Tom Landry got fired. William Wallace was tortured. And, yes, sometimes nice guys do finish last.
Even worse – a grotesque sight mentioned in The Bible – is the prosperity of the wicked. Walter White, after all, won in the end and either you or someone you know openly rooted for the serial killer named Dexter.
We were reminded about good things happening to bad people in real life again over the weekend, when former Dallas Cowboy Charles Haley was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. By now you my thoughts – and experiences – with whom I readily admit is a legendary pass rusher. It will also be disgusting to go to Canton and see the shining, immortal bust of a man so evil he turned innocent bystanders into his personal pinatas – just because he could.
Haley, of course, isn’t alone.
For reasons we’ll likely never understand, talents, fortune and honors are often bestowed upon athletes who are otherwise just plain evil. They’re liars. Cheaters. Criminals. And, at one time or another, they received fame and fortune that hundreds of other more deserving athletes will never even sniff.
We all know life ain’t fair. But when you remember Haley and this list, you’ll be remorsefully reminded that good things happen to bad people:
10. Johnny Manziel – Johnny Football-turned-Johnny-Highball arrogantly scoffed when some criticized his post-Heisman Trophy behavior.
9. Ty Cobb – The bigot who sharpened his spikes and prompted only two baseball people to attend his funeral lives in the Hall of Fame.
8. Charles Haley – Violent racist who picked fights with white reporters, teammates and bosses, bust will soon reside in Canton.
7. Ray Lewis – Despite pleading guilty in a double-murder case, he has a prominent role at ESPN and will surely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2018.
6. Bill Belichick – Convicted cheater lifted his fourth Super Bowl trophy Feb. 1.
5. Lawrence Taylor – Despite being convicted of having sex with a 16-year-old prostitute, the Hall-of-Fame linebacker wasn’t sentenced to any jail time.
4. Michael Vick – After spending 548 days in prison for leading a dog-fighting ring that include torture, he signed a $100 million contract to return to the NFL.
3. Barry Bonds – Though a cheater and a liar, he holds one of the most hallowed records in all of sports as baseball’s all-time home-run leader.
2. Hollywood Henderson – Admitted drug user snorted away his NFL and Cowboys career, and then won $28 million in the Texas Lottery.
1. Lance Armstrong – Doped, cheated, lied and proactively ruined the lives of skeptics en route to winning a record seven Tours de France.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.