Hard truth: The odds are not always in your favor, guys.
Things can go sideways quickly in the world of sports. A single missed tackle, dropped phone call or poor decision can destroy months—years—of planning for an athlete or franchise.
Some of these mishaps fall under the umbrella of human error, but many times it's the flippant whims of the universe that destroy our best laid plans.
The following are the Bad Luck Brians of sports—the athletes and sports figures who cast the dice and rolled snake eyes. Some had it coming, while others were victims of poor timing and circumstance.
Whether they deserved their poor fortune is moot, however. Even the nicest, quietest guys in the world aren't safe from fate's cruel kisses. Just ask Brian.
Justin Abdelkader found himself in the middle of a waking nightmare this spring.
The Detroit Red Wings forward managed to slip through the Chicago Blackhawks defense and had only the goalie left to beat.
He had the puck. He had the opportunity. He didn't have a stick, however, which is a prime component in goal-scoring plays.
Qualifying for the 2014 World Cup was a particularly satisfying affair for the U.S. men's national team and its fans.
The squad officially made the cut after defeating bitter rival Mexico 2-0 in Columbus. Times were good, that is, until the U.S. drew feisty Ghana and European powerhouses Portugal and Germany in the 2014 World Cup draw.
It's okay, though. America just has to do what it always does in the World Cup: Go full Leroy Jenkins and pray for magic. It works 100 percent of the time, sometimes.
Jack Zduriencik and his Seattle Mariners were desperate to win over Robinson Cano this offseason—desperate enough to start a bidding war with themselves, perhaps.
According to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News, Mariners representatives caught wind of a rumor last Friday that another MLB franchise had offered Cano a nine-year, $225 million contract. The team's identity was undisclosed, but the Mariners countered the phantom deal by upping their standing offer to a 10-year, $240 million contract.
The unknown franchise, according to Grant, turned out to be Mariners themselves. They countered their own offer, and the world was showered with a never-ending rain of face-palm.
You'll be back, Gronk. I'm lighting candles for you as we speak.
He tried his best, and he even managed to win a big one for the good city of Denver.
The point is the kid has had some tough sledding.
No one can blame him for trying.
Never in Nick Saban's most frenzied night terrors did he ever imagine a game-winning field-goal attempt would cost him a shot at the BCS title—but that's exactly what happened at the 2013 Iron Bowl.
Chris Davis' 100-plus-yard field-goal return was one of those rare moments in sports you'll tuck away in your mind and use to put your grandchildren to sleep one day.
"Yea, [X game-ending scenario] was cool, but it's got nothing on Nick Saban's face after losing the Iron Bowl. The year was 2013, and a wicked autocracy called the 'NCAA' ruled the land..."
We've all gotten a little cocky before, right?
It's easy to let things go to your head. One minute you're humble as pie, the next thing you know you're firing your agents and sashaying to the NFL draft under the presumption you'll be the first guy off the shelf.
That game plan doesn't always pan out well, as Geno Smith learned at the 2013 NFL draft. He showed up looking spiffy, wasn't drafted in the first round and wound up wearing a series of devastated sad faces.
A Michigan State football fan at the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis held up a sign that read "Burn the Couch."
The Spartans went on to beat the No. 2-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes 34-24, and MSU students back in East Lansing were later seen throwing a couch into a celebratory bonfire.
Noting the diabolical correlation between a fan's sign in Indiana and a couch-burning in Michigan, the East Lansing police posted a picture of the sign-holding fan to their Facebook site (they have one) soliciting users for information about the man.
The anonymous fan isn't "wanted," per se—but the department said it would like to ask him a number of "potentially relevant questions."
It hurts my heart. It really does.
Bulls fans weren't the only ones waiting for Derrick Rose's return. Everyone with even an inkling of a soul looked forward to seeing the dynamic guard healthy and cutting up the NBA again.
Then bad luck—the cruel mistress it is—descended upon Rose once again.
You didn't deserve this, Derrick. And anyone who calls you "soft" for tearing a meniscus lacks basic knowledge about the human body and should be pushed into the sea on a giant chumsicle.
We hardly knew ye, Brian Hoyer.
The Browns' quarterback situation reached all-time lows in 2013—which is saying something, because, well, Browns.
That being said, of all the characters to step off the Cleveland quarterback carousel this year, backup Brian Hoyer was the lone bright spot. He was the first to step up after Brandon Weeden went down and proved to be more than capable of fulfilling his role.
But all good things must come to an abrupt and agonizing end in Cleveland, and after several starts Hoyer tore his ACL.
He is the Bad Luck Brian of sports this year. Womp womp.
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