For every great franchise and every great champion in any field of sports, there are those who are also very good and talented, but can’t quite bring it when it’s most needed. Here’s is our list of those synonymous with winning in Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Football and Athletics with their Bizarro-type counterparts, guys and teams synonymous with Losing.
Manchester United and Alex Ferguson
Alex Ferguson arrived at Old Trafford after a hugely successful time with small Aberdeen in Scotland, winning three league titles in a league that was dominated by the “Old Firm”, Rangers and Celtic. He didn’t win immediately upon arrival in North-West England, but after 24 years at the helm, 11 Premier League Titles, 5 FA Cups and 2 Champions League trophies while making United one of the most if not the most popular soccer club in the world.
Liverpool – 20 years and counting…
Once, THE symbol of success in England and Europe, with 18 league titles and four European Cups (Five now, one added after the league drought began). Now? Not so much. Although still very popular and during some seasons capable of a major title challenge, Liverpool are light years away from Chelsea, United and even Arsenal in terms of competitiveness. Roy Hodgson is the sixth manager to take the hot seat at Anfield since Liverpool won their last title back in 1990 under Dalglish, while United are with the same, pretty successful one, since 1986.
Usain Bolt, need I say more?
Three gold medals in the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing and three gold medals in the IAAF World Championships in Berlin a year later, plus being the fastest man alive in 100 and 200 meters. Maybe the most amazing athlete ever to grace any sport. Some say doping ,but so far he’s been clean as a whistle, and for his sake and the sake of the sport, lets hope it stays that way.
And his country-mate, Asafa Powell
Powell also has a gold medal from Beijing and one from the Berlin Championships, but that’s because he runs on the 4×100 relay team with Bolt. When it comes to winning individual finals, Powell, once the fastest man in the World, always sees a few people ahead of him crossing the finish line. Athens, 2004 Olympics – 5th. Osaka, 2007 World Championship – 3rd. Beijing, 2008 Olympics – 5th. Berlin, 2009 World Championship – 3rd. Can’t deal with pressure I guess.
Joe Cool, Golden Joe and Comeback Joe… Maybe the Best QB ever, Joe Montana
There are quarterbacks with better numbers in NFL history, but non won better and more than Montana. Four Super Bowl victories (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989) and a three time Super Bowl MVP and responsible for what is probably the most memorable drive in the history of the game in Super Bowl XXIII, leading the 49ers over 92 yards to score a touchdown, leaving only 35 seconds on the clock.
And then there are the Bills
Another one of the all time greats and he also reaches four Super Bowls, back to back to back to back. And he lost them all – Once to the Giants, once to the Redskins and twice to the Dallas Cowboys and Troy Aikman.
He’s arrogant, obnoxious, but he delivers, time after time. He took Porto and made them European Champions, starting a rivalry with Alex Ferguson on the way. Then he dominated the Premiership with Chelsea, winning two league titles in less than stylish but very commanding fashion. Then came Inter Milan, and Mourinho led the Nerazzurri to their first Champions League trophy since the 1960’s. Now he’s with Real Madrid, ready to conquer another league.
Not a bad manager, but failing to win a league title and three defeats in European Cup finals, once with Mallorca and two with Valencia leave their mark. His inability to win a title with Inter, especially in the 2001-2002 season, when Inter lost to Lazio on the final day of the season, allowing Juventus to win the title, didn’t help either.
New York Yankees
They’re hated and despised for being rich and not ashamed of spending that money on any player they can get their hands on. Still, this is the most successful franchise in American Sports, with 27 championships. Hard to argue with that number.
Though there are glimmers of hope once in a while, the Cubs aren’t called “the lovable losers” for nothing. Last title? 1908. A 112 year drought. Another number that’s hard to argue with.
Six NBA titles, Five MVP’s, Six Finals MVP’s and countless game winning shots and defining moments. The best basketball player ever. Period.
I could have put a number of guys here, including LeBron James, Karl Malone or Sir Charles. But for some reason, Ewing is the first one who comes to mind when thinking about “losers” in NBA history. Maybe Elgin Baylor as well. No, lets stick with Ewing. Maybe it isn’t his fault, but still, when you fail to win in New York, it hurts and gets burned in everybody’s mind more than in other places. There’s a reason why there’s a “Ewing Theory“.