NFL HistoryDownload App

Biggest Embarrassment in Every NFL Team's History

Nick KostoraContributor IIIJanuary 2, 2017

Biggest Embarrassment in Every NFL Team's History

1 of 33

    Every NFL team has suffered from moments of pure embarrassment.

    Whether it be due to a poor draft choice, an inexcusable play on the field, or a questionable choice off of it.

    These kinds of errors can strike at any time and seemingly any place.

    So what exactly is the biggest embarrassment in each NFL team's history?

    Is there a worse moment for the Chicago Bears than the "Super Bowl Shuffle"?

    Is anyone even aware that a flying lawnmower attacked fans during a New York Jets game?

    And can just one Leon Lett moment stand out for the Dallas Cowboys?

    Let's answer these questions and more as we start with the Arizona Cardinals...

Arizona Cardinals: We Let 'em off the Hook

2 of 33

    There is little that can be said in response to Dennis Green's post-game rant after losing to the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football in 2006.

    He was not the first coach to explode after a loss and he most certainly will not be the last.

    But the way he absolutely melted away during that conference is striking.

    If you have not seen the video before, then do yourself a favor and take a look.

Atlanta Falcons: Eugene Robinson Wins Man of the Year

3 of 33

    Try to keep in mind that this is somehow a true story.

    Before the Atlanta Falcons were set to play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII, the Bart Starr Award was given to Eugene Robinson.

    The award goes to a player with "high moral character."

    How did Robinson respond?

    By leaving his wife in the Falcons hotel the night before the Super Bowl and attempting to solicit a prostitute.

    Well, it turned out that particular woman was an undercover cop.

    Robinson proceeded to lose his moral character and the Super Bowl.

Baltimore Ravens: The Franchise's Birth

4 of 33

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a franchise in Baltimore.

    In fact, there is a legitimate argument that the Colts franchise should never have left town to begin with.

    But the way in which owner Art Modell abandoned the city of Cleveland and uprooted the Browns franchise to Baltimore was far from decent.

    The Ravens proceeded to win a Super Bowl quickly and become a permanent fixture among the NFL's elite.

    It's just too bad the team had to be born out of such controversy and turmoil.

Buffalo Bills: Four Straight Super Bowl Losses

5 of 33

    The Buffalo Bills will never escape losing those four Super Bowls in the early '90s.

    It is forever a part of the fabric of the franchise.

    Teams have lost back-to-back Super Bowls before, but four? That is just unheard of.

    The Bills had the talent to win at least one of those games and many a Bills fan may still be on the hunt for kicker Scott Norwood.

    The organization is yet to make it back to the title game or escape the haunting of those four Super Bowls.

Carolina Panthers: Jake Delhomme Throws 5 Interceptions

6 of 33

    Jake Delhomme has never been an elite NFL quarterback.

    He did however lead the Carolina Panthers all the way to the edge of the mountain-top when they played in the 2003 Super Bowl.

    Unfortunately Delhomme has had his fair share of low points as well.

    The biggest and most embarrassing of which was his five interception and one fumble performance in a 2009 playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals.

    Arizona went on to win that game by a score of 33-13.

    The contest was the biggest home playoff loss ever for a No. 2 seed and the Panthers have yet to return to the postseason.

Chicago Bears: Super Bowl Shuffle

7 of 33

    If there is a redeeming quality about the Chicago Bears "Super Bowl Shuffle" music video, it is that the team was able to back up this unique form of trash talk.

    The video was filmed long before the Bears were awarded the Lombardi Trophy in 1985 and features music, dancing and rapping that are bad in all the wrong ways.

    Words do not provide justice for the atrocity that the Bears created.

    Just look at Jim McMahon in those sunglasses to see what I'm talking about.

Cincinnati Bengals: Stanley Wilson, Drugs and the Super Bowl

8 of 33

    The unfortunate but true case of Stanley Wilson is undoubtedly the biggest embarrassment in Cincinnati Bengals history.

    The story goes that before Super Bowl XXIII against the San Francisco 49ers, Wilson left a team meeting in order to get his playbook.

    Instead, he clearly went to heed his drug addiction and was later found cracked out on the bathroom floor of his hotel room by coach Jim Anderson.

    Wilson was then banned from the league for the rest of his life.

Cleveland Browns: 'The Fumble'

9 of 33

    Earnest Byner was a great running back who made a mistake.

    Unfortunately, he made that mistake in the 1987 AFC Championship Game and cost the Cleveland Browns a chance at the Super Bowl.

    No one knows what would have happened if the Browns had a chance to play the Washington Redskins.

    What is known is that Byner fumbled the ball near the goal line and dashed the hopes of Browns fans everywhere.

Dallas Cowboys: The Mistakes of Leon Lett

10 of 33

    Poor Leon Lett.

    Lett was actually a great defensive tackle, but who really cares?

    He is forever known as the guy who let Don Beebe knock a recovered fumble out of his hand during Super Bowl XXVII.

    And also the guy who picked up a blocked field-goal attempt and gift-wrapped a victory for the Miami Dolphins in 1993.

    Neither play ended up really costing the Cowboys, but then neither will be forgotten anytime soon either.

Denver Broncos: Hiring Josh McDaniels

11 of 33

    This one might still sting a little for Broncos fans.

    Few people wanted Josh McDaniels hired as head coach in the first place, and even fewer look back fondly on his short tenure with the team.

    From trading Jay Cutler and dismantling the Broncos offense to being caught videotaping opponents walk-throughs, McDaniels was embroiled in controversy the entire time he was in Denver.

    Lasting less than two seasons, he posted a far from impressive 11-17 record.

Detroit Lions: 0-16 Season in 2008

12 of 33

    The Detroit Lions have a smorgasbord of choices for embarrassing mishaps.

    Anyone remember when then head coach Marty Mohrninweg chose to kick off in overtime?

    How about drafting quarterback Andre Ware?

    Oh, and then there was the brilliant hire of Matt Millen.

    But above all else, the 2008 season is the low point for the franchise. Detroit managed to go an entire 16-game campaign without posting a single victory.

    The only team in history to accomplish such a feat.

Green Bay Packers: Drafting Tony Mandarich

13 of 33

    The Green Bay Packers had no idea what was going on with Tony Mandarich.

    No one did. Sports Illustrated had labeled him as a can't miss prospect.

    Turns out he did miss.

    He missed bigger than almost anyone else in NFL history.

    Mandarich was a steroid abuser with slow feet and could not handle the demands of playing left tackle in the NFL.

    He did eventually find his footing as a serviceable guard with the Indianapolis Colts, but that does little to make up for the tremendous bust he was in Green Bay.

    And to think he was drafted ahead of Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders.

Houston Texans: Giving Up the Jacksonville Jaguars' Hail Mary in 2010

14 of 33

    The Houston Texans are a young NFL franchise.

    They have taken fewer bumps and bruises than most of their counterparts, but they have still been embarrassed from time to time.

    The Sage Rosenfels meltdown known as the "Rosencopter" game comes to mind.

    However, the biggest embarrassment in Texans history has to be surrendering a game-winning Hail Mary pass to the division rival Jacksonville Jaguars in 2010.

    That pass from David Garrard to Mike Thomas gave the Texans a 4-5 record and contributed to them narrowly missing the playoffs.

Indianapolis Colts: Sneaking out of Baltimore

15 of 33

    There is simply no way any embarrassing NFL moments list can exist without including the Colts' bolt out of Baltimore.

    Colts owner Robert Irsay packed up his franchise in the middle of the night on March 29, 1984, and sent the now infamous Mayflower moving trucks to Indianapolis.

    Not being able to get a new stadium in Baltimore had to be frustrating for Irsay, but sneaking off in the middle of the night and relocating is just embarrassing.

    The animosity is still so high that Ravens scoreboards do not recognize Indianapolis as the Colts.

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Locker Room Axe

16 of 33

    Metaphors are called metaphors for a reason; they aren't actually supposed to take place.

    Someone forgot to tell that to then-Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio as he placed an actual tree stump in the team's locker room for players to chop away at.

    Kicker Chris Hanson attempted his chop and ended up gashing his own leg in the process.

    Hanson missed multiple weeks as he recovered from the injury.

    Del Rio promptly removed the axe and stump from the locker room.

    It is unknown if he continued to utilize the "keep choppin' wood" metaphor.

Kansas City Chiefs: Giving Up 286 Yards to Jerome Harrison

17 of 33

    Few NFL running backs ever run for 200 yards in any game of their career.

    Yet, somehow, the Kansas City Chiefs allowed mediocre Cleveland Browns running back Jerome Harrison to do just that in 2009.

    In that game Harrison rushed for a total of 286 yards, more than he had accrued in the first three seasons of his career.

    Embarrassing for the Chiefs indeed.

Miami Dolphins: Dan Marino Ends His Career in a Blowout

18 of 33

    Dan Marino is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Which makes it that much more of a shame that he was embarrassed in his final game as a Miami Dolphin.

    Miami lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars 62-7 in the Divisional Round of the 1999 playoffs and Marino was actually pulled early in the third quarter.

    One of the most storied and record-breaking careers of all-time ended in one of the worst blowouts in playoff history.

Minnesota Vikings: Jim Marshall Runs the Wrong Way

19 of 33

    What Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall did in a 1964 game against the San Francisco 49ers is almost too hard to believe.

    He picked up a fumble and ran the wrong way into his own end zone.

    The resulting safety did not cost the Vikings the game, as they went on to win 27-22.

    Still, it is one of those outrageous plays that lives on in NFL lore.

    This blooper also, and thankfully, edges out such snafus as the "Love Boat" scandal and the Mike Tice scalping incident as the biggest embarrassment in Vikings history.

New England Patriots: 'Spygate'

20 of 33

    The New England Patriots are the embodiment of success in the modern NFL world.

    Perhaps that is why "Spygate" was so embarrassing for the franchise.

    During the 2007 season, Bill Belichick and the Patriots were disciplined for videotaping signals from New York Jets coaches on the sidelines.

    Belichick actually believed he was acting within the rules.

    The league disagreed and fined him $500,000.

    Not exactly a shining moment in the Brady-Belichick era.

New Orleans Saints: 'Bountygate'

21 of 33

    Where does one begin when describing the recent turmoil of the New Orleans Saints?

    "Bountygate" has tarnished the Saints and their coaching staff and caused numerous suspensions for players involved.

    Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had a bounty system in place that rewarded the act of injuring opposing players.

    A malicious and inexcusable act that will not soon be forgotten.

New York Giants: 2003 Playoff Loss to the San Francisco 49ers

22 of 33

    The New York Giants collapsed in the fourth quarter of their 2003 Wild Card game against the San Francisco Giants.

    There is no nicer way to put it.

    The Giants allowed 17 unanswered points in the final quarter and gave the 49ers a 39-38 victory.

    Throw in the fact that the Giants still had a chance to win before botching a 41-yard field goal in the closing seconds and you have an embarrassing way to close out a season.

New York Jets: Sal Alosi Trips Nolan Carroll

23 of 33

    How is this for bizarre.

    Sal Alosi was the strength and conditioning coach for the New York Jets during the 2010 season until an incident in a game against the Miami Dolphins.

    Alosi was caught on film tripping Nolan Carroll of the Dolphins along the Jets sideline as he was attempting to cover a punt.

    Alosi was suspended indefinitely and the team was fined $100,000.

    Amazingly that is not even the whole story.

    Alosi had actually been instructing inactive players to form a wall along the sidelines so as to impede opposing players like Carroll.

    An embarrassing moment for the Jets staff and players.

Oakland Raiders: Barrett Robbins Goes Missing

24 of 33

    The Super Bowl sure does bring out the crazy in some people.

    Barrett Robbins is only one of many players on this list that did something embarrassing before the big game.

    In this instance before Super Bowl XXXVII, Robbins suddenly and abruptly left the team.

    He had reportedly not taken his depression medication and was discovered later to be completely incoherent by coach Bill Callahan.

    It turns out Robbins was battling bipolar disorder.

    He spent the entire day partying in Tijuana.

    By 2004, he was off the Raiders roster permanently.

Philadelphia Eagles: Throwing Snow at Santa

25 of 33

    Philadelphia Eagles fans are known to be particularly harsh on players and coaches, but Santa?

    In 1968, a teenage fan dressed as Santa Claus during a game and as he walked across the field, he was met with boos from disgruntled fans.

    Quickly the boos were followed by a stadium full of snowballs attacking Saint Nick.

    1968 may have been a tough season for the Eagles, but was it bad enough to throw snowballs at an innocent Santa?

    Embarrassing not just for the Eagles organization but for the entire city of Philadelphia.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowl XXX Performance of Neil O'Donnell

26 of 33

    Neil O'Donnell may not have intentionally lost Super Bowl XXX for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it sure did seem that way.

    His multiple interceptions wouldn't have been so embarrassing if it weren't for the fact that no Steelers were in the vicinity of the throws.

    At one point it would have been easy to believe he thought Dallas Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown was actually a Steelers wideout.

    O'Donnell is the rightful scapegoat for the Pittsburgh loss, and the biggest blemish in the franchise's history.

San Diego Chargers: Drafting Ryan Leaf

27 of 33

    The San Diego Chargers were blown out in Super Bowl XXIX by a score of 49-26 and yet that is not the most embarrassing feat in franchise history.

    That dubious distinction goes to the drafting of quarterback Ryan Leaf.

    It is hard to imagine that there was ever a debate about who was the better prospect; Leaf or Peyton Manning.

    After the Colts took Manning, the Chargers were left to build around the Washington State product, and he busted in grander fashion than anyone before him in NFL history.

    He spent only three seasons with San Diego and compiled more than twice as many interceptions than he did touchdowns.

San Francisco 49ers: Coaching Hires Between Steve Mariucci and Jim Harbaugh

28 of 33

    The San Francisco 49ers have enjoyed a resurgence under coach Jim Harbaugh.

    But in the decade prior to his arrival the franchise was stuck in a serious rut.

    Between Steve Mariucci's firing in 2002 and Harbaugh's hiring in 2011, three men spent seasons as head coach: Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary.

    None of them posted a winning record, and none of them ever led San Francisco to the playoffs.

    The millennium started off as a struggle for the 49ers, but at least the ship is clearly headed in the right direction now.

Seattle Seahawks: Matt Hasselbeck Wants the Ball!

29 of 33

    It was supposed to be a routine overtime coin toss.

    After all, the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers were in the middle of a hard-fought 2003 NFC Divisional Playoff Game.

    But then, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had to win the toss and predict imminent victory:

    "We want the ball, and we're gonna score."

    He was right about the score, he just predicted the wrong winner.

    Hasselbeck threw an interception to Packers cornerback Al Harris that was returned for a touchdown.

St. Louis Rams: Lawrence Phillips

30 of 33

    Lawrence Phillips is a tragic case of an athlete that was given too many chances and yet continued to get into trouble.

    His talent was undeniable, and the St. Louis Rams deemed him worthy of the No. 6 selection in the 1996 NFL Draft.

    They even traded away Jerome Bettis to make room for Phillips.

    He would repay them by lasting only two seasons in St. Louis and spending 23 days in jail.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Starting 0-26

31 of 33

    What a rough way to join the NFL.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a joke, a laughingstock, a doormat.

    They were the "Yuckos."

    Luckily, the franchise has persevered and become a Super Bowl champion, but it was a long road to get there.

    Starting 0-26 in 1976-77 is far more embarrassing than anything else Tampa Bay has ever been through.

Tennessee Titans: The 1992 Wild Card Loss to the Buffalo Bills

32 of 33

    Everyone remembers great teams that overcome the odds and complete great comebacks.

    But what about the other guys?

    The 1992 Houston Oilers were those other guys.

    They surrendered a 32-point lead in a Divisional Round game against the Buffalo Bills and lost in overtime by a score of 41-38.

    To add insult to injury, it was Buffalo's backup quarterback (Frank Reich), who led the Bills in the comeback as starter Jim Kelly was hurt.

    The game is remembered as not just one of the most embarrassing losses in Titans/Oilers history, but NFL history.

Washington Redskins: The 1940 Title Game

33 of 33

    Modern-day NFL fans may not remember the 1940 title game, but I guarantee most Washington Redskins fans are all too aware of the contest.

    The Redskins lost that game to the Chicago Bears by a staggering score of 73-0.

    In an era when rushing was king, the 'Skins managed to throw eight interceptions in the championship and had three of them returned for scores.

    Washington has had plenty of recent embarrassments, such as the Albert Haynesworth contract and pretty much every decision Daniel Snyder makes, but it is doubtful anything will ever top the 1940 title game.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices