16 Athletes Who Celebrated Way Too Early

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterApril 3, 2014

16 Athletes Who Celebrated Way Too Early

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    Danny Moloshok

    According to the next few poor souls, success isn't actually needed to throw one heck of a wild party. 

    For those who are looking for meaning or teachable moments, let this remind you that hubris is a horrible thing when it comes to sports. It's always best to save the celebration for when a win becomes official. 

    For the rest of you, just feel free to join along and laugh at some rather remarkable misadventures. 

    Now if you don't see one of your more favorite moments when an athlete celebrated way too early, remedy that in the comments section below, because some of these videos and stories never get old. 

Korean League Bat Flip I

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    Credit: YouTube

    Deadspin's Barry Petchesky spotted this video last May, which he explains: "The Korean league's Lotte Giants fell 6-4 to the last-place NC Dinos today, capped off by an embarrassing at-bat for outfielder Jeon Jun-woo."

    Now the video doesn't seem to play on the site, but you can view Jeon's entire priceless reaction on YouTube

    Remember, kids: Only flip your bat if you are sure it's out, because you don't want your Willie Mays Hayes moment to live on the Internet for an eternity. 

Cibona Zagreb

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    This is a video that seems to always come up when you consider athletes celebrating too soon. If there were a Hall of Fame for such humiliation, this moment would be in on the first ballot. 

    The Huffington Post has a breakdown of the video that has slowly but surely become an Internet favorite over the years. 

    It all goes down in the NLB Championship between Cibona Zagreb and KK Partizan. The report states: "After a pair of missed free throws from Partizan, Cibona raced up the court and nailed a three-pointer from the baseline to take a one-point lead. Although there were still 0.6 seconds left, Cibona celebrated on the court."

    It would still take a ridiculous shot from distance to destroy Cibona's moment of victory. Hey, at least they will never forget the feeling. 

Nick Young

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    GIF Credit: @CJZero Twitter

    A tip of the hat to CJ Fogler for supplying this beautiful GIF of Nick Young throwing himself a victory parade after what he thought was a mighty successful three-point attempt. 

    For those who are uninitiated, Larry Brown Sports' Larry Brown has a breakdown of the hilarious moment, which just so happened on the rare occasion that the Lakers actually won a game.

    Hmm, perhaps they should throw a parade.  

Adriana Pirtea

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    A tip of the hat to Bleacher Report's Eric Newman for finding this marvel, which was covered in 2007 by Runner's World's Jim Ferstle

    And really, this video has it all: amazing feats of athleticism, cheering crowds, a late surge by an unlikely winner and, of course, one runner who did everything she could but look back at the right time. 

    Here is more from the interview with Ferstle: 

    "I didn't realize what happened," said Pirtea, who was running her first major marathon. "Probably that was my mistake. I didn't check. I never looked behind. I thought if somebody was coming, everybody would be screaming that somebody was there." She first saw (Berhane) Adere when the former track racer sprinted past with less than 50 meters to go. She had no time to respond.

    It's hard to say Pirtea should have continued running hard until the finish line, because it seems like she is chugging along as any competitor who is running that many miles would. 

    Really, the only egregious error may have been not checking behind her at the right time. Although, slapping fans' hands didn't help her cause. 

Lindsey Jacobellis

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    Lindsey Jacobellis thought she had the gold medal all wrapped up with a nice little Olympic bow on top. Fortunately, she had just enough time to pop a little trick before collecting her glory. 

    As we now know, that is not how things would end in 2006

    It's not even like the small tweak of the board would have added to what really is an amazing honor anyway. There isn't anything you can do to make a gold medal cooler, so finish the race and worry about victory laps later. 

Korean League Bat Flip II

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    GIF Credit: FanGraphs

    Yes, apparently flipping bats for non-home runs is something of an epidemic overseas. 

    Dayn Perry of CBSSports.com spotted this video of NC Dinos’ designated hitter Ho-Joon Lee getting a hold of one and flipping his bat like a champion. 

    Thankfully, for comedy's sake, the ball refused to leave the field and was caught at the wall. We are not watching enough Korean League baseball. 

    (h/t to FanGraphs for GIF)

High School Football

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    Columbia River and Skyview High School (Wash.) enjoyed what has to be one of the more peculiar ends to a football game in recent memory. 

    Well, just one of the schools actually enjoyed the ending. 

    As you see in the video, Columbia River has its last-second field-goal attempt blocked, but a player picks up the ball and runs it into the end zone. 

    Meanwhile, the opposition is celebrating a win that it didn't quite finish all the way through. Oops!

Dwyte Pilgrim

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    For our purposes, we will consider poker players athletes, because this video is funny and we make the rules. 

    Dwyte Pilgrim sees the flop and does just about everything to celebrate save actually leaving to take his family and friends to dinner. 

    Despite believing it's all over, the poker player stays and finds out his fate. 

    World Poker Tour has more from the 2010 hand that pitted Dwyte Pilgrim against Ofir Mor, including words from a humbled Pilgrim: "Mike (Sexton)! I deserved that one a little bit." He relays to TV announcer Mike Sexton before continuing, "Mike, you better make that look funny when we do that runner, runner on TV."

    Don't worry—it's indeed funny. 

Meghan Rutledge

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    Meghan Rutledge presumably never saw footage of Lindsey Jacobellis' blunder, because the motocross racer essentially did the same thing—popping a little trick before completing what really should have been a job well-done. 

    She would speak to ESPN about her 2013 X Games miscue: "I was out there leading. I'm really young. I've never led an X Games before. I celebrated a bit too early and made a mistake, unfortunately, which gave Vicki Golden an opening to take first again."

    It's a hard loss to take but a great reminder to act like you've been there before. It just may save you from an altogether brutal loss. 

Leon Lett

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    When the name Leon Lett comes up, you invariably think of various missteps and sports brain farts. Arguably his best work was allowing the Bills' Don Beebe to run him down during a relatively ho-hum Super Bowl XXVII. 

    It isn't often that you see a big guy score a touchdown, so it would have been nice if Lett would have left the gloating until reaching the end zone. 

    However, we will gladly take what really went down, because that kind of comedy stands the test of time. 

Khalid Askri

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    Had Khalid Askri ignored that burning desire in his gut to get up and pat his chest in a show of dominance, he might not feature in these types of breakdowns. 

    Thanks to his propensity to watch the crowd over the ball, we get to enjoy this video again and again. It's the sports equivalent of a pint of ice cream on a gloomy day. 

Roller Speed Skater

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    We still haven't been able to track down much information on this classic moment of futility.

    ESPN.com merely states, "A Colombian celebrates much too early and the South Korean skater takes advantage in this race at the World Roller Speed Skating Championships last week in Guarne, Colombia," via a 2010 report. 

    Not that we need much in the way of info, because the entire tale plays out in one unbelievable video. Sadly, this isn't the last time we will see someone lose a race because they just decided to pull up and gloat. 

DeSean Jackson

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    The Washington Redskins recently acquired a great athlete who has a propensity for being a knucklehead on the field. We are already setting the DVR. 

    Presented for your enjoyment are two times that DeSean Jackson decided he had run enough and pulled up ahead of the end zone. 

    Too bad football isn't played on 99-yard fields. 

Chris Williams

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    Yahoo! Sports spotted a video that Chris Williams, formerly of the Hamilton Tiger Cats, would like erased from the Internet. 

    In all honesty, that run was so amazing, we don't care that Williams missed out on the touchdown. Like a delicious cake that has some frosting that's just too sweet, you scrape off the bad stuff. 

Riccardo Russo

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    Ricardo Russo, according to this video, is an amazing rider who isn't so good with the math. As the New York Daily News reports, Russo stopped one lap early, thinking he had won. 

    In an odd twist, we have to say he at least got to enjoy what it feels like to win a race. Of course, that feeling left the second he realized his enormous gaffe. 

Mark Martin

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    Mark Martin had apparently been suffering some communication malfunctions with his team, but that hardly takes the sting away from this one. 

    The YouTube description explains what happens at the 1994 Goody's 250: "The race was finishing under caution and Mark Martin was leading David Green as they took the caution and white flag at the same time. Mark thinks the race is over and drives off the track and down to the garage towards victory lane." 

    You get an added laugh when you watch this a second time, because you know what's happening the second he starts taking off his gloves, essentially looking for his figurative victory cigar.