Sports are an emotionally driven thing. Athletes tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves and use those emotions to fuel them to incredible heights. Some of these athletes can channel all of those emotions into something great, something positive, and help them achieve something they never believed themselves capable of. Michael Jordan used his humble basketball beginnings to become one of – if not the – greatest basketball player of all time. Hank Aaron used all of the emotions he felt during his chase of Babe Ruth's record and funneled it all into becoming baseball's home run king. There are plenty of amazing stories of athletes using their emotions to achieve greatness.
And then there's the other side of the coin.
While some athletes are able to channel their emotion into doing something positive, others can't seem to get out of their own way enough to do that. They let themselves become consumed by the emotions – in most cases, that emotion being anger – and are never able to do something positive with it. They just sit and wallow in those emotions and are never able to get past them to achieve greatness. The list is long of these types of players – Sean Avery, Milton Bradley, Rolando McClain – the list goes on and on. And it is by far, a longer list than the list of athletes who have channeled it into greatness.
There is another group out there though, who sort of walk a line between the two. These athletes are able to channel those emotions, primarily their anger and rage, and do something positive with it, are able to attain a level of greatness, but over the course of the careers, become better known for being angry than for their achievements. That's what this list will focus on.
This obviously will not be a comprehensive list, so please feel free to chime in and add to it! But for now, here are 25 of the angriest people in sports...
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25 Brandon Marshall (Chicago Bears)
The outspoken – and notoriously moody – wide receiver is never one to hold his tongue. The great thing about Marshall is that you will never not know what is on his mind or what he thinks of you. Unless you happen to be the target of his ire. Just ask his teammates after underachieving this season and finishing with a very below average record. It's hard to blame him for some of his behavior, as he's admitted to having a borderline personality disorder.
24 Kurt Busch (NASCAR)
Odds are, if he wasn't red in the face, huffing and puffing, screaming at somebody and/or involved in a fistfight in the pits, you probably wouldn't recognize Busch. He seems to have one perpetual setting, and that setting is pissed. Just ask the variety of racers that he's been involved in confrontations with. The list is seemingly endless and goes from Jimmy Spencer and Robby Gordon to his younger brother, Kyle.
23 Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks)
Beast Mode isn't the in your face, angry type. He's more of a smoldering, quiet rage kind of dude. All you have to do is look at his face – especially when the media has dozens of cameras pointed at him – to know that Lynch is not a happy man. And that comes through with his series of sarcastic one word interviews. How do you stay on his good side? Get him a bag of skittles and don't ask him any questions.
22 Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Kershaw is another one of those whose anger is a quiet anger. We hear that off of the field, he's a laid back and likeable dude. But once he steps between those lines, any trace of that alleged likeability is gone. When he's wearing that uniform, he's all business and he makes it abundantly clear that if you're wearing the other team's uniform, he does not like you one bit. I think it's working for him as he's won the Cy Young in three of the last four years.
21 Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings)
The LA Kings' captain is a quiet leader. He leads his teammates by example, rather than rousing rah rah speeches. And perhaps it's a bit of a rage-filled Napoleon complex, but when Brown is on the ice, he will hit anything that moves, regardless of how big it may be. If you find yourself playing against him, Dustin Brown will take your head off, no matter who you are. Just ask Justin Pominville, who ate one of Brown's elbows, which cost Brown two games.
20 Terrell Suggs (Baltimore Ravens)
We think Suggs may have spent too much time hanging around with Ray Lewis because he is one of the meanest, nastiest, most brutal linebackers in the league. Opponents do well to avoid making eye contact with Suggs, because he'd likely take it as a challenge and look to separate your head from your body as quickly and efficiently as possible. Just ask the numerous quarterbacks he's ripped to the ground for a sack.
19 Bill Belichick (New England Patriots)
A kind, endearing, and gracious personality is not one of Bill Belichick's gifts, to say the least. Whether it's his dealings with the media, or throwing barbs at former players, Belichick is not the warm and fuzzy type. When you 're not longer needed at Gillette Stadium, you're immediately shipped out. Great players like Randy Moss and Logan Mankins found this out the hard way. He's paid to win football games, not be a nice guy, which is probably a good thing. If he were paid for the latter, he'd be flat broke.
18 Joey Barton (Queens Park Rangers)
Barton has been described as the dirtiest player in the premiership and is known for the variety of issues he's had over the year. We don't know about dirtiest, but he certainly seems to be the angriest. His three charges of violent conduct by the Football Association for attacking and beating other players, as well as his 77-day stint in the joint for what else, assault, seem to corroborate that description.
17 James Harrison (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Trust us, you will not be on James Harrison's Christmas card list. It's doubtful that Harrison even has such a list because having a holiday card list would require having friends to send cards to. And if there's one thing we know about Harrison, it's that he doesn't seem to have many friends. He's had a scowl on his face so long, it's probably frozen in place for eternity, and he just seems to hate everybody and everything on this planet.
16 Kevin Garnett (Brooklyn Nets)
Kevin Garnett, for as talented as he is, has left a trail of burned bridges behind him as he nears the end of his illustrious NBA career. When he signed with the Celtics, he made it clear that he hated everybody involved with the Minnesota Timberwolves organization and when you abandon him, like Ray Allen, you'll feel his scorn. We don't know what he's going to do now that the end of his playing days are drawing near because Garnett is one of those athletes who seriously just needs to hate somebody.
15 Tiger Woods (PGA)
Tiger Woods is the Kevin Garnett of professional golf. He too just needs somebody to hate on. Especially when things aren't going well. Whether it's a photographer who dares snap a picture while Tiger is in his backswing, a fan who sneezes as he's driving the ball, or a reporter who dares ask him a question he doesn't like, the perpetually angry Tiger will give them that steely-eyed stare and a few choice words – because that's just how Tiger rolls.
14 Ronda Rousey (UFC)
Rousey didn't get to the top of women's MMA fighting by being a nice, sweet person. No, she got there by being angry enough to punch people's faces in – and doing it very well. She's a scary, scary woman who you seriously don't want to ever look cross-eyed at, because she will kick your head off your shoulders faster than you can say, “Smile!” She's become incredibly good at channeling her aggression, as she stands at a perfect 10-0 in MMA competition.
13 John Tortorella (NHL Head Coach)
John Tortorella was always great for one thing – sound bites. The perpetually angry Tortorella loathed the media, and hated the mandatory post-game pressers. And he made it abundantly clear by routinely firing off snarky one-liners at reporters who asked him questions he deemed to be stupid. He also wasn't above throwing some of that anger fueled snark at some of his players either. But if there's one thing Tortorella hates more than anything, it's heckling from fans – as evidenced by his suspension after getting into a physical altercation with just that type of fan. Oh how we miss Tortorella in the NHL.
12 Jim Harbaugh (NFL Head Coach)
Harbaugh's future is with the Michigan Wolverines, a team with a name fitting of his coaching style. He may not wear the dramatic scowl all the time a la Jon Gruden, but he's been known to do some crazy things when he's all riled up. One story has him approaching a player who was bleeding, and then smearing that blood all over the players face as a means of... motivation? While his address will be changing, one thing we're sure won't be changing is the fact that he's one of the angriest coaches in the game.
11 Dominic Raiola (Detroit Lions)
Raiola has a long history of crazy, rage-fueled antics. Bears WR Brandon Marshall, who has been very open about his need for therapy and medication, once said that Raiola approached him and openly mocked him about his mental health issues. And just a couple of weeks ago, while in a rage about something, Raiola stomped on the back of a downed player's leg, potentially injuring the player seriously. The league handed him a one-game suspension, but that's only likely going to piss him off even more.
10 Carlos Zambrano (Former Major League Pitcher)
The only reason Zambrano is a “former” pitcher is because he was so unstable and unpredictable, that no club wants to take another chance on him. Zambrano was easily one of the angriest players in baseball, and often vented that rage upon his teammates, opposing hitters, coaches, and even water coolers in the dugout if they looked at him the wrong way. Zambrano was a head case who had a knack for saying stupid things, getting under people's skin, and getting himself run out of the game.
9 Matt Barnes (Los Angeles Clippers)
Matt Barnes is a bad, bad man. By all accounts, he's a great teammate to have on your side. But if you're not on his team, it's very possible you'll get beat down if you pop off to him. At 6'7” and just 226 pounds, he's not the biggest dude in the league, but pound for pound, he may be one of the toughest. Barnes will never back down from a fight, regardless of who it is looking to fight him. And we'd lay money on Barnes getting the better of anybody in the league.
8 Tom Brady (New England Patriots)
We're thinking that Bill Belichick has rubbed off a bit on Brady. To say that he's prickly and angry on the football field would be like saying water is wet. In other words, duh. Brady's on-field persona as the Patriots field general is all business, in your face, and filled with underdog rage. Many years later, and despite the fact that he's having a Hall of Fame career, Brady still falls back on the fact that he was picked in the sixth round of the draft to fuel his anger at the perceived snubbing. We think that has a lot to do with why we see him on live television dropping so many “F-bombs.”
7 Grant Balfour (Tampa Bay Rays)
Balfour has been a pretty effective relief pitcher over the course of his career. He was an All Star for the Oakland A's in 2013 before signing a 2-year, $12 million dollar deal with the Rays that offseason. Balfour is also one of the more volatile pitchers in the game. He is always stirring the pot and mixing it up with batters whenever he is on the mound. You can always see Balfour yelling and screaming when he's on the mound – he says that half the time it's at himself. Which means that the other half of the time it's at the batters? Whatever the case may be, and whoever he's actually yelling at, it's clear that Balfour is a pretty angry dude.
6 Floyd Mayweather Jr. (Professional Boxer)
Pound for pound, Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be one of the greatest boxers of all time. His undefeated record and multiple titles would seem to back that up. But he's also one of the meanest, nastiest dudes around. Whether he's being investigated for beating the crap out of people who he thought had stolen from his house, or breaking off racist rants directed at Manny Pacquiao – the one fighter Mayweather continues to dodge – it's clear that Mayweather is mean spirited and angry as hell.
5 Serena Williams (WTA)
Serena is one of the best women's tennis players on the planet. She's also one of the angriest. All you have to do is look at her face during a match to see the rage painted on her face. We don't know what she's so angry about, but there is no question that Serena plays angry. If a referee dares to call a marginal call against her, she'll blow a fuse. And given her status in the world of tennis, and the pile of titles she's won, we guess that it works for her.
4 Steve Smith (Baltimore Ravens)
You can tell that Steve Smith is angry – because he'll never stop telling you that he's angry. Smith has had a pretty prolific career in both the pass catching and trash talking categories. Smith has never been one to mince words, and is always more than happy to tell you exactly what he thinks of somebody – which usually isn't fit to print here. Smith uses any sort of perceived disrespect as fuel, and he runs around the football field angrier than hell and looking to take it out on anybody that gets in his way.
3 Ndamukong Suh (Detroit Lions)
Over the course of his career, Suh has racked up a pile of penalties and fines for his – ahem – enthusiastic play. Suh is one of the scariest guys you'll run into on the football field because he's one of the angriest, and the least likely to feel bad about tearing your head off. Literally. We don't know why Suh is so angry all the time, or why he lashes out at people in a rage. But we'll let you be the one to ask him.
2 Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers)
Rivers is like the Kurt Busch of the NFL. Whenever you see him, he's red in the face, nostrils flaring, huffing, puffing, and ripping somebody a new one. When Rivers is in a tizzy – which is most of the time – it doesn't matter who it is, be it teammate, opponent, coach, or referee, Rivers is going to be in their face, yelling and screaming. If he gets that mad and that enraged – playing a game – you have to sort of feel bad for his 37 children when they do something really bad.
1 Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Kobe Bryant is without a doubt, the angriest man in all of professional sports. It's likely the fact that in the minds of most, he will never pass Michael Jordan as the greatest of all time that feeds his rage. But the Mamba plays with a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas. He frequently rips coaches, teammates, and opponents. Holding his tongue is not one of his virtues, by far. And as he's gotten older, and it's quite clear that his considerable skills are diminishing, the Mamba has only gotten angrier. We'll be surprised if he makes it through this terrible season – in which the Lakers might be the worst team in the NBA – without killing somebody.
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