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Friday, January 27, 2012

Sports Tantrums of January

This week the NHL will take advantage of the absence of football and their annual all-star weekend in Ottawa, Canada.  Unfortunately for the NHL, Alex Ovechkin, the Great Eight, will not be participating in the event.  He's not injured.  He's just mad.  Ovechkin, one of the league's most exciting and recognizable figures, was recently given a three-game suspension for a hit against the Penguins.  Opinions from the sports pundits have been mixed as to whether Ovechkin's hit was violent enough to warrant such a suspension.  But Alex's opinion was clear.  If he can't help his team in the games that count then he's not going to help the league in their annual PR stunt.  In other words, Alex is going to take his puck and stay home.

But Ovechkin is not the only athlete who showed a childish temper during the month of January.  In fact, compared to the group assembled below, Ovechkin is the model of decorum.  So, I present to you three outrageous meltdowns from the month of January.

1.  Soccer Stomp.  Soccer has a reputation here in the States as being a sport for sissies.  So much diving and writhing around.  And so many silly stretchers for a guy that comes back into the game after a few squirts on the leg from that magic European aerosol spray.  But, I think the pain in this video is real.  This comes from the Barclay's English Premier League on January 22.  In this video, Mario Balotelli of Manchester City, apparently feels that that he was fouled by Scott Parker of the Tottenham Spurs.  I am not a soccer expert.  I do not know if an infraction should have been called against Parker.  But as a human being, I do know that the reaction by Balotelli is disproportionate and uncalled for.






2.  Big Baby with his pants on the ground.  You know those times when you are so frustrated that the only thing you can think to do is pull down your pants in front of 15,000 people?  What?  You've never been that frustrated?  Well, Glenn "Big Baby" Davis knows what I'm talking about.  In a game against the Spurs this month, Big Baby expressed his outrage over a foul that was called non him by dropping his drawers.  Amazingly enough, the ref did not respond by rescinding the foul.  Instead, Davis got a technical.



3.  What a racquet!  The first major of the 2012 tennis season is underway in Melbourne, Australia.  It's not a secret that many tennis players are wound as tight at the strings in their racquets.  Many years ago, after listening to John McEnroe complain about the stresses of his profession, Abe Lemons, a famous Oklahoma University basketball coach, once quipped, "I know when I was 18 years old and lying on my belly in Iwo Jima, I used to comfort myself by thinking, 'Boy, am I lucky not having to deal with the pressures of big-time tennis.'"  I'd love to hear Mr. Lemons' reaction to the tantrum that Marcos Baghdatis threw earlier this week during his match at the Australian Open.  I cannot throw stones at someone who loses their temper and lashes out in a physical way.  My office walls can attest to that.  But, there are some hilarious things in this outburst.  The thing that gets me every time is how he ends each racquet thrashing by calmly handing the rubble to some unseen assistant.  And, just when you think it's over, he grabs a new racquet and goes right back at it.