Crio’s Question: When sportsmen are “spent”

Du Plessis cramping and Siddle doubled over may well be the enduring images from the Adelaide Test.
Supporters love to know that “their” players have given it all. Totally spent.
It seemed to be the defining factor in the “dying moments” of contests before the interchange rule altered footy codes, tie breaks edited tennis and back when 15 Rounds equalled a Championship bout.
There’s something inspiring at seeing a person search for their full potential – “leaving it all on the field”.
Who has some mental imprints to share?


  1. Peter Schumacher says

    How about the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games when one Gabriela Andersen-Schiess competing in the first women’s marathon bloody near died as she approached the finishing line. She had absolutely nothing left as she staggered all over the track just trying to make it. She ran a 2 48 which wasn’t too shabby.

  2. Jeff Dowsing says

    Kirk Gibson (Dodgers) hitting a home run to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series against the Oakland Athletics. LA was down 3-4, 2 out in the 9th inning (but with a runner on 2nd). Pinch hitter Gibson was on 2 strikes and suffering from a stomach virus, pulled hamstring and injured knee. He was also up against Oakland’s future Hall of Fame closer Dennis Eckersley. Gibson predicted the pitch and the rest is history, the Dodgers going on to take the World Series 4-1. Gibson hobbled painfully around the bases in a Hollywood finish made for LA.

  3. Thanks for the Kirk Gibson World Series reminder Jeff. Not being at that game is the greatest regret of my sporting fandom. I lived in LA that year to escape the Bicentenary hoopla. Went to half a dozen Dodgers games, and fell in love with the visuals, drama and folklore of Major League baseball. We had friends over from Australia that week, and I was too mean to pay the asking price for World Series tickets.
    Watched Game 1 live at a friend’s BBQ. A little back story. The Dodgers were big underdogs and were judged lucky to have won the National League. But they were a Sydney Swans type team – cannily managed by Tommy LaSorda – who just knew how to win. Gibson was the best slugger in a workmanlike batting line up. But he does a Kallis and badly tears a hamstring in the NL Championship win (over San Francisco??).
    LaSorda still names him for game one just so he can pinch hit if its tight. LA were the first club to keep computerised records other teams and their players. Eckersley was a wicked fast side arm closing pitcher. Gibson knew he couldnt run to first, but there was one Eckersley pitch he could connect with. Low and outside. He could not get enough leverage to put a decent hit on anything else. So he goes 2 strikes down and then goes another 10 pitches, beating off fouls, waiting for THAT pitch. In desperation Eckersley gives it to him hoping for a whiff, and GIbson hits it out of the park.
    Real Robert Redford ‘The Natural’ stuff. Gibson was even a lefty too, like in the movie. It was the first time a World Series game had been won with a last pitch homer.
    Oakland were destroyed mentally. Some of the late games were dramatic too. The Dodgers had a mild mannered pitcher called Orel Herschiser who was extraordinary. He had one of the first laptops and kept records of the hitting habits and records against him of every batter in MLB. He pitched consecutive games off no relief, and worked as both a starter and a closer. I can remember some of the Oakland games played in pouring rain, with the pitchers using resin bags and pine tar to keep a grip. The pitcher bats in NL games but not AL. Most pitchers couldnt bat to save themselves – like fast bowlers – but Herschiser got base hits almost every time he batted.
    LA just did the little things right when it mattered, and beat a team full of All Stars like Canseco, McGwire and Ricky Henderson.
    Thanks for the memories. I shoulda been there.

  4. Thanks for the baseball lessons…fascinating.

    An example of giving all in vain might be the great Australian ‘Chaser, Crisp, run down after an heroic push for victory under a crushing impost. Lightweight, later legend, Red Rum overhauled him in the last throes of an Aintree GN epic.

  5. I’m not a Pistons fan, and I detest what this bloke did to the Knicks (I am a fan, 9-4 to start the season!), but Game 6 1988 NBA Finals at the Great Western Forum (famous old home court for the Lakers). Isiah Thomas (Pistons Point Guard) sprains his ankle in the 3rd quarter, and on one leg still scores 25 points in the same period (think he ended up with 36 points for the game or something). Detroit would still lose the game and eventually the title.

  6. As for a team example, look no further to State of Origin Game 2 1989. Queensland were 1 up travelling to Sydney looking for 3 series in a row. In those days it was just a pure replacement rule. After an early try they lose halfback Allan Langer (Broken Leg), centre Mal Meninga (Fractured cheekbone), back rower Paul Vautin (dislocated elbow) and winger Michael Hancock (shoulder). They cling on to a narrow lead late in the game when lock forward Bob Lindner succumbed to a broken tibia he’d been running on for about 20 minutes. With all 4 replacements used, Queensland had to finish the game with 12 players yet held on to win 16-12. Skipper Wally Lewis always maintained that was their greatest ever win, telling the remaining players to lap up the standing ovation the Sydney crowd were giving them as he believed that would never happen again (it hasn’t).

  7. Jeff Dowsing says

    Scotty Russell playing out the last quarter v Essendon at VFL Park in 1992 with diahrorrea. Unfortunately Collingwood was the ‘away’ team, poor Scotty ran around in front of 55,000 people in Hawthorn shorts. The Pies were down to 15 fit players so he had to stay on. The team itself bravely hung on to win.

    I think the Roos played out a last qtr back in the ’70’s v the Bombers with 17 men and hung on as well.

  8. Dean Jones at Madras (Chennai) 1986. Literally left it all on the field.

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