13 of the Worst Blunders in Sports History

We all make mistakes. But these take the cake.

#3 Tony Romo’s Drop

With 1:19 left in a game against the Seahawks, Romo stepped onto the field as a holder for a go-ahead field goal attempt. However, the ball slipped through his fingers and he was stopped at the 2-yard line. He has had a reputation as a choke artist ever since.

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#4 Leon Lett’s Celebration

During Super Bowl XXVII, Lett recovered a fumble and sprinted to the end zone. But at the 10 yard line he slowed down, unaware of the sprinting Don Beebe behind him. Beebe knocked the ball from Lett's hands and out of the end zone for a touchback.

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#5 Tom Osborne

During the 1984 Orange Bowl, the Nebraska Cornhuskers needed only a tie to win the National Championship against the Miami Hurricanes. Nebraska scored to make the game 30-31. Instead of settling for the tie and winning the Championship, Tom Osborne wanted a two point conversion. The pass was incomplete, and the Miami Hurricanes won the National Championship.

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#6 Jean Van de Velde

Jean van de Velde held a three shot lead as he approached the 18th hole at Carnoustie during the 1999 Open Championship. He only needed a double bogey to lift the Claret Jug. He hit his tee shot, but it landed in the rough. He hit an aggressive second shot, which ricocheted into knee high rough. His third shot landed in the water hazard, forcing van de Velde to take a drop and a penalty stroke. The next shot landed in the bunker. He then chipped onto the green before making his next putt for a triple bogey.

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#7 Lindsey Jacobellis’ Fall

Lindsey Jacobellis had a three second lead in the Gold Medal Final in Snowboard cross during the 2006 Turin Olympics. Approaching the penultimate jump, Jacobellis decided to add in a method, a grab, and one of the most basic snowboarding tricks. Upon landing, Jacobellis caught her heelside edge and fell down, which allowed Tanja Frieden to make up the gap and capture the gold medal. Jacobellis was forced to settle for silver.

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#8 Chris Webber’s Timeout

With 11 seconds remaining in the second Championship game, Webber brought the ball up the court into the waiting North Carolina defense. Michigan was down 2, with no time outs remaining, but Webber attempted to call one, resulting in a technical foul and a turnover. The timeout has haunted him ever since.

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#9 Steve Bartman’s Catch

The Cubs were only 5 outs away from their first appearance in the World Series since 1945. Several Cubs fans leaned over to catch a foul ball, but the hand of Steve Bartman deflected the ball, preventing Cubs outfielder Moises Alou from retiring Luis Castillo. The Marlins would go on to score seven runs in the inning, and the Cubs would lose the following game, blowing their chance to appear in the World Series.

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#10 “Bonehead” Merkle

Fred Merkle singled down the right field line and put the go ahead run on third base. Al Bridwell then drilled a single into center field, allowing Moose McCormick to score from third. However, when Fred Merkle saw the crowd rushing the field, he retreated to the dugout without ever touching second base. This was notice by Cubs 2nd baseman Johnny Evers, who retrieved the ball, or possibly a fake, and stepped on second for the force out. National League President Harry Pulliam upheld the ruling and ruled the game a tie. The Giants lost the ensuing playoff game and the Cubs would go on to win the 1908 World Series.

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#11 Selling Babe Ruth for $100,000

Red Sox owner Harry Frazee was a theatrical producer that routinely needed money to finance his productions. On one occasion, he sold the greatest player in baseball history for $100,000 in order to finance productions of either My Lady Friends or No, No, Nanette. The Yankees went on to win more World Series titles than any other team in baseball history.

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#12 Andres Escobar’s Goal

During the 1994 World Cup, Escobar played for Colombia and in their second group stage match, conceded an own goal against the United States. John Harkes sent in a cross that Escobar stretched to clear, but instead sent directly past Oscar Cordobo and into his own goal.

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#13 Bill Buckner

During Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Buckner went 0-5 in the game, but his biggest mistake came in the bottom of the 9th inning, when Mookie Wilson hit a slow ground ball toward first base. Buckner attempted to rush the play, but the ball rolled between his legs and into right field. Ray Knight scored from second base giving the Mets the win to even the series at 3-3. The Red Sox would lose Game 7 and Buckner’s place in baseball lore was sealed.

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