Top 10 Most Shocking Mistakes in Sports



Top 10 Most Shocking Mistakes in Sports

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Well, that was embarrassing. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Shocking Mistakes in Sports.

Special thanks to our user boxtroll for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Most+Shocking+Mistakes+in+Sports.
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Most Shocking Mistakes in Sports

Well, that was embarrassing. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Shocking Mistakes in Sports.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the biggest foul-ups in sports history. These mistakes can come from anyone, including the players, the officials, or the fans, and must have been a huge detriment to the overall game. We’ll be ranking our list based on the infamy of the mistake itself, the overall cost of the mistake, and the resulting repercussions.

#10: DeSean Jackson Lets Go of the Football

Sometimes all it takes is one ego to ruin an absolutely brilliant play. In this game against the Dallas Cowboys, Eagles’ quarterback Donovon McNabb threw a stellar pass to DeSean Jackson, who made an incredible over-the-shoulder catch. An easy touchdown seemed certain, until Jackson celebrated too early and let go of the ball before breaking the plane of the end zone. Not only was dropping the ball foolish, but it ruined what would have otherwise been a sensational throw from his quarterback. Hopefully after this premature celebration, Jackson learned a lesson or two about hubris.

#9: Jean van de Velde’s Triple Bogey

It’s easy to collapse when you’ve got so much riding on your shoulders. Jean van de Velde was posed to be the upset victor of the 1999 Open Championship, and if he’d won, he would have been the first French player to win a major championship in nearly one hundred years. He had a three-shot lead going into the final hole, but it seems the pressure got to him, as he ended up making a series of rookie mistakes: hitting the ball into the grandstands, a stone wall, knee-high rough, a water hazard, and finally, the sand bunker. He ended up scoring a triple bogey and cost himself the historic victory.

#8: Jim Marshall Runs the Wrong Way

We all have brain farts sometimes. Luckily for us, these embarrassing mistakes aren’t broadcast to millions of people. Jim Marshall played with the Vikings for nearly twenty years and had a Hall of Fame-worthy career, but he will forever be known for one thing – the infamous wrong-way run. During a game against the 49ers, Marshall picked up a fumble and proceeded to run 66 yards in the wrong direction, resulting in a safety for the 49ers. While the Vikings would proceed to win the game, Marshall’s place in history was officially set, and many people now consider his infamous run to be one of the worst plays in NFL history.

#7: Leon Lett’s Premature Celebration

Leon Lett has certainly had an…interesting career. He has made a few mistakes, like the time he famously fumbled a blocked field goal during the 1993 Thanksgiving Classic. But possibly his most famous mistake came in Super Bowl XXVII, which saw Lett’s Cowboys against the Buffalo Bills. After the Bills’ quarterback fumbled the ball, Lett picked it up and ran it all the way to the end zone. However, like DeSean Jackson, he celebrated too early by slowing down and lowering his hand, resulting in the ball being smacked away before Lett could breach the end zone. This is the Super Bowl! You simply can’t make those kinds of mistakes.

#6: Loris Karius’ Terrible Goalkeeping

Bad goalkeeping is obviously embarrassing, like the time Peter Enckelman accidentally allowed Olof Mellberg’s throw-in. Enter Loris Karius. Karius found himself on the receiving end of some truly hateful comments and death threats after the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid. The first mistake occurred when he tossed the ball directly into Karim Benzema’s foot, allowing for an avoidable goal. Later, he mishandled a shot from Gareth Bale, leading to Madrid’s 3-1 victory and leaving his fans in utter shock. Sports psychiatrist Steve Peters declared that it would take Karius three months to mentally recover, while former goalkeeper Ray Clemence said that Karius would never truly get over his costly mistakes.

#5: Jim Joyce Ruins Armando Galarraga’s Perfect Game

A perfect game is a very rare thing in baseball. To achieve one, a pitcher cannot allow a single runner on base through all nine innings, and only 20 pitchers had accomplished the feat prior to Galarraga’s game. On the very last out of the game, the Tigers successfully threw out the Indians’ baserunner, but umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly called him safe and ruined Galarraga’s perfect game. Both Galarraga and Joyce were praised for their responses, as Galarraga showed no animosity towards Joyce and Joyce later admitted to his incorrect call. That’s what we call sportsmanship!

#4: Steve Smith’s Own Goal

Own-net goals in the playoffs are probably the most embarrassing thing in hockey. Just ask Martin Brodeur. Luckily for Brodeur, his team went on to win the Stanley Cup. Steve Smith wasn’t so lucky. During Game 7 of the 1986 Smythe Division Final, Smith tried to clear the puck with fourteen minutes remaining in the game. Unfortunately, the puck hit the goalie’s stick and ricocheted into his own net, costing the Oilers the game and the series. And the worst part? It was Smith’s 23rd birthday. While fans were upset, the Oilers won the Stanley Cup the next year and Wayne Gretzky let Steve Smith have the first skate with the trophy.

#3: Steve Bartman Intercepts a Foul Ball

Steve Bartman is still a sore subject for many a Cubs fan. The Bartman Incident occurred during Game 6 of the National League Championship. The Cubs were five outs away from winning their first pennant since 1945 when Bartman accidentally intercepted a foul ball that may have been caught by Moisés Alou. The Cubs collapsed after this event and ended up losing the series. Bartman was subsequently pelted with food and escorted out by security, and six police cars were posted at Bartman’s house to prevent further acts of violence. The remains of the ball are now in the Chicago Sports Museum and the Bartman Seat has become a tourist attraction at Wrigley Field.

#2: Andrés Escobar’s Own Goal

Most of these mistakes are minor when compared to Andrés Escobar’s. Everyone else on this list was able to walk away from their mistake. Escobar wasn’t as fortunate. During the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Escobar accidentally deflected the ball into his own net, contributing to Colombia’s eventual loss and elimination from the tournament. After returning to Colombia, Escobar was murdered by the bodyguard of a drug cartel in retaliation for his mistake. The murderer served eleven years in prison. While the murder tarnished Colombia’s reputation, Escobar himself was and continues to be hailed as a national hero.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.

The 5th Down Win

Chris Webber’s Time Out

Roberto Baggio’s Missed Penalty

#1: Bill Buckner’s Missed Ground Ball

Just the name Bill Buckner is enough to send a Red Sox fan into fits, and his infamous passed ground ball is easily one of baseball’s most legendary plays. In the 1986 World Series, the Red Sox were leading the Mets three games to two, and Game 6 was tied in extra innings. Mookie Wilson hit a slow ground ball to Buckner who let it pass through his legs, allowing the Mets to score and win both the game and eventually the series. While Buckner received death threats after the game, he also received a two-minute long standing ovation at the Red Sox’s 2008 home opener, signifying that the past was in the past.
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