The 50 Biggest Sports Fails of 2012
Like shenanigans, there are many different kinds of fails in sports. Some are cheeky and fun, others are just cruel and tragic.
From laughably terrible to “let’s bury this deep down and never bring it up again” wrong, the following 50 fails run the entire gambit of sports failure.
So sit down, strap in, and bang a gong. It's "The 50 Biggest Sports Fails of 2012" and it's time to get it on.
50. Vernon Davis’ Touchdown Celebration Fail
You know you messed up a touchdown celebration when you can go home and hear the laughter from the stands played back to you on your DVR.
49. Referee Joey Crawford Can Dance If He Wants to
Referee Joey Crawford breaks into an overly dramatic rendition of what we can only assume is the Safety Dance while making a criminally bad blocking call.
48. Detroit Red Wing Riley Sheahan Gets DUI in Teletubby Suit
Harry How/Getty Images
Some fails just defy the laws of what seems possible—a man with a job that pays real money gets pulled over and arrested for “super drunk” driving in a Teletubby costume.
If you're ever feeling like you’ve hit rock bottom, just remember that at one point in time on our planet, a professional athlete was sitting drunk in a windowless holding cell full of violent offenders with at least half of a Teletubby costume on.
Feel better? Me too.
47. Tiki Barber Will 'Complete Your Foursome' for $1,000
Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Foursome of golf, that is.
But it’s true—the former star running back and ESPN analyst will play golf or come to your children’s bar/bat mitzvahs for $500-$1,000. Which is a great deal if you’re down a golf partner or a Jewish parent looking to have your child regaled with Tiki’s oak-aged insensitive Anne Frank tales.
There’s also an option for arranging a custom experience with Tiki. I think my custom experience would involve a Jacuzzi, weird silence and a lot of apologizing afterward.
46. ESPN’s 'Chink in the Armor' Headline
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
While he claims it was an honest mistake, ESPN editor Anthony Federico’s “Chink In the Armor” headline referencing Jeremy Lin led to a national media firestorm and the editor’s dismissal from the network this spring.
45. Jerry Jones’ Son-in-Law Cleans His Glasses for Him
They say “Time is money.” Which is good and all, but wouldn’t that also infer “Money is time?”
The answer: Because he’s a narcissist and he can.
44. Drunk Belgian Cyclist Clowns at the Olympics
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
For most professional cyclists on the racing circuit, the old saying “Work hard, play hard” is more like “Ride hard, sleep and ice gooch harder.”
So when 20-year-old Belgian cyclist Gijs van Hoecke decided to let loose and slam down every wine cooler he could find at a London nightclub during the Olympic Games, the result was sweet, beautiful blackmail.
43. Samantha Steele’s 'Racist' Spelling Bee Slip-Up
“You there! Smart Indian girl! No, not you…the other one!”
No, it wasn’t as insensitive as that, but ESPN reporter Samantha Steele did completely biff the introduction of Scripps Spelling Bee winner Snigdha Nandipati, appearing to confuse the winner of the contest with Stuti Mishra, another Indian-American contestant on the stage.
It wasn’t a racist moment—according to Steele, she was expecting Nandipati to be standing behind her waiting to accept the reward—but actually a nice beefy morsel of USDA-approved ground chuck failure.
42. Rasheed Wallace Ejected for 'Ball Don’t Lie'
The ball doesn’t lie. It’s just a fact.
So why was Rasheed Wallace T’d up and ejected from a game for yelling that fact after an opponent's missed free throw? Are there no rights to free speech and public assembly on the basketball court?
Apparently, the poindexter referees didn’t think so. Commies.
41. Melky Cabrera Lies About Taking Steroids, Fakes Crappy Website
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
40. Dennis Rodman Charges $60 to Get 'Up Close and Personal'
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
39. UK Falls out of Top 25
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
After losing three games and their home-court winning streak, UK's men’s basketball team will go without a number next to its name, at least for the time being, having fallen precipitously from the preseason third-ranked team in the nation to completely off the boards.
It’s early in the season, and the Wildcats will probably be back in the rankings soon and develop into a dangerous team come March Madness.
For now, though, Coach Cal blames his squad’s three early-season losses on media intoxication and poor conditioning—factors that certainly have nothing to do with his decision to recruit a new roster of one-and-done freshmen Monstars each year.
38. Curt Schilling Goes Broke
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
When you’re $50 million in the hole and starring in an ESPN 30 For 30 series titled “Broke,” it’s time to liquidate some assets.
Which is exactly what Curt Schilling did this October when he leveraged a selection of his favorite sports memorabilia—including the famous bloody sock he wore during Game 2 of the 2004 World Series—to finance the millions of dollars he lost on his failed video game company.
37. Everything Javale McGee Does on the Court
♫ Botched dunks and air balls and blatant goaltending—ridiculous charges and subpar defending— missed alley-oops and getting flattened by screens. ♫
These are a few of McGee’s favorite things.
Sound of Music reference, anyone? No? Alright.
36. Sportscenter’s Tim Tebow Birthday Bash
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
They threw a party. They had hats. They had cake.
And I continued building my fallout shelter.
35. Ryan Howard's Wedding Dress Fail
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Tying the knot wasn’t enough for Ryan Howard and his longtime girlfriend Krystle Campbell.
No, the couple went as far as baptizing their wedding clothing—a new fad among newlywed couples—for the sake of a photo opportunity on their recent honeymoon in Hawaii.
The fail here is in the pictures, where Howard looks like a man who didn’t know what he was getting himself into, and Campbell looks like she’s covered in…
34: Nick Young's Layup to Nowhere
“Oh man, oh man, I’m totally gonna be on SportsCenter after this aaaaand…”
And he was, for all the wrong reasons.
33. Rick Reilly Caught on Camera Begging for Recognition
ESPN analyst Rick Reilly gets caught on camera begging his co-anchors to give him the hat-tip on a scoop he had just posted on Twitter.
You’re too old to fail this hard, @ReillyRick.
32. Philippine Basketball Association Player Pulls Worst Flop Ever
31 MIA’s Middle-Finger Fiasco at the Super Bowl
We’re tired of it. Just cancel it. Nothing good will ever come of it.
Every year something stupid happens in between halves at the Super Bowl, and this rule was proved yet again when “pop singer” MIA decided to cork off a one-fingered salute at the camera during her halftime performance.
30. Fat Guy Attempts to Dunk, Gravity Takes Exception
This video provides us with one of those elegant and rare moments in life when “majestic” and “failure” can be used in the same sentence.
29. Ryan Lochte Speaking in Front of Devices That Record Action/Words
Granted, all of the Lochte interview fails in this video aren’t from 2012—but you don’t turn down pure gold when it sits down in your lap like this. Not to mention that Lochte’s relatively lackluster performance in the Olympics and the subsequent media coverage only served to remind us all how much fail can tumble from this young man’s mouth when he doesn’t put his mind to it.
28. Gisele Flips Her Lid After Patriots' Super Bowl Loss
Tom Brady’s supermodel wife Gisele followed up the Patriots' failure to win the Super Bowl with an arrogant hiss-fit that was caught on camera.
Gisele’s tantrum was probably the most memorable by an athlete’s spouse this year.
27. The Bears' Offensive Line
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With an adjusted sack rating of 9.6 percent going into Week 13, the Chicago Bears have the worst pass protection in the NFL and J-Cutty is lucky a defensive lineman hasn’t dipped him in au jus and eaten him yet.
26. Allen Iverson Sells Home, Keeps Maybach
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Allen Iverson is broke as a joke, a joke that rides in a car worth more than most people’s permanent residences. Sure, the ‘Bach’s paid off, but his Atlanta mansion that’s about to be put up for foreclosure auction isn’t.
When you’re hemorrhaging this kind of money, it’s time to stop failing at basic math and start spending less money than you take in.
25. Mike Francesa Falls Asleep on Air
“Mike! You are on, the air!!”
“Hmmm screw'em… damn pizza mice (snore)... Custard was right…”
We can’t hear the voices, but that looks like the “dialogue” going on in radio host Mike Francesca’s headphones in this clip.
Earlier this fall, Francesa broke one of the cardinal rules of being on live television—falling asleep in the middle of an interview.
To Francesa’s credit, he plays the gaffe off slickly—snapping out of his slumber and immediately appearing to fire the intern responsible for the screw-up.
24. Players Caught with Adderall in the NFL
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
This is what we've come to, guys? Study drugs?
Players taking Adderall is becoming an increasingly big and disappointing problem in the NFL.
Players taking the “study drug” claim it increases their focus on the field. College students taking Adderall claim they were just on Wikipedia for five hours and now know how to build a Roman trireme.
23. DeSagana Diop Shoots Worst Free Throw Ever
That was…good, Diop. But we’re going to need more cowbell, baby.
Seriously, don’t be afraid to explore the space with the follow-through.
22. Alabama Player’s Dad Breaks Championship Football Trophy
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
At an Alabama football scrimmage this spring, one of the player’s fathers accidentally stumbled into a sideline display table and broke the $30,000 Waterford crystal trophy.
School officials are already working with the American Football Coaches Association to have a replacement made, and the only matter of business left to be decided is whether Alabama will count the replacement trophy as the program’s 18th, 15th or eighth national title.
21. Duke Loses to 15th-Seeded Lehigh in NCAA Tournament
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
A national powerhouse and general pinnacle of success for college basketball, the No. 2-seeded Dukies were upset by the 15th-seeded Lehigh Mountain Hawks in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
And somewhere, in some dark network studio, Dick Vitale shed a single tear.
20. Stephan Feck's Epic Flop at the London Olympics
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
German Olympic diver Stephan Feck left the diving board at the London Games looking like a world-class athlete. Unfortunately for him, he hit the water like those kids who wear T-shirts in the pool.
19. Jets Fans Force Fireman Ed into Retirement
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
When the man who acts as the unofficial mascot of your franchise hangs up his hat due to bullying from his peers, your team and fanbase have failed hard and as a unit.
18. Amar'e Stoudemire Punches Glass, Which Is Hard
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Every man on earth has done what Amar'e Stoudemire did after a playoff loss to the Miami Heat this spring—gotten angry and punched an object that looked a lot less solid than it turned out to be.
17. Red Sox Flop—Chicken, Beer and COD MW Deux to Blame
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Metaphorically, the Red Sox slid into the last base of a disappointing season this year about five seconds late and reeking of nerd stink, Miller High Life and chicken wings.
16. Brooklyn Nets Give Mascot a Stripper Name
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
"BrooklyKnight." That's a mascot's name now.
“BrooklyKnight is a superior combination of strength, power, and confidence,” said Nets CEO Brett Yormark. “Sounds like Brooklyn to me.”
No, Brett. “BrooklyKnight” sounds like an impressionable young woman who serves jalapeno poppers by day and reminds men “No touching” by night.
15. The New York Jets Sign Tim Tebow
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Has Tim Tebow on his team. Uses Mark Sanchez instead.
Rex Ryan has trolled the nation.
14. New Orleans Hornets Plan to Change Name to Pelicans
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
In a recent and wholly disappointing development, the New Orleans Hornets have announced their franchise could be changing its name to the “New Orleans Pelicans” as early as the 2013-2014 season.
The reason for the team’s new ornithological direction is said to be due to the Eastern brown pelican being Louisiana’s state bird.
No word yet on if the Oklahoma Thunder are considering following suit and re-branding as the “Oklahoma Swallow-Tailed Flycatchers.”
13. Kyle Williams' Fumbled Punt Sends Giants to Super Bowl
49ers punt returner Kyle Williams coughs up a game-losing fumble (his second fumble of the game) that clears a path to victory for the Giants in the 2011-12 NFC Championship Game.
12: Alabama Fan Teabags Passed Out LSU Supporter
Most people get drunk and do normal stuff like tell funny jokes and eat all your party pizza.
But some people get drunk and do stuff like pull out their beef platter with beans in public, and then roll them around on some poor guy’s head like a weird freak.
11. The NHL Lockout
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
NHL lockouts are becoming a lot like Daylight Savings Time—irritating, inevitable and only discussed when the only other option is talking about work.
As league tradition demands, the issues at stake in the 2012 NHL lockout are many and compromises between the owners and players are few at this point.
Fortunately for hockey fans, the NHL has recently reassured members of the media that there isn’t a timeline for a resolution to the problem.
10. The U.S. Losing the Ryder Cup
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
With a 10-6 lead going into the final day of the Ryder Cup, Team USA collapsed entirely.
The Europeans began the day with a brain-boggling comeback while the American team missed shots and more or less bricked the bed. By the end of it all, viewers across the United States could do nothing but watch German golfer Martin Kaymer putt the final nail in the coffin of a U.S. victory.
9. Pacquiao Robbed by Judges’ Split-Decision
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
The audience jeered the judges after the Timothy Bradley vs. Manny Pacquiao fight ended in a split decision in favor of Bradley, the man who looked overmatched most of the fight.
The decision left members of the media in shock and spectators around the nation suspecting a fix might’ve been involved.
8. Bobby Petrino and His Mistress at Arkansas
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Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino was involved in a one-vehicle accident while driving his motorcycle this September.
Petrino laid his hog down hard on the pavement, and nine days later was fired for laying his other hog down on Jessica Dorrell—a former Arkansas volleyball player who had been riding on the back of motorcycle at the time of the crash.
Not surprisingly, an investigation into the accident unearthed a year-long affair between the two and led to the coach’s dismissal from the program.
That’s why you lean into the turns, Bobby.
7. Lance Armstrong Loses 7 Yellow Jerseys in One Day
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
After nearly a decade and a half of dodging doping allegations like a drunk ex at a Christmas party, the thousand-pound crap hammer finally fell for Lance Armstrong.
The infraction report compiled against Armstrong is too long to summarize, and even the shortlist of his violations reads less like a laundry list and more like a Shakespearean tragedy.
I believe I speak for everyone when I say this is old news, and we’re glad to see it come to an end.
6. Horrible Belgian Basketball Player Tries to Score on Own Basket
Shooting on your own hoop during a basketball game is a lot like calling your girlfriend “Mom” in the passionate throes of love-making. Once is weird, but hey, it happens.
But four times gets you medication and a half-hour with Dr. Phil.
Belgian basketball Pierre-Yves didn’t end up medicated or on Dr. Phil, but he did end up recorded and spread across the Internet for shooting and missing four uncontested layups on his own basket.
5. Billy Cundiff Misses Game-Tying Field Goal, Sends Pats to the Big Dance
Baltimore kicker Billy Cundiff duffs a 32-yard gimme wide left in the AFC Championship Game, sending the New England Patriots to the Super Bowl.
4. New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans bounty program put the Saints on their back coming into the season with the dismissal of Gregg Williams, four player suspensions and a one-year suspension of head coach Sean Payton.
The scandal was all the rage on ESPN—spawning terms like “Bountygate” and other buzzwords that make one deeply question his faith in the human race.
3. 'The Worst Display of Athleticism I Have Ever Seen'
I’m going to go ahead and assume some kind of nacho-induced hernia stopped that ball from making it past the free-throw line, because John McCain has better range of motion than this man.
But seriously, one day in the future, mankind is going to be gone—so please get out and “Play 60,” or at least shift your weight around a bit when you’re in your onion-eating chair.
This video is the kind of evidence we don’t want the aliens to find one day.
2. Mark Sanchez’s Butt Fumble
Failure became artistic expression when Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez’s facemask plowed into offensive lineman Brandon Moore’s butt cheeks.
The singular caliber of fail that Sanchez was able to pull off in a single play defies both imagination and convention and comes only once a season—even for a team like the Jets that are painting their masterpiece in failure this season.
1. Replacement Refs Steal Victory from Green Bay Packers
“A fixed game.”
"The officiating fail to end all officiating fails."
Call it what you want, but the replacement referees blowing the call and stealing a hard-earned victory from the Green Bay Packers was a monstrous enough snafu to dislodge even commissioner Roger Goodell’s fiercely tucked head from its deep entrenchment in his posterior and led to the return of the original NFL refs.