The Sports Hall of Crybabies
At the final of the 2009 Australian Open, it all got a bit too much for Roger Federer. Earning more for losing the final than most people in the world would dream of making in a decade, having the talent to single handedly dominate a sport for the best part of a decade and doing a job he loves, just weren’t enough for Federer as he botched his opportunity to equal Pete Sampras’ record of 14 grand slam titles.
As Rafael Nadal attempted to taste-test the Australian Open trophy, Roger Federer began to weep. Once the flood gates opened they proved to be hard to close, and Federer let it all out as he endured the excruciating torture of having to accept that he’d have to settle for second place in the world rankings and a paltry cheque of half a million dollars.
By letting it all out on court, Federer joined the weeping ranks of sports’ biggest crybabies, whom we salute with hankies aloft in our hall of crybabies:
It’s tempting to induct Pistol Pete Sampras into our Hall of Crybabies given his crumple-faced exit from tennis at the 2003 US Open, but, Sampras was no match for arch-rival Andre Aggasi when it came to the blubber stakes.
We’d salute Agassi for holding back the tears in his less successful Grand Slam campaigns, if it wasn’t for the fact that he emulated his heroine Barbra Streisand by bursting into tears in moments of triumph. Agassi’s most celebrated waterworks was produced upon winning the 1999 French Open.
In evaluating the evidence leaking from Cristiano Ronaldo’s tear ducts, it’s hard to tell what it is that makes the Manchester United and Portugal striker happy or sad. Proof that Ronaldo may in fact be a woman, comes from the fact that he adheres to the popular female strategy of – ‘if in doubt, cry’.
Ronaldo cried after scoring for Portugal at Euro 2004, cried after losing to Arsenal in the 2005 FA Cup final, cried when Portugal lost to France in the semifinals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and then confused everyone totally by having a good cry after winning the 2007/2008 UEFA Champions League title with Manchester United.
Mika Hakkinen isn’t a serial crybaby, however, he definitely deserves a place in the Hall of Crybabies for the tears he shed after crashing out of the 1999 Italian Grand Prix. To Hakkinen’s credit he sought out the privacy of track-side bush to go and have a good cry, where he was duly photographed by the press.
So why induct him into the Hall of Crybabies you ask? The answer is simple, Hakkinen’s tears are the only recorded instance of the Finn displaying any emotion whatsoever during his entire career. In fact, some have suggested that Hakkinen may have been the only member of that stoic nation to have shed tears. Ever.
Crying is a national sport in South America, which somewhat devalues a few pints of the many tears shed by Diego Maradona during his football career. Nevertheless, the Argentinean’s performance at the 1990 FIFA World Cup deserves special mention.
Despite having God (aka his left hand) on his side, Maradona proved unable to lead his team to a win in the 1990 World Cup final against Germany. Maradona was inconsolable after the final whistle blew, and quite possibly may have required rehydration therapy after he’d collected his sliver medal.
You might have thought that anyone playing Steffi Graf at Wimbledon during her prime might have expected to lose the match, and would have psychologically fortified herself for this eventuality. Jana Novotna, however, thought differently.
Novotna nearly forced the ground staff at Wimbledon to pull out the covers when she gushed several litres of tears onto the shoulder of the elegantly coiffured Duchess of Kent, after losing to Graf at the 1993 Wimbledon final.
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