Necessary roughness - The State Hornet: Sports

Necessary roughness

Who are the biggest villains in sports?

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 12:00 am

James Heck


The biggest villain in the sporting world is Ndamukong Suh, the former No. 1 overall selection of the Detroit Lions in the NFL.

The defensive tackle is widely considered the biggest bully in the NFL because of the vicious hits he imposes on offensive players and the number of cheap shots he has delivered along the way.

In 2011 against the Green Bay Packers, Suh drove the head of Evan Dietrich-Smith into the turf at the end of a play with his hands. He then proceeded to stomp on Dietrich-Smith’s arm as he was walking away from the pile of players.

I remember watching that game and could not believe what I just saw.

First of all, football is a game. It is a violent game, but there are rules to keep it relatively civil.

Suh is a physically dominant player who boasts incredible strength and play-making ability considering how big he is.

The only problem is he is out of control.

What made his actions even worse was after the game he denied he did anything wrong. Suh said his actions were misinterpreted when clearly they were caught on video.

Suh needs to start using his head during games if he wants to rebuild his reputation. If anything, his actions need to be put in check before another player gets seriously injured.

James Heck can be reached at

Ryan Kuhn


Sports are like the movies. There are scenes with some great drama involving both heroes and villains. While most people remember heroic athletes like Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier, or the entire 1980 US Olympic hockey team defeating Russia, there are some memories villains have left for us to treasure, as well.

Dennis Rodman was the biggest antagonist in the NBA throughout the ‘90s. Although he was successful on the court - winning five NBA titles and averaging more than 14 rebounds per game - his attitude changed after leaving the Detroit Pistons.

After he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs and two years later to the Chicago Bulls, Rodman decided not to care, dyed his hair wild colors and headbutted NBA legend John Stockton.

Other stunts Rodman performed were kicking cameramen in the groin, getting ejected numerous times and headbutting a referee. His infamous headbutt maneuver was surprisingly useful after his NBA career when he became a professional wrestler and teamed up with Hulk Hogan.

Rodman told his critics in 1997 he took the chance to be his own man and if they don’t like it, they could kiss his ass.

Once a great defensive basketball player, Rodman is now one of basketball’s greatest villains.

Ryan Kuhn can be reached at

Joe Davis


Over the years sports had many villains, scumbags and overall bad guys and gals. I cannot think of anyone who has been more disruptive than former All-Pro NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski.

During his playing days, Romanowski’s actions cost him more than $400,000 in fines and lawsuits.

In 1997, Romanowski was fined $7,500 by the NFL for spitting in the face of San Francisco 49ers wide receiver J.J. Stokes. This incident occurred after Romanowski had already been fined $20,000 for a preseason hit on Carolina Panthers quarterback Kerry Collins which left the player with a broken jaw.

As bad as Romanowski had been in games, his worst offense occurred in practiced when he violated a teammate. In a 2003 Oakland Raiders scrimmage, backup tight end Marcus Williams was assaulted by the alleged steroid-using linebacker. Romanowski subsequently crushed Williams’s eye socket with a haymaker punch.

The attack left Williams blind in his left eye and he was forced to retire from the NFL. Williams eventually sued Romanowski and was awarded more than $300,000.

Throughout his career, Romanowski crossed the line between being competitive and psychotic frequently. The physical harassment, reports of steroid use and alleged racist comments places Romanowski at the top of the list for American anti-heroes.

Joe Davis can be reached at

© 2015 The State Hornet. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Follow sports on Twitter

Hornets prepare for week five matchup

With Sacramento State quarterback Daniel Kniffin questionable for Saturday’s game against the University of Northern Colorado after a previous injury, backup Kolney Cassel had increased reps this week in practice to potentially prepare to start.

10:00 pm | See more

Men's soccer win 2-0 over Saint Mary's

Brad Bumgarner and John Quintanilla each scored a goal and James Del Curto had his first shutout of the season, as the Sacramento State Hornets (3-4-1) beat the Saint Mary College Gaels (3-6-1) by two goals in Moraga, CA on Sunday afternoon.

6:35 pm | See more

Hornets fall 28-20 to Eagles comeback

Despite having a dominant first half, the Hornets could not keep the momentum going as they fell 28-20 to Eastern Washington University on Saturday night at Hornet Stadium.

11:40 pm | See more

Collins strikes overtime game-winner

After a scoreless game in regulation forced overtime, Sacramento State women’s soccer was victorious with a Kayla Collins goal in the 98th minute of play against Northern Arizona University on Friday evening.

8:10 pm | See more

Former Sac State first baseman gets minor-league promotion

Former Sacramento State first baseman Rhys Hoskins was promoted to the Florida State League's Clearwater Threshers on Wednesday.

12:00 pm | See more

Softball's season ends after 13-1 loss to Weber State

With an opportunity of winning their first Big Sky Conference title in program history, Sacramento State softball could not come through, as they were defeated by Weber State University 13-1 in the championship game of the conference tournament this afternoon.

4:00 pm | See more

Softball advances in tournament with wins over Southern Utah, Idaho State

After dropping their game against Weber State University earlier in the day, Sacramento State softball was victorious against Southern Utah University and Idaho State University on Friday, allowing the Hornets to continue play for a chance to win their first Big Sky Conference Tournament on Saturday.

11:09 pm | See more