It started last Friday, when Albert Pujols decided that seven innings of shutout ball from Tom Glavine against St. Louis wasn't impressive. Pujols, whom most in the media seem to love because they assume he hits a lot of home runs without the benefit of steroids, tarnished his image by saying of the veteran left-hander, "He wasn't good. He wasn't good at all." John Harper of the New York Daily News also revealed that Pujols' star is beginning to tarnish among some of the folks who cover the Cardinals.
Then on Saturday, news broke that Fox had fired baseball analyst Steve Lyons for making a "racially insensitive comment." Lyons apparently mocked fellow broadcaster Lou Piniella, who was speaking Spanish during Game 3 of the A's-Tiger series.
(Total aside here, but it needs to be said: I thought Joe Buck sounded like a complete idiot when he went crazy over Randy Moss' fake moon to the Green Bay crowd a couple of years ago. And this Lyons incident strikes me the same way. Fox and people who work for Fox have no credibility when it comes to political correctness, good taste or telling people what's right and wrong. This is a network that aired a show called The Littlest Groom. It aired The Swan. It aired Who's Your Daddy? And the newspaper owned by Fox suffered something much more serious than a meltdown by publishing this cartoon after Cory Lidle's death.)
Back to the crazy week that was. A few hours after Fox canned Lyons, all hell broke loose during the Miami-Florida International game. This lead to Hurricanes analyst Lamar Thomas acting like a kid on Christmas morning because there was a massive brawl taking place.
While some of these meltdowns are more serious than others, the bottom line is that sports fans love them. People can't embarrass themselves enough. The more a sports figure flips out, the better. It may not be the right thing to say, but we love to analyze and discuss meltdowns almost as much as we love to analyze and discuss games.
So what are some of the better meltdowns in recent years? Here are 10 of my favorites. Send me yours when you're done reading my list.
5. Anyone remember when Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld told referee Don Koharski to have another donut?
6. Few managers can go crazy when arguing calls like Piniella. And we're sure Lou will have many more classic meltdowns now that he has agreed to manage a team that hasn't won a World Series in 98 years. Still, it'll be hard for even Sweet Lou to top this performance.
8. Unfortunately there's no YouTube clip of it, but another classic meltdown that caused quite a stir was Roger Clemens' flinging a bat in Mike Piazza's direction. Obviously this was a dangerous act, but it was so bizarre and surreal that it stands out in most baseball fans' memories.
How is possible you didn't include a Tommy Lasorda meltdown. The Kingman tirade, the Doug Rau confrontation, during the world series meltdown no less, and the Curt Bevaqua invitation all could be in the top ten. Tommy was one of a kind.
Jim Mora after fans cheered an injury to Wade Wilson in Saints vs. Giants. Something along the lines of "there are some sick sick sick people out there, sick in the head. I thought it was disgusting, I thought it was shameful..."
any Phillies fan will remember the time Tommy Lasorda beat up the Phillie Phanatic. there was a manequin dressed in a lasorda jersey, and the phanatic would drive over him with his scooter. this had happened quite a few times, then Tommy got angry with it and beat up the Phanatic.
I once read about - I believe it was Whitey Herzog, but not sure - who was taking questions from callers or readers and completely lost control. He ranted about how stupid the questions were. After a question from a female fan, he said the only thing she should be asking is where she's going to get her next "man organ". I've searched for the audio clip or a transcript and haven't been able to find it anywhere.
Ok, I just posted the Whitey Herzog post - it turns out it was Earl Weaver on a call-in bit. It only last 1:48 but it's a complete meltdown on par with Lee Elia, if not worse. It's unbelievable. I can't believe I found it. I'll post a link to the audio clip in a subsequent post (not sure it will pass the blog admin).
Another one for Bobby Knight: halftime of the ballgame against Purdue. How'd they ever get audio of Bobby Knight at halftime? We should probably thank some fearless college aged kid for putting his life on the line.
Earl Weaver's best meltdown was caught on tape by someone but rarely shown to the public. He was protesting an out call at first base and he was doing his usual arguing until he made the comment to the ump that the people don't pay to see him work, they pay to see the players. The ump started giving Earl a little grief when Earl claimed he would be in the Hall of Fame one day and the ump wouldn't. The response from the ump was, verbatim: "What are they going to put you in the Hall for Earl? F'ing up World Series?" Earl nearly burst a blood vessel when he went after that ump. He had to be restrained by several coaches.
The coach Buddy Ryan Slapped was Jeff Fisher (current Titans Coach) One other point, for those who nominate Mike Tyson for his ear chomping incident, Tyson has to be categorized seperately as his meltdown began after Buster Douglas' KO against Iron Mike in Japan and has continued thru the present (fighting a woman, telling a guy he will eat his kids, ect.) Mike Tyson is in a class by himself, and cannot be included in this discussion.
A classic press conference has to be the Rick Pitino as Celtics coach one where he said "Larry Bird ain't walking through that door. Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish ain't walking through that door. All the negativity in this town sucks!"
There was a classic manager/ump confrontation this past season involving Jim Leyland. He came out to argue with an umpire during the middle of the seventh inning and was giving the guy his absolute best until "God Bless America" started playing. Both Leyland and the ump respectfully removed their hats and covered their hearts until the song finished and Leyland then resumed his tirade.
Also, to the 1:32 comment...it was Kevin Kilbride that Buddy Ryan went after, not Jeff Fisher.
Actually, the coach Ryan slapped was Kevin Gilbride. And my favorite meltdown has to be the Mike Tyson - Lennox Lewis fiasco during a simple press conference. I'm also a big fan of Iron Mike's taunting of journalists whil grabbing his crotch. What a guy.
One guy mentioned the Hal McRae rant. That was sweet. I'd love to find that video because it was a bunch of reports in his office having a press conference. He got irate because they were asking him the same question using different words, he ended up throwing them all out of his office. Also, I can't believe noone has mentioned Mika Ditka's meltdown in New Orleans that ended up being a promo on ESPN for a long time.
The fat-drunken Flyers fan while taunting Domi, falls in and gets pounced on.
The second, during the '03 playoffs, Scott Stevens goes ballistic in the penalty box after watching Domi cheapshot Neidermayer (the poor NHL official in the box makes it priceless, I think he wets himself!)
The one menitoned earlier about Jim Leyland arguing first before "God Bless America", then removing his cap, with the umpire doing the same, then continuing right after the song finished wasn't the biggest meltdown, but it was definitely a classic.
I don't know if this counts as a melt down but it sure made me laugh. Remember when Texas beat USC for the national championship and Matt Lienart was practically crying the words "the best team didn't win." Hilarious!
I don't recall the boxers name, but he basically fell apart and sobbed for about 2 rounds and refused to defend himself. The referee became a psychologist and eventually called the fight. It was the ultimate in total meltdown!
Mike Milbury coaching for the boston bruins after a loss the the penguins in the playoffs. He chases the refs to their lockerroom and chews them out. "Just another day at the &^%$ office, Dennis!" He drops so many f bombs in while a priest (in full outfit with priest collar) is on camera and has to stand their and listen to it.
how about larry robinson and his rant about the friggin sissies in the natinoal hockey league " I can't get my 60 gaols, where's my 60 goals, welcome to the natinaol hockey league" I paraphrased that a little as he also mentioned "When ever my guys get to touched, I'm going to tell them to take a dive".
they also recently ran that ditka meltdown on sportscneter from classic meltdowns, and it was sorta like the drew rosenhause press confernce
How about the game versus the Indians where Earl Weaver was upset with an umpire's call, and, after arguing to no avail, proceeded to the dugout, returned with the rule book, and, after saying something to the effect of (I'm paraphrasing here) "since you guys aren't following the rule book, we might as well get rid of it!" He then proceeded to rip it to shreds and throw it all over the infield! It looked like winter had come early.... a classic Weaver!
When michael therrien ripped his penguins team after a loss to the oilers for being soft and suggesting his team's goal was "to be the worst defensive teamin the league... and they're doing such a good job." The accent alone was reminisicent of (I think the chracter was denis lemieux) in slapshot... it was really priceless.
I gotta put up Ron Gardenhire's "You just want showtime - [that ump} should get knocked on his a--" rant last year. Best part is, after getting caught on radio with this long rant, he proclaims, "I'm going to call Bob Watson about this!" No, Ron - Bob Watson's gonna be calling YOU.
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