Gonzo: Titans of tears

Looks could kill. Serena Williams stalks away from a line judge after a profane U.S. Open outburst.
Looks could kill. Serena Williams stalks away from a line judge after a profane U.S. Open outburst.
Posted: January 24, 2010

If you listen closely, even a week later, you can still hear him feeling sorry for himself and his teammates. It's the sad sound of the pathetic complainer - so absurd and entertaining that I'm thinking about downloading it onto my iPod so I can replay it now and then for giggles.

The NFC championship is today, and the Cowboys won't have any part of it. (I'm sure you're disconsolate.) Dallas linebacker Keith Brooking seemed pretty broken up about that after Minnesota mashed the 'Boys into a fine paste last Sunday on national TV.

Unable to help himself, Brooking added his own insult to the team's abject injury by bellyaching that Brad Childress, Brett Favre, and the oh-so-cruel Vikings ran the score up on the poor 'Pokes. And they did. (Rather than kick a field goal late in the game, Favre threw a touchdown pass with less than 2 minutes remaining to put Minnesota up, 34-3.) But Brooking still shouldn't have said anything. And he certainly shouldn't have called the Vikes "classless" and "disrespectful."

It was the playground equivalent of losing a brawl by the monkey bars, only to whimper about the other guy not fighting fair. You lost. Badly. Put some ice on your eye and some Neosporin on your cuts and move on.

Instead, Brooking complained and wounded the Cowboys' collective pride in the process. As a result, the overly sensitive linebacker has earned a spot among Page 2's infamous Whiners' Association of American Halfwits - better and more appropriately known as WAAH.

Grab some Kleenex. It's about to get teary up in here.

10. Ray Allen

Recently, the Celtics shooting guard lamented the all-star selection process and said the game has been "watered down" by fan voting. (I guess he's not an Allen Iverson fan.)

Yeah, it's the fans that water down the weekend. Not the lame, star-less "celebrity game." Not the tired, trite slam-dunk contest. Not the insufferable, endless HORSE competition. Not the lack of defense in the actual game, or the fact that the athletes are more excited about unveiling the latest gaudy edition of their personal sneaker franchises than they are about playing something resembling real hoops. It's the fan voting system. Got it.

9. Tennessee Vols fans

Lane Kiffin went 7-6 in one year in Knoxville and didn't take his foot out of his mouth long enough to lace up his turf shoes. But when he fled to the Left Coast to take a gig with USC, Vols fans acted as though Bear Bryant had just left Alabama and defected to Auburn. (A Tennessee-based lawyer is petitioning to have a sewage center named after Kiffin.) I hope Pat Summitt never leaves. That might be the end of Rocky Top.

8. Mike Richards

The Philly media are really mean, and they make stuff up. Or so said the Flyers' captain, even though he couldn't give examples of fabricated stories. Mike, compare notes with Donovan McNabb and then go have a beer in Old City. You'll feel better.

7. Keith Brooking

When you make Jerry Jones look like a stand-up guy, you've sunk to impossibly low depths.

6. Coach K

Whining is sort of Mike Krzyzewski's default position. He outdid himself last year when he heard the president didn't pick Duke in his overhyped tournament bracket. (The audacity!) "Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's final four," Coach K said, "and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets." When pressed on it, Krzyzewski said he was only kidding. Even though no one laughed. Whining and weaseling. That's a difficult combo to master.

5. Kobe Bryant

He doesn't like Philly anymore. Considers himself an Angelino ever since he was booed at the All-Star Game here. Seems we're too hard on him, too. Sniffle. I bet he'd get along great with Richards.

4. Phil Jackson

You can count on two things when the playoffs come around: The Zen Master will complain about the Lakers not getting any calls, then the Lakers will (shockingly) start getting the calls.

3. Mark Cuban

The media, the league office, the refs, the commissioner, opposing players, fans, and even the SEC (not the athletic conference, the Securities and Exchange Commission) - there's nothing and no one that the Mavericks' owner hasn't whined about over the years. He's Nancy Kerrigan without the ice skates.

2. Serena Williams

She's the tennis version of Jose Offerman: Her whining manifests itself in frightening ways. When a U.S. Open line judge had the temerity to call a foot fault on her, Williams melted down faster than Chernoybl: "I swear to God I'm [expletive] going to take this [expletive] ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat, you hear that? I swear to God." If not for a certain self-centered wideout, she'd easily be No. 1 on the WAAH list.

1. Terrell Owens

He's been known to whine about his contract, his coaches, every quarterback he's ever played with, his treatment by reporters and, in one of the funnier outbursts ever, the fact that Cowboys tight end Jason Witten had a better relationship with Tony Romo than he did. When you get jealous about a creepy bromance, it's time to seek professional help.

Contact columnist John Gonzalez at 215-854-2813

or gonzalez@phillynews.com.

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