In sports, you win some and you lose some. Obviously winning is the best case scenario, though. Everyone wants to experience the rush of victory and have their moment in the spotlight. That's why people are out there competing in the first place.
Unfortunately, there is only one winner in every competition, and a whole bunch of losers. Nobody wants to lose, but it's a fact of life. There's no shame in walking away with your head held high, knowing that you tried your very best and that your dignity remains intact.
Assuming that your dignity actually does remain intact.
You may think that there's no good way to lose, and that may be true, but there are definitely ways to lose worse. Like face-planting, for instance. It's pretty difficult to walk away with your head held high after you've slammed it face-first into the ground.
Here are 20 of the most epic face-plants in sports.
I have to give some credit to gymnast Lauren Floor because it looks like she uploaded this blooper from the 209 WOGA Classic to YouTube herself. It's always good to laugh at your own face-plant before other people do it for you!
I'm assuming she did based on one of the comments on this video, which is both adorable and hilarious:
Good Job!!!! All winners have bad days but you recovered very well. !!!!!! WE are proud of you. Keep up the good work.
We love you
Nan and GaGa
Baseball games are endless, which is why most teams have ridiculous races and mascots to help keep fans entertained. Usually these aren't much more entertaining than a rain delay, but when someone ends up facedown in the dirt, it makes the whole event worth it.
The NFL combine has got to be a stressful event for all athletes involved. Many of them are used to playing on a national stage, but they've got an entire team around them and a game to play. The combine is the first time they are out there on their own with no place to hide.
I imagine when Mississippi State running back Vick Ballard took his mark for the 40-yard dash at the 2012 combine, the only thing on his mind was, "God, please don't let me fall on my face."
Well, while he narrowly avoided a complete face-plant, it probably felt like a face-plant to Ballard—I know it did to everyone watching.
During a game against Slovenia in 2010, Team USA's Clint Dempsey really didn't help the reputation of American men's soccer in the world. Dempsey's face-plant is pretty ridiculous in real time, but this slow-motion version is epic.
In February 2012, for some unexplained reason, the Lakers had the Gold Coast SUNS, an Australian football team, participate in a halftime layup competition. Was the English national cricket team unavailable to compete or something?
At least SUNS player Trent McKenzie got to demonstrate why he plays football and not basketball in front of 20,000 giggling Lakers fans. I never would have guessed it was possible to fail at a layup that badly.
If you've ever been to a baseball game or watched SportsCenter, you know that fans will do almost anything to get their grubby mitts on a foul ball. I would definitely go out of my way to catch one, but I would probably stop short of falling onto the field face-first.
The YouTube video refers to these creepy inflatable bruised hockey players as the mascot(s) for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I'm not sure if the uploader was taking liberties, but if these things are actually Toronto's mascots, they need to assemble a more creative marketing team.
From what I can tell, these things come out and simulate hockey-like activities like skating, holding sticks and fighting—which is weird because they already pay real hockey players to do these things.
Anyway, these mascots suck at all hockey-like activities, and one manages to fall flat on his face before even getting off a fake punch.
Things probably haven't gone as well in Washington as John Wall would have hoped coming out of college. In fact, they've gone badly enough that he probably thinks of this face-plant during his playing days at Kentucky as the good old days.
This halftime show at a sparsely attended Southern Utah University basketball game in 2011 combines two of my favorite things: mascots and poorly planned Jackass-style stunts. You simply can't go wrong with a human slingshot!
If the stunt is successful, someone speeds out of control, probably careens into something and everybody wins. If the stunt fails miserably and a man in a furry costume crashes face-first into the ground after traveling less than two feet, everybody wins.
Tween sensation Justin Bieber was named the MVP of the 2011 NBA All-Star game, but it looks like he wasn't on his game the whole time. For at least a few seconds, he was flat on his face.
Do your best to ignore the poor quality of this video and the ridiculous captions added by the obviously stupid uploader. It's annoying, but seeing the Biebs face-plant is worth it.
In December 2010, Celtics star Paul Piece hit a game-winning buzzer-beater against the Knicks. It was a pretty exciting moment for the Celtics, but nobody was more excited than Nate Robinson.
He obviously wanted to share the moment, but The Truth just wasn't engaging him. Robinson's first attempt to jump on Pierce was rebuffed and his second attempt was completely dodged, resulting in an awkward fall into a face-plant.
Retired running back Marion Barber's career in the NFL was relatively unremarkable. Barber was injury prone, a chronic underachiever and did more harm than good for the Bears during his last season in 2011.
But at least Barber left us with one lasting memory: his celebratory attempt at a backflip after scoring a touchdown against the Panthers in October 2011. His legendary acrobatics will forever be remembered as "Marion Barber backflip fail."
Spoiler alert: The beam wins.
Gymnastics is a dangerous sport and sometimes very difficult to watch. I can't imagine teetering on this hardwood beam, falling off face-first and then being crazy enough to get up and do it all again.
This high school hurdle fiasco has been making the rounds on the interwebs for awhile, and the girls actually participated in a much needed web redemption on Comedy Central's Tosh.0.
In the video, two female high school hurdlers trip and fall on nearly every single hurdle, except for the ones they walk around entirely. Despite the adversity, the girls stumble, fall and eventually face-plant themselves all the way to the finish line.
Props to them for finishing the race; I'd have fun off crying halfway through.
The interwebs are littered with countless videos of the Toronto Raptors mascot engaging in every type of tomfoolery imaginable. The mascot in the furry costume has actually got some pretty slick moves to entertain the crowd with.
The weirdo inflatable mascots are not at all slick, but apparently the soles of its shoes are—which is why he can't manage basic functions like walking, without face-planting in a big way.
The scenario in this video is that all the cheerleaders are supposed to do a backflip in unison, and then the two on the far sides are supposed to wow the crowd with a second backflip. The first part of the plan is executed without incident, but then things go awry.
One of the cheerleaders charged with the second backflip was apparently exhausted from the first, and she just couldn't muster the energy required to complete the second. Poor thing fails in a big way, but at least she had the balls to try.
Dancing isn't technically a sport, but it's certainly an athletic endeavor akin to something like those cheerleader competitions or floor exercise in gymnastics. Anyway, whatever.
In 2007, this dude tried out for Fox's So You Think You Can Dance. He didn't make it to Vegas, but he did deliver one of the most epic face-plants in history. So it was an overall success.
In May 2011, Finland defeated rival Sweden in the finals of the World Hockey championships. Naturally the Finnish team was in a celebratory mood on the flight home, but nobody celebrated harder than their goalkeeping coach Pasi Nurminen.
He got completely sauced on the flight and had a little trouble exiting the plane—he almost makes it off without incident.
Thankfully American gymnast Nastia Liukin has the memories of past Olympic glory to reflect on, because she probably wants to forget about the 2012 Olympic trials altogether. She didn't just fail to make the Olympic team for the London games, she turned in what could have been the worst performance of her career to boot.
Liukin stumbled on every event in what will be the final competition of her career, including this face-plant on the uneven bars. And that guy standing there who fails to do his job and catch her...is her father!
In April 2012, Christian Vasconcellos, a freshman at Mid-Pacific Institute in Hawaii, made the best of a bad situation after taking a tumble during a race at a track meet.
Vasconcellos trips near the end of the race but manages to turn an embarrassing face-plant into a hilarious viral sensation by busting out the "the worm" dance move.