Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)


Charlie Sheen thinks he has it all sorted out. Melting down before our very eyes? Winning! Fired from his popular television show? Winning! Taking the drug named "Charlie Sheen?" Winning! He's not bipolar. He's bi-winning! But, man, he has nothing on the winners in sports. You want real winning? We have real winning for you. Check out our picks for the best winners in sports.

Greatest winners of all time

Related News/Archive

When we think of "winners," here are the first 10 names that come to mind.

1. Yogi Berra

Pick pretty much any Yankees player ever, and you're talking about a winner. Well, 'cept for Ed Whitson. Berra played 19 seasons in the big leagues and was on 10 world champions, more than any player in major-league history. Joe DiMaggio played on nine championship teams, and three other Yankees — Phil Rizzuto, Bill Dickey and Frankie Crosetti — played on eight. But no one has more World Series rings as a player than Berra.

2. John Wooden

Think about some of the great college basketball coaches of all time. For instance, let's take Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight and Dean Smith. Three pretty good coaches, right? Well, if you add up all of their national titles, you still would be one shy of the 10 won by Wooden at UCLA. Quite simply, the best basketball coach of all time — on and off the court.

3. Jean Beliveau

The Stanley Cup is the coolest trophy in sports because the names of the team members are engraved on the actual trophy. No one has his name engraved on the Cup more than Beliveau, the former Montreal Canadiens great. His name is on the Cup an incredible 17 times, 10 times as a player and seven more as an executive. We also should acknowledge another Habs legend — Jacques Lemaire. He won eight Cups as a player with the Canadiens, two more as a Montreal executive and another as coach of the New Jersey Devils.

4. Jack Nicklaus

Think of all Tiger Woods has done as a golf pro. Then realize he is not even close to matching the accomplishments of the Golden Bear. Nicklaus not only won 73 PGA Tour events (second to Sam Snead's 82), but a record 18 majors. And this is incredible: Nicklaus was runnerup in a major 19 times. Imagine, Nicklaus was just a few shots away from winning well more than 20 majors.

5. Trinity men's squash

We don't know how squash works exactly, and we didn't know Trinity College is in Connecticut until we looked it up. But apparently, Trinity is a squash factory. The men's team has won 244 matches in a row — the longest winning streak in any sport in the country. Along the way, it has won 13 national titles. We would say those dudes are "winners."

6. Margaret Court

This Aussie tennis star won more major titles than any player ever, man or woman. Court won more singles Grand Slam titles than anyone — 24, including 11 Australian Opens. Then tack on 19 doubles majors and 19 mixed doubles majors. Add it all up, and that's 62 Grand Slam titles. Right behind: Martina Navratilova with 59 major titles (18 singles, 31 doubles, 10 mixed doubles).

7. Michael Jordan

Other players have won more NBA titles than Jordan, who won six with the Chicago Bulls. And other players won more NCAA titles than the one Jordan won at North Carolina. But when you think about a player who simply willed his team to championships, we think of Jordan. And if it's the last shot of the game with a title on the line, we're putting the ball in Jordan's hands.

8. Brandon High wrestling

What exactly do they feed those kids out in Brandon? When they're babies, do they sleep in a crib or on top of a wrestling mat? The Eagles went 34 years without losing a dual meet. Known simply as "The Streak," Brandon won 459 straight before losing to Miami South Dade on Jan. 5, 2008.

9. A.J. Foyt

Charlie Sheen says he has one speed: Go. If that's true, Foyt has one speed: Win. Simply put, the greatest auto racer of all time. It doesn't matter what kind of car he's in. If there's a steering wheel, he'll get to the finish line before you. He's the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 (four times), Daytona 500, 24 Hours of Daytona and 24 Hours of Le Mans.

10. Anson Dorrance

You could make an argument that Dorrance is the greatest coach in American sports history. The proof is in the championships. Under Dorrance, the University of North Carolina women's soccer team has won 20 NCAA titles. He has won more than 93 percent of his games. His team once won 101 games in a row. There's one word for all of this: winner.

While our boy Sheen can party like a rock star because that's how he rolls, we thought of this: Who, in sports, would we pick as being true winners in life? Maybe you think of people such as Muhammad Ali, Herb Brooks and Jackie Robinson. All are admirable picks. But we're going to go with two women: Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace. You don't remember their names, but you remember their story. Holtman and Wallace were the University of Central Washington softball players who carried an opponent, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon, around the bases after she homered and injured her knee during a game in 2008. Unable to even stand, Tucholsky was lifted around the bases by the women. It was the best sign of sportsmanship we've ever witnessed and made Holtman and Wallace Hall of Famers in the game of life.

Best quotes ever about winning

The greatest quote ever about winning is from, of course, legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi:

"Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing."

Then again, Lombardi never actually said that. What he did say was:

"Winning isn't everything, but the will to win is everything."

Lombardi also has the next two best quotes about winning:

• "If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?"

• "Winning is not a sometime thing. It's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while. You don't do things right once in a while. You do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."

Other winning quotes about winning

• "There is no I in team, but there is in win." — former NBA star Michael Jordan

• "Why did I want to win? Because I didn't want to lose!" — former boxer Max Schmeling

• "When you're a winner, you're always happy. But if you're happy as a loser, you'll always be a loser." — former Tigers pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych

Winning! 03/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2011 6:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon


    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  2. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  3. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017


    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  4. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  5. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    DESTIN -- After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.