There is a story going around the sports-industrial complex that goes like this: “Memphis basketball coach Josh Pastner tweeted the name of touted recruit Tony Parker, which is a secondary violation of NCAA recruiting rules. Pastner said it was his wife’s fault for distracting him while he was doing an Internet search for Parker. ‘My wife was yelling at me because I was on the phone too loud,’ he told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. ‘So, I was waking everybody up, I was getting yelled at, and on top of that, I was thinking, What’s going on with recruiting? and Who am I going to hire? and I made a mistake.”
One thinks, What a punk. Pastner drops a dime on his pregnant spouse, tries to cop a plea with, “My wife made me do it.”
It’s a low-rent excuse. Pastner made no effort to concoct a reasonable lie. On the other end of the excuse scale is reigning sports excuse champ Tiger Woods. He said his wife took one of his golf clubs and beat in the side window of his wrecked SUV in order to rescue him. This is a genius variation of the My Wife Made Me Do It excuse tree, and that’s why he’s Number 1.
Tiger’s excuse is so good, many people wonder if there are any real contenders in the My Wife Made Me Do It sports excuse subdivision. Be easy, people, introducing Daniel Plaza, a Spanish race-walker. He represented Spain in three Olympic Games, won a gold medal at the 1992 games in Barcelona, his hometown.
Pretty cool, huh? Win a gold medal in your hometown with family and friends looking on. Plus, he was the first Spaniard to win a gold medal in track and field. A grateful nation stands as one. But wait, now comes misfortune: Plaza tested positive for nandrolone, an anabolic steroid.
A normal man would hire lawyers and walk away, but not Plaza — he went for gold. Plaza said the nandrolone belonged to his wife, not him. Pregnant women may produce nandrolone naturally; thus, her nandrolone got into his system by way of a prolonged session of oral sex. He served a two-year ban but won on appeal ten years after the event.
Then there is Dennis Mitchell, an American track and field star. He competed in the 1988, ’92, and ’96 Olympics, won a gold medal as part of the American Men’s 4x100 meters relay. He tested positive for high levels of testosterone after a 1998 Gainesville, Florida, meet. Mitchell was sentenced to two years’ banishment.
But not quite. Mitchell offered an inspired excuse. He said the night before the meet he drank five beers and had sex with his wife four times. He said, “It was her birthday. The lady deserved a treat.”
Recognizing greatness when they saw it, USA Track and Field came home with a “not guilty.” However, the International Association of Athletics Federations, probably led by the French, kept their collective head in the sand and unjustly banned the American stallion from international competition.
I’ll briefly mention a few subcategories in the My Wife Made Me Do It sports excuse tree. Follows comes from the My Mother Made Me Do It division.
Australian Shane Warne is regarded as one of the greatest cricket bowlers of all time. And, so, it was especially cruel that the day before the 2003 World Cup was set to begin, Warne was sent home after testing positive for the prescription drug Moduretic.
Warne said, “I’m shocked and devastated. My mother gave me a diet tablet.” He went on to explain his mother gave him the tablet so he wouldn’t look fat on TV.
The Slut Made Me Do It. As to the Frenchman Richard Gasquet, a professional tennis star. Gasquet tested positive for cocaine in 2009 after he pulled out of a Key Biscayne, Florida, tennis tournament due, he said, to a shoulder injury.
Well, sir, what does a Frenchman do after he quits a tennis tournament? He goes to a Miami NIGHTCLUB! Yes, the smarmy little socialist beelined to a contemptible hot spot, to see — get this — a French DJ spin tunes for a dance music festival. Said festival was, according to the International Tennis Federation’s tribunal panel, “notoriously associated with use of illegal recreational drugs, including cocaine.”
Gasquet said he kissed a girl named Pamela at the debauchery. “I did not take cocaine. I kissed a girl who did.” Although no girl or proof of kiss was offered as evidence, the tribunal ruled that Pamela had likely consumed cocaine during the night and, therefore, Gasquet was not significantly at fault. Ultimately, the Court of Arbitration for Sport cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Nice work, Frenchy.