Trash Talkers Who Couldn't Back It Up
You won't see Michael Jordan or Larry Bird or Joe Namath on this list.
Trash talkers they were, but they backed it up.
They were legends.
The athletes on this list are the ones that talked up a big game and then screwed up a big game.
They were goats.
Click on to see athletes bloated with that most bitter dessert—humble pie.
15. Alain Bernard
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The event: Men’s 4×100 freestyle swimming
The venue: Beijing Summer Olympics
The diss: “We’re going to smash [The Americans]. That’s what we’re here for.”
The result: Jason Lesnak swam the fastest 100 leg in Olympic history and the Americans took gold.
Watch the race here.
When the race was over, the Americans celebrated up on deck, while Frenchman Bernard clung to the wall, his head down. He was the last one to leave the pool.
14. Mike Tyson
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The event: Mike Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis
The venue: Pyramid Arena in Memphis, Tennessee
The diss: "Lennox Lewis, I'm coming for you man. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah!"
The result: Tyson ate canvas.
See the final punch here.
13. Chael Sonnen
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The event: UFC 117, August, 2010. Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva
The venue: Oracle Arena
The diss: Oh so many to choose from. Here's a taste:
"'You’re training really hard.’ Well, guess what dummy? I’ve been training really hard since I was nine years old and I still have time to bring interest to people wanting to see me whip your ass on Aug. 7."
The result: Sonnen submits to Silva.
12. Anthony Smith
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11. Tom Brady
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But then Brady's taunting became a haunting.
The event: Super Bowl XLII—Patriots vs. Giants
The venue: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
The diss: When Plaxico Burress predicted the Giants would take out the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Brady responded: "We're only going to score 17 points? OK. Is Plax playing defense? I wish he had said 45-42 and gave us a little credit for scoring more points."
The result: A pair of touchdowns + the extra points = 14 points and one monumental loss.
10. Jenn Stuczynski
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Stuczynski was the second-best female pole vaulter of all-time behind Russian Yelena Isinbayeva. She planned to turn those positions around.
Apparently having watched Rocky IV a dozen too many times, she ran her mouth off prior to the big competition.
The event: Women's pole vault
The venue: 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics
The diss: "I hope we do some damage," she had said, "and, you know, kick some Russian butt."
The result: A glimmering silver medal and a place on the podium just below the golden Isinbayeva.
9. Freddie Mitchell
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The event: Super Bowl XXXIX—Eagles vs. Patriots
The venue: Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
The pre-game diss: Mitchell belittled New England's cornerbacks by claiming he only knew their numbers, not their names. He also said he "has something" for New England's strong safety Rodney Harrison.
The Result: Patriots 24, Eagles 21
Mitchell had just one reception for 11 yards.
After the game he tried to defend his trash talk with more trash talk, saying the Pats had blown his comments out of proportion.
The post-game diss: "[Their reactions] reminded me of little girls. They're sensitive. Real, real sensitive."
8. Winston Montero
The event: Light-flyweight Boxing
The venue: 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics
The boast: Montero publicly announced he'd beat heavily favored champ Zou Shiming.
The Result: Montero loses 7-3.
And the zinger....
The loss was to Amnat Ruenroeng in the Round of 16. Montero never even came close to getting in the ring with the champ.
7. Lyoto Machida
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
The event: UFC 113—Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio Rua—Light Heavyweight title match
The venue: Belle Center in Montreal
The boast: Machida allegedly said: "No one can defend my style. I will keep this belt for a very long time. Whoever, whatever, whenever...I'm here."
The result: Rua did in fact defend that style. And he did it rather efficiently; Machida was down in 225 seconds.
6. Rick Dutrow
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Dutrow's super horse Big Brown had already won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Dutrow figured the coveted Triple Crown was all but his.
The event: Belmont Stakes
The venue: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY
The boast: "[Big Brown's win is a] foregone conclusion."
The result: Big Brown made history.
As the first Triple Crown winner in three decades? Nope. As the first horse going for a Triple to finish dead last.
5. Tiki Barber
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The diss: Back in 2007, Barber said Eli Manning had lacked leadership during the 2006 season. He said that at times, the QBs attempt to lead an offensive meeting late in the campaign was "comical."
The result: In 2008, Manning pulled off the biggest Super Bowl upset in history.
As for Barber: his television career, his marriage, his fan base, and his 2011 NFL comeback attempt all went KAPUT.
4. Rex Ryan
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Along with his yearly guarantee to win the Super Bowl, Rex Ryan took to trash talking the New York Giants this year.
The event: Jets vs. Giants
The venue: Met Life Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
The diss: Ryan spent a week trash-talking the Giants to the media. The jist of it was that the Jets "owned" New York.
The Result: The Giants "owned" the Jets 29-14.
3. Nyjer Morgan
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
In a September 2011 Cardinals vs. Brewers game, Morgan was dishing out the disses. Albert Pujols of the Cardinals had enough and came after him. Both benches cleared. The players were restrained and a fight avoided.
But later, Morgan tweeted the following:
"Where still n 1st and I hope those crying birds injoy watching tha Crew in that playoffs!!! Aaaaahhhhh!!!"
"Alberta couldn't see Plush if she had her gloves on!!! Wat was she thinking running afta Plush!!! She never been n tha ring!!!"
The result: Cardinals made the playoffs, beat the Brewers in the NLCS, and went on the win the World Series.
2. Brian Bosworth
The event: Monday Night Football—Seahawks vs. Raiders
The diss: Bosworth said he would contain Bo Jackson.
The result: Let me put it like an SAT analogy question:
Bo Jackson is to a freight train as Brian Bosworth is to:
a) a speck of dust on the track
b) a grain of sand on the track
c) a fleck of dirt on the track
d) all of the above
1. Bobby Riggs
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The event: Battle of the Sexes Tennis Match—Riggs vs. King, September 1973
The venue: Houston Astrodome, Houston, Texas
The diss: Countless acts of chauvinism.
Leading up to the Battle, the 55-year-old Riggs boasted that King, who was 29, was no match for him, just by virtue of his manhood.
The result: King made swift work of Riggs, 6–4, 6–3, 6–3.
According to sports historian Anthony Holden, by the end of the match "Riggs was so tired, he couldn't have jumped off his own bandwagon."
Grand Prize Winner: Matt Hasselbeck
Don't worry folks. Didn't forget the greatest trash talk backfire of all time.
The event: 2003 NFC Wild-Card Playoff Game—Seahawks vs. Packers
The venue: Lambeau Stadium, Green Bay, Wisconsin
The boast: Seahawks won the toss in a game that was going into overtime. Hasselbeck then said those famous words: "We want the ball, and we're going to score."
The result: Seahawks got the ball. They didn't score. They got the ball back. Hasselbeck threw a lovely pass right to Packers defensive back Al Harris. Harris ran for 52 yards and a touchdown.
End of game.
End of season for the Seahawks.