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The 20 Biggest Criers in Sports

Amber LeeSports Lists Lead WriterJanuary 14, 2017

The 20 Biggest Criers in Sports

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    There's no crying in baseball. Or any other sport for that matter.  

    Surely, you've heard Jimmy Dugan's famous line from A League of Their Own. It perfectly encapsulates the opinion that many have about the place of crying in sports. Essentially that there is no place in sports for crying and that anyone who dares to engage in such behavior will be mercilessly mocked forever and ever. 

    Personally, I don't share that opinion. In the hyper-competitive world of professional sports, emotions are always running high, and it's only natural that a few tears will be shed on occasion. Which means that I'm not mocking most of the people on this list—I'm just simply pointing out that they have been known to cry under certain circumstances. 

    Don't worry, though, the list isn't completely free of mockery. What fun would that be? Let's take a look at some of the biggest emotional basketcases in sports. 

20. Glen Davis, Orlando Magic

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    Magic forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis earned his nickname at a young age and has managed to live up to it, literally, as an adult. For years, he has been one of the more entertaining players in the NBA, and part of that comes from his willingness to let it all hang out, emotionally speaking.

    Apparently, Davis has been the crying kid on the team since playing peewee football at the age of nine, but his most famous incident came while playing for the Celtics in December 2008. After the Boston reserves blew most of a 25-point lead late in the game, the always animated Kevin Garnett gave the underlings a piece of his mind.

    Although KG is known to be frightening, only Davis seemed to take it personally: breaking down into tears, throwing his towel to the ground and pouting through the rest of the game. But don't feel too smug about it—you know you'd cry if KG got in your face. 

19. Bubba Watson, PGA

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    Unlike the Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroys of the world, American golfer Bubba Watson had to pay his dues on the PGA Tour for nearly a decade before capturing his first major championship in 2012. Going into the Masters, Watson wasn't exactly a favorite.

    Actually, like most golfers not named Tiger Woods, he wasn't even a consideration in the weeks leading up to the event. Everyone was surprised when Watson, one of two left-handers on the Tour, pulled off the victory—especially against the man himself.

    Watson started crying on the course that day and didn't stop until his post-Masters interview blitz was over. 

18. Serena Williams, Tennis

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    Serena Williams is as dominant a player as women's tennis has ever seen. She's also one of the most emotional and has been known to lash out in anger or break down in tears on the court.

    Williams famously lost in the 2009 US Open semifinals after unleashing on an official after a controversial call and threatening to kill her at some point. The spectacle earned her another fault for personal conduct, and since it was match point, that was that. 

    But I think we can all agree that Williams is at her most likable when winning—as most of us are! She's a fierce competitor and often shows a softer side after a win when she can't hold back the tears. 

17. Brett Favre, Retired NFL

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    Mercifully retired quarterback Brett Favre wasn't known as a crier throughout the vast majority of his career. On the contrary, the NFL's unrivaled iron man and his all but unbeatable record of consecutive starts was basically the living embodiment of all-American masculinity. (I'm not really sure what that means, either.)

    But something shifted late in Favre's career, and he went from being the universally beloved iron man to the universally reviled drama queen. It was No. 4's emotional "retirement" speech in 2008 that really got the ball rolling. What followed was three years of emotional interviews, ugly scandals and tear-soaked apologies.

    Favre's descent into…whatever that all was…made him the poster child for why it's better to walk away on top.

16. LeBron James, Miami Heat

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    I'm not going to delve too deeply into Heat superstar LeBron James and his penchant for tears, because you really can't win no matter what you say. His fans are going to cry about me calling him a crybaby, and his "haters" are going to cry about me not calling him something meaner. 

    So let's just say, like it or not, this has really been the year of LeBron James, and sometimes, the man of the year feels compelled to cry it out. 

15. John Terry, Chelsea

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    Soccer is deadly serious in almost every country in the world outside the United States. So when a player has himself a cry on the pitch, you can me damn sure he's going to hear about it for the rest of his career. Chelsea captain John Terry is certainly aware of this.

    After losing the Champions League final in 2008, Terry cried with the world watching and refused any postgame interviews. It wasn't the first, or the last, time that Terry got emotional over a game, but it did guarantee him a lifetime of crybaby taunts. 

14. Tiger Woods, PGA

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    Tiger Woods only cries when he wins big tournaments, so it's been a very long time since we last saw the tears of a Tiger. Throughout his career, Woods has been unable, or unwilling, to cap his public emotional outbursts, but that's part of what makes him Tiger Woods. 

    The last several years have been rough on Woods personally and professionally. And usually, it's written all over his face. His haters have been basking in his anger and frustration, but his fans (like me!) can't wait to see those tears of victory again. 

13. Tim Tebow, New York Jets

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    The Jets' most recent bad decision, Tim Tebow, hasn't had much to cry about since entering the NFL in 2010.

    He was a surprise first-round pick by the Broncos, set an NFL draft-day record for jersey sales, became the only backup quarterback superstar in history, eventually lucked into a starting position, exceeded low expectations and has basically managed to surprise and befuddle every step of the way.

    But back when Timmy Terrific was quarterbacking his face off for the Florida Gators, expectations were sky high, and his emotions often got the better of him. Whether the hand of God intervened on behalf of his beloved Gators or at the behest of his opposition, Tebow was going to shed some eye water either way. 

12. Allen Iverson, NBA Free Agent

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    One-time NBA point guard Allen Iverson has always been known as kind of a hardass. He grew up in a rough neighborhood, has had multiple run-ins with the law, and we all know how he feels about practice, man.

    And considering the constant turmoil in his life, most of it self-inflicted, it's no surprise that Iverson breaks down into tears on occasion.

    Iverson has gotten emotional in a few interviews and press conferences in recent years while reflecting on the state of his once-great career. His occasional show of emotion is what separates him from the likes of Pacman Jones and other unrepentant troublemakers in terms of likability. 

11. Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Boxing

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    You probably didn't expect to see this guy on the list. After all, boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is one of the nastiest athletes out there. Obviously, he's nasty in the ring; he's 43-0 and has rarely walked out of the ring with more than a scratch to show for his efforts.

    And he's nasty out of the ring; Mayweather spends most of his down time getting arrested or saying horrible things about Manny Pacquiao. 

    But it turns out Mayweather not be as big or bad as he thinks he is. He's broken down into tears at more than one press conference, and his desperate attempts to gain early release from his 87-day jail sentence have had many questioning his mettle. 

    Seriously, though, isn't three months in county lockup considered an easy stretch of time? Even the biggest wussies among us would find the claims of Mayweather's lawyer that the conditions in the Las Vegas jail could end his boxing career ridiculously insulting. Such a drama queen!

10. Andy Murray, Tennis

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    Tennis player Andy Murray has yet to win a Grand Slam singles title, but he has gotten awfully close on four occasions. Apparently, all those close calls have gotten into the head of the 25-year-old Scot, because he has been breaking into to hysterics on the regular.

    Murray's devastating loss to Roger Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon finals was bound to make headlines. But Murray's tears added fuel to what was already going to be a media firestorm questioning whether he could ever win the big one.

    Those questions aside, just a month later, Murray was crying again. But this time, they were tears of joy and the entire world was watching. Murray and the Swiss Maestro faced off in the gold-medal match at the 2012 Olympics in London, and Murray took gold for the host nation. 

9. Lamar Odom, L.A. Clippers

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    We all know that Clippers forward Lamar Odom is a sensitive guy. And the reason we all know Lamar Odom is a sensitive guy is because he publicly fell to pieces when the Lakers almost traded him to the Hornets last December.

    Odom broke down into tears during an interview with Stephen A. Smith, ESPN's loudest screaming head, while discussing the move. The deal was never finalized, and Odom was eventually shipped off to Dallas, where he spent a few months moping before packing it in altogether before the end of the regular season.

    In Odom's defense, most of us would be on the verge of tears if we had to share a bed with Khloe Kardashian.

8. Olympic Losers

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    It's no surprise to see losers at the Olympics break down into hysterics. They spend years training for this one moment, and with the world's collective gaze focused solely on them, some of them fail in spectacular fashion. It's always a very sad sight to see, but completely understandable. 

    Seriously—I cried the other day after a crack in the sidewalk outside of my house caused my granny cart full of groceries tip over, breaking my Trader Joe's wine in the process. Now imagine I had been walking that cart home for three-and-a-half years and it was broadcasted in prime time in every country on the planet. 

7. Olympic Winners

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    If there was anyone that cried more at the recent London Games than the losers, it was the winners. The 2012 Games were plagued by such a massive and constant stream of tears that it would have flooded a less waterlogged country. 

    Remember when winning used to be a happy occasion? Maybe those days are behind us, or maybe London was just an anomaly, but it sure seemed to me (and CNN, who dubbed these Olympics the "crying games") that there were more tears than smiles on the podium this summer.  

6. Roger Federer, Tennis

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    Roger Federer is undoubtedly one of the greatest tennis players in history, and many would argue he's the absolute best. But that doesn't mean he's complacent in his past accomplishments and content to sit on his laurels.

    In fact, Federer is still one of the fiercest competitors in sports (as long as he's not at the Olympics) and never accepts his second-place trophy with a smile, especially when his long-time bugaboo, Rafael Nadal, takes first place.

    You gotta respect Federer's fire, but you'd think he'd be used to losing to Nadal by now—you don't see Andy Roddick crying every time Federer cleans the court with him. 

5. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat

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    In 2011, the Heat's "Big Three" each responded to their deciding Game 6 NBA Finals defeat to the Mavericks in very different ways.

    Dwyane Wade was predictably professional and stoic. LeBron James was predictably petulant and dismissive. And Chris Bosh was surprisingly emotional, more than making up for LeBron's "at least my life still rules and yours still sucks" postgame moment.

    The poor big guy really took some heat (get it??) in the press and among fans for his tearful display. The comically untalented, and inexplicably successful, singer Nicki Minaj took a shot at Bosh one of her terrible songs, referring to him as a b***h and a cryin' ho. 

    Whatever, though, that's just Boshie. People are way too hard on him, and I've never understood where all the vitriol comes from. Who cares if he gets a little emotional sometimes—at least we know he cares (looking at you, Andrew Bynum). 

4. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid

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    You know you do a little too much crying when your ugly cry face becomes the latest ridiculous meme to take the interwebs by storm. Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is most definitely a crier.

    That shouldn't really come as a surprise because we all know that this dude has never been afraid to show his feminine side, meticulously waxed eyebrows and all. Ronaldo cries after wins, after losses, when he's injured and even when he's faking an injury. I guess that's just part of his charm.

    And by "his charm," I mean "stuff we all hate about him."

3. Terrell Owens, Seattle Seahawks

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    The personality of the Seahawks' newly-acquired disaster-waiting-to-happen wide receiver Terrell Owens has always been a study in contrasts.

    On the field, T.O. runs hot and cold; he's either elated because he's doing well or visibly enraged because he's always open and the quarterback is conspiring to keep the ball away from him. In the locker room, he's loved by some guys and absolutely loathed by others.

    And off the field, T.O. is either being defiant and hostile, or breaking down into tears, which he does on the regular. 

2. Matt Bush, MLB Draft Bust

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    When epic MLB draft bust Matt Bush got arrested for being his idiot self in 2009, I read something on Deadspin that sticks with me to this day. Unfortunately, because it's Deadspin, it came in the form of an expletive-laden rant. Which is how I like to learn most of my life lessons, but prevents me from transcribing it here. 

    However, the overreaching message was quite clear: There are appropriate times/places for men to cry, but while being arrested is simply not one of them. How you conduct yourself while being manhandled by the overzealous boys in blue says a lot about how you are fundamentally as a person. 

    Some people show grace under pressure and handle it with as much dignity as possible. Others freak out like a rabid moose amped up on PCP. And then there are those that descend into the kind of tearful hysterics common among over-dramatic preschool-age girls. 

    Matt Bush's performance in this video is the latter of those three, leaving no question that he has had plenty of practice crying in life. 

1. Dick Vermeil, Retired NFL Coach

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    And now, we've come to the king of the criers. Unlike most of the people on this list, the tears of retired NFL coach Dick Vermeil were indiscriminate and could appear at any time or place.

    Vermeil is obviously a very emotional guy and was known for crying in the locker room, during press conferences and while giving speeches. 

    Also likely to make him cry: puppies, bunnies, kittens, Titanic, that Christina Aguilera song "Beautiful," rainy days, raised voices and finding the milk carton empty in the morning. 

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