Wizard Of Odds
Like the scarecrow, they were outstanding in the field but, like the cowardly lion, they never had the bottle to win the bigun.
Jimmy White – We loved him and he was great but in six World Snooker Finals he always came runner up. It was literally a crucible of pressure and it showed in 1992 when he was 14-8 up and lost 18-14 and again in 1994 when at 17 all he missed a routine black. Why oh why.
Colin Montgomery – European order of merit winner from 1993 to 1999 but can’t quite beat Jimmy’s record of six runners up medals as he “only” finished runner up in a major on five occasions. We didn’t love him as much but it would have been good to see him win a major. Is that still a possibility?
Dan Marino – Known for his powerful arm and quick release, Dan Marino is one of the most prolific passers the NFL has ever seen. In his 17 year career with the Miami Dolphins, they reached the playoffs on no fewer than 10 occasions. He became a starter for the Dolphins mid-way through his rookie season, and by the end of his second season he was named NFL MVP, and had set 6 single-season NFL records including 48 touchdown passes, destroying the previous record of 36. At the end of that season he made his first, and only, Superb Owl appearance, losing to the great Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers. Although he would never make it to another Superb Owl, he continued to smash record after record. At the time of his retirement, in 1999, he held almost every major NFL passing record, many of which still stand today, but no Superb Owl ring for this great.
Paula Radcliffe – Has the world record for a ladies’ marathon and four of the five fastest times in history so surely winning an Olympic gold should be as easy as sh*tting in the street. Harsh to include her in this list as she only gets one chance every four years unlike the previously named who get one crack a year or four in Monty’s case. London 2012 gives her another chance to get off this list so fingers (and legs) crossed.
Can’t help but mention Toto Schillaci in a Wizard of Odds list as he is the opposite of these, grabbing his one chance of glory in Italia 90 and scoring 6 of his total 7 international goals to win the World Cup Golden Boot. Anyway there’s no place like home so I’m offski.