Most Embarrassing Things That Athletes Can Do During a Game

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2014

Most Embarrassing Things That Athletes Can Do During a Game

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    Although fans look at pro athletes as the cream of the crop, there are times when they remind us that, yes, they really are human.

    Instead of doing the things we expect them to do with ease, they sometimes find themselves in an awkward and humiliating situation.

    It doesn't happen too frequently, but when it does, they usually get called out for it—and I figured I'd give them more of a mention here, with the most embarrassing things a player can do during a game.

Being Picked off to End a World Series Game

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    Getting caught leaning off first base has been done millions of times in baseball games, but until last year, it had never been done to end a World Series game.

    Unfortunately for St. Louis Cardinals utility player Kolten Wong, he goes down in the record books as  the first guy in the majors to be caught napping in the Fall Classic to close out a game—costing his team a big one.

Getting Run over by a Massive American Flag

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    As a Cleveland sports fan, seeing then rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden get run over by a massive American flag during pregame warm-ups in his very first NFL game left a stale taste in my mouth.

    See, with a ton of different starters over the years, I just knew this omen would doom the former first-round pick.

    Turns out I was right, as he flamed out in two seasons—with this being arguably his most memorable moment in a Browns uniform.

Shanking a Punt

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    It's bad enough that Mattias Ciabatti is a punter—which isn't exactly the sexiest sports position to tell a girl at the bar—but when he goes out and screws up the only thing he's asked to do, it's a lot more embarrassing.

    After shanking this one and sending it about two yards, he probably wanted to dig a giant hole to hide in for a while.

Having the Ref Nearly Swat Your Shot

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    Sure, it was a few years ago after the fallout from his short-lived marriage to Kim Kardashian—which was an embarrassment of its own—but it couldn't have lifted Kris Humphries' confidence knowing he was the NBA's most disliked player.

    Even worse than having his peers vote him as the most hated person on the floor each night? Being the guy who nearly got his shot blocked by a referee.

    That's what happened to Humphries during a game last season against the Toronto Raptors, when Courtney Kirkland almost swatted the dude's shot as badly as Kim K swatted their relationship to the curb.

Taking Yourself Out

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    Looking stupid in a sporting event is never a good look.

    And while it sucks to have it happen because another guy does it to you, that's at least a little more understanding for spectators.

    But when you do it to yourself—like Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman did, during a penalty shot no less—fans and teammates have every right to laugh and make fun of you for it until the end of time.

Not Knowing the Dimensions of the Field

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    Making it to the NFL takes hard work, dedication and a lot of extra attention to the details—and yet, somehow, career backup Dan  still accomplished getting there.

    It's not that he is all that bad—although he only has 12 career starts—it's that he failed to remember the dimensions of the field a few years ago.

    Scrambling to avoid rushers, good ol' Orlovsky ran out a good foot or so out of the back of the end zone, awarding two free points to the opposing team.

    Nice job, man.

Forgetting the Simplest of Tasks

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    As bad as it was for the aforementioned Dan Orlovsky to run out of the back of the end zone during a game, this move by LA Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick might be a lot worse.

    Under no duress whatsoever, he simply put his stick down to help stop the puck from gliding on the ice any further.

    Appearing to forget how to skate and losing his balance, Quick deflected the puck from his stick right into the back of the net, recording one of the most bizarre own goals in NHL history.

Scoring on Yourself

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    Unlike in the Jonathan Quick situation, German national soccer team goalie Marc-Andre ter Stegen doesn't have the excuse of a hockey stick to help save him from his blunder.

    Kids, this is why passing a ball back to a goalie isn't always the greatest idea.

    Unable to control a simple pass right to his feet, ter Stegen freaked out from some slight pressure by a U.S. player, lifting his eyes up for a second before essentially dribbling the ball into his own net.

    Luckily this was just a friendly match, but as we've seen before—in a U.S. game, nevertheless—a bad goal can happen on the biggest stage as well.

Showing Where the Sun Don't Shine

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    Well, this answers the common question of boxers or briefs, doesn't it?

    Although no athlete ever wants—or expects—to be pantsed during a game, it will occasionally happen thanks to big guys wearing skin-tight clothes.

    And when it does, well, it's not a pretty sight for anyone who had to see the unexpected full moon.

Having a Wardrobe Malfunction

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    Much in the same category of being pantsed, some athletes are unfortunate enough to experience a full-blown wardrobe malfunction during games.

    In this particular case, poor U.K. bobsledder Gillian Cooke found a major crack on the ice—and it was in her suit.

    Other times, though, it can be the embarrassment of playing in a jersey with a misspelling on it, whether it's player's team or last name.

Injuring Yourself While Celebrating

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    C'mon guys, act like you've been there before.

    It seems that some athletes need this reminder after seeing several ways guys hoot and holler after scoring a touchdown, sinking a basket or scoring a goal.

    I'm old school, so I'm not a huge fan of it.

    But when a guy goes ape and actually injures himself while celebrating, well, I don't know if I should feel bad for him or just shake my head and feel embarrassed for him.

Air-Balling a Free Throw

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    A quick reminder to all basketball players out there. They're called free throws—typically meaning they're supposed to be the simplest points of a game.

    Key word: supposed.

    As we've seen from a variety of hoopsters on all different levels, though, shooting a ball 15 feet can be like climbing Mt. Everest—nearly impossible—because there have been a laughable number of air balls and poor attempts.

    This one by Georgia College's Shanteona Keys might just be the worst, though.

Knocking Yourself Out

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    In this dude's case, I'm not sure if I should make fun of him or applaud him.

    That's because knocking yourself out isn't an easy task.

    Unfortunately for boxer Dan Lariviere, he was able to pull it off, leaving himself—and not his opponent—as the guy on his back and down for the count.

    Talk about a technical knockout—because his opponent didn't technically knock him out, so I'm not sure how this gets ruled.

Running the Wrong Way

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    I could only imagine what was going on in former Kent State Golden Flashes player Andre Parker's head a few seasons ago.

    It's the opening game of the season, the ball bounces right into his hands after a muffed punt, and his instincts tell him to take off with it.

    Too bad he didn't have Suri to tell him directions to the right end zone though, as Parker was chased—for some strange reason—heading the wrong way, finally being taken down close to where his punter had kicked the ball from.

Prematurely Celebrating

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    This has to be one of my least favorite things in sports.

    As bad as it might be to injure oneself during a celebration, it's probably a lot worse to celebrate something that didn't happen the way a player thought it would.

    From former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Leon Lett's premature celebration in the Super Bowl to the more recent one of LA Lakers guard Nick Young flaunting himself before the ball dropped through the rim, athletes really need to make sure a play is complete before popping their own collar.

Calling a Timeout Your Team Doesn't Have—in the National Title Game

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    I swear I'm not trying to pick on former Michigan standout and NBA All-Star Chris Webber.

    But, as the signature move of his basketball career, even C-Webb would probably admit that the timeout he called against North Carolina in the 1993 national title game was his most embarrassing moment.

    We all know what happened as a result of the T.O. It cost his team the game, so I won't go into further detail other than saying it had to really suck for him.

Trying to Score on Your Own Hoop—Multiple Times

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    I've shown you a few own goals on this list but never something like this.

    Missing a layup in basketball is reason enough for a baller to get a little bashful—seeing how it's one of the easiest shots in the sport.

    When this pro player from Europe did it more than one time on his own basket, though, that's when things got taken to a whole new level.

    Thankfully, his teammates stepped in and boxed him out after realizing he wasn't just trying to pull a Ricky Davis and pad his own stats.

A Butt Fumble

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    There's no reason to even defend why former New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez's infamous "Butt Fumble" tops my list.

    Let's all just sit back, watch and enjoy one of the biggest gaffes ever seen in professional sports history—and be glad that we aren't the one whose name is attached to it.