Star Athletes Failing at Their Jobs

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2014

Star Athletes Failing at Their Jobs

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    John Froschauer/Associated Press

    Everyone wants to absolutely kick ass at their job, but unfortunately it doesn't always go down that way.

    And while normal people like you or I could potentially get canned for failing at doing our work, pro athletes have a little bit more luxury when they mess up.

    Just take a look at some of these star players who, although they failed, were still able to maintain their spot in the lineup each and every day.

    Yet we still remember them messing up.

Jose Canseco

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    It looks like former MLB slugger Jose Canseco forgot that he was supposed to use his glove and not his head to try and catch the ball.

    Looking completely lost while tracking down this big fly against the Cleveland Indians in the '90s, Canseco and his big gaffe are seen regularly on blooper shows.

    I can't help but think that this would knock me out.

Bill Gramatica

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    Note to self: act like you've been there before.

    That's probably the advice that former NFL kicker Bill Gramatica could have used following this ridiculous, self-imposed injury following a 43-yard field goal against the New York Giants in 2001, tearing his ACL.

    I get going nuts after a Super Bowl-winning boot, but Gramatica's injury came just before halftime of a regular season game—which should never really be a cause for such celebration.

Bill Buckner

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    A simple ground ball.

    That's probably what former All-Star Bill Buckner said to himself thousands of times following the biggest error of his life, letting a slow roller go between his legs during the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets.

    Even with a successful 22-year career, Buckner's lasting moment always comes back to this blunder that cost the Boston Red Sox a chance at the World Series title, thus extending the Curse of the Bambino and causing fans to send Buckner death threats for the costly mistake.

Tony Romo

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    Maybe it was a wet ball? Or the crowd noise? Or lack of concentration?

    Whatever the reason for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo dropping the ball during a gimme field goal attempt in a playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks in 2006, the guy did look silly.

    I mean, the only thing he has to do is catch the ball and put a finger on the tip—how difficult is that?

    Making matters worse was Romo's attempt to then try and actually outrun everyone else on the field, which ended with him getting chased down from behind.

Jean Van de Velde

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    It's actually uncomfortable to watch.

    France's Jean Van de Velde didn't just smell the 1999 British Open, he was nearly chomping on it—that is, of course, until his collapse on the 18th hole.

    Needing just a double bogey to still win the tournament entering the final tee box, Van de Velde couldn't have played a more dreadful hole, sending his ball all over the place and eventually triple-bogeying.

    He lost in a three-way playoff.

Brandon Weeden

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    As a Cleveland Browns fan, I can't tell you how annoyed I am at plays like this that have become all-too-common since the team had a rebirth in 1999.

    Starting over 20 different quarterbacks in 15 years, one of the most recent ones—which also happened to be a former first-round pick—was Brandon Weeden.

    Sure, the dude was blessed with a cannon for an arm, but his decision-making was sometimes a little questionable, with this pass against the Detroit Lions last season being one of the most horrific football decisions that anyone will ever see.

Sean Landeta

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    Who would have ever imagined that punting a football could be such a tough task?

    Back during an NFC playoff game in 1986, former New York Giants punter Sean Landeta learned that his job description was more challenging than just dropping some pigskin on his foot, as he whiffed on a ball that was eventually picked up and run in for a touchdown by the Chicago Bears.

    The Bears went on to win the Super Bowl that year, and Landeta's swing and miss certainly helped the perception of their dominance in the postseason.

    Silly punter.

Chris Webber

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    Oh the misery.

    Unfortunately, for former star forward Chris Webber, his timeout in the national title game while a freshman at the University of Michigan will always be the first thing that fans think of.

    One of the biggest blunders in sports history, even after an NBA career that saw him make five All-Star teams, Webber's one shining moment will forever be his least favorite from his hoops career.

Jim Marshall

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    With the game moving so fast, it can be hard for football players to remember which direction they're actually facing sometimes.

    Although former defensive end Jim Marshall enjoyed a successful 20-year career, one moment that Marshall would rather forget is when he scooped a fumble up against the San Francisco 49ers and ran the wrong way.

    With a matter-of-fact spike in the end zone after believing he had scored, the play was eventually ruled a safety.

    At least it didn't cost his Minnesota Vikings in the end, as they would go on to win 27-22.

Julian Wright

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    Nothing's ever as easy as it first appears.

    Just ask former Kansas Jayhawks men's hoops player Julian Wright, who saw a wide open slam go for nothing during a game against Colorado a few years ago, as he went for style over substance with a tricky windmill that flopped big time.

    Losing control of the ball while going up, Wright is remembered for the missed jam rather than an unbelievable one.

Brandon Knight

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    To be fair, one didn't expect former Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight to block the shot of L.A. Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan.

    Still, that doesn't take away from the fact that Knight actually put himself in position to get posterized, with Jordan slamming on him with such authority that Knight probably took a coupe extra seconds laying on the floor to give himself some time to recover.

Patrick Roy

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    One of the best goalies in NHL history, Hall of Famer Patrick Roy had one moment that he really wishes he could have back.

    During the 2002 Western Conference Finals against the Detroit Red Wings, Roy believed he had stopped a shot, tossing his glove hand up in his usual "Statue of Liberty" pose.

    That's when he forget one big detail—the puck—as the thing squirted out and was buried into the back of the net by Darren McCarty.

    Roy's Colorado Avalanche weren't able to overcome the blunder, as it turned the entire series.

Roberto Baggio

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    A superstar in his country at the time, former Italian national team soccer player Roberto Baggio had reached legendary status even prior to his nation's match against Brazil in the 1994 World Cup Final.

    Unfortunately, he wasn't able to had to that legacy.

    During the shootout to decide the champion of the tourney, Baggio didn't just miss his PK attempt but sailed it a few feet over the crossbar, missing everything in the process.

    To be fair, Baggio did have a bum hamstring, but that's just a poor excuse for an even poorer attempt.

Alexei Ramirez

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    Hitting a curveball is one of the trickiest things to do in sports, even when you are a major leaguer.

    And Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez found out how nasty one can be firsthand, as he looked absolutely foolish dropping to his knees during an at-bat a few weeks ago against Seattle Mariners pitcher Yoervis Medina.

    There's embarrassing in sports, and then there's this—which is one of the most ridiculous things I've seen from a professional baseball player in the box.

DeSean Jackson

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    When will athletes learn to stop the early celebrations?

    We've seen guys from Leon Lett do it in the Super Bowl all the way to an entire Serbian basketball team get burned for doing it.

    And wide receiver DeSean Jackson is a recurring culprit, as he has been known to drop the ball just a bit short of the end zone a few times—costing his team in this case.