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The 10 Most Bittersweet Trophies in Sports

Robert WoodCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2017

The 10 Most Bittersweet Trophies in Sports

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    Athletes use trophies to quantify their accomplishments.  They act as tangible reminders of glorious moments of triumph and victory. 

    But not all trophies are welcomed with open arms.  Some are painful reminders of what could have been.  And others become more of a curse than a blessing. 

    Here is a list exploring the most bothersome trophies and awards, whose winners would much rather trade them in then put them on display. 

10. Lady Byng Trophy, NHL

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    This trophy is awarded annually to the NHL player "adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability". 

    Then why the puck did they use the word lady?

    Try handing this award to a hockey player.  I dare you. 

    Then again, Stan Mikita did win it twice, so it can't be that bad. 

9. Gold Glove Award, MLB

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    This award still carries a lot of prestige, but the trophy has become more political than statistical.  So much so that a new award, the Fielding Bible Award, has been created to recognize the best fielder at each position in the entire league, using a more transparent voting process. 

    Also, previous Gold Glove winners tend to keep winning the award long after it should have gone to someone more deserving. 

8. Sixth Man Award, NBA

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    This is the NBA's way of saying:

    "You're the best player in the league who is not good enough to start." 

7. Green Jersey, Tour De France

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    The Tour de France awards multiple unique jerseys throughout the race to recognize the best rider in several different categories.  These include yellow for the overall leader, polka dot for the King of the Mountains, and green for the points leader.  Good sprinters tend to win the green jersey, since more points are awarded on the flat stages.  

    The winner of the green jersey has only won the Tour de France three times during the race's 98-year-long history.  In this case, green is not good. 

6. Silver Plate, Wimbledon

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    The most famous tennis tournament in the world awards some pretty impressive hardware to both the winner and the loser. 

    But it's difficult to drown your sorrows in a plate. 

5. Heisman Trophy, NCAA Football

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    The greatest college football players don't always become the greatest professional football players. 

    Just ask Jason White, Ron Dayne, Chris Weinke, Danny Wuerffel, and Rashaan Salaam. 

    And don't forget Gino Torretta. 

4. Lamar Hunt Trophy, NFL

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    If your team wins the AFC Championship, you win a trophy named after Lamar Hunt, the founder of the AFL and the original owner of the Kansas City Chiefs

    If your team goes on to lose the Super Bowl, then this trophy is all you get. 

    But at least it sounds like it's named after a former oil baron...

3. George Halas Trophy, NFL

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    The NFC awards the George Halas trophy to their conference champion.  The award is named after George "Papa Bear" Halas, longtime coach of the Chicago Bears

    If the NFC team loses the Super Bowl, then they settle for this trophy. 

    This is more bittersweet than the Lamar Hunt trophy because it shouldn't be a bad thing to win a trophy named after "Papa Bear". 

2. Conn Smythe Trophy, NHL

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    None of the four North American professional sports leagues award their playoff or finals MVP to a player from the losing team more frequently than the NHL.  

    Since the trophy was first awarded in 1965, there have been five Conn Smythe "winners" who played for the losing team in the Stanley Cup Finals. Jean-Sebastien Giguere was the most recent of these unlucky men.  The Anaheim goalie made his postseason debut in 2003, and proceeded to go 7-0 in overtime games.  This included three overtimes in the first game of the playoffs and a five-overtime classic in the Conference Semifinals.  Giguere allowed one goal throughout the entire Conference Finals.  

    But if J.S. Giguere had allowed one fewer goal during the Stanley Cup Finals, he would be holding a different trophy in this picture.  

1. Silver Medal, Olympics

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    Athletes from around the world gather every four years to represent their countries while they compete in feats of athletic strength and excellence.  A victory in such a competition earns an Olympian a gold medal.  Some say it is even a victory to earn a bronze medal, as an athlete must beat out all the other competitors who will not earn a medal at all. 

    But falling just short of the ultimate victory forces an Olympic athlete to settle for a silver medal. 

    A former Olympian wouldn't write a clause into his last will and testament forbidding his family from accepting a gold medal. 

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