The 10 Biggest Overreactions in Sports
Athletics are defined by unpredictability, that's why we love overreactions.
Nothing pleases us more than seeing or hearing something that just makes us turn to our buddy and give them that "Ooook?" look.
From the players and coaches that take it a bit too far, to the commentators that just say the darndest things, here are the top 10 best overreactions in sports.
10. Gus Johnson Has a Coniption
It never ceases to amaze me how well CBS deploys Gus Johnson.
He's an enthusiastic commentator who is used sparingly but whenever there's a classic game taking place, he's never too far away.
Vermont over Syracuse, Ohio State beating Xavier, Brandon Stokely's circus play against Cincy last year and the UCLA comeback win over Gonzaga have all been commentated by Gus Johnson, and that's just off the top of my head.
Anyway, the focus of this slide is that 17-point UCLA comeback win in the 2006 Sweet Sixteen over Gonzaga that made Adam Morrison cry.
Trailing 73-71 with just seconds left, Gonzaga had one last chance at a Laettner-esque play. The ball was chucked a good distance before center J.P. Batista came down with the rock only to miss by a distance on his desperate attempt.
Gus Johnson's immortal call flirts with inhuman and being kicked in the nuts-sounding.
9. Ray Hudson, Period
The English commentator for GolTV is quite possibly the greatest sports broadcaster out there today.
Known for his crazy metaphors and romanticized descriptions of goals, coupled with a borderline obsession with Riqulme, Ray Hudson is simply one big overreaction.
If you haven't seen the video below then prepare to be entertained, you'll find yourself saying: What the f*** is this guy on about? a couple of times, but you'll love it, I swear.
8. They Are Who We Thought They Were!
On a Monday Night Football game in October of 2006, the struggling Arizona Cardinals gave perennial Superbowl favorites the Chicago Bears a run for their money, only to blow a 20-point lead in about 20 minutes.
The usual reserved Denny Green launched into a tirade about how the Bears were who the Cardinals thought they were. I'm hoping the readers know how the conference carried on from there, so I'll spare you the rant.
What often gets lost in Green's flip out is that it was a quality overreaction. I usually empathize with coaches that field a stupid question from a reporter, make a mockery of them, and then get patronized for "flipping out."
In Green's case, the reporter literally asked "Did you see anything different out of the Bears than when you faced them in preseason?".
Apparently Green thought that the reporter should have known that the Cardinals knew that the Bears were who they anticipated that they were going to be (obviously).
7. Gus Johnson Pt. Two: Gus Gets Racist
Shame on you if you think Gus Johnson was only going to appear once on this list!
Luckily we don't have to track back too far for Gus's next masterpiece. In a 2009 game between the Titans and the Jags. NFL superstar and fantasy football godsend Chris Johnson was in true form when he ripped off this monster touchdown run in the third quarter.
Instead of sticking to plain, crazy old Gus. Johnson (the commentator) exclaimed that CJ had "getting away from the cops speed."
I don't know what he was insinuating, but the call came under fire for possible racist undertones and definitely deserves its rightful place in the overreaction hall of fame. We were all excited Gus, there's no need for that.
P.S. There must be some fast cops in Tennessee if Chris Johnson is the only one getting away from them.
6. Rivaldo Takes a Dive for the Ages
In the 2002 World Cup, Brazilian star Rivaldo was the victim of an unspeakable offense when he was hit in the leg by a frustration kick from Turkey's Hakan Unsal.
Amazingly, the ball's contact with Rivaldo's leg made him somehow feel the pain sear in his face! The horror!
Rivaldo clutched his face in pain, delivering a stunning Oscar-winning performance. The referee, upon seeing Rivaldo, produced a red card for the Turk and sent him away.
Upon further review, Rivaldo was fined over five thousand pounds by FIFA for the fake and his flop will live in infamy as one of the best dives and greatest overreactions in football.
5. Bobby Knight Tosses the Chair
One of the most iconic overreactions in sports history, Bobby Knight taking his frustration out on a poor courtside chair in 1985.
Knight and his Hoosiers were locked in battle against rival Purdue when Coach Knight expressed his "discomfort" with a call a little too vehemently.
Knight was still milling around on the sidelines in anger while the Purdue player lined up to take his technicals before grabbing a chair and throwing it onto the court in protest of the referee's decision.
Fans have always been a fan of the "flip-out", but we haven't seen too many "chair-throws" on our day, thanks Coach Knight.
4. I'm a F****** Soldier!
After a tough loss to Tennessee, then-Miami tight end Kellen Winslow was asked a few questions about the game in the locker room.
Winslow threw a monster block on a Tennessee linebacker. The legal, yet hard hit injured the player.
Winslow stood over the victim for a few seconds which brought about questions as to whether or not he was taunting the player.
When simply asked if he knew that the player was injured, Winslow launched off into this rant.
One of my personal favorites, I guess it was a really tough loss, yeah?
3. George Brett and the Pine Tar Incident
It was a 1983 midsummer's game in Yankee stadium when Royals stud George Brett smacked a two-run long ball in the top of the ninth with two outs to give the Royals a 5-4 lead, or so he thought.
Yankees controversial manager and instigator Billy Martin turned to an obscure rule that states a foreign substance may not extend more than 18 inches from the end of the knob.
The umpiring crew measured the amount of pine tar on Brett's bat and found that the sticky stuff reached an illegal 24 inches up the handle. The crew rescinded the home run, called Brett out and ended the game as a Yankees win.
Upon hearing the verdict, the usually reserved Brett shot out of the dugout like a cannon and raced towards the umpires. Brett was restrained and immediately ejected from the game.
The Royals appealed the ruling on the game and the AL ruled that the bat should be banned from subsequent use, but should not have resulted in the home-run being reversed.
The game was later resumed and the Royals won, so everyone gets a happy ending, except Yankees fans, but who cares about them?
Despite the magnitude of the controversy, Brett tearing out of the dugout like he was going to kill someone is a far cry from the usual disgruntled manager kicking up dust with the umps.
2. Izzy Alcantara and the Unluckiest Man on the Face of the Earth
A lot of people like to wallow in their own self pity when they think they had a bad day.
Watch Wilkes-Barre/Scranton catcher Jeremy Salazar catch a karate kick in the face from Izzy Alcantara, then you can re-evaluate how bad your day really was.
Pawtucket Red Sox outfielder Izzy Alcantara was brushed back by a pitch from Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton's Blas Cedeno for the second time during a 2001 regular season game and decided that he had enough.
Instead of charging the mound like a normal person, Alcantara made it a bad day to be a catcher and kicked Salazar straight in the head before running to the mound.
Alcantara was suspended a mere six games for the crane kick, but his uncalled for beat-down will forever live as one of sport's biggest overreactions.
1. The Malice at the Palace
The November 19th, 2004 game between the Pistons and the Pacers in Auburn Hills was fueled by leftover hate between the two squads after their Eastern Conference Finals clash the year before.
The Pacers had the game wrapped up with about 50 seconds left, when Ron Artest fouled Ben Wallace from behind on a dunk attempt.
The hard foul led to a confrontation between players from both teams. Amid the squall, Artest laid down on the scorer's table when a fan threw a cup of Diet Coke at Artest that hit him in the chest.
In the greatest (or worst) overreaction in sports, Artest charged up into the stands and pursued a man he mistakenly took for the perpetrator, punching him straight across the face.
Artest's teammate, Stephen Jackson joined in, running up into the crowd and throwing punches at fans. Fans spilled onto the court as players from both teams ran amok in the brawl.
After Artest was brought down onto the court, he was confronted by two fans. Not to be denied, Artest punched one fan in the face, knocking him into the other. Jermaine O'Neal cleaned up the mess by socking the other one in the jaw to ensure he was down for the count.
The remaining seconds of the game were called off as the scene became violent and dangerous. Debris and more beverages were thrown onto the court as all players were escorted off. When it was all said and done, nine fans were injured and two had to be taken to the hospital.
The event would forever be known as the Malice at the Palace, and consequently the greatest overreaction ever in sports.