The Crying Game

July 25, 2006|By JOE BURRIS | JOE BURRIS,SUN REPORTER

When the steely nerved Tiger Woods broke down after he won the British Open, his first victory since his father died of cancer in May, his tears generated nearly as much attention as his latest major golf championship. Sunday was, indeed, a red-letter day for emotion: Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza of Puerto Rico wept and fainted after being crowned the new Miss Universe. For celebrities frequently in the public eye, such raw emotion is so rare, the displays often leave a more lasting impression than what prompted the tears. Here are a few famous crying moments in modern times:

Walter Cronkite, 1963: When the usually staid anchorman announced the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, he paused briefly and appeared to tear up.

Edmund Muskie, 1972: Before the 72 presidential election, Muskie was viewed as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. After a New Hampshire newspaper attacked the character of Muskies wife, his emotional response fed perceptions of him as weak and helped derail his campaign.

Pete Rose, 1985: Whoever said theres no crying in baseball forgot to tell the famously aggressive Charlie Hustle. After Rose broke the career record for hits held by Ty Cobb, he clutched his son, Pete Jr., during an emotional on-field celebration.

Michael Jordan, 1991: In his seventh season, the basketball star captured his first NBA title, silencing critics who wondered whether he would become the greatest player never to win a championship. Better noted for his wagging tongue and icy calm under pressure, Jordan wept while his father, James, wrapped an arm around him. I never thought Id be this emotional, Jordan said.

Halle Berry, 2002: The first black woman to win the Academy Award as best actress declared in her acceptance speech, emotional even by Oscars lofty standards, This moment is so much bigger than me.

Frank Robinson, 2006: Although he had a serious, and at times impatient, reputation during a Hall of Fame baseball career, the former Orioles great and current Washington Nationals manager was brought to tears after a game in May when he had to remove backup catcher Matt LeCroy after the opposing team had stolen seven bases off him. After the game, Robinson said he was sorry he had to embarrass his player and cried.

Johnny Sack, 2006: Sometimes even fictional tears can cause a stir. Tony Soprano-nemesis John Sacramoni, played by Vince Curatola, broke down in tears after marshals led him from his daughters wedding in handcuffs. His crew on the show and Soprano fans on the Internet saw his tearing up as weakness.

joseph.burris@baltsun.com

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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