25 Biggest Halftime Show Fails
Halftime shows are meant to entertain the crowd at sporting events during breaks in the action; be it the halftime at a football or basketball game, intermission at a hockey game or during the seventh inning stretch at a baseball game.
Sports fans can get rowdy when they don't have anything to focus on, so anything that can be done to keep their attention, and prevent them from getting belligerently drunk, is probably a good thing. It even works for the audience of televised events.
Sideline interviews kill time during breaks in game play and somehow the Super Bowl halftime show, no matter how terrible it is, manages to hold 100 million people captive each year. Although, not all halftime entertainment is created equal.
Mishaps, mistakes and mind-blowing ineptitude can be seen from the high school level to the pros and everywhere in between. So let's take a look at 25 of the biggest halftime fails in sports.
25. Mike Ditka's Singing Is Predictably Mike Ditka
There's no official halftime in baseball because games are already 10 hours long, but there is often between-inning entertainment by mascots or some schedule shenanigans during the seventh-inning stretch to keep fans awake in their seats.
Every team has their traditions, but most of them include a stadium singalong to "God Bless America" and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." This gives both local and national celebrities a chase to show off their absolute void of singing talent.
Former Bears coach Mike Ditka earned the honor of leading the crowd in "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at a Cubs game years ago, and he was as awful as you'd expect. I have to give Ditka credit for skipping the singing thing and just going with what he knows—angry screaming.
24. Knicks City Dancer Bruises Her Ego, Lands on Her Back
The Knicks City Dancers are no joke, so I'm not going to be too hard on the one who fails to stick the landing during the group flip in this video. And by "fail to stick the landing," I actually meant "fell flat on her back" while everyone else managed to land on their feet.
But like I said, it's funny, it happened but let's not dig too deeply on this one.
23. You, Sir, Are No Evel Knievel
Jeez, the Texans have sure come a long way since their pathetic BMX halftime shows of a few years ago. Actually, I have no idea what most NFL teams actually do during halftime because I'm usually watching on television, so maybe this is the norm?
All I know is that for years the Texans were the most reliably 8-8 team in the NFL, and this BMX halftime fail is an indicator that they weren't shooting for the stars on any level until recently.
I mean seriously! I could've made that jump…drunk on $10 beers.
22. Fan Confesses His Love of Reporter During Intermission Interview
I know that lots of you guys out there have crushes on your favorite female sports reporters. It's only natural: They're beautiful, have pleasing voices, are girl next door wholesome and (in most cases) they love sports.
But if you ever get lucky enough to meet one of them, promise me you will play it cooler than this Blackhawks fan who confessed his love for reporter Sarah Kustok during an interview.
Quothe the guy who has no shot whatsoever: "I love you Sarah. (Awkwardly put arm around her) You're so pretty and beautiful and I love you."
To her credit, Kustok manages the awkward situation like a pro, thanks the crazy fan and casually laughs off his advances.
21. Jazz Stuntman Sucks at Stunts
I'm not sure how much "stunt crews" get paid by NBA teams, but from what I've seen on YouTube in recent day, it's probably too much.
Obviously a stunt "fail" is more likely to make the rounds on the interwebs than a successful stunt, but there just shouldn't be as many fails as there are. Unless this is the Jazz stunt crew member's first day on the job, there's no excuse for flubbing a simple trampoline dunk stunt so terribly.
It's hard to say where it went wrong considering the large crowd of people that seem to be involved, but I would have fired them all on the spot. I guess they just have lower standards in Utah.
20. At Least They Tried and Had Fun
These girls look pretty young, but I feel like it's okay to rib them a little because the girl who posted this on YouTube freely called this whole mess a fail. Besides the fact that they are absolutely terrible, out of synch and completely adrift in a sea of WTF, I actually have mostly positive things about this video.
First of all, kudos to the girl who posted this to begin with—it's best to own the story before the story owns you—and laughing it all off. Despite being terrible, everyone had a great time because the whole thing was "super fun." What I love most is that this is their very "last cheerleading game ever."
Usually people do the cliché thing and save the best for last. It takes balls to go against the grain and save the absolute worst for last.
19. Volleyball Halftime Show Turns Volatile
I've never been to a volleyball game, but I would assume that if you liked volleyball enough to attend a volleyball game, a half-assed halftime show would not be necessary. I mean, you have to really like volleyball to be there in the first place, so that enthusiasm should easily carry through halftime.
But instead of relying on what seems like commonsense to me, the person in charge of this event decided that idiotic buffoonery was better than nothing at all. And idiotic buffoonery was exactly what they got.
Either those kids were drunk or they had never seen a volleyball before that day. Or both.
18. There's Always One Bad Apple
You've probably never heard of the Utah Blaze or Tampa Bay Storm if you don't live in the immediate vicinity of wherever they're located. And maybe not even then. But whatever.
The point is that these two teams played a game of something against each other in March 2011, and the halftime show featured some local BMX riders doing their thing.
Their thing being biking around and occasionally up a slightly elevated ramp. Well, most of the BMX riders did their thing, but one of them did my thing: He fell on his face in public.
Forward to the 1:50 mark of the video to see the BMX fail.
17. Dancers Performance Failing from Every Angle
Initially I thought this video was just your run-of-the-mill, crappy halftime dancing, but upon further inspection, it turns out it's a little more complicated/hilarious. First of all, the woman who posted this on YouTube is stunningly angry about something (not to mention a terrible videographer), randomly screaming out "WHY" on occasion.
She takes issue with the first song, which is admittedly bad but certainly not bad enough to make my ears bleed. Then there's the fact that this video is over four minutes long, but they only have enough different dance moves to make up about 25 seconds of a dance routine.
Yet they persist. And somehow the vast majority of them haven't gotten anywhere near mastering the minimal amount of moves they actually have. Oh, and how come they are all wearing different outfits? Is this some type of organized dance routine, or did they just pick these people at random out of the audience?
Anywho! The highlight of the video actually comes around 3:50 when the angry camera lady catches the basketball team doing the Dougie in the corner.
16. Halftime Interview with Bear Bryant Is a Bear
There have been a lot of jokes made at the expense of sideline reporters over the years, but the truth is that they have a pretty tough job.
Football coaches are notoriously tight-lipped even when they're in a good mood—which is rare—so having to talk to them when they're in a bad mood is something I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy.
Nearly every halftime interview in college football these days is an unmitigated disaster, but nobody could make a sideline reporter cry on the inside like the late, great Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.
This interview from late in his career is a car crash classic.
15. Thunder Mascot's Stupid Stunt Sucks
As someone who misses no less than four out of five layups, I probably shouldn't give the Thunder mascot a hard time for missing his roller skating dunk off a ramp. But that doesn't mean I won't.
The fact of the matter here is that mascots are like paid, trained monkeys for professional sports teams and pulling off crap like this when it counts is in the job description. If you can't perform on the big stage, perhaps you shouldn't be wearing the furry costume.
14. WTF Sound Guy???
This video was posted in April 2012, during halftime at what the poster said was a college basketball game in New York. There seem to be more people on the court than in the stands, so I'm guessing it wasn't a high profile university involved in March Madness.
I love this video because as a former high school/collegiate dancer, I can assure you that there is no more awkward or nervous moment for a performer than the few seconds before the music starts after you take your place on the court/field. Well unfortunately, due to a useless, rogue sound guy, that awkward moment ended up being the entire performance.
These poor girls had to stand around for a full 90 seconds before just running off and waving enthusiastically, as if they just did something besides stand there awkwardly (and in silence) for over a minute.
13. Mascot Plummets Between Innings
Prior to the start of the 2010 season, the Reno Aces, which is the Triple-A affiliate of the Diamondbacks, played an exhibition game against he University of Nevada's baseball team.
They doubled up on the mascots in hopes of distracting people from the fact that they were watching a minor league baseball team play a college, and boy did it work.
Between innings Archie and Wolfie danced on one of the dugouts to entertain the fans. Unfortunately for Wolfie, Archie is basically a gigantic blob with a crazy face who takes up an awful lot of room.
During the midst of their dance off, Wolfie stumbled off the dugout and into the dugout thanks to Archie being a girthy spazzmeister.
12. Jack Armstrong: Play It Cool, Dude!
Everyone has been caught ogling cheerleaders at one point or another; that's what they're there for. Laughing at celebrities who have been busted checking out the girls is practically a national pastime. Starry-eyed staring is one thing, but slack-jawed slobbering while mimicking a heart attack is something else altogether.
That's exactly what broadcaster Jack Armstrong did a few years ago when the Bulls dancers came a little too close for comfort. Dude has been in the game for decades, he should have a better poker face by now.
11. Denise Richards Can't Act. She Can't Sing Either.
I'm cognizant of the fact that actress Denise Richards' acting career peaked well over a decade ago with her girl-on-girl-on-guy sex scene in (one of my favorite movies) Wild Things. For awhile, Richards was the next big thing and one of the most lusted after actresses in the world.
Well, today she's 41, rarely working and the years of stress that resulted from her marriage to Charlie Sheen are apparent. So Richards is doing her best to stay relevant, get noticed, and make money; which may explain why she agreed to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at Wrigley Field a few years back.
At least I hope she got paid for that, otherwise there is no excuse for her subjecting thousands of people to her objectionable singing voice. Richards singing voice is, by far, one of the worst I've ever heard in public…but at least she knew the damn words.
10. Bob Costas vs. Guns
The media in general got an F for their initial coverage of Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher's murder/suicide, in which he shot the mother of his child early in the morning and took his own life not long after at the Chiefs' practice facility.
After watching the NFL on CBS most of the day, I couldn't imagine any network could flub the situation any worse, but always count on the media to out-suck itself. During halftime of NBC's Football Night in America broadcast, Bob Costas first admonished the "cliched" notion of using a tragedy to "recalibrate" yourself, which was bad enough, but then he climbed up on his soapbox.
I'm not pro-gun or anti-gun, but I am against using someone else's words (as Costas did with Jason Whitlock) to use a murder/suicide as an excuse to lecture a captive audience on a hot-button political issue. It was uncomfortable, unnecessary and struck all the wrong notes for a large portion of viewers.
9. High School Homecoming Humiliation
I try to avoid making fun of little kids and such, but this debacle is a homecoming "halftime" event of some sort, which means these dummies are seniors.
At least some of them are. I expect almost nothing out of teenagers, so the fact that these kids managed to make me worry for the future of America, really says something about the WTF nature of this "performance."
Initially I thought it was a practice or something because nobody was wearing uniforms of any type, but when the camera pans back you can see the home side of the bleachers are totally filled.
I have no idea what the props are for, why there are children, why everyone is wearing something different and why they spend most of the time just running around like idiots.
Basically this is the worst five minutes of kids making asses of themselves in a public forum that I've ever seen in my life.
8. High School Cheerleader Eats Mat
I actually really respect cheerleaders. Say what you will about their skimpy outfits or their measured worth at a given sporting event, but I think they're a fun addition to almost anything.
Many are legit athletes in their own right, they are unshakably enthusiastic and they toss each other up in the air with such ease that it makes me wonder if they aren't all distantly related to The Flying Wallendas.
They are usually type A personalities and perfectionists, but sometimes accidents just happen. Like the poor girl in this video, one of just two cheerleaders charged with a double backflip, who completely eats it on the second flip.
It's moments like that you wish you could just disappear, I'd have been sobbing and heading towards an exit, but homegirl recovers in record time and completes the routine like a champ.
7. Half Time Marriage Proposal: DENIED!
I think a lot of these half time and jumbo cam marriage proposals have turned out to be faked by people who didn't get enough love and attention as a child.
So I have no clue if this one, that happened at center court during a Rockets game a few years ago, is staged or the real deal. But if it was faked, the people involved did an excellent job and the announcers provided even more excellent commentary.
Real or fake, the whole thing is a hilariously delivered message of why you should make a marriage proposal an intimate moment, if only to spare yourself public ridicule.
6. Simply the Worst
There is no explanation for this halftime spectacle on YouTube and, since it was posted back in 2006, I didn't think it was worth the research to find the details. Mostly because the jaw-droppingly atrocious performance is so epically bad that it really speaks for itself.
Here's what I can tell you though, based on my observations. This is a soccer halftime show overseas. There are eight "singers" involved, and they are "singing" "Simply the Best." And all eight "singers" are horrifying, each one seemingly worse than the last.
The angry crowd reaction and the ridiculousness of this group of "singers" did make me wonder if the whole thing was just a prank—it very well could be. But let's live in a glass half-full world and just assume this thing was legit.
5. Shankapotomus Better Never Make Fun of a Kicker Again
During the 2012 BCS Championship, a man by the name of Mr. Shankapotomus (actually, his name is Jonathan something) from Woodstock, Georgia, won the opportunity to compete in a field goal kicking contest at halftime.
The AllState sponsored contest gave him 60 seconds to compete one 40-yard field goal, a successful attempt of which would earn him a boat, RV, motorcycle and a home makeover. Like most of us football fans, Jonathan has been probably sitting at home for most of his life cursing kickers for not being able to do "ONE SIMPLE THING FOR CRISSAKES."
He finally got his opportunity to stick it to all those kickers who have shanked one in the closing moments of the big game…and he blew it by shanking every single kick. The announcer gave him the obligatory "good job" after he blew it, because he can't say "wow, you blow goats," but the guy who taped this video from his television spoke for all of us in the finals seconds with his retort.
4. Gonzaga Fan Half-Court Shot Fail
It's hard for me to bag on someone who fails to nail a half-court shot during a promotional halftime event at a basketball game. I guess it's just because I've chucked up so many air balls in my day that I won't even hold a basketball as an adult.
But in December 2012 during the Pacific/Gonzaga game at McCarthy Athletic Center, a man failed so tremendously at his half court shot that it was just impossible to ignore. You can tell straight up that he's not a super athletic guy and has absolutely no chance of sinking that basket.
Though had you asked me if it was more likely that he'd hit his shot than the shot not even making it to the free throw line, I might have thought he made the shot. Seriously, I could have granny balled that thing and it would have looked like Michael Jordan compared to this guy.
Sorry, dude. That was harsh…but you really should've practiced that shot.
3. God Is Disappointed in America
I'm not too particular about music, I have my preferences, but generally I am pretty tolerant of most of it. When it comes to singers, I only have three requirements: Know the words, have a decent voice and don't embarrass yourself by over embellishing the song in the vein of a Christina Aguilera.
I don't feel that these are unreasonable requirements for a singer who is booked to sing "God Bless America" at a Dodgers game in L.A., but a few years back a singer, Erica David, failed to meet all three of those requirements.
First of all, she starts off on the Christina Aguilera train by embellishing the first few words—an immediate red flag. And then she only gets through "God Bless America. Land that I love" (the first two lines) before she forgets the rest of the words, forcing her to improvise the rest of the song.
David drifts back and forth between making up words and just making musical noises, while the camera pans through a giggling crowd. Good on her for sticking it out though…I'd have just dropped the mic and hauled ass outta there.
It's been nearly a decade since the Brewers had to contend with one of the biggest scandals to ever rock Major League Baseball. A scandal that is now known simply as "Sausagegate."
The sausage races have been going on in Milwaukee in some form or another since the early 90's and have been replicated in Pittsburgh with their pierogi races and Washington with their presidents race. But it wasn't until 2003 that the sausage races took an ugly turn.
During a game in Milwaukee, the Pirates' Randall Simon hit the Italian sausage with his bat, causing both the Italian sausage and the hot dog to fall to the ground. The women in both costumes were treated for scraped knees, and Simon was arrested for misdemeanor battery after the game and fined $2,000 for the meat mishap.
For more on one of the most ridiculous moments in sports history, check out ESPN's Page2 epic investigation and official report on the incident.
1. Fat Guy Can't Fly Far Enough
There aren't a lot of constants in this crazy mixed-up world of ours, but one thing is certain: Fat guys and trampolines simply do not mix. I haven't read it, but I'm pretty sure that's actually in The Bible.
In May 2012 we were once again reminded of this fact when a sizable Hawks fan of ample waist girth was given the chance to dunk during halftime of a playoff game against the Celtics.
He was even given the assistance of a very sturdy trampoline to assist him in his flight towards the net. This guy was serious too, you can see the grimace on his face as he runs toward the tramp with everything in him. He actually gets pretty good positioning coming off the trampoline, but unfortunately the laws of physics are working against him from the get go.
He sails up as if the dunk is a sure thing but ends up landing on his face several feet from the hoop, ball in hand. If ever I was to give out an A for effort, which I am sternly opposed to, I'd give it to this guy.