25 Struggle Faces as Bad as Eli Manning's

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2013

25 Struggle Faces as Bad as Eli Manning's

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    Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    No one likes to lose or have something go against him or her—especially in sports.

    Unfortunately, that old adage of "you can't win them all" is true, and some of our favorite people in sports have shown just how bad taking one on the chin can be by giving us some memorable struggle faces.

    While there are some good ones out there, as you can tell by the title of this piece, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is in a league all by himself—just take a look.

    Although no one can leap over Eli for tops in sports, here are a 25 folks who at least give him a run for his money.

David Ferrer

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    There's only one way to play tennis, and that's by using a racket.

    Unfortunately for Spanish player David Ferrer, this picture encapsulates his pain not only in losing the point, but also of seeing his racket a few feet away from him on the ground.

    Seems that it just wasn't Ferrer's day, as he found himself defeated in the match as well—which I'm sure caused even more unpleasant reactions.

Arthur Blank

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    When a guy is worth $1.4 billion, there presumably aren't usually many things that would get him down.

    Well, that's of course unless that guy is Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and he just saw his team lose in the NFC Championship Game to the San Francisco 49ers—at home no less.

    After finishing with the conference's best record last season, Blank sure looks like a dad who's disappointed in his son for bringing home bad grades, doesn't he?

DeMarcus Cousins

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    As a Kentucky alum, I can't stand watching the uber-talented DeMarcus Cousins lack focus, drive and consistency. With a little maturity, this dude could be the best center in the league.

    I've become accustomed to seeing his struggle face a lot throughout the season.

    Not only because he's on the Sacramento Kings—who aren't very good—but because he always seems to think he's never committed a foul in his NBA career, looking at the refs as if he doesn't know the rules of basketball.

Mike McCarthy

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    With a Super Bowl ring on his finger and the general perception that he's one of the best coaches in the league, the Green Bay Packers' Mike McCarthy shouldn't have too much to scowl at—especially when his quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, is healthy.

    Every once in awhile, though, McCarthy displays that hilarious coach look of "What in the hell is happening here?"—and it couldn't be more epic.

Magic Johnson

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    Oh, Magic Johnson.

    Did you think that in becoming a part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers it would be as easy to win championships as it seemed to be while you collected your five NBA titles?

    I bet you did—especially with baseball's second-highest payroll.

    But after watching his team lose in the NLCS this year, Magic showed that even an icon like him has to deal with the reality that you can't win them all.

Jonathan Quick

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    As someone who never played ice hockey—in roller hockey, though, I was a champ—I couldn't imagine the feeling of letting a shot scoot by and into the goal.

    While, normally, hockey goalies have the luxury of hiding behind their masks to save their reactions, L.A. Kings player Jonathan Quick wasn't so lucky in this instance.

    It's a good thing he kept his mask on in a game earlier this season against the New York Rangers, though, as he actually scored on himself, which undoubtedly produced a major struggle face.

Nerlens Noel

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    After seeing his draft stock fall from the potential No. 1 overall pick all the way to No. 6, former Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel sure did appear to be defeated.

    It probably sucked for Nerlens to see millions going to the wayside with each guy selected in front of him—but at least we kept getting to see that Kid 'n Play flattop of his every single time a team passed him over.

Clayton Kershaw

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    With the season that Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw just had—one in which he will presumably win the NL Cy Young Award—it was pretty damn rare to see him hold his head and show his struggle face.

    He had a tough time in the playoffs, though, with his Dodgers losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS after one of his performances.

Mike D'Antoni

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    One really has to feel for L.A. Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni.

    It might be difficult to show sympathy for a guy who makes $4 million a season to coach a mediocre team at best. But he entered a crappy situation last year just a few games into the season, clashing with the superstars on his squad, and now is without Kobe Bryant until, well, who knows when?

    All that uncertainty and drama seems to have taken a toll on him, as he regularly flashes that struggle face whenever his team is playing.

Roman Abramovich

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    Despite being one of the wealthiest people on the planet, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich doesn't look like money can buy happiness in the above picture.

    Sure, his Chelsea squads have won three EPL titles and one Champions League trophy since he took the reins of the franchise back in 2003. But it's when things don't go his way that he struggles to cope.

Sidney Crosby

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    He's arguably the best player in the NHL, but don't think that it's always just good times for Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby.

    We've all heard that he's one of the biggest whiners on the ice, so it's probably not surprising that he often shows his struggle face when he doesn't have a call go his way.

    This also gets extra points for the amazing 'stache The Cros is trying to rock.

Mike Brown

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    I've always liked Mike Brown—after all, he's in his second stint with my Cleveland Cavaliers, so it's impossible to hate him.

    But I'd be lying if I said he doesn't have one of the most commonly used struggle faces I've ever seen in sports.

    He either does that duck-faced reaction multiple times during a game, or he does something similar to the above photo, where he just can't believe what his eyes are actually seeing from his team.

Tom Brady

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    For a guy who seemingly has it all—multiple Super Bowl rings, one of the hottest women on the planet and a spot in the Hall of Fame when he retires—Tom Brady sure does show his struggle face a good number of times.

    I'm sure it comes from his desire and competitiveness to win—or just his frustration with his receivers—but maybe Brady should tone it down a bit?

Michael Phelps

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    As the all-time winningest Olympian ever, there aren't too many times that Michael Phelps is seen doing anything but smiling.

    In a rare case, though, Phelps was caught stunned that he missed out on yet another gold when fellow U.S. swimmer, Ryan Lochte, overtook the champ in the 400-meter individual medley.

    Play nice, Phelps, you have to share golds with others sometimes.

LeBron James

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    As a Cleveland Cavs fan, this look from LeBron James became all too familiar while The King was with his former team.

    Making some great memories and becoming the all-time leading scorer in franchise history is cool and all, but James admits that he plays for titles.

    So after failing to get one in Northeast Ohio, he, well, we all know where he took his talents.

Rob Ryan

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    Being New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has to be a little tough. Not only is his dad Buddy Ryan—a legendary head coach who developed the "46 defense"—but his twin brother, Rex, is the head coach of the Jets, and Rob has yet to even get a lead gig for himself.

    So this struggle face he showed against the New England Patriots after his team blew a lead in the fourth quarter is probably one he's had plenty of times before.

Philip Rivers

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    San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is a really fiery guy who typically wears his emotions on his sleeve. So seeing him flash a struggle face on a number of occasions kind of comes with the territory.

    If your team just blew a 24-point halftime lead, I think it's safe to say you'd all be showing some struggle too.

San Antonio Spurs

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    Without a doubt, one of the most memorable struggle faces is the photo of Tim Duncan at the podium following his team's loss in Game 6 of last season's NBA Finals.

    Even without that lasting image, though, Duncan and teammates Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli often show their displeasure anytime they find themselves in a tough spot.

    I can't say I blame them. With four titles over the past 14 seasons, they're definitely not used to winding up on the losing side.

Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?

    Who is the best soccer player in the world is a question that might never get answered.

    But if the question is about the best struggle face, then Ronaldo takes home the honor in a landslide.

    We all know that CR7 loves to flop and complain about calls, so it's only fitting that he shows that frustration on his face about, oh, a million times every game.

    Unless he's celebrating a fancy goal, Ronaldo is flashing that struggling mug of his.

Peyton Manning

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    It's rare to see a struggle face from Peyton Manning, probably the best quarterback of his generation.

    Every once in awhile, however, that Manning disgust comes out and he can be seen pouting and amazed on the sideline at what's unfolding on the field.

    Eli's struggle face is one of the most famous in all of sports, so maybe these just run in the family?

Cam Newton

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    As a former No. 1 overall pick and, in my opinion, one of the better young quarterbacks in football, Cam Newton has a lot to be smiling about—especially with his Panthers currently on a four-game win streak.

    It's not always roses for Newton, though, as he's displayed how hard he takes losses, often showing his disbelief  on the sideline.

    I'm still not sure if that's a good or bad thing for his teammates to see.

Kobe Bryant

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    One of the fiercest competitors in the history of sports, the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant being on this list shouldn't be a shock to anyone.

    He's constantly barking at refs or getting on his teammates about things, and because of his desire to win at everything, he just can't accept when he ends up on the other side.

    While other athletes might show confusion or disappointment in their reactions, Kobe's is like the Chuck Norris of struggle faces, looking like it would kick your ass for staring too long.

Alex Rodriguez

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    New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez might find it difficult to make it to the baseball Hall of Fame after being busted (again) for PEDs. But when it comes to struggle faces in sports, his name is certainly enshrined with the best.

    I'm not sure what it is about A-Rod, but unless he's super happy and laughing—at his own joke, I'm sure—he often has a confused, angry look on his face.

Pau Gasol

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    Just like Eli Manning, Pau Gasol has multiple title rings in his sport.

    And just like Manning, Gasol has one of the most epic struggle faces in all of sports, showing it after everything from a foul to a loss to him being put on the bench in the last few minutes of a game.

    Gasol might look like Marv from Home Alone usually, but his struggle face looks more like the kid whose parents left him home alone.

Eli Manning

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    While the Miami Heat's LeBron James might have the nickname "The King," the Giants' Eli Manning should share the moniker when it comes to struggle faces, because he's in another stratosphere.

    I know that someone can't really outdo himself when it comes to something, but Eli might just be the only person who actually can each time he shows his displeasure.

    No joke, I could have just put together a piece on Eli's struggle face alone, as there are numerous instances of it to be found.