Hey, fellas, why the long faces?With all four major pro sports essentially under way, the pressure seems to be getting to plenty of folks all around the sports world. Page 2 has noticed plenty of sad shots coming across our photo wires in the last few weeks, and that caused us to ask one question: Who's the saddest person in sports right now? We've rounded up nine choices, and it's up to you to make the final call by voting in the poll at left.
Irish eyes have done very little smiling in 2001. After Notre Dame's first 0-3 start in school history, Davie has been fighting off rumors that his dismissal was imminent, which would be disheartening to anyone, let alone a guy who just signed a five-year contract last December. A victory last week over Pitt didn't do much to squelch the reports that Davie is already a lame duck. "It's not true," Davie said. "I'm working so hard right now. I'm trying so hard to win some games."
First, the guy was the object of the nation's scorn for requiring his swooning Astros to serially walk Barry Bonds as he chased the home-run record. Then, his squad lost at home in the first two games of its NL Division Series to Atlanta, blowing an eighth-inning lead in the opener and getting shut out in Game 2. The Astros have never won a postseason series -- and this might be Dierker's last opportunity to change that sad legacy.
You wouldn't know from the stoic face of this tough guy, but the Titans coach is definitely crying inside after his team's 0-3 start. A popular preseason Super Bowl pick by many, Tennessee has already seen quarterback Steve McNair and running back Eddie George go down with injuries. And to avoid 0-4, the Titans will need to beat the the tough Bucs -- also a preseason Super Bowl pick of many -- this weekend.
First, he lost his spleen. Then, he lost the chance to share in the Avs' inspiring Stanley Cup triumph over the defending champion Devils. Now, he's taking a sabbatical for the 2001-2002 season, thereby losing the opportunity to help the powerful Avs defend the Cup and lead Sweden in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
Last year, he was an All-Star with the Heat. This year, he can't find a team willing to sign him, even for an injury exception. An irritating, trouble-making, law-breaking presence both in and out of the locker room, Mase has become the NBA's living embodiment of the biblical injunction, "He that befouleth his own house shall inherit the wind."
Bad year. Bad, bad year. Injured much of the time, Big Mac hit less than .200 and lost his supposedly unbreakable home run title to Barry Bonds after holding it for only three years. He's also said to be considering retirement, which would mean that Bonds will soon be passing him on the all-time tater list, as well.
He started the season one win short of Bear Bryant's Division I record for victories -- and he might end the season in the same place. Penn State has already done something it never did before in its storied history -- lose its first four games. Needless to say, this unprecedented futility is doing nothing to still the whispers that the 74-year-old coaching legend is a relic of a bygone age.
Coaches will put up with a lot of grief for $10 million -- but Marty might want to ask for hazard pay after the first four weeks of the season. Schottenheimer's 'Skins have been skinned alive, scoring only one touchdown and getting outscored 135-25 in their 0-4 start. To add embarrassment to insult, the guy also has to answer to Daniel Snyder. Washington plays on "Monday Night Football" this week -- against the equally inept Cowboys -- in what is being billed as the worst prime time game ever.
|Jeff Van Gundy
In reality, he has little to be sad about (unless he really misses Patrick or that old Honda Civic). He never played the game, but he's rich, famous, successful and Knicks' management somehow got some other team to take Glen Rice off his hands. Still, nobody in all of sports has perfected the woebegone expression that Van Gundy seems to wear 24/7.