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Winning!

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

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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]
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