9 Instances When It Was (Sort Of) Okay for Athletes to Cry
That title is a little misleading. I”m not sure it’s ever truly “okay” for athletes to cry. Sure, there is the drama of competition, and of course emotions run high, but it’s still somewhat uncomfortable to see these modern-day gladiators break down in tears. I understand it, but I really don’t like it. Fortunately it doesn’t happen all that much. About once per year, we’ll get some monumental waterworks from a player of note, and it’s almost never teh result of a bad performance or choking, which is surprising. So, in the wake of the big three in Miami having themselves a good ole’ cryfest in the midst of their little losing streak, we’ve decided to bring you some examples of when it’s okay for athletes to cry (even though it never really is.)
9. Wayne Gretzky
When a national icon such as Gretzky loses his identity by being essentially sold in a surprise transaction to the hockey hotbed of Los Angeles, especially after just scoring another cup, it’s easy to see why he broke down the way he did during the press conference. What makes this instance of crying most acceptable is the fact that he wasn’t alone. Millions of Canadians and hockey fans the world over knew exactly how he felt.
8. Michael Jordan
Jordan is tied with Gretzky for “best reason to cry” on this list. Jordan won the championship while still grieving the death of his father, and it was won on father’s day of all days, Jordan’s first trophy after his comeback marked a very emotional moment for number 23 who was then 45, then 23 again.
7. Brett Favre
Ugh. Here’s Mr. Football crying over what was probably his 16th retirement, but may have actually been his first. Since then, Favre has had a lot more things to cry about, not the least of which is wearing Crocs with socks while taking photos of his dingus. That’s a reason to cry. This does represent a simpler time, though, when he acted like the Pack meant something to him.
6. Tim Tebow
This one was just delightful. By all accounts, he’s a decent dude. Perhaps too decent. So when God boy dropped the ball to Alabama, and much-maligned Florida became an also-ran in the SEC, and the waterworks started coming, it was hard not to experience a little bit of guilt in rooting against the guy with bible verses under his eyes.
5. Adam Morrison
This one actually makes a little big of sense. WHen you’re a scrappy white dude with a mustache that plays for Gonzaga, the world may not think too much of you and your team, so when you get shown the door by perennial powerhouse UCLA, it’s not the type of thing that you take likely. Also, college kids are allowed to lose it more than pros are. They’re younger, and they’re not used to “chalking it up to experience and moving on.”
4. Terrell Owens
Mentally unstable athletes cry a lot. When the Cowboys took yet another early exit in the wake of Romo’s Mexican vacation, Jessica Simpson, and TO just generally being TO, the stylish Owens, just kinda broke down. The Onion summed up the moment pretty well days later. “T.O. to suicide hotline operators: Get ya popcorn ready!” Mean, but really funny.
3. Kevin Garnett
Intensity, thy name is KG. This is his “anything is possible” speech. Or “nothing is impossible.” Or “some things are possible, but you have to spend an assload on free agents during the offseason.” In any event, I don’t think these are tears of sadness. I don’t think they’re tears of joy. These are tears from a basketball machine after winning his first championship with his new team, the Boston Celtics. PLEASE DON’T FEED THE GARNETT.
2. Jim Mora
When coaches cry, it’s tough to take. These guys are supposed to be grizzled vets, so when Mr. PLAYOFFS? breaks down about his job security during a pres conference, then gets defensive about being emotional, it’s a little like watching the drunk girl at the wedding who suffers from manic mood swings. In short: it’s not effing fun.
1. Roger Federer
There’s a saying, “if you’re good enough to come in second, then you’re good enough to be disappointed. That’s probably true, but in the 2009 Australian Open, when Federer was runner-up to rival Nadal, he really lost it during the trophy presentation. It seems more than a little odd, considering how much success he’s had, to cry about coming in second. Maybe he just really, really, really hates Nadal. That’s the most acceptable answer.