When it comes to sport, tension can run high. You are pushing yourself to the extreme if you are competing and for coaches it can feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. Unfortunately, that intense pressure can lead to actions you may later regret. The latest came courtesy of Viktor Troicki at Wimbledon, and he will begin our list of some of sports most memorable meltdowns.
Troicki loses it with umpire
After a gruelling four sets at Wimbledon, Viktor Troicki is 5-3 down in the decider with the game evenly poised at 30-30. So, when Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas hit what appeared to be a long first serve, the Serb knew he would be in with a chance of breaking back. Except it wasn’t long, at least according to the umpire. Cue outrage. After letting out a big scream, the world no.27 took the ball to show the umpire and repeatedly asked him what he was doing. If that wasn’t enough, after losing the next point, and therefore the game, Troicki was back for more, shouting to the umpire that he was the ‘worst ever’.
John McEnroe – You cannot be serious
For the younger generation he is the man you see on your screens when Wimbledon is on. For others, they will remember a multiple Grand Slam winner and one line – ‘you cannot be serious.’ The line was uttered first at Wimbledon in 1981 and became synonymous with the American. Long before the days of Hawkeye, McEnroe would be a nightmare for umpires, challenging what seemed like every call which often led to a tirade of abuse for the poor judges.
David Nalbandian disqualified for kicking out
Whilst McEnroe and Troicki will be remembered for their sharp tongue, Argentine Nalbandian is a more serious offender. He was disqualified in the final of Queens for kicking a panel directly in front of Andrew McDougall that caused the line judge to bleed from his shin. Despite leading the final, Nalbandian had just been broken by Marin Cilic and took out all his frustration on the board in front with a kick that a fly-half would’ve been proud of.
Kevin Keegan’s rant!
As mentioned, it’s not just the players that can boil over, managers too, with none more memorable than Kevin Keegan. The then Newcastle United manager was loved for his passion and honest nature, but he let that get the better of him in an interview after his side had won at Leeds with the 1995/96 title race drawing to a close. He was responding to Sir Alex Ferguson’s accusation that other sides like Nottingham Forest would try harder against his side than they would against Newcastle – but Keegan was having none of it. “I will love it if we beat them, love it”, was part of his rant and remembered to this day, as Ferguson and United predictably went on to win the league.
Roy Keane walks away
For Ireland, getting to the World Cup in Japan was a fantastic achievement, having progressed at the expense of the Netherlands in a tough group. However, in preparing for the tournament things would not go to plan. Captain and inspiration Roy Keane was arguably at the peak of his powers and ready to make a mark with his country. That’s until he decided to walk away after a monumental falling out with manager Mick McCarthy. Keane claimed that the FAI’s organisation was poor, with inadequate training facilities and equipment. So, after an expletive-ridden personal attack on his manager, the captain was off before a ball had been kicked.
Paolo Di Canio refuses to play
From scoring arguably the best goal in Premier League history to pushing a referee to the floor, the colourful Italian was always making headlines and that was no different when his West Ham side played Bradford City. It was a crazy game that the Hammers won 5-4 and also involved Di Canio squabbling with Frank Lampard over who should take a penalty. However, it was not getting a penalty that caused the former Celtic man to have a meltdown. After the referee turned down two penalty appeals, the forward had had enough – so he sat down on the pitch and asked to be subbed with play going on around him!
Chisora and Haye brawl at press conference
This was memorable for all the wrong reasons and resulted in Chisora losing his British Boxing license. After a defeat to Klitschko, Derek Chisora was fulfilling his post-match media obligations when David Haye interrupted. After a brief exchange, Chisora challenged Haye to make these comments to his face and as he left the stage a brawl between the pair erupted with bottles involved. The pair would later sort it out in the ring, with Haye victorious.
Tyson bites off chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear
The self-proclaimed ‘baddest man on the planet’ Mike Tyson was no stranger to controversy, and the most notorious moment in his career has to be when he bit a piece of rival Evander Holyfield’s ear off. It was the second bout between the pair after Holyfield beat Tyson seven months previously and in that fight Tyson had criticised his opponent for deliberately using his head when they got close. That is believed to have prompted this outrageous behaviour, when in just the third round he bit the ear and was obviously disqualified. Years later, Tyson would have to pay Lennox Lewis over $300,000 after biting his leg during a press conference brawl.
Henrik Stenson smashes club in two
When it comes to playing golf it can really frustrate you, whether it is pulling a drive too far wide of the tee or a putt rolling agonisingly past the hole, it can be hard to keep yourself in check. For Henrik Stenson, that has become too hard on occasions. Known as the Iceman for his coolness under pressure on the course, the Swede has sometimes slipped from that demeanour to reveal an angrier side. In 2011, at the US Open, he lashed his club into the floor which actually caused his hand a minor cut. However, in a show of more aggression, Stenson has actually twice snapped his club over his knee! The first time was at the Open in 2014 before he did it again a year later in the Masters. Feisty.
Rory McIlroy throws club
Again, for all us amateurs out there it is something you always feel like doing, but when you are one of the most recognisable and talented players on the planet you should be showing more restraint. But not Rory, the Northern Irishman showed his Happy Gilmore side when he launched his club after a poor shot in the WGC-Cadillac Championships. However, after apologising immediately afterwards, Rory saw his fine cut from $25,000 to $5,000 so it could’ve been worse!
This gives us a timely reminder that sports stars are human after all. When tension and pressure spills over we can all make mistakes, which is why it’s important to play with a cool head at whatever you do. The same can be applied when we are playing casino games, when you are at the poker table on Lucky Nugget Casino you will need a calm approach to leave victorious.