Few things in life are worse than losing—except, losing in a way that is horrible and far below expectations. Before each season, before the chips fall where fate directs them, sports fans dream of greatness.
For most sports fans, that dream is scattered—destroyed—with haste, when our highest expectations come crashing into reality. Let's be real: all but the most deluded individuals can read the tea leaves early. There are exceptions of course, but those as rare things.
So, when expectations are high—when we let slip our closely guarded cynicism—nothing bites with more vigor or venom than lofty expectations betrayed. Choking is a tease for fans, so imagine how it feels for the athlete.
Choking is the lowest denominator of athlete criticism; 'choking' implies an inability to handle the psychological weight of success. Choking is a failure of character—fair or not. For those athletes who aren't blue chip prospects or the elite of the elite, they enjoy the benefit of being a guy or girl with "a motor"—one who transcends talent with tenacity.
Being a choke artist is the worst of all worlds: you have all the ability—the hope of your most devoted fans—but not the makeup as a human to realize your true potential. Choke artists are a meticulously prepared Thanksgiving Dinner that is dry and lacking flavor.
These are the biggest choke artists in sports.