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9 Greatest Coaching Meltdowns

by: Howard Cosmell On  Monday, November 12, 2012

Coaching Meltdowns

9 Greatest Coaching Meltdowns

One of the most exciting reasons for watching sports is the occasional meltdown. And no one knows how to melt down quite like a coach – these guys get paid to yell and shout and whip people into shape, and occasionally that aggression leads to some less than restrained reactions to undesirable circumstances.

So here are some great recent meltdowns from professional and college sports in the last few years. We’ve got football, hockey, and (of course) baseball. So take a look at the slide show, and remember not to get too out of line – I’d hate to have to throw you out of here.

Joe Mikulik Steals Third Base

In 2012, minor league Asheville Tourists manager Joe Mikulik had a major league meltdown during a disagreement with an umpire. The result, strangely enough, was Mikulik literally stealing third base and presenting it to a fan. Did the fan get to keep it? I’m not sure, but I definitely hope so.

Bobby Bowden Uses Some Harsh Language

Legendary Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden isn’t known for losing his temper, and certainly hasn’t had very many “meltdowns” over the years. But by Bowden’s standards, this probably is as close as he ever got. There’s just something great about hearing him say “dad-gum” like that, isn’t there?

John L Smith Shouts On TV

Michigan State University’s John L Smith can express himself pretty well for an angry guy. And he’s not afraid to shoulder the blame for his mistakes, either – just take this clip in which Smith takes out some of his frustrations on a TV reporter. He shouts about how the coaches are failing the players – a pretty cool thing for a coach to say, especially on TV.

Mike Sanford Refuses To Leave, Trips

The best coaching meltdowns have more than one facet for you to enjoy. That definitely holds true for this one from University of Nevada, Las Vegas coach Mike Sanford, who after a controversial call by the game’s refs refuses to leave the field. But the best part happens at about 27 seconds into the above video – I won’t spoil it, just check it out for yourself.

Jim Playfair Snaps

Sometimes you have to turn to hockey for the really great meltdowns. Particularly, the American Hockey League – a game in which featured the somewhat appropriately named Jim Playfair snapping two hockey sticks apart.

Joe Mikulik Dives Into Second

Joe Mikulik makes his second appearance on this list for one of his best performances. This one takes place back in 2006, and features Mikulik, among other highjinks, making a head-first dive into second base. I think we can all consider that point made.

Phillip Wellman Goes Ballistic

What’s often missing from your typical coaching meltdown is an element of theatricality. But that ingredient is provided in full in the above clip thanks to Atlanta Braves manager Phillip Wellman, who does all the usual “arguing with the empire” moves before moving on to something more special: A mimed soldier crawl, followed by hurling a rosin bag as if it were a hand grenade. Now that’s showmanship.

Bobby Knight Chair Throw

No list of coaching meltdowns would be complete without Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight. And if you know anything about Knight, you know it’s almost impossible to narrow down just one of his best moments. But that won’t stop me from trying – here’s a classic clip of Knight throwing a chair after disagreeing with the refs over a chair. Nobody could throw a chair like Bobby!

Mike Mularkey Loses It

Of course, the most recent coaching meltdown happened just this past Thursday during an NFL game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Indianapolis Colts. Jags coach Mularkey lost his temper over a call, and threw his clipboard and headset down onto the field. My favorite part of this one is the oh-so-brief moment of hesitation before he does it.




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