9 sports mistakes worse than the Oscars Best Picture blunder – For The Win
The Oscars may have been marred by a historic screw-up at the end of the ceremony, but in terms of historic human errors, remembering these terrible fails in sports may help ease the embarrassment:
1. Seahawks-Packers, 2012
It was the call that ended the NFL officials lockout.
In 2012, replacement officials — as it was later widely acknowledged — botched a touchdown call, a moment that was so bad that the NFL and officials’ union quickly reached an agreement in the days that followed.
Russell Wilson scrambled from the pocket and threw to the corner of the end zone as the clock expired. Tate shoved Green Bay’s Sam Shields out of the way, then wrestled with M.D. Jennings for possession. It was ruled on the field as a touchdown and after a lengthy review, referee Wayne Elliott came out from under the hood and announced “the ruling on the field stands” and CenturyLink Field erupted in celebration.
It was nearly 10 minutes before the teams were brought back for the extra point.
2. The “Heidi Game”
Here’s another live television moment some producers would want back: In 1968, NBC’s broadcast pulled away from a Jets-Raiders game with just over a minute left to air the movie Heidi. Viewers ended up missing a thrilling ending in which Oakland scored two touchdowns to come back in the final minute.
3. Phil Mickelson’s 2006 U.S. Open
Mickelson’s been known to take some risks, but what he did in 2006 might be as bad as the wrong Best Picture card being read. On 18 at Winged Foot, the golfer stepped up to the tee with the lead and hit an errant opening shot. Instead of safely chipping on to the fairway and moving on, he tried a couple of super-risky shots that didn’t work and eventually ended up with a double-bogey … which left him one shot behind winner Geoff Ogilvy.
4. Miracle at the Meadowlands
In 1978, the New York Giants had a lead on the Philadelphia Eagles, who had no timeouts left. All the Giants had to do was take a knee, but for some inexplicable reason, QB Joe Pisarcik attempted – and failed — to hand the ball to Larry Csonka. Herm Edwards picked up the fumble and scored. Easily one of the dumbest plays in NFL history.
5. The Super Bowl 49 interception
This might be a “what if” moment: What if Pete Carroll and his offensive coaches had chosen to run the ball with Marshawn Lynch at the end of Super Bowl 49 instead of calling pass, which led to a Malcolm Butler interception and a miraculous win for the New England Patriots? We don’t know. All we do know is that play-call was slammed by just about everyone, sending Carroll and Co. into the “worst sports mistakes” record books.
6. Cubs-Giants, 1908
Perhaps the most infamous mental blunder in Major League history came in a late September game in 1908 between the Chicago Cubs and New York Giants with both clubs chasing the NL pennant. On what appeared to be a game-winning single for the Giants in the bottom of the ninth inning, baserunner Fred Merkle, a 19-year-old backup first baseman, failed to touch second base before the Giants and their fans stormed the field in celebration. Cubs infielder Johnny Evers wisely corralled the ball and stepped on second, umpires ruled Merkle out, and the game ended in a tie due to darkness. The outcome forced a tiebreaker at the end of the regular season, which the Cubs won en route to a world championship.
7. Cone argues while runs score
In a largely forgotten but nonetheless embarrassing mental gaffe early in the 1990 season, Mets pitcher David Cone objected to a call at first base and got into a heated argument with the umpire, entirely ignoring the two Braves runners on base. Cone, now known as one of the game’s most cerebral broadcasters, turned his back to home plate as both runners scored, and the Braves went on to win the game, 7-4.
8. Buck plays it by the book
Orioles manager Buck Showalter entered the 2016 AL Wild Card game with about the best reputation of any big-league manager for his ability to negotiate a bullpen, and exited it a goat for failing to turn to his best pitcher with his club’s championship hopes on the line. Though reportedly healthy and ready to pitch, lefty Zach Britton — who yielded a surreal 0.54 ERA during the regular season — watched from the bullpen as Showalter turned to the far less effective Ubaldo Jimenez to face the heart of the Blue Jays’ lineup with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning. Jimenez promptly allowed singles to Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson before Edwin Encarnacion’s monster homer gave Toronto a walk-off win and sent Baltimore home for the winter.
9. Chris Webber calls a timeout
First, he traveled. But then, with his team down by 2 and 11 seconds remaining in the NCAA tournament final game, Webber called a timeout. The only problem? His team had none left, which meant that instead of a chance to reset, they were given a technical foul. North Carolina went on to win the game — and the title.