Assoc. Sports Editor
Who knew winning really wasn’t everything?
Last Wednesday night, Hall of Famer Patrick Roy, who is in his first NHL season as the Colorado Avalanche head coach, was infuriated after, well, winning a game 6-1. After an apparent low-blow on Colorado’s overall first pick, Nathan MacKinnon, Roy became irate and started yapping at the opposing Anaheim Duck players. What’s more, he and Duck coach Bruce Boudreau partook in a squabble that consisted of shouting, finger-pointing, beady eyes – and, not to mention, Roy smashing down the glass partition that separated the two benches.
He literally started his professional coaching career with a bang, which was the impetus of a hefty $10,000 fine to kick off the 2013-14 season. So, in lieu of Roy’s tantrum, let’s take a look at some of the other notable tirades thrown in sports lore.
5. Keep your hands to yourself. For athletes, their arms, hands, legs and feet are pivotal to their success. But, sometimes, these body parts are put to no-good use. We’ve had Frenchman Zinedine Zidane use his head as a weapon and Ron Artest wade through the stands to get ahold of a fan, but let’s pull a more recent story – like Amar’e Stoudemire’s, for instance.
As a New York Knick, he wasn’t too fond of playoff success; after the 1990s teams with Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Allen Houston and the like, the Knicks haven’t won a playoff series. Stoudemire, who was supposed to uplift this drought along with Carmelo Anthony, became furious after a loss to the Miami Heat in the 2012 postseason. Instead of listening to every mother’s advice and screaming into a pillow, Stoudemire decided to take the clearer road and punch through the glass of a fire extinguisher case. It is safe to say that the 0-2 series deficit was too difficult to overcome for Stoudemire and his lacerated hand.
Albeit, in his defense, he did express humility and guilt after the incident and tweeted this: “I am so mad at myself right now. I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions. headed home for a new start.”
4. Coaches throw tantrums – and chairs. Renowned college basketball head coach Bob Knight was just as known for his 902 Division I wins — which is good enough for third place on the all-time list — as for his very, very short fuse. The most notable meltdown for The General came in 1985 when he was the coach of the Indiana Hoosiers.
After his team was tagged with a technical, Knight quickly scoured the area for the closest inanimate object – in this case, a chair – and tossed it across the hardwood. The chair cascaded in a whirligig past the free throw line, almost hitting the referee who T’d him up in the first place. However, the fiery head coach quickly regretted what he had just done when he realized the result of his reaction – his actions tacked on another technical foul.
3. Don’t mess with Serena. Serena Williams will likely go down as one of the most dominant women’s tennis players in history. But, like Knight, she carries quite the attitude. Williams has been known to play with vehement passion and vigor, which can be a great tool for the mental game that is tennis. Unfortunately, in 2009, the result was not quite so positive.
Facing Kim Clijsters, Williams was penalized for a foot-fault and, consequently, lost the match. Following the call, she was apparently waving her racket at the chair umpire. What’s more, she conjured her inner-John McEnroe and started wailing blasphemes at the judge: “”I swear to God, I’m [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat, you hear that? I swear to God.” ESPN also reported that one of the judges accused the berate Williams of threatening to kill her, which Williams fervently denied.
2. Press conferences: a coach’s worst nightmare. Press conferences have been the talk of the town on multiple occasions; there was Jim Mora Sr.’s “playoff” rant and Herman Edwards’ “you play to win the game” speech, but the latest mic’d up tirade was from Oklahoma State’s football coach, Mike Gundy, in 2007.
After a 49-45 win, you would think Gundy would have been jumping for joy during the postgame interviews. Quite the adverse played out, though. Apparently irritated by a column that one lucky interviewer wrote about his quarterback, Gundy stared him down and gave him a piece – more like a couple pieces – of his mind.
Lifting up the newspaper for display and maligning the purported facts of the article, he said “That’s why I don’t read the newspaper, because it’s garbage! And the editor who let it come out is garbage… attacking an amateur athlete… where are we at in society today?” He continued with his most infamous line of the 3-plus-minute spiel: “Come after me. I’m a man. I’m 40!”
In his support, his intent was only to stand behind his quarterback; he wanted to spread an anti-bullying message; and, he was, in fact, 40.
1. Is that a manager or a guerilla soldier? Last but not least, there is one manager to represent the many other managers before and after him who have screamed in the faces of umpires, kicked dirt onto the umpire’s cleats and been ejected from a game: Phil Wellmen.
As the commander-in-chief of a minor-league Braves club, Wellmen reacted the way a variety of managers would after an iffy call. He sprints out onto the field, throws his hat down and basically gives the umpire a wet one on the lips. It is what came afterwards that sets Wellmen apart from all others.
After expressing his frustration out on the umpire, he crouches in front of home-plate and piles dirt on top of it. Then, he scurries over to third, picks up the base and hurls it towards the outfield. In a ridiculous twist, Wellmen suddenly assumes a crawling position and inches closer to the pitching mound in order to retrieve the rosin bag, which is filled with chalk to enhance the pitcher’s grip. With the fans rallying him on, Wellmen then chucks the “grenade” at the home-plate umpire’s feet.
Putting the cherry on top of his exuberant vanishing act, Wellmen then picks up what was third base and carries it under his arm until he kisses the crowd goodbye and disappears through the bad-boy door.
All-in-all, it took over two minutes, gave minor-league fans a story for a lifetime and Wellmen a three-game suspension – along with a sure seat in the managerial temper-tantrum hall of fame.