Counting down in Hades: Fehr, Petrino, but not Saban (yet)

How many schools haven't called Bob? Dunno. I can't count that high.

My doorman in Sports Hell.

The first thing I thought when I heard Donald Fehr announced his retirement Monday was: Does he have to leave behind the usual items when he cleans out his office?

You know: desk lamp, stapler, the box of bartered souls in the corner.

Excuse me, Count: Is there room for Fehr in your underworld?

The Tuesday Countdown continues …

10. Do dollar signs convey integrity?

So, let’s get this out of the way first because I know so many of you are ready to spew the he-was-just-doing-his-job speech. A lot of players got very rich while Fehr was head of the Players Association. There, I’m covered. But since when did leading hundreds of increasing wealthy athletes speak to the contribution to the sport or the strength of it? Does a rich plumber make you feel compelled to use that plumbing company? What if the rich plumber is a liar and a thief and charges you $1,500 when all you really needed was a bottle of Drano? Does a wealthy used car salesman make you want to shop at his car lot? I always kind of thought sports was about more than that. I know. I have Easter Bunny Syndrome.

The good news for Selig (left) and Fehr (right). In Hell, nobody swears you in.

The good news for Bud Selig (left) and Donald Fehr (right). In Hell, nobody swears you in.

9. He helped ruin baseball (but he had help)

Donald Fehr is a sleaze bag. The only people who did as much to ruin baseball were, collectively, commissioner Bud Selig and the owners of Major League Baseball. The difference is: Selig never has been terribly smart and he often has been a tool for the owners, who’ve never gotten along because they’ve always have their own agendas. But Fehr is worse because he is smart and powerful and he presided over the strongest players union in sports. He could’ve helped implement change. Positive change. Instead . . .

8. I’l take a hot dog, a beer and a second mortgage

The endless collective bargaining wars, spearheaded by Fehr/union demands and enabled by the buffoon owners and commissioner, drove up salaries, killed small market teams, forced the costs of tickets and hot dogs to sky rocket, and probably also gave television executives increased leverage to dictate starting times of post-season broadcasts. (TV provides revenue.) Hence: The 9 p.m. first pitch.

Norma Rae fought for 68 percent of the revenues. Or maybe it was just earplugs, I forget.

7. World Series lockout, steroids and tainted records

You want more? Don’t forget, it was Fehr and the union of pig-headed and/or brainwashed players that led to another CBA collapsed and the cancellation of the 1994 World Series. It also was Fehr and the union that constantly resisted any attempts by baseball – albeit, feeble attempts – to institute significant drug testing of players. A stiffer anti-steroid policy would have prevented some of the inflated statistics that turned baseball’s record book into a cartoon. But, no. Fehr wouldn’t hear of testing. Wasn’t it more important to expand arbitration rights and drive up salaries?

6. Teamsters, Norma Rae … and Fehr?

The only thing sweeter than seeing Fehr crumble in Washington when Congress held its steroid hearings was seeing Selig grovel as he sat right next to him. It was like watching two kids sitting in the principal’s office after being caught selling the teachers’ answer sheets – for over a decade. If there was a Sports Hell Hall of Shame, Fehr is in on the first ballot. And he’s probably trying to convince potential Hell Hall members to unionize and hold out before induction ceremonies for maximum leverage.

5. Petrino, Schott, Sherrill … make it stop, mommy!

I'd love to see him try to get out of his contract with Lucifer.

I'd love to see Bobby Petrino try to get out of his contract with Lucifer.

Which reminds me. Gotta credit 790-AM’s Mike Bell, the funniest man on local radio, for coming up with the Sports Hell idea. But I’m stealing it. Here’s my 10 charter members:

Donald Fehr and Bud Selig. They go in together and can give each other’s induction speeches.

Bobby Petrino: A liar, a weasel and a self-serving invertebrate. You know the details.

Marge Schott: She ran the Cincinnati Reds into the ground, used racial epithets when referring to some African American players and collected Nazi memorabilia. Hat trick!

A picture of one of sports' great injustices.

This just wasn't right.

♦ Georgia (Rosenbloom) Frontiere: She took over the Los Angeles Rams from her mysteriously drowned husband, Carroll Rosenbloom. She fired her stepson, Steve Rosenbloom, who had been groomed to take over the team. Then she ran that team into the ground, ticked off L.A. sports fans and moved an iconic NFL franchise out of the No. 2 market to St. Louis. Sorry. I’m from L.A. This one cuts deep.

O.J. Simpson: He was a lousy actor. Also, I think he killed two people.

Jackie Sherrill: He left two college programs, Texas A&M and Mississippi State, on probation and I believe robbed three kids’ lemonade stands. Of course, he denies direct involvement with

When does Jackie Sherrill admit he did something wrong?

When does Jackie Sherrill admit he did something wrong?

either set of infractions and points out there is no video tape of him at the lemonade stands. True story: Joe Paterno once cracked he wouldn’t retire because he didn’t want to leave college football in the hands of “the Jackie Sherrills and the Barry Switzers.” Fortunately, JoePa  has outlasted them both.

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis: What? I can’t have a judge? Landis threw “Shoeless” Joe Jackson out of baseball and effectively banned him from the Baseball Hall of Fame for his role in the 1919 “BlackSox” scandal. The only problem is, Jackson didn’t have a role. He led the Series in hits, slammed the only homer and didn’t commit an error. How could he have been trying to throw the Series?

Tonya Harding: She orchestrated the knee-capping of Nancy Kerrigan in the U.S. figuring skating championships. Seems kind of excessive, don’t you think? I mean, if this was an SEC game, that’s one thing. But figure skating?

When the apology comes late, it loses its impact.

When apologies come late, they lose their impact.

Marion Jones: She threatened to sue the U.S. anti-doping agency for investigating her and vociferously denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs. She name-called anybody who dared to broach the subject. Then in 2007, amid mounting evidence in the BALCO case, Jones finally admitted she lied. She even broke down in tears, presumably for effect, and said: “I’ve let myself down and my country down.” And we all thanked her for the confirmation.

4. On second thought …

You know, No. 5 just got to be way too long. I don’t get paid by the word. I’m taking No. 4 off.

3. Everybody’s pickin’ on Saban

Nick Saban is not yet a member of our Hell Hall but he remains a sentimental favorite. Saban told Ian Rapoport, a terrific reporter for the Birmingham News, that Alabama is getting a raw deal from some recruiting websites. It seems the coach is convinced that incorrect and damaging information about the Crimson Tide’s probation is being disseminated by muckraking media members at these recruiting websites. I’m guessing it’s real misleading stuff being written, something like: “Alabama is on probation for the fourth time in 14 years.” I hate facts.

2. Will he use the kitchen entrance, too?

Is the Favre signing in Minnesota already a lock? I buy it.

Is the Favre signing in Minnesota already a lock? I buy it. alternates between breaking news and throwing a lot of stuff against the wall. But I kind of like this conspiracy theory of theirs that the Minnesota Vikings have already signed quarterback Brett Favre – or come to some secret agreement — but they’re holding off on announcing it until July 3. Why? Because several national media members are on vacation then, thereby minimizing the public damage.

For what it’s worth, I will be among those on vacation July 3. But I just want the Vikings to know I have no problem with them signing Favre that week. There will be plenty of time to shred their new quarterback for selfish and two-face tendencies when I return.

1. Hey, Brett: One more thing.

O.J. needs a quarterback to hand him the ball just south of here.

85 comments Add your comment

Thanks for giving Mike Bell kudos...

June 23rd, 2009
7:03 am

…he is one funny guy!


June 23rd, 2009
7:17 am

Hey Jeff,

Kroger is having a sale on depends today.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

June 23rd, 2009
7:18 am

Incredible work. Very good stuff! You could have easily added several current NFL players (I.e. Leonard Little and Stallworth), but I know that would have stirred the pot in the wrong direction. Good work though!


June 23rd, 2009
7:22 am

Jeff…I always appreciate your columns…funny…but they speak the facts.


June 23rd, 2009
7:26 am

Jeff, please remember that MLB owners pretty much forced the players’ union to strike in 1994, by threatening to impose a salary cap. Cancelling the World Series that year was low-down, but there’s plenty of blame to go around


June 23rd, 2009
7:28 am

what a timely column if this is 1992

Jeff Schultz

June 23rd, 2009
7:38 am

Redbar: thanks for the shopping tip. When I head to the store today to buy some, maybe you can bag them for me.

Lowcountry: Yes, there is no shortage of candidates.

KD: like I said, blame on both sides in CBA talks. But past CBA talks led to contentious relationship and the hard-line cap talk. And by the way, the cap works pretty well in the NFL (although I’m against them, philosophically).

Jay: I think Marion Jones was like 16 in 1992. What did she do then, get a speeding ticket? Or are you just trying to be funny? Oh, I get it. Wait. Huh?


June 23rd, 2009
7:42 am

sports hell nominee…floyd landis, for cheating in the tour de france, lying about it, playing the victim and then doing his coast-to-coast dog & pony they’re-all-out-to-get-me BS tour.

honotable mentions – mike vick. pete rose. barry bonds.


June 23rd, 2009
7:43 am

misspelled ‘honorable’…d’oh!

Sage of Bluesland

June 23rd, 2009
8:03 am

Enter Deion Sanders in your Hall of Shame, Jeff…Deion, who NOW is stating that he wanted to stay with the Falcons all along, but wasn’t shown any love by the ownership (i.e. Clampetts).

Deion’s memory isn’t as short as mine–I remember he threatened to stop playing football (and continue his illustrious career in baseball, at least until the pitchers started throwing curveballs to him) if the Falcons franchised him…Instead, the Clampetts, Ken Herock, and June Jones actually believed they had a “handshake” deal to allow them to match any offers…to which Deion bolted to the 49ers.

Yet some sheep will continue to defend him to this day–and it’s obvious there are other ‘cards’ at play…

Offensive, really.

Jan Spiro

June 23rd, 2009
8:04 am

Jeff: you are wrong about Joe Jackson. He took the money. He was part of the deal. ” If you build it, he will come;” back for more money that is.

Bangkapi Ajarn

June 23rd, 2009
8:14 am

Funny article, thanks. May I suggest Jan Kemp, and perhaps someone from the UGA basketball program which has sunk badly.

Don’t forget Mr. Vick, of course. Does Sports Hell have an ASPCA wing? Perhaps the doberman dungeon, or the pit bull pit?

Interesting thread.

Hot Phone Sex Queen

June 23rd, 2009
8:27 am

Jan Spiro is right. Joe Jackson never denied taking the money. He just didn’t do anything to throw the games. Sort of like Jake Spoon in Lonesome Dove. If you ride with outlaws and stand by and do nothing, it’s like you’re an outlaw yourself. Ethics 101, Jeff.
And I have a rule of thumb about athletes–and I’m talking to you Brett Favre–who cry at retirement press conferences. If you cry, you can’t come back. That’s it. Greg Maddux didn’t cry. He’d be allowed to come back. I think Jeff Kent got choked up and shed a tear. No coming back. Brett not only cried, he put his head on the table and wailed (or was that just on my tv). He needs to go away and make Wrangler commercials and quit jerking people (including his family) around.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 23rd, 2009
8:28 am

You left off charter Sports Hell member Bill Belichick. Not for cheating, but for running Bernie Kosar out of Cleveland.

coachdawg 2000

June 23rd, 2009
8:29 am

How about Sports Journalist (GAG!) Hell- You,Terrence Moore,Jim Gray,Chris (I haven’t seen my toes since the mid-80’s)Berman. Now that is a strong class of first balloters.


June 23rd, 2009
8:52 am

This just in: The players have hired another lawyer to represent their interests.

However, they are having a problem locating him…Johnny Cochran, where are you?


June 23rd, 2009
9:21 am

sports journalist from hell top ten,.. number 1 dickie veeee number 2 john madden number 3 beano cook number 4 milo hamilton number 5johnny the world s best golfer mille r number 6 chris back back back berman number 7 don dodger hate ur hair sutton number 8 dickie he s a personal friend of mine Veeeeeeeeeeeeeee babeeeeeeeeeeeeee Number 9 Joe chicken wing Morgan number 10 Jeff for thinking up this column,,,,, also coach dawg2000 for isnspiration


June 23rd, 2009
9:22 am

it’s a matter of supply and demand… no one is putting a gun to the heads of teams giving players $100M contracts, but since they’re willing to pay and the owners CAN afford it, then why shouldn’t they get paid?

funny, most of the poeple that post on AJC are right-wing nuts who rant and rave about socialism destroying america, yet this is capitalism at its finest and people can’t stand it for some reason. quite hypocritical.

Fehr’s complicity in the steroids issue, on the other hand, is a matter on which i agree with you 100%.


June 23rd, 2009
9:26 am

Fehr and Marvin Miller did nothing but damage the game. Baseball was the perfect sport in 1968. All the changes since have been driven by greed from both the players and the owners. The sport needs to realize that the fans and the integrity of the game are all that matters. No one goes goes to the ball park to see agents, Fehr , or Miller. Player agents and executives of the MLB Players Association are simply leeches feeding on baseball. They bring nothing positive and certainly should not be in the HOF.

Fehr, Miller, and agents have no Integrity. They sold their souls for greed. They fought and are still fighting for PEDs because it bring them more money and have no regard for the fans or the game.

coachdawg 2000

June 23rd, 2009
9:32 am

I forgot Atlanta Legend,in his own mind, John Kincaid and Mister Big-shot Steak Shapiro (nobody cares where you ate dinner!)


June 23rd, 2009
9:37 am

Please check the cutline under the picture/mugshot of Marion Jones (when apologies comes late … check your subject-verb agreement. Or the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, another fine agreement).
And what? No eye candy (sorry, but Sally Field as Norma Rae don’t cut it … neither do Dud Selig and Donald Liar)? You mean I have to go find one on my one?


June 23rd, 2009
9:42 am

If Pete Rose is not a charter member of Sports Hell, then it has no credibility whatsoever.

Turlock Brave

June 23rd, 2009
9:45 am

I would complain more about Buck Weaver being banned than Shoeless Joe. He took no money and played honestly. I also don’t buy the “didn’t tell anybody” excuse, because Comisky suspected it and told Ban Johnson, who did nothing.


June 23rd, 2009
9:45 am

Who can blame Petrino for wanting to go out of the media circus known as the Falcons?

Corrine Brown

June 23rd, 2009
9:48 am

Charter members of the club gotta be Mike Tyson & Mike Vick


June 23rd, 2009
9:52 am

jeff, too bad about the la connection. i dont see much evidence of it so you must have been saved by being in the south for so long.

seems they just ran off one of the la coaches on the other side of the mississippi. shouldnt he get some notice or love for being a candidate for your hall hell, just maybe?


June 23rd, 2009
10:01 am

Hey MB, I think Scott Boras deserves a dishonorable mention also.


June 23rd, 2009
10:02 am

Enter your comments here


June 23rd, 2009
10:03 am

brainfade on that last post, I meant Mr. Shultz


June 23rd, 2009
10:04 am

Mr Schultz–

It makes me sad to say that you’ve fallen far, very far, in my esteem. And sadder still that it ever happened.

I could agree to disagree with you as to the relative value of unions and the rights of labor to organize so as to better cope and negotiate with management. I’ll even acknowledge and concede to you your right to have a personal axe to grind against Fehr or anyone else for any real or imagined reason.

But to see you so flagrantly and maliciously rewrite MLBPA history (9/8/7) sickens me. How many times have the courts of this country ruled against the MLBPA and for the owners? Huh — I can’t think of any, either. To seek to tar them with the same brush is pure and vile dishonesty.

“It’s one, two three, what are you fighting for?” Fehr fought not for himself, but for the players, and not in pursuit of riches but in pursuit of justice and fair play between the players and owners. The owners fought only for themselves, for their purses and for total control of their “toy” — MLB.

Sure — compared to me, you and your readers, ballplayers are “very rich” and “increasing wealthy”. But how much more so are the owners compared to the players? Please do not try to pretend that they ever met or ever will meet as equals, just because they’re both so far above us materially.

Marvin Miller and Donald Fehr worked their butts off to make the MLBPA “the strongest players union in sports”, and they did it for all the right reasons.

Is Fehr perfect? No more than you or I. But neither is he the sports Satan you make him out to be.

Shame on you!


June 23rd, 2009
10:05 am

Did Brett Favre run over your dog or something, Jeff?

Bobby Dowell

June 23rd, 2009
10:15 am

Funny clever stuff as usual and probably went over the majority of your reader’s heads..

Ted Striker

June 23rd, 2009
10:16 am

1) At the time Jerry Jones fired Tom Landry, I’d have put Jones on the list. But he does genuinely love his team. On the other hand, Jimmy Johnson makes honorable mention.

2) Joe Jackson got hosed by baseball. Only good thing was later having enough time to record “Is She Really Going Out With Him”


June 23rd, 2009
10:22 am

Jeff… you’re AGAINST salary caps?


Our mind’s-eye picture of you as a socialist member of Obamanation is crumbling!


Good blog. I know it’s wrong, but your O.J. entry had me laugh so hard I spit my coffee at the computer screen.

I think I’m going to hell.


June 23rd, 2009
10:23 am

Please add Michael Adams to be inducted by Regent Leebron.


June 23rd, 2009
10:25 am

I would like to point out that Judge Landis’ name only had one “n” in “Kenesaw”.


June 23rd, 2009
10:32 am



Michael Adams MUST be named to this list!

If D-Led wants to add probably the greatest coach working in the NFL today because he ran a washed-up, has-been QB out of Cleveland, then for sure, Michael Adams needs to be on this list.


June 23rd, 2009
10:37 am

You are a riot, Jeff! And you’re right, Mike Bell, that kuckle dragging trogladyte, is funny. He is sorely missed on the moring show on 790, can’t stomach those other bozos without his humor. He’s funny but a complete neanderthal.

[...] his latest blog, Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution delves into the idea of a “Sports Hell.”In doing so, he casts a current SEC coach (guess which coach an Atlanta writer skewers) and a former [...]


June 23rd, 2009
10:44 am

Definitely Petrino. Floyd Landis. A-Roid. Bonds. The list of cheaters could go on forever… MIKE HAMPTON, a true thief.

H.S. Coach

June 23rd, 2009
10:51 am

Jeff, that might have been the funniest reply from you ever.

Kudos to Jeffrey!

June 23rd, 2009
10:57 am

Congratulations, Jeffrey!

I just skimmed over your article, and I am glad that you were able to refrain from sending Don Waddell to your little “Sports [Heck]” this time.

Progress: One Step at a Time, My Boy!

Toby Cash

June 23rd, 2009
11:02 am

Did we forget Boras and his greedy finger clients?

Bo in North Carolina

June 23rd, 2009
11:10 am

Where’s Ty Cobb in this list. Even his own team mates hated him. According to a bio no one from his family attended his funeral. Only the funeral director.

C. Tampa Ironworse

June 23rd, 2009
11:14 am

Don’t forget about Terrance Moore…


June 23rd, 2009
11:15 am

Good column Jeff, What about Art Schlister? I know I probably spelled that wrong.


June 23rd, 2009
11:23 am

Random—you, sir, are as full of crap as a Christmas goose. Unions outlived their usefulness when they became even more corrupt and poorly run than the corporate management they were doing battle with. And please spare me the history lessons; they are irrelevant in today’s world.

Billy—Brett Favre deserves every brickbat thrown his way. His picture is the new Webster’s illustration to go along with the definition of selfish.

Ted Striker—Comment 1: I could not agree with you more. Comment 2: That was damn funny, as usual. A ray of sunshine on a sometimes dreary blog.

Steve R

June 23rd, 2009
11:26 am

Jeffie, Jeffie, Jeffie,

You just can’t stop acting like a seventh grade school girl that just lost her first boyfiend. “Bobby left me and he’s so mean – I didn’t like him anyway! Wah Wah Wah!!” It is interesting that neither you or any of the other Pertino haters in the Atlanta media ever mention the fact that he took an annual pay cut equal to more than you’ll make the rest of your life to get out of what WAS a terrible situation with the Falcons. Vick created that mess, not Bobby Petrino. Was Petrino the right guy to fix it? Of course not. He didn’t belong in the NFL and he got out and paid a pretty big price to do so. His exit left a lot to be desired, but so what? What really would have been different had he stayed three more games? Tell me, I’d love to know…what would have been different TODAY if Petrino has stayed three more weeks? The Falcons made some uncharacteristically intelligent moves and they are better off. Petrino is better off back in the college game. You’re the only one worse off with your broken heart and all.

Jeff Schultz

June 23rd, 2009
11:26 am

Jan: He was underpaid. The man just wanted to buy a burger.

Ted Striker: Very funny. The Joe Jackson line I mean. I thought you just did sleazy chick humor. Branching out?

Gene: surprised it took this long for the obligatory Michael Adams vote.

Kudos: Not at all with Don. I’ve said it a million times — I like the guy personally. Not a bad person at all.

Toby Cash: Always room for an agent, or 70.

Bo in North Carolina: As a Tigers fan I hate to say it, but, yeah, Ty Cobb was a major league loser. He goes in with the next class.

Hollywould: Schlister gambled. Did he throw games? That would’ve helped. Still, yes, he’s a candidate.


June 23rd, 2009
11:48 am

Sports Hell is Joe Buck announcing. But at least his hell has Artie Lange permanently on his couch.