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Great sporting babyface turns


Devon Malcolm

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After witnessing Chelsea's turn last week against Barcelona and Stephen Hendry being a fan favourite these days after years of people hating him because he kept beating Jimmy White ( :( ), what other sporting babyface turns of a notable quality have their been? Surely Gary Neville must be in there as well for immediately ascending to being the best TV football pundit in the country?

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Top thread and I echo Gary Neville. I never thought the Andy Gray void could be filled in my life, but now i associate the Premier League on TV with Gary Neville.

 

Lance Armstrong might be a reverse Bret Hart circa 1997. Where as Bret was despised in America but loved everywhere else around the world, Lance Armstrong might be the opposite beloved in America hated around the world and constantly accused of doping etc (mostly the French though)

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Geoffrey Boycott? Unpopular both with his teammates and journalists in the 70s and 80s, plus that thing about smacking his wife about, now loveable English gent revered for his dry Yorkshire temperament.

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I still can't bring myself to cheer for Hendry.

 

How about Tony Adams? Derided by anyone outside Arsenal as a donkey, sent down for drink driving and comes out as an alcoholic.

 

A few years later he's does rehab, learns the piano, starts up a charity and is fucking Caprice. On top of that he starts playing the best football of his career, leading the gunners to two doubles, gets an MBE and a statue built if him outside the Emirates.

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Sorry about the length/size of this.

 

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I loved this moment. Brock was coming off the Mir win which really painted him as a prick after his post fight antics. Most purist MMA fans hated Brock, and wanted to see Carwin smash him up and take his title.

 

After he takes a shit kicking in the first round, theres a lovely moment where they square off to start the second where Carwin winks and Brock shoots him a warm smile back in exchange. Lesnar gets the takedown, moves easily to mount and into an arm triangle, where the exhausted Carwin can do nothing but tap when the choke is secured.

 

Post fight, Brock showers Carwin with praise and thanks everyone for their support after his medical issues over the last months. He is cheered by the fans and likely earned alot of respect from his detractors. Great moment.

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Hard to look past Gary Neville really. I think barring Man Utd fans, EVERYBODY dreaded him coming to Sky. Since then though, he's brought Monday Night Football back to life, verbally murdered the insufferable Jamie Redknapp more times than 'Arry's dodged taxes, and made a much-loved sex noise to a Torres goal. It's absolutely remarkable.

 

I thought Ferguson was on the verge of an enormous babyface turn, but his histrionics last night might have fucked it up. Having destroyed my biggest sporting heels (Newcastle) in the 90s, he's always been one of the good guys, but I thought his "Old bloke being an ace manager with some shit kids defeats evil zillionaire club" story seemed to be picking up momentum. The events and result last night has set that back a long way.

 

Liverpool fans will probably disagree with much of that last paragraph, but what the fuck do they know about faces? They've been the top heels for years now.

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Geoffrey Boycott? Unpopular both with his teammates and journalists in the 70s and 80s, plus that thing about smacking his wife about, now loveable English gent revered for his dry Yorkshire temperament.

 

Dunno about that, there are still swathes of people who completely misunderstand him as a pundit and voice on cricket. He is outstanding, though.

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A brilliant, brilliant topic. Can't think of anything of the top of my head, but I agree with Chelsea and Gary Neville.

 

If we spin it the other way, Geoff Shreeves turned heel on Ivanovic last tuesday with one sentence.

 

David Haye acted like a tweener in the Klitschko fight and completed his turn with the brawl against Chisora the other month. By proxy, and some pretty shitty yet lovable dancing, Audley Harrison has completed a Khali like face turn.

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