gutierrez). With QBs dropping like flies, Vinny might get one last shot. (Update: We feel like John Fox personally slapped us in the face right now, as the Panthers have just signed Vinny).

5. Chris Chelios: We don’t actually watch hockey but judging by the Red Wings annual disappointment in the playoffs, we’re guessing he isn’t getting any younger. At 45, not only is he the oldest player in the league, he’s even older than his own coach, Mike Babcock. Let’s just hope Old Man River doesn’t slip on the ice this year and break a hip.

4. Julio Franco: Just when you thought his career was finally over, the Atlanta Braves called Franco up from Triple-A (can you imagine playing in the minors with this guy?) in September after turning 49 on August 23rd. We love this nugget of info: “Julio Franco is the only active player to face a pitcher who pitched against Hall of Famer Ted Williams.” That stat has Tim Kurkjian’s name written all over it.

3. Stacey Augmon: Has there even been a more apt nickname than Augmon’s: “The Plastic Man”? A former teammate of Greg Anthony and Larry Johnson at UNLV, both have been retired for 5 years. Not Augmon, who recently signed with the Denver Nuggets. The guy hasn’t averaged over 6 PPG since 1996 and has started over 10 games in a season four times since then. By the way, we love the idea of Augmon being the missing piece that’s going to get the Nuggets over the hump in the playoffs.

2. Trent Green: In the summer, Jason Taylor said if Green took one more hit, he’d be “scrambled eggs.” Fitting, since you needed a spatula to pick him up off the Reliant Stadium field Sunday. Watching back-to-back clips of Green getting destroyed by Robert Geathers in 2006 and Travis Johnson on Sunday make us want to puke. The man has turned into a crash-test dummy. Green needs to call it quits before he’s in a hospital bed getting spoon fed tapioca pudding for the rest of his life while his kids lock themselves in their rooms all day and listen to “Daddy, Where Have You Been?”

1. Evander Holyfield: It’s hard not to like Real Deal Holyfield. I mean, come on, the man had his ear bitten off! But it’s time to hang up the gloves when an entire state (New York) has banned you from fighting there for 3 years because of concerns for your safety. Still, Holyfield won’t go down. About to turn 45, he insists he won’t retire until he becomes the oldest heavyweight champion, which has lead him to Moscow for the crown of the World Boxing Organization. We don’t even want to know what Evander will do if he loses this match. He’s so desperate, we wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls a Lawrence Phillips (how did this story not get more pub?).

Let’s Not Forget:

- Cobi Jones (37): He already announced he’s retiring at the end of this MLS season. We thought we’d just rub it in some more.
- Brett Favre (37): Great. Now instead of hearing about when Favre will retire all the time, we’re back to everyone clinging to his nuts.
- Jerry Glanville (65): Seriously Jerry: Division I-AA football? The all black thing stopped being cool like 15 years ago (insert joke here about being too legit to quit). Apparently Jerry didn't get the memo about OT being introduced in college.
- Tim Couch (30): Was banning this guy for six games really necessary?
- Ricky Williams (30): We liked him so much better when he gave interviews with his helmet on.
- Joe Paterno (80): We can’t say it enough: He’s lost 9 straight to Lloyd!
- Bobby Bowden (77): We hate Florida State. Period.
- Morten Andersen (47):
Wants to play in the NFL until he’s 50. Could be a problem that he can’t make anything past 40 yards.
- Alonzo Mourning (37): Not that we mention it, the entire Heat roster aside from Dwyane Wade should retire.
- Cliff Robinson (41): After getting cut by the Nets in July, Uncle Cliffy might not have a choice.
- Mike Mussina (38): Loved how he came out and defended Joe Torre, then get shelled by the Indians. We hear he’s the nicest guy in the world. Sadly, there’s just nothing left in the tank.
- Tamir Goodman (25): Ah yes, the Jewish Jordan. He’s playing in the equivalent of the D League in Israel.
- Drew Henson (27): Sorry Drewski.
- 50 Cent (32): We had your word, 50!
- Ray Benzino (42): Eminem already said it all in "Nail in the Coffin."


Anonymous said...

chelios is still really good. scored a goal last night.

RB said...

Totally agree with this list, especially #2, go home and blow this out for the next 20 years:


3000 said...

"...[H]as over started over 10 games in a season four times since then" just blew my mind. Sweet Christ am I hungover.

Anonymous said...

Its hard not to like a steroid abusing cheat like Holyfield?

Its unfortunate Tyson couldn't finish off both ears.

Bruce said...

I'll add another name to your list- Jim Edmonds. As a Cardinals fan, it's tough to see him struggle so much. Plus, with Rick Ankiel in the fold(unless MLB does something with him) and Colby Rasmus just a year or two away from very likely becoming the everyday CF, Jimmy Ballgame's days are numbered.

Matt Gibson said...

I agree with Anonymous. Chelios is better than a good most dmen on the defensive end. He's not slow out there and is still playing at a high level. He works out crazy hard to stay in the shape he's in.

Anonymous said...

It's not too early for Michelle Wie to consider retirement, is it? If it's too soon for her, I know its time for her caddy/father B. J. Wie to disappear forever!

Anonymous said...

It can't be too soon for Michelle Wie to hang it up, can it? She's making Anna K. look like a hall-of-fame athlete!

Greg C. said...

Mussina didn't get shelled by the Indians. You must be thinking of the always overrated Wang. And even with a 5.15 ERA, he was better than many of the younger pitchers who got mid 8 figure deals last off season. He is very serviceable as a # 5 guy. He just isnt #1 or 2 material anymore. Overpaid, but still possibly capable. He was hitting 91 against Cleveland.

Anonymous said...

Technically, Kevin Willis is 45, not 44. And Roger Clemens didn't get paid $28 million, his contract was pro-rata of that amount based upon a full season. With that said, those two should indeed hang it up.

Anonymous said...

Matt Cassell has backed up Carson Palmer (at USC) and Tom Brady. We honestly have no idea how good he is, but he has claimed to be the second best college qb in America while backing up Palmer.

The Patriots have never really gone after another QB with him sitting in reserve, so they show confidence in him...