10.a. Michael Jackson - becomes a child star, a teen star, and eventually the King of Pop. The fame fucks up his life/head beyond repair. He's now a pathetic, tragic mess.
10.b. Britney Spears - becomes a child star, a teen star, and eventually the Princess of Pop. The fame fucks up her life/head beyond repair. She's now a pathetic, tragic mess.
9. Apollo Creed defeats Rocky - Creed beats the scrappy Italian Stallion in a bout that is supposed to make him out to be the good guy giving the little guy a shot at the title on the country's bicentennial. The world turns against him, baiting him into giving Rocky a rematch. Rocky beats him and takes his heavyweight champ title.
8. Barry Bonds - Talk about topical. This very day, baseball's most prolific slugger was arraigned in a federal court on perjury and obstruction of justice charges - charges that stem from his continued cover-up of the fact that he used steroids - steroids which he used in the late 90s early 00s to help him compete with the other juiced up sluggers. Once on the juice, he went on an unprecedented home run tear and now holds the Major League records for most homers in a year and in a career. He's # 1, but it may very well end up landing him in jail and out of the Hall of Fame, and possibly the record books that he was initially trying to get in. Pyrrhus wants to buy you a drink, Barry. He's down there at the end of the bar.
7. Detective David Mills - Brad Pitt's character in Se7en catches the bad guy, solves the mystery, only to be baited into gaining his vengeance, thus falling into the bad guy's trap, and consigning himself to life in prison.
6. Kurt Cobain - wins fame, glory, mainstream success, and riches - all of which contribute to his drug addiction, his feeling like a sell-out, internal angst, etc, all of which surely factored prominently in his suicide.
Apparently, he missed the comfort of being sad.
5. Len Bias - the dreaded double pyrrhic victory. For the non-sports fan VTK readers, here's the story: In 1986, the World Champion Boston Celtics (considered to be one of the 3 or 4 best basketball teams of all time), lucked out and came in second in the draft lottery, then duped the team that won the lottery into picking another player. The Celtics then selected the best player in the draft, Len Bias, who was a great player in college and would have fit in perfectly with the Celtics, allowing them to rest their two big forward all-stars, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale. This would have prolonged their careers and the Celtics' dominance well into the 90's. Would. For his part, Len Bias was on top of the world - he had just been selected by the Boston Celtics, the best team in the world, rather than the usual scenario in which a star has to enter the NBA with a crap team and carry the load. But unfortunately for Len and the Celtics, Len decided to celebrate his good fortune and OD'ed on cocaine that night. The real tragedy of course is the death of Len and all his potential in the prime of his life. The secondary pyrrhic victory was for the Celtics, who lost their new star and whose front line would have to put in many more minutes than their aging frames could bear. They haven't won the title since.
4. Anne Boleyn - The second wife of King Henry VIII. Anne won the heart of the married king of England, so much so that being unable to get the Vatican to annul his marriage to his first wife, Catherine, Henry left the Catholic Church and formed his own religion, the Anglican Church, so that he could marry Anne. That's quite a coup; she married the King of England and launched the English Reformation. Too bad she wasn't able to give him a son (nevermind that that would have been his fault, genetically speaking) - an unfortunate reality that led to her beheading.
3. The Scorpion and the Frog - The scorpion wins a ride across the river on the back of the Frog. The scorpion convinces the frog to give him a ride across the river on his back, reasoning that he wouldn't sting him because then they would both drown. The frog agrees and starts swimming across the river with the scorpion on its back. Halfway across, the scorpion stings the frog and both start drowning. "Why did you do that?" asked the frog. "Because I'm a scorpion" said the scorpion. Both drown.
2. Boom Boom Mancini beats Duk Koo Kim - 21 year old American lightweight boxing champion of the world, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini knocked out 23 year old South Korean Duk Koo Kim in the 14th round of their title bout, which was broadcast live on CBS on November 13th, 1982 (watched by a 9 yr old vtkid). Duk Koo Kim got up initially but the fight was stopped and he was incapacitated after the fight, hospitalized, and eventually died 5 days later from brain injuries sustained in the fight. Mancini went to Kim's funeral in South Korea. He soon slipped deep into a depression. Kim's mother and the referee of the match both committed suicide. Mancini fought a handful of times after that, but never recovered from the repercussions of this fight.
1. The Battles of Heraclea in 280 BC and Asculum in 279 BC - King Pyrrhus of Epirus defeats the Roman Army, but incurs massive casualties from which his army cannot recover. The Roman Army has no problem replenishing their supply of soldiers and eventually wins the war.
[special thanks to N-Lo for his consultations and suggestions on this list]