Who Says Big Boys Can't Cry?

November 20, 2009 - 6:25 am

Big men love the big talk. Numerous athletes love to paint themselves as macho, tough guys who make Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci appear timorous in comparison. Yet, if there is one thing Rex Ryan taught us this week (unless you remained stuck on Bill Belichick fourth-and-2 overload), these brawny, intimidating and ferocious professional sports personnel can have a soft spot underneath their body armor. One day after the Jets' 24-22 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday, Ryan let his emotions get the best of him as he cried in front of his players during a team meeting Monday morning. Known for the fierce and resilient defenses he has coached in the NFL, Ryan surprised football fans around the country with his tears. Coming from a man who earlier in the year pronounced he was "not intimidated by New England or anybody else," Ryan's crying could be interpreted as an outburst of passion or a revelation of weakness. But Ryan is not the only one to go from putting on a relaxed and confident front to experiencing an emotional outbreak. Here is a look at recent athletes who could not hold back their tears. Terrell Owens This may explain why T.O. was offended when he complained that quarterback Tony Romo favored Cowboys tight end Jason Witten over him as his No. 1 receiver. After losing to the Giants in the 2007 playoffs, Owens allowed the tears to pour below his sunglasses as he defended Romo to the assembled media. Asked how the loss would affect Romo, Owens immediately began to sob, telling reporters not to lay the blame on his quarterback. One year, a reality show and an offseason trade later, Owens now finds himself on an underachieving Buffalo Bills squad, though he has yet to comment about the firing of Dick Jauron or the benching of quarterback Trent Edwards. Glen Davis On Dec. 5, 2008, Kevin Garnett ripped into Big Baby and the rest of the Celtics bench as the team was on the verge of blowing a 25-point lead to the Portland Trail Blazers. Living up to his childlike nickname, Davis was spotted trying to fight back tears for the remainder of the game, obviously hurt by Garnett's harsh criticism. Even though the Celtics ended up winning, Davis let KG's words affect him, as he was seen whining to his teammates while the game was in progress. Roger Federer In one of the most epic tennis matches of all-time, Roger Federer lost in five sets to rival Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2009 Australian Open. Having suffered his third straight defeat to the world's top-ranked player, Federer broke down in tears after Nadal sealed the championship. Citing how finishing in the runner-up position was "killing" him, Federer was consoled by Nadal, who sympathized with his opponent. Since then, Federer battled back from injury and reclaimed the No. 1 spot, which he holds today. Mark Cuban The fiery, outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner has never be one to shy away from voicing his opinion. So when Dirk Nowitzki was named the winner of the 2007 NBA MVP award, Cuban demonstrated just how overwhelmingly proud he was of his 7-foot forward by praising his work ethic in the midst of tears. Maybe he should have spoken more warm-heartedly when he inappropriately told Kenyon Martin's mother her son was a "thug." Adam Morrison The floppy-haired Morrison was a ball of emotions in the closing seconds of Gonzaga's 2006 NCAA tournament Sweet 16 matchup with UCLA. After the Zags blew a 17-point lead, Morrison was outwardly crushed by the defeat. Once Gonzaga missed a final opportunity to tie the score, Morrison dropped to the floor, bawling in the the middle of the court. Consoled by his coach in front of reporters, Morrison was stunned his team enabled UCLA to rally and steal a 73-71 victory. It would be the last game Morrison would play in a Gonzaga uniform, as he declared for the NBA draft.