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Hero, Nero, Zero Open for Business

Welcome to Hero, Nero, Zero, where we champion the triumphs, insanity and ineptitude of the sports world. Got a candidate for one of our life-altering labels? Email me at cdavidmartin@yahoo.com. This feature appears Mondays and Fridays.

HERO: Tiger Woods

He reportedly cheated on his ex-wife with scores of women, and he refused to disqualify himself at The Masters after giving himself an advantageous drop. But Tiger Woods knows what golf fans truly give a shit about: slow-ass play. Woods appears in this new USGA commercial with some wise-cracking little golfers, one of whom chides Woods for standing over a putt too long. The young golfer quotes the Rodney Dangerfield-to-Ted Knight line from Caddyshack, “while we’re young,” and Woods does exactly like Knight did in the movie and misses the putt. Unlike the frustrated Knight, Woods does not turn and hurl his golf club toward the clubhouse and nearly kill someone. That would have made the commercial perfect, but let’s not quibble. 

NERO: Rolando McClain

Former Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, winner of the 2009 Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker, was arrested several times during a brief NFL career with the Raiders – including an incident in which he fired a gun next to someone’s head. He recently chose to retire at the ripe old age of 23 and has since re-enrolled at the University of Alabama, which is probably a wise decision given the way his life was trending. In honor of McClain’s decision to retire from the NFL at such a young age, we present one of the craziest arrest shots of an NFL player taken in 2012. 

ZERO: Panthers defensive end Gregory Hardy

The late Deacon Jones reportedly recorded 26 sacks back in 1967, which would be a record if sacks were an official statistic back then. The “sack” – a term that Jones coined – only became an official statistic in 1982, when Panthers defensive end Gregory Hardy was six years from coming into existence. 

The single-season record has stood at 22.5 since Brett Favre threw himself under the tires of Michael Strahan in 2001. But Hardy, 24, says he’s prepared to more than double Strahan’s mark in 2013. In fact, he’s predicting he’ll finish with 50, or roughly 3.3 per game.

“Why shoot low, right?” Hardy said, via ESPN.com. “If I’m going to shoot at it, I’m going to shoot at it with a 50 caliber. I’m going to shoot at a little bird with a 50-caliber bullet. That’s the goal for this year, 50 sacks, that’s where I’m at. That’s the goal, 50. You heard it first.”

Likelihood that Gregory Hardy believes in gun control: Zero. Odds that he has 50 sacks this season: 50/50 – he either will or he won’t.

Cameron Martin has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports, and CBS Sports. Send your ideas to cdavidmartin@yahoo.com.

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