You Had One Job to Do: Sports Edition

Zack PumerantzAnalyst IIIOctober 11, 2012

You Had One Job to Do: Sports Edition

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    The meme-worthy saying "You had one job to do," first popularized by Tumblr and Reddit–has become a social media phenomenon. It embraces human failure amid the most simple tasks, and has become an online fascination that tickles every shopper's fancy.

    A package of corn with a watermelon label on it. A Superman backpack with the name Batman streaking across the top. A coffee mug with the handle on the inside. Let's just say these achievements won't win these culprits employee of the month. They will, however, force us sports enthusiasts to humorously relate.

    Here we'll look at athletes who screwed up the most limited responsibilities. With only one moment to shine, each one crumbled like dry fruitcake.

20. Wild Wing, NHL

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    The One Job: Jump through a ring of fire.

    A feathered rebel who's been descending from the Anaheim rafters since his team's inaugural 1993 season, Wild Wing is revered for his entertaining nature.

    But in October 1995, the mighty anthropomorphic duck got burned by his own mischief as he attempted to fight fire with stupidity. Although he was still doing better than Will Ferrell at the end of Old School.

19. Amar'e Stoudamire's Jersey Designers, NBA

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    The One Job: Number the jersey.

    Even the first numeral wasn't simple enough for these designers to finish their work. After completing the back, those crazy interns seemingly decided to get some air.

    They apparently never came back.

18. Carl Lewis, Sprinting

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    The One Job: Memorize the national anthem.

    With a piercing change in tone, it became clear that 10-time Olympic medalist Carl Lewis was on the verge of a lyrical breakdown. The awkward silence that followed would've been better surrounded by shattering glass and angry screams.

    Lewis promised to make up for it.

17. Dan O'Brien, Decathlon

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    The One Job: Qualify for the Olympics.

    It was during Super Bowl XXVI when the hype surrounding decathletes Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson, both expected to dominate the '92 Summer Olympics, was sparked. Thanks to Reebok's advertising campaign, the sports world was awaiting the most exciting athlete battle in history.  

    But O'Brien, who'd won the world championship a year earlier, would miss three straight tries on the pole vault in the New Orleans trials and as a result fail to qualify for the Olympics. O'Brien sank from first to 12th, and single-handedly tarnished Reebok's advertisement.

16. Jim Joyce, MLB

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    The One Job: Not blow the final call of the game.

    With two outs in the ninth, a perfect game on the line and Detroit in a frenzy, pitcher Armando Galarraga and his Tiger teammates prepared for history.

    As a rough ground ball bounced toward second, Miguel Cabrera snatched it and tossed to first. Safe! Global heartbreak, field-wide fury, dugout cries.

    In the end, nobody's flawless, although Joyce's handlebar mustache certainly tempts perfection.

15. Marty Mornhinweg, NFL

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    The One Job: Receive the ball.

    As if his utter bewilderment wasn't evident during this memorable sideline exchange, Marty Mornhinweg's true genius was on display in a 2002 game against the Bears when he chose to kick off, after winning the toss, in overtime.

    Keep in mind this was in the old days, when the first to score won the overtime period. Still, Mornhinweg preferred to have the wind on his side. The Bears naturally kicked the game-winning field goal on the opening drive.

14. Tommy Aaron, Golf

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    The One Job: Write the score.

    "What a stupid I am to be wrong here," said Roberto De Vicenzo, the only recorded golfer to lose a Masters tournament due to faulty documentation. Although it wasn't initially his fault.

    Two strokes off the lead in the final round of the 1968 Masters, De Vicenzo epically forced an 18-hole playoff by tying Bob Goalby after 72 holes. On the 17th hole, however, the Argentine legend soon endured partner Tommy Aaron's heinous mistake. After getting a birdie-3, De Vicenzo blindly signed the scorecard, unaware of what occurred.

    Unfortunately, Aaron astonishingly scored the hole as a four instead. As a result, De Vicenzo lost the Masters to Bob Goalby by one.

13. The Stanford Band, College Football

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    The One Job: Stay off the field.

    Behind the strangely amazing narration of commentator Joe Starkey, the 1982 Big Game became an iconic marking in the college gridiron record books.

    After Stanford took a 20–19 lead on a field goal with four seconds remaining in its annual war with Cal, it bounced a kick down the middle of the field, expecting to win the game.

    As it turned out, five laterals, several miracles and a band helped the Golden Bears somehow escape Stanford's grasp. Cal won 25-20, with several musicians deliriously peeling themselves off the turf.

12. Marcos Ambrose, Racing

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    The One Job: Keep the engine on.

    With a comfortable lead at the Infineon Raceway in 2010, Australian driver Marcos Ambrose focused on conserving fuel. But after shutting the engine off, Ambrose had problems restarting it.

    Before long, he was sweating in seventh place and Jimmie Johnson was taking home the trophy.

11. Tony Romo, NFL

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    The One Job: Hold the ball down.

    When he took over for Drew Bledsoe as the starting quarterback early in the 2006 season, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo still remained the holder, an odd but seemingly insignificant note. And then came the '07 NFC Wild Card Game, when Romo's "reliable" hands meant everything.

    Sure, he was the starting signal caller who'd taken a two-sack pounding, but Romo had one responsibility on that last play. And his performance would seemingly define his career, as any opinionated pundit will detail on ESPN: First Take over and over again.

    With the Cowboys down 21-20 and 1:19 remaining, they attempted a 19-yard field goal to take the lead. But Romo botched the snap, and immediately took off for the end zone, fans coughing up the day's previous meal.

    Romo was shut down by Jordan Babineaux's tackle on the one-yard line. Cowboys lose.

10. Lindsey Jacobellis, Snowboarding

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    The One Job: Don't crash.

    With a three-second lead over Switzerland's Tanja Frieden in the Snowboard Cross finals, a 2006 Winter Olympics gold in sight, Lindsey Jacobellis got a little fancy with a last-second method grab.

    Her crushing slip would give way to Frieden, and Jacobellis would go home with a silver. She'd apparently never heard of cruise control.

9. Leon Lett, NFL

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    The One Job: Do nothing.

    Oh, Leon. Having been stripped while running for a touchdown in the previous year's Super Bowl, Leon Lett once again shocked the world with his bewilderment.

    In the waning moments of the 1993 Thanksgiving Classic between the 'Boys and 'Fins, Miami attempted a game-winning field goal...Blocked!

    As the miraculously-stopped pigskin spun in the packed snow, Cowboys began screaming "Peter," meaning get away. Nobody touch it! And then, as Emmitt Smith remembers it here, "one white jersey with a star on it came running out of nowhere."

    Dolphins get another shot, at the one-yard line, and nail a field goal to win 16-14.

8. Sven Kramer's Coach, Speed Skating

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    The One Job: Guide skater to the correct lane.

    As he cruised to a record-breaking win in the 10,000-meter finals with a time of 12:54.50, Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer seemed to be once again dominating the Olympic scene. That was until he was disqualified for failing to change lanes during the later laps.

    Following coach Gerard Kemkers' gaffe, Kramer was seen pouting, shoving and whining his way off the ice in disgusting fashion.

7. Wim Esajas' Secretary, Sprinting

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    The One Job: Get the time right.

    Suriname, a small sovereign state in northern South America, was set to compete for the first time at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Their first athlete, Wim Esajas, was entered in the 800-meter heat.

    Hoping to make history, Esajas, told the heats were in the afternoon, rested in the morning. Fans waited for their athlete with anticipation. When he arrived at the stadium, however, the only races involved chirping crickets and rolling tumbleweeds.

    Due to the scheduling conflict, Esajas missed the race, and was eventually sent home without competing. Suriname finally won a gold for the first time in Seoul, 28 years later.

6. Matt Dodge, NFL

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    The One Job: Kick the ball out of bounds.

    With 12 seconds left and overtime on the horizon, rookie punter Matt Dodge was given one simple order. Don't kick to DeSean Jackson.

    Instead of punting the pigskin out of bounds, or even acceptably into the ground, Dodge sliced a line drive directly to the Philadelphia speedster. After a handful of historically awful missed tackles, Jackson trotted into the end zone for six.

5. John Carney, NFL

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    The One Job: Make an extra point.

    With seven seconds remaining and the Saints down seven, a postseason spot only possible with wins in their final two games, the impossible was achieved.

    Several laterals combined with a baffled Jacksonville defense helped New Orleans score the game-tying miracle as time expired, now dubbed the River City Relay.

    All they needed was a routine extra point from inches out, a kick never questioned with Pro Bowl kicker John Carney or any man with a pulse out there.


4. Trey Junkin, NFL

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    The One Job: Snap the ball.

    After 19 seasons in the NFL with six different teams, reliable long snapper Trey Junkin was set to retire...until the Giants persuaded him to come back and replace an injured Dan O'Leary in the '03 Wild Card Game against the 49ers.

    As if San Francisco's overcoming of a 38-14 deficit with 25 unanswered points in the second half wasn't bad enough for New York, their field-goal attempt to potentially squash the meltdown was botched by Junkin himself, who immediately took credit for the loss.

    In reality, he had no bearing on the embarrassing comeback and in fact could've been forgiven if the referees had actually called the obvious pass interference during the botched field-goal roll out. Either way, his one game was certainly memorable.

3. Andray Blatche's Jersey Manufacturers, NBA

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    The One Job: Spell a professional athlete's name correctly.

    This typo seems fitting for talented forward Andray Blatche, who's shown bits of promise. With the correct letters, the jersey has potential, like Blatche's double-digit explosion from 2008-2011, but it soon fails to find a role to thrive in.

2. British Olympic Association, Football

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    The One Job: Display the correct flag.

    In what BOA chairman Colin Moynihan later called an embarrassment, a televised flag blunder caused the women's football match between North Korea and Colombia to be slightly delayed.

    When the North Koreans refused to play because the flag representing them was that of South Korea, the crowd was speechless. The footballers eventually came out, after an hour of fuming.

1. NFL Shop, NFL

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    The One Job: Spell a star player's name correctly.

    Apparently winning the MVP award and a Super Bowl doesn't keep an athlete from enduring the notorious misspell. showed us that when it made its Nike Jersey ad cover more fit for Roy Rogers.

    Rodgers and his cheesehead following seem to be feeling the after effects of disrespect, with the Packers now sitting at 2-3.


    Follow me for more endearing fails.