Coaches' jobs are tough. When things go great, they get the glory, and when things go wrong, guess who's accountable?
So it's understandable that sometimes, they just snap. Sometimes, the frustration mounts and the emotions run high and these coaches just need to let it out. And look! Coaches are just like us! They let it out by throwing things.
Whether it be a headset, a bat, a chair or their own clothing, nothing (and no one) is safe when these coaches get going.
We begin with the king of throwing things: Jim Schwartz.
The Detroit Lions coach and his headset are great friends. In fact, if you are a Lions fan, you know that seeing the coach toss his headset is a harbinger of good: It means the team won.
Whereas most coaches throw their poor headsets after losses (and we'll get to plenty of those), Schwartz goes the totally opposite direction. A simple fist pump would be just fine, but we'll allow it.
You guys, hockey coaches have meltdowns, too.
Mostly when we talk about coaches throwing tantrums, we focus on football coaches, baseball managers and, sometimes, basketball coaches. Does this mean that hockey coaches are just better at controlling their emotions?
Hardly. Look at this guy.
Here, we have Eric Veilleux of Baie-Comeau Drakkar, who was so infuriated with a call that he threw his players' sticks out onto the ice and almost ripped off their shoulders in order to do so.
To all of those managers out there who like to throw bats, hats and even rosin bags, Rick Forney has this to say to you: Get creative, guys.
Rick Forney, commander of the independent league's Winnipeg Goldeyes, got into a spirited discussion with the umpires this summer, and after getting ejected, he threw an epic tantrum that culminated with him throwing his dip onto home plate.
He definitely gets points for being unique.
Of course, Sweet Lou must be included in any discussion of some of the most epic temper tantrums in sports.
Compared with all the others, though, Piniella kept it pretty tame.
The longtime manager was infamous for his foul temper, and God help any umpire who dared to invoke his ire. In this particular instance from 2007, Piniella lost a battle with the umpire over this call, but with a hat-toss like that, he won the war.
Yeah. Those hockey coaches really know how to make their feelings known.
Here, we have assistant coach Greg Pankewicz of the CHL's Colorado Eagles, who completely lost his mind after an opposing player tackled one of his players during a fight (h/t SportsGrid).
Pankewicz had a bone to pick with the refs, one thing led to another, and before we knew it, Pankewicz was stripping. One by one, his articles of clothing landed on the ice.
Now that is how you argue a call.
Sometimes, when your team isn't showing any life, it's your duty as a coach to do something to fire everybody up.
In the case of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, that something was throwing a chair.
A couple of seasons ago, McCaffery's Hawkeyes were taking a beating from Michigan State, and like any good coach, McCaffery blamed it on the refs—specifically, their reluctance to call anything against the Spartans. When the refs decided to pay him no mind, McCaffery took his rage out on this poor chair.
Poor Mark Richt. He tried to throw his headset. Unfortunately, he overlooked the fact that even after he flung it from his head, it was still attached to his pants.
What we really need to do is invest in some wireless models for these coaches so that they don't have to look so foolish when they're trying to throw a legendary fit. (Click here to see it.)
The Georgia coach, who has had plenty of reasons to throw things this season, made a valiant attempt to display his anger with the age-old headset throw, but sadly, he kind of lost his thunder when he tried to walk across the field and was still dragging his poor, forlorn headset behind him.
What do you do when the refs make a terrible call against your team?
If you're a soccer coach, you steal his cards, throw them into the wind and watch as they sail away.
Antoni Zdravkov, coach of CSKA Sofia of Bulgaria's premier soccer league, was furious after the refs called a handball against one of the opposing players. Following the penalty kick, Zdravkov seized the ref's cards right out of his hands and threw them before stalking off the field.
Man, these SEC coaches and their headset-throwing.
They have to unleash their aggression somehow, I suppose.
South Carolina's Steve Spurrier has long been a fan of the headset toss, but he really puts his all into it. He doesn't settle for the half-hearted heave; Spurrier puts his weight into it. He puts his arm into it. He puts his face into it.
In fact, Spurrier's headset toss is so intense that it's possible he threw out his shoulder and/or elbow executing it.
This was just one of those games where the emotions were running high the whole time, so it only stands to reason that the coach ended up tossing a bundle of sticks onto the ice, am I right?
There was a giant brawl just a couple of minutes into the game, there were nine major penalties in the third period alone and things were just getting chippy. When his team was whistled for hooking with 27 seconds remaining, Utah Grizzlies coach Kevin Cooley had decided he had enough.
Out went the sticks!
Well, at least Mike Mularkey could do one thing right. By God, he could throw a headset.
It's better than Mark Richt could do.
As head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mularkey had little else to brag about other than his sweet throw, which came in November of last year against the Colts. When Andrew Luck took the ball into his own end zone but appeared to lose it and the refs ruled that it stood as a touchdown anyway, Mularkey was not happy.
His headset-throwing, though, resulted in penalty yards. Fail.
Here, we come to one of the most infamous and creative in-game throws of all time.
Look at this guy go. This tantrum is a work of art. He must have rehearsed it.
Minor league manager Phil Wellman unleashed an epic tirade back in 2007, but even after he got tossed, he kept the party right on rolling. He did everything, including getting on his hands and knees and covering home plate in dirt, picking up third base and tossing it into the outfield, tossing the umpires from the game (figuratively) and crawling on the ground like a soldier before hurling the rosin bag like a grenade.
All you can do is clap.
Bo Pelini is renowned for his temper. We've all heard it. Cornhusker fans have definitely heard it. (And what do you know? Bo Pelini hates fairweather fans—just like me!)
The Nebraska head coach was up to his usual tricks this past weekend, in the midst of a 41-28 loss to No. 16 Michigan State.
There came a point in the game when Pelini, like so many head coaches who have come before him, just couldn't take it anymore. So down went the headset!
Whereas most of his contemporaries stick with throwing sticks out on the ice in order to adequately express their anger, this dude takes it one step further: He actually throws almost all of his team's equipment, including a cooler, out onto the ice in a fit of rage.
Brent Sapergia of the Southern Professional Hockey League's Louisiana IceGators went absolutely nuts over a bad call, tossing literally everything out onto the ice: sticks, a medical kit and even the Gatorade bucket, which he didn't realize wasn't bolted down until it was too late.
Throwing Gatorade buckets in the name of protecting your players? I can get behind that.
We've all been here, right? The umpire calls a ball that you are certain was really a strike and all hell breaks loose?
You really can't fault Wally Backman here. The South Georgia Peanuts manager was unhappy with an inconsistent strike zone, and when his voice wasn't being heard, he had to take matters into his own hands.
Thus, Backman threw 22 bats and a bucket of balls onto the field. That'll show 'em.
Rex Ryan always has to show up everyone else. He can't just throw his headset. He has to throw his hat, too.
The Jets head coach has tried so hard over the years. He has. He has dealt with Mark Sanchez. He's dealt with Geno Smith. He's dealt with the butt-fumble. He's tried to do it all like a boss, but sometimes, you just can't take anymore.
Like when your team gets eliminated from postseason contention. Then, your headset and your hat must be thrown.
So just to review, we've seen bats thrown. We've seen sticks thrown. We've seen balls and bases and headsets and even rosin bags thrown.
But we have not seen a player thrown. Not until Terry Pendleton got involved.
The Braves first-base coach appeared to be angry when Chris Johnson got thrown out at first base to end a game against the Phillies—not angry at the umpires, but angry at his player. So when Johnson got back to the dugout, Pendleton grabbed him by the front of his jersey and threw him back toward the bench.
Throughout the course of this slider, we have seen some of the very best tantrum-throwers the world of sports has ever known.
But it's time now that we talk about the king of them all.
Nobody threw a fit better than Bobby Knight. Nobody could do rage better than Bobby Knight. Was he beloved? Not by all. But was he one of the greatest coaches in the history of college basketball? Definitely.
Sometimes, though, Knight took it too far. Like the time in 1985, when he infamously threw a chair onto the court in protest of a bad call before getting ejected.
Like I said. A legend.
Every single coach has been in this situation. You're in a news conference after a bad loss, and the last thing you want to do is answer asinine questions about said loss. You're contractually obligated, but you really, really don't want to.
So what do you do?
You make like Hal McRae and be a boss.
The former Kansas City Royals manager had had enough of the dumb questions, so instead of answering them, he revolted. He threw things. Microphones, tape recorders—anything he could find in front of him.
That is how you tell a reporter that he asked a stupid question.