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Vote: 2005 Embarrassment of the Year

     They shame themselves. They are an embarrassment. They give sports a bad name. We wish they would go away, and yet, somehow, despite it all, they are a guilty pleasure we find perversely interesting.

     We invite you to help us name the 2005 Embarrassment of the Year from a following list of 10 finalists. Anyone receiving at least 25 percent of the vote will be inducted into the Random Evidence Hall of Lame, whose charter members are Jose Canseco, Pete Rose and Mike Tyson.

     Our '05 finalists are embossed by the contenders who were considered but judged unworthy of the final vote, including NHL union chief Bob Goodenow, me-agent Drew Rosenhaus, Temple goon-coach John Chaney and Onterrio (Whizzinator) Smith.   

     The 10 finalists, alphabetically, with qualifications:

2005 Embarrassment of the Year
RON ARTEST, Indiana Pacers -- Couldn't compete with his stellar '04 (The Brawl), but qualified on pure gall, demanding a trade of a team that stuck by him through his year's suspension

KURT BUSCH, NASCAR -- Reckless driving, impetulant disrespect, a two-race suspension. This was a defending champion? Made Tony Stewart seem saintly.

VICTOR CONDE, BALCO -- Sleezy head of a steroids empire (presently serving prison time) helped bring down baseball stars and Olympians.

CITY OF MIAMI / MARLINS -- You may have heard. City and team can't get together on a new stadium deal. City looks small, incompetent. Team has fire sale, threatens to move.

TERRELL OWENS, Philadelphia Eagles -- Star receiver publicly criticizes team and quarterback, accentuates me-first reputation, draws suspension, wrecks season.

RAFAEL PALMEIRO, Baseball -- Star tesifies indignantly before Congress (that he never used steroids, "period!"), only to soon be found to be a liar.

PANTHERS CHEERLEADERS, Football -- Two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders found themselves arrested in a Tampa bar, after angering patrons by commandeering a bathroom to allegedly have sex in a stall.

KENNY ROGERS, Baseball -- The then-Texas Rangers pitcher assaulted cameramen trying to film him. Off hours in a restaurant? No. Pregame, on a field.

SEX-BOAT VIKINGS -- A couple of dozen Minnesota Vikings including QB Daunte Culpepper decided to spend their bye week in some debauchery on Lake Minnetonka.

LATRELL SPREWELL, Basketball -- Not up to his classic choke-my-coach standards, but he qualifies for turning down a $7 million-a-year offer with an indigant, "I've got to feed my family!"