The 50 Most Awkward Moments in Sports

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIApril 10, 2012

The 50 Most Awkward Moments in Sports

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    Hours of live coverage. Dozens of volatile personalities. Language gaps. Culture gaps. Romances. Bromances. Rivals. Rebels. Divas.

    Is it any wonder that the wide world of sports produces awkward moments?

    Click on to hear crickets chirp, to see cheeks go crimson, to watch feet get inserted in mouths, and in extreme cases, to witness careers collapse.  

50. Clijsters Preggers?

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    Lessons for Tom: If you're going to talk smack about someone (a) don't put it in writing (b) don't send it to a colleague of the smacked upon (c) don't do it shortly before you interview the smacked upon live on television.

    Note: Don't stop this video early. Clijsters' secondary attack tops her first.

49. Stray Cup

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    You know that expression "there's a elephant in the room"?

    Well there is one enormous pachyderm sitting right in the middle of the ring here.

48. Sean Avery Shows His Class

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    Check out the stunning awkwardness at video time code reading 1:10.

    Oh no you didn't, Sean. You didn't just belittle the women and colleagues in your life. You didn't just talk about your seminal fluid on live television. 

    Alas, oh yes you did, you smug, classless moron.

47. Don Imus' Nappy-Headed Hos

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    Listen for Sid Rosenberg's reaction to the I-Man's ridiculously racist/sexist comment. Uncomfortable laughter followed by an "oh man."  As in "oh man, you did it that time, jackass."

    And he did, too.

    Imus got axed for the comment.

46. A Three-Way

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    You'd think John Key--prime minister of New Zealand--would have the whole handshake thing down being a politician and all.

    Richie McCaw too. Don't Rugby Union players shake hands after each match?

    Now Bernard Lapasset, Chairman of the International Rugby board, he's French, so I put him as the culprit. Too much cheek kissing, not enough hand shaking. Practice up, Monsieur Lapasset.

45. Bruce Pearl Cops a Feel

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    Know how before the 1970s, it was ok to slap a passing female coworker on the ass? And then it became a crime. It's called groping. Sexual harassment. Even sexual assault. You know this, right?

    Well, Bruce Pearl doesn't. 

44. Players "Standing Tall"

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    This epic gaffe is brought to you courtesy of sports anchor Eric Haubert.

43. Novak "Pee-Bows"

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    Yeah, Nick, great time to undrink that Gatorade. 'Cuz the cameras never come the way of a kicker when it looks like a field goal attempt is imminent.

    You can almost see the announcers squirming in their booth. They should have a couple of good pee pee jokes in their repertoire in case this comes up again.

42. Peter Niemeyer Pats Ref's Boob

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    "She was standing a bit further away than I thought--I meant to give her a pat on the back," defender Peter Niemeyer told reporters after this groping incident.

    Yeah, right and Kramer stopped short because a puppy was crossing the road.

41. Shaq Flexes His Vocabulary

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    Shaq was suspended and fined about $275K for this little rant. But something tells me, he didn't give a flying [bleeeeeeeeep].

40. Forgot the Lyrics

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    Stick with this video until the end. There is a real corker.

    Could ever the term a "comedy of errors" be more apt?

39. Lost in Translation?

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    Some friendly banter until video time code reading 2:15.

    Aussies, please note definition number five for boy from this dictionary of American English.

    boy [bɔɪ]n

     1. a male child; lad; youth

    2. a man regarded as immature or inexperienced he's just a boy when it comes to dealing with women

    3. See old boy

    4. Informal a group of men, esp a group of friends

    5. Usually derogatory (esp in former colonial territories) a Black or native male servant of any age

38. Nicole Richie LOOOOVES Kobe

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    Just doing her part to rectify the tattered image of socialite bimbos.

37. Tyson Eats Children

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    Reporters and fans had come to expect such babble from Iron Mike. And Tyson himself seems charged, not embarrassed. To be honest, I'm not sure anyone truly felt awkward here. Except maybe Allah since his name was invoked in such a gruesome context.

36. The Other MJ

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    Could have been much worse. Like in this video.

35. Brady Quinn Doesn't Swim with the Dolphins

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    Little background for those who didn't follow the story; Brady Quinn was super star quarterback for Notre Dame. Most were sure Quinn would get snatched up very early in the 2007 NFL draft. But the first three teams needing a QB, all made other picks.

    The video shows Miami making their first round pick. The Dolphins were pretty much the last team in need of a new QB, so it was nearly a given they would go with Quinn.

    According to a Notre Dame football fan website, "After the Dolphins passed on Quinn, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell invited Quinn and his camp into his private suite so they wouldn’t have to deal with the media circus while they waited."

34. A Senior Moment

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    Theory: Lamar Odom's brain was briefly hijacked by Khloe Kardashian.

33. Gary Neville Hears Crickets

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    Gary Neville, England's most capped right-back, a legend of Manchester U., transitioned into reporting after retiring from soccer at the end of the of the 2010-2011 season.

    Smooth transition? 

    Note his heavy breathing and shifting at video time code reading 0:29. His twitch at 0:54. His stutter at 1:08. His meek laughter (at his own joke) at 1:10. The pregnant pause that follows.

32. Sportscaster Wins Lottery

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    Awkwardness is associated with discomfort. But that doesn't mean it can't have a happy ending.

    And here it's especially happy given the fact that, according to an article in the Daily Mail,  the lucky sportscaster "had been a regular benefactor to the Children's Hospital ever since doctors there helped his 11-year-old daughter overcome leukemia in 2004."

31. Mic Cuts out

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    Like I said, awkward can have a happy ending. 

    Kudos to these fans for helping the young singer out. 

30. Rejected Proposal

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    Plenty of these rejections caught on tape. But this 2008 Rockets vs. Kings incident is particularly uncomfortable as the announcer jokingly calls the fail before it happens. 

29. Belinda Heggen's Tiny Diss

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    Rewritten as a J.K. Rowling-scripted newscast, anchor Belinda Heggen has just unleashed an emasculatus totallus spell.

    When asked why she so heinously unmanned co-anchor Mark Aiston, she said, "He just served it up, and I didn’t even have to think, I just lobbed it back."

28. Using Namath's Playbook

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    This guy comes across as so sweet and normal at first. He should have heeded any and all of the following proverbs:

    1) Quit while you're ahead.

    2) Leave them wanting more.

    3) Arrive late, exit early.

    4) When in doubt, keep it to yourself.

27. The White Guy out Front

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    Longest. Pause. Ever.

    So this KNBC broadcaster thought he'd be clever and be PC by being un-PC.


    Only 30 Rock can pull that off.

26. Chris Cyborg Proves Women Can Finish

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    Aaron Tru, you might just want to ease up on your line of questioning when interviewing possibly the fiercest woman on the planet.

    Tru's asks his near fatal question at video time code reading 4:13.

25. Gimme My Props, Dammit

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    High fives, fist bumps, any kind of daps are meant to be cool, to give fellow players praise, a small infusion of confidence and appreciation.

    But this exchange between Wes Johnson and Kevin Love plays out like a bizarre children's skit about a stray pup that just wanted to find an owner.

24. This Generation’s Dan Marino

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    Wow you said that, Boomer. To his face. Wow. 

    Marino does a good job of rolling with the punch until video time code reading 0:24. Check his face in that frame.

23. "You're a Beauty, Know That?"

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    Tigers are known to be silent stalkers. In fact nearly every predator hunts silently. The exception is the fisher cat.

    Ladies and gentlemen, meet Fisher Cat Woods.

22. "Lynch Him in a Back Alley"

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    Well, that just rolled right off her tongue, didn't it? Like she was channeling some 1950s small town sheriff.

21. Joe Namath Wants a Kiss

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    Poor Broadway J; a whole new generation of NFL fans is growing up knowing him more for this video than for his game.

20. Nipplegate

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    The incident that spawned the term wardrobe malfunction, sunk Janet Jackson's career, elevated Justin Timberlake's career and spurred a tidal wave of media censorship.

    You might say it was the nipple that launched a thousand edits.

19. "Don't Fear Me"

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    We don't fear you, Paul Buentello. We mock you. We giggle as your catchphrase fizzles in your mouth. 

18. T.O. Weeps

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    Imagine what T.O. was like as a child in the schoolyard. Say for example some bully had stomped on his Spiderman lunch box.

    "That's my lunchbox. [sniffle] That's my hero. Spidey is a public servant, he's here to help us all.[sobbing now] And... you... diss... him... like... this?  [regains some composure] See here, you even cracked the thermos and that's... that's just mean. [returns to sobbing]" 

17. Oprah Can't Wipe It off

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    I guess none of Oprah's ten thousand research assistants and interns thought to mention Brees' little pigment anomaly.

16. Kiss of Death Gone Awry

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    Yoshihiro Nakao took the old stare-down-psych-out tactic a little too far and Keith Herring let his displeasure be known.

    The real awkwardness came afterward as Herring tried to defend his action and perhaps fight an inner battle at the same time by descrying his heterosexuality.

    As Cracked writer Seanbaby puts it, "I think he was trying to ward off the invisible wizards that make you gay when your lips touch a boy and he was losing." 

15. "That's Kinda Gay"

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    Brian "TKG" Kinchen said his little on air faux pas was "a signal that [broadcasting] was not something I should be doing on weekends..."

    Or maybe not something you should be doing at all, Brian.

14. Call Me That One More Time

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    Real? Staged? Who cares! This exchange is bubbling over with more tension and discomfort than a tea party of two with Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. 

13. Bears vs. Band

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    He ducks a trombone slide on the 20, swivels under the tuba bell on the 10, crashes through some clarinetists at the 5... and it's a HOEDOWN. Er, TOUCHDOWN. 

12. Omar vs. Adam

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    Notice Minaya's excitement, his stammering, as he gets ready to serve Rubin up. He's like a kid telling a joke who can't wait to get to the punchline.

11. "Turn off Your Station"

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    Just trying to figure out exactly what Tyson was demanding here. Did he mean Salzberg should stop broadcasting? Or that viewers should change the channel?

    Perhaps Iron Mike was philosophizing and suggesting that we all take a break from our stations in life and reevaluate. 

    Or that life is like a great railway system and each station represents...

    OK, I'll stop.

10. A Messi Situation

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    Language barrier. Giant key. A dissed coat man. Who do we even feel sorry for here?

9. Dickie V, Can You Hear Me?

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    This gets more painful as it goes on... eventually Dickie starts answering questions from someone else. Then some poor improv by the reporters. A bad joke. Muzak.

    My theory: Dickie could hear the guy all along. He just chose to ignore him.

8. Wanderlei's Desires

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    While f____ing Chuck right there in the ring might sell some tickets, most fans would probably prefer the fight.

    By the way Wanderlei, if that wasn't a Freudian slip, you might look into some ESL classes.

7. Must Be a Wednesday

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    This is just weird. Rampage actually gets lost in the moment. It's like he's in a humping trance. The highlight--at video time code reading 1:05--is when someone from the camera crew has to actually tap him out of his reverie.

6. Cricket Fan, Camera Right

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    "All Right Mr. DeMille, I'm Ready for My Close-Up."

5. Eli and the Empty Chairs

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    The best part? At video time code reading 0:09 when Eli looks into the lockers as if expecting the reporters might be somehow hiding in there.

4. "And What Sport Do You Compete In?"

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    Who should be more mortified here, the interviewer or the interviewee? 

    Truly a tough call.

3. Copa Del Rey...becomes Platter Del Rey

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    The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round, all through Madrid.

    The Copa del Rey goes crunch crunch crunch, crunch crunch crunch, the Copa del Rey goes crunch crunch crunch, 'neath those big wheels.

    Yes, beat your bitter rival in a championship tournament for the first time in three years. Then celebrate with a little trophy squashing.

2. Boom Goes the Dynamite

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    His name is Brian Collins and his 2005 broadcast may finally let the Star Wars Kid off the hook as the biggest doofus on Youtube.

    Believe it or not, Collins actually went on to do more broadcasting, though mostly as a weather guy.

    Boom goes the thunderstorm! Whoosh goes the wind!

1. "I Know Nothing About Baseball"

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    The bloke who is not AP baseball writer Ben Walker, is in fact Rupert Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff.

    Oh mighty BBC, gold standard of reporting, what have you done?

    Alas, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.