'Great' moments in management history
The NBA announced on Monday that Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri has been fined $25,000 for yelling "F--- Brooklyn!" at a fan rally prior to his team's playoff opener against the Nets on Saturday. He was clearly enjoying the enthusiasm of the crowd gathered outside the Air Canada Centre and, in a moment of sheer exhilaration, decided to leave his Raptors faithful with some choice words before handing over the mike and dramatically exiting stage left.
Just a few days before Ujiri's potty mouth cost him big, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville found himself in hot water for his own heat-of-the-moment faux pas in an NHL playoff game against the Blues. While arguing with officials about what he believed should have been a delay-of-game penalty, Quenneville gesticulated wildly before ending his outburst with an emphatic crotch grab. His wallet, like Ujiri's, is now $25,000 lighter as a result.
These great moments in coaching history reminded me of a few other folks who lost their cool and went way beyond your typical postgame tirade. Let the Lee Elias, Mike Gundys and Dennis Greens of the world handle the verbal diarrhea. These guys let their actions speak louder than their words ...
The Double Bud Adams
Bud Adams, the recently deceased owner of the Tennessee Titans, earned himself a $250,000 fine in November of 2009 when he repeatedly flipped off the Bills after his team defeated them soundly. Clad in a robin's egg blue suit and extra-large shades, he stood defiantly at the edge of his luxury box with both arms extended, alternating which hand delivered the one-finger salute before finishing with the double middle finger, now known as "The Double Bud Adams."
Excuse me, I mustache you a few questions
Back in 1999, Bobby Valentine, then skipper of the Mets, was ejected for arguing a catcher's interference call in the 12th inning of a game with the Blue Jays. Rather than stew in silence in the clubhouse, as expected, he put on a fake mustache, sunglasses and a Mets T-shirt and came back to watch from the dugout. Well, mustache is a stretch. Valentine actually used eye-black to fake a hairy upper lip. His team went on the win the game, but no one bought his disguise; he was fined $5,000 and suspended for three games.
The long (john) and short of it
Kansas City Royals skipper Hal McRae delivered one of the game's finest tantrums in 1993. While fielding questions in his office, the manager got frustrated by one journalist's query and started throwing the items on his desk around the room. Microphones? Tossed. Tape recorder? Tossed. Cup of soda? Tossed. Phone, with the cords attached to the wall and everything? Tossed. All the while McRae was yelling, finishing his tirade with the classic line, "Now, put that in your f---ing pipe and smoke it." The best part of it all? McRae did all of this while wearing only a long-sleeve T-shirt and long johns.
You'll never get ahead doing that
Earlier this month, Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew head-butted Hull City midfielder David Meyler in the 72nd minute of his team's 4-1 victory. Pardew got angry when Meyler pushed him aside to grab the ball for a throw-in, so he charged at him, headfirst, on the sideline. Pardew was given a seven-game ban and fined a total of 160,000 pounds (roughly $268,248 American). Should've left the headers to the players.
Rarely does the name of an NFL strength coach make it into the headlines, but in 2010 the name "Sal Alosi" was everywhere. In a game against the Dolphins, Alosi extended his knee to trip Miami punt gunner Nolan Carroll as he raced by. After the incident, the Jets learned that Alosi had instructed players to form a wall along the sideline, hoping to disrupt the path of passing opponents. Alosi was suspended for the rest of the season and the Jets were fined $100,000 by the league.
A Roy-al rumble
Last October, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy let his temper get the best of him in the closing seconds of a heated game. When the clock hit zeros, Roy got into a shouting match with Anaheim's Cory Perry, then turned his ire toward Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. Charging toward the opposing coach, he twice shoved the glass partition separating his team's bench from the Ducks' bench. Roy was fined $10,000 for the incident. You can take the man out of the uniform, but the fight is still in him.
Just Kidd-ing around
This past November, Nets coach Jason Kidd tried to get crafty in the closing seconds of a game with the Lakers, intentionally spilling soda on the court to delay the game. Video replays of the "spill" showed the first-year coach telling guard Tyshawn Taylor to "hit me" before he dropped the cup of ice and soda along the sideline. Play was stopped and a Nets assistant coach drew up a play for the team's final possession. Brooklyn ended up losing the game and Kidd was fined $50,000 for the move. Sometimes it's worth crying over spilled soda.
You're not well, man
In 2007, Phillip Wellman, then skipper of the minor league Mississippi Braves, provided one of the greatest on-field tirades of all time. During a June contest with the Chattanooga Lookouts he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with a third-base ump he'd already had a few exchanges with that day. Incensed by the ejection he charged toward the plate ump, spiked his helmet and got up in his face, close enough to kiss him. Unlike most managers, his blowup didn't end there. Next, he buried home plate in dirt, uprooted third base and threw it like a discus across the infield, army-crawled toward the mound, grabbed the rosin bag and tossed it toward home grenade-style, feigned ejecting the umpire, walked off with two bases -- one under each arm -- and blew the crowd kisses on his way out the outfield door. Just classic. One of the finest of all the "great" moments in coaching history.