SBD/December 21, 2011/2011 Year in Review

They Did What?!? The Moments Of The Year That Made Us Shake Our Heads

No year is complete without a few scenarios occurring that people would like to have back. Here are a few of the things that made us say, "Really?"

Rodriguez sponsored Vita Coco despite being
major investor in rival company Zico

E-5: Coconut water brand Vita Coca in June announced it signed Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez to an endorsement deal. Harmless enough, right? Sure, unless you’re a major investor in Vita Coco’s rival, Zico. A-Rod’s business manager was quick to say his client only endorsed Vita Coco after Zico began making its product from concentrate. But here is the kicker: Zico has footage of Rodriguez drinking the product from concentrate -- and endorsing it.

HAMMERIN’ HANK: Hank Williams Jr. had become a fixture on “MNF” after singing the opening theme song for more than two decades, but that came to a screeching halt after he compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler. The ensuing firestorm caused ESPN to quickly drop the singer for his mindless comments. ESPN’s Dan Le Batard summed it up best by saying, “A friendly piece of advice I think we should all know by now. … Stay away from the Hitler stuff.”

UNLUCKY IN KENTUCKY: Despite the hype and ticket sales leading up to Kentucky Speedway’s inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup race in July, the actual event was less-than-ideal and left countless fans sitting in traffic instead of watching the race. Even more inexplicable than the traffic itself was the three-day delay between the disastrous event and the apology issued by Kentucky Speedway officials. “I’m sorry” will not fix infrastructural issues, but it is definitely a must during any PR nightmare.

MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS: Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall got himself in some hot water after he tweeted his unpopular opinion regarding Americans’ jubilation in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death. Mendenhall backtracked quickly -- but not before endorser Champion cut him loose, refusing to honor the remainder of his endorsement deal. It remains to be seen whether Mendenhall will have the last laugh -- he is suing Hanesbrands for the remaining $1M owed to him under the deal.

KIDS, COVER YOUR EYES: The NLL Boston Blazers’ halftime show during a January game at TD Garden featured scantily clad dancers competing to see who could give the team’s mascot, Scorch, the best lap dance. The racy stunt made the rounds on YouTube and outraged many fans, forcing the team to issue an apology.

THIS SEAT TAKEN? Four hundred fans were left without seats for Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium after temporary seating areas were not completed in time for the big game. The NFL offered every form of compensation it could think of -- free tickets, complimentary travel, attendance at a Super Bowl of choice -- but it still was not enough for some fans. The ticket fiasco capped off a less-than-memorable week in Big D, as a freak ice storm paralyzed much of the area.

Kurt Busch (l) was dropped by Penske, while
Kyle's sponsors suspended his final two races

BAD BOYS, BAD BOYS: The Busch brothers continued to make headlines in ’11, but for all the wrong reasons. Kyle Busch’s road rage during a Camping World Truck Series race ultimately led sponsor Z-Line Designs to ask Joe Gibbs Racing to replace Busch for the Nationwide Series finale. Sprint Cup sponsor M&Ms followed suit, putting Busch in the pits for the final two races of the year. Meanwhile, brother Kurt’s expletive-riddled outburst against a pit road reporter in Homestead was enough for Penske Racing to drop the driver.

HIT THE ROAD, JACK: Women’s soccer got a big boost this year with the U.S. national team’s run to the World Cup finals. But magicJack Owner Dan Borislow successfully ruined the fun when he got his team terminated by WPS. After much bickering with the foul-mouthed owner, WPS finally decided it could not take it anymore and sent Borislow packing.
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