There's no denying that 2011 was kind of a nightmare. Honestly, without getting into the nitty gritty specifics of world history, I think it would be pretty fair to say that 2011 was the worst year ever.
I can't speak for the entire year, but I've got documented proof that 2011 was the worst year ever for: home sales, a Nintendo console, security breaches, Kris Humphries, greenhouse gases, Adam Dunn, PR disasters, sports, weather disasters, movie titles, the Hendra virus, mutual funds, bed bug infestation, DeSean Jackson, allergies, fantasy football busts, potholes, Hugh Hefner, wind farm energy and prescription drug shortages.
To counterbalance that stark reality, here are the funniest sports moments of 2011.
In December 2011, Redskins receiver Jabar Gaffney celebrated a touchdown against the Patriots with a "Landover Leap." It's kind of like a Lambeau Leap but with significantly more questions at quarterback…just kidding, Skins fans.
Too bad Gaffney managed to leap into the only group of Patriots fans within 30 yards. There's actually a little kid with a Pats hat who looks physically disgusted as Gaffney approaches in the slow motion replay.
Check out the video at NFL.com
In January 2011, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie said that he thought NFLPA union leadership was acting like A-holes.
Then, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck publicly wondered (via Twitter) if Cromartie even knew what CBA stands for.
And then, Cromartie publicly threatened (via Twitter) to smash Hasselbeck's face in.
Wow...so that escalated rather quickly, didn't it? According to SBNation Seattle they made nice about a month later.
In March 2011, the University of Memphis cheerleaders won some type of national cheerleader competition…and this is how they celebrated.
I'm not going to say that they're all obviously on meth...but I'm not going to not say it.
In December 2011, Vikings defense end Jared Allen punched Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards in the crotch after a play. In Allen's defense, he did warn him in advance.
"Ray is obviously a former teammate and a friend of mine. I told him before the snap that he's known for blowing up the long snapper on the field goal.
So I told him: 'You run me over here, I'm going to punch you square in your wiener, dude.'"
And punch him square in the wiener he did. Huzzah.
In July 2011, during a game between Chelsea and Kitchee, Yossi Benayoun had visions of glory clouding his mind when he attempted a bicycle kick in front of the net.
Those visions of glory went up in smoke when that bicycle kick resulted in the ball connecting with his face instead of the net.
When in doubt:KISS (keep it simple, stupid)
In November 2011, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch defined "Beast Mode" when he got tangled in some camera cords and tripped.
Wait…that doesn't sound right.
After his 49ers defeated the Lions, Jim Harbaugh was so jacked up that he put a little too much juice in his postgame handshake with opposing coach Jim Schwartz.
If Schwartz didn't like the handshake, he really didn't like the aggressive backslap that followed it.
A well publicized fracas ensued.
In Harbaugh's postgame press conference, he basically apologized for having too manly of a handshake for Schwartz. I'm sure Schwartz appreciated it.
In an April 2011 loss to the Wizards, Celtics guard Von Wafer made an ass of himself by prematurely celebrating a dunk.
Given the circumstances (playing the Wizards into overtime, days before the playoffs), gloating seemed more than a little uncalled for.
Considering he totally missed on the dunk, it seemed all the more uncalled for.
I love Bills receiver Stevie Johnson and I also love rap music.
However, I do not love Stevie Johnson rapping.
Please don't quit your day job, Stevie.
In March 2011, the Wizards had a local mascot dunking contest during halftime at a home game.
Turns out the GW Colonial has exactly the dunking ability you'd expect from a novelty George Washington with an over-sized head.
In November 2011, Chargers kicker Nick Novak really had to use the facilities late in a game against the division rival Broncos.
Since there are no potty breaks during NFL games, Novak had to improvise.
I just bought this! His new name is NINO
Three weeks later, he tweeted:
My coach says NO GIRLS allowed in the rooms doing (sic) training camp but he never said no Gators! Me and NINO getting Bunk Beds! #Soexcited
In November 2011, Ole Miss defensive tackle Terrell Brown attempted to catch a breather during a game against LSU.
Apparently, the rickety lawn chairs provided on the sideline have a strict 400-pound weight limit, because they couldn't support the 6'11", 415-pound Brown.
In the final moments of a tie game against Texas in January 2011, UConn's Roscoe Smith scooped up the rebound after a blocked shot and heaved what he had hoped would be the game winning shot, 80-feet down court.
The shot sailed over the net and into the crowd, as most full-court shots do. His effort might have been appreciated if there wasn't 11 seconds left on the clock.
Walker redeemed himself in overtime by scoring UConn's final seven points, leading his Huskies to a victory. Meaning he can laugh about it now, which is good, because that could have turned out so much worse.
I played soccer for almost 10 years, and one of the first things we learned was, don't throw things at the referee. Kidding, we didn't actually have to learn that, because we weren't idiots.
The best part of the video is that the guy actually tries to contest the red card after he kicks his shoe at the ref. "OMG dude! I swear it was a total accident."
In June 2011, the Amarillo Sox, an independent minor league team in Texas, announced that they would be unveiling their new team mascot at a game the following week.
This vulgar monster is what those Texas masterminds were referring to.
Apparently it's supposed to be a dirty sock…exactly what you were thinking, right? Unsurprisingly, the creepy freakshow was sent back for a total redesign.
In a game against the Redskins in October 2011, Bills backup quarterback Tyler Thigpen made the only highlight reel he'd make all year.
Unfortunately for Thigpen, the highlight was him getting drilled in the dome by an errant football.
In February 2011, Heat forward Chris Bosh shot 1-for-18 in a loss to the Bulls.
Sure, the Heat lost the game, but Bosh brought home the Oscar for best male actor in a drama thanks to his performance after Bulls' forward Carlos Boozer almost elbowed him.
The replay showed that Bosh wasn't even touched, but that didn't stop him from writhing around on the ground feigning some kind of injury.
In December 2011, Mizzou and North Carolina were slated to meet the day after Christmas in Shreveport, La. in the Independence Bowl. Kickoff was scheduled for 4 p.m., and the winner of the game would be presented the crystal Independence Bowl trophy after the game.
The players had to wait, but Mizzou's Truman the Tiger got a sneak peak at the hardware during a pre-game photo shoot. Apparently the event was overwhelming for the mascot, because he ended up dropping the trophy; shattering the crystal football on top.
After Truman's incident, the Mizzou Alumni Twitter account posted this photo with the following message:
Rumor has it that Truman the Tiger broke the @IndyBowl trophy today. If you break it, you own it…right? #Mizzou
A local jeweler was able to replace the trophy before game time and Mizzou went on to win the game. No word on if Truman got to keep the broken trophy or if they gave it to North Carolina as a participation gift.
Heat forward LeBron James takes a lot of…um…heat…for many things, including dunking on little kids. It's time to give LeBron a break.
First of all, he's at a children's basketball camp, which is a nice thing that he's not required to do. Secondly, nobody wants to see LeBron making layups; why do you think nobody watches women's basketball? And finally, it's never too early to learn that nobody is going to lay down for you in the real world.
My 2012 New Year's Resolution: Forgive LeBron. It's time.
In April 2011, Real Madrid defeated Barcelona, 1-0, to capture their first Copa del Rey trophy since 1993. The team returned to Madrid following their victory and partied in the rain on an open-top bus until the wee hours of the morning.
Sergio Ramos probably should have called it a night at some point prior to the moment he dropped the trophy off the bus, where it was promptly run over.
In November 2011, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez lined up as a receiver in a wildcat formation against the Bills. And then he proved that if he fails at quarterback, he has no chance of making it at any other position.
The views expressed by ESPN do not reflect the views of Amber Lee (please don't leave angry comments about America).
In September 2011, Giants linebacker Michael Boley scooped up a Rams fumble and ran it back 65 yards for a touchdown. How you'd describe happens next probably depends on your geographic proximity to New York City. I'll explain…
The NY Daily News headline on the incident: "Michael Boley's touchdown celebration goes awry as NY Giants LB smacks intern with the the ball." There's no video included, and Boley's apology is noted.
The headline at NESN Boston: "Michael Boley Scores Touchdown, Throws Football in Face of Sideline Worker (Video)." There's no apology included, but the author is sure to mention that the employee was straight up drilled square in the face.
Gotta love that Boston/New York rivalry.
In May 2011, Charles Barkley showed off his golf skills at the Regions Traditions pro-am at Shoal Creek. Turns out Barkley has a pretty nontraditional swing that may, or may not, result in a broken driver.
In February 2011, Vanderbilt mascot Mr. Commodore did a little crowd surfing at a game and capped it off by punching a Vanderbilt fan square in the nose.
Said punch resulted in a bloody nose for the fan, and a lifetime of laughter for the rest of us.
In February 2011, ESPN Deportes reporter Nico Hueto engaged in a standoff with a territorial alpaca, and the territorial alpaca scored a decisive victory.
Hueto was in Peru covering the U20 Sudamericano football tournament at the time. Something tells me he won't be returning to Peru for a vacation.
In August 2011, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was so excited about the start of the NFL preseason that he felt a chest bump was the only way to truly express his enthusiasm.
He really should've given his teammates a heads-up, though. This is what happens when you surprise chest bump otherwise engaged individuals.
In April 2011, ESPN released its latest SportsCenter commercial, which depicted the Stanford Tree walking in on a conversation between Braves slugger Jason Heyward and ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt.
Heyward is explaining the process by which baseball bats are made and naturally, the Stanford Tree was a little horrified by the process
Poor guy had a pretty trying trip to Bristol...earlier in the day, The Tree took this nasty spill on the steps outside ESPN headquarters.
In August 2011, Pirates pitcher James McDonald pitched seven innings before leaving his bullpen with a 6-4 lead. McDonald celebrated immediately by giving himself a Gatorade bath in the dugout.
Naturally, the Pirates went on to lose in the ninth inning, which is why they're they Pirates.
Click over to TotalProSports to see a better quality video from MLB.
In October 2011, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy celebrated a first down by punching head coach Andy Reid in his ample gut.
You'd think the extra padding would prepare Reid for such a blow, but he takes it with the ease of a someone taking cannonball to a bare belly.
It's no secret that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was absolutely desperate for a championship.
When Dirk and Co. delivered in June 2011, Cuban was so thrilled that he vowed never to part with the championship trophy.
In October 2011, a dog ran onto the pitch during Santa Fe's Copa Sudamericana match against Botafogo. The game was pretty dull, Santa Fe was up 4-0 and apparently, the dog sensed the crowd (and the Internet) needed some entertaining.
The dog stormed the field in the 67th minute and proceeded to run around for three minutes while humans embarrassed themselves by trying (and failing) to catch him.
In August 2011, NASCAR drivers Boris Said and Greg Biffle reportedly "battled on-track and later had words in the garage." The confrontation was apparently just the result of a long-standing feud between the pair.
Said did a post-race interview with ESPN and had some fightin' words for Biffle:
"He's the most unprofessional little scaredy-cat I've ever seen in my life. He won't even fight me like a man. So if somebody will text me his address, I'll go visit him at his house and show him what he really needs. He needs a whooping, and I'm going to give it to him. He was flipping me off, giving me the finger, totally unprofessional, two laps down. He's a chump.
I went over to go talk to him, he gets out and throws some little baby punches, I get out and he goes and hides behind some big guys, but he won't hide from me for long. I won't settle it out on the track, it's not right to wreck cars, but he'll show up at a race with a black eye one of these days. I'll see him somewhere."
Just a tip: Never use the word "scaredy-cat" if you want to sound intimidating.
In March 2011, Wild winger Cal Clutterbuck tried to check Canucks winger Alex Burrows. Clutterbuck tried and he failed.
Clutterbuck seemed to have Burrows in his sights, but his miss was so bad that he ended up checking himself into the Canucks bench instead, landing face-down behind the boards.
Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson definitely has a flair for the dramatic and the acrobatic. In December 2011, he scored a touchdown against the Cardinals by doing a full flip over a defender and sticking the landing. An instant classic.
Also an instant classic was this epic dive against a Browns defender in November 2011.
In June 2011, Wizards star John Wall threw the ceremonial first pitch at a Nationals game.
Correction! In June 2011, Wizards star John Wall threw the worst ceremonial first pitch in the history of ceremonial first pitches at a Nationals game.
I liked it so much more when my boy John Wall was known for this instead.
In October 2011, the Titans attempted an onside kick late in the third quarter in an effort to cut into a huge Steelers lead.
Players from both teams dove on the ball, and the referees got into the scrum to sort the important matter of possession…and this was the result.
In case you're interested, the Titans recovered the kick and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck rewarded their efforts by throwing an interception on the first play of the drive. And then they lost the game.
In December 2011, Tiger Woods won the Chevron World Challenge, his first win in 749 days…and thanks to some glory chasing a-hole in the crowd, most of us will remember the momentous occasion as the "mashed potatoes incident."
In March 2011, Heat forward LeBron James spurred an unlikely comeback by booting teammate Chris Bosh in the face with the ball. Unfortunately for him, it was the Magic's unlikely comeback from 24 points down.
The Orlando Sentinel described it as "a comical and bizarre play that signified the Heat's collapse."
Obviously, the Heat rebounded from the loss, but that doesn't make this any less funny. Chris Bosh is the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA; he don't get no respect.
In December 2011, the Broncos decided to go "all in" on the whole circus theme of their season and feature a monkey riding a dog during halftime. That much you know…
What you don't know is that the monkey riding a dog is actually a metaphor for Tim Tebow's NFL career to date: It's weird, it's unexpected, it's a damn spectacle, yet we can't look away, even though it's starting to feel a little mean.
In March 2011, MMA badass Brock Lesnar stopped by the set of ESPN's SportsNation to pull an early April Fool's prank on Colin Cowherd.
Best headline about the incident (courtesy of Steven Cofield of Yahoo! Sports):
Tough talking radio host Cowherd nearly soils himself when confronted by Lesnar.
I can't improve upon that, so I won't even try.
Nobody should have been surprised that Bears running back Marion Barber single handedly blew the game against the Broncos. What's surprising is that the Bears didn't cut Barber on the spot after his touchdown celebration backflip fail against the Panthers earlier in the season.
Obviously, it was a sign of things to come.
Fans of the Toronto Raptors don't have a lot of incentive to fork over their hard earned skrilla, but thanks to their ridiculous mascot, they have at least one.
In April 2011, the Raptors velociraptor entertaining the crowd by attempting a cartwheel on a railing. It would have been entertaining if he had pulled off the stunt, but it was twice as entertaining that he didn't.
At the 2011 X Games, the women in the Moto X Enduro X competition failed so epically that it was truly a black eye for all women. According to TotalProSports.com, the competition is a "race that not only test the speed and skill of a rider, but also their toughness and endurance."
The fact that anyone managed to finish is a miracle. When all was said and done, Maria Forsberg won the gold medal, but I think that a participation certificate for everyone would have been more appropriate.
Normally, players are the ones taking the dives in front of referees in order to draw some sort of penalty. This ref turns that whole dynamic on its ear.
This ridiculous scene is epic.
Brewers slugger Ryan Braun has had some serious ups and downs this year, hasn't he? The PED scandal is pretty rough, but his double belly flop in August 2011, which ultimately cost him his inside-the-park-homer, was rougher.
Click over to MLB.com to see the amazing video.
I'm hesitant to call what Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is doing here, "dancing," because that seems like an insult to dancing. Jeez, it's horrifying, but you gotta admire this dude's self-esteem.
I'm not really a NASCAR fan, but this invocation by Pastor Joe Nelms almost converted me.
We want to thank you tonight for these mighty machines you brought before us. Thank you for the Dodges and the Toyotas. Thank you for the Fords, and most of all, thank you for Roush and Yates partnering to give us the power that we see before us tonight.
Thank you for GM performance technology and RO7 engines. Thank you for Sunoco racing fuel and Goodyear tires that bring performance and power to the tread.
Lord, I wanna thank you for my smokin' hot wife Lisa, my two children, Eli and Emma, or as we like to call'em; the little E's. Lord, I pray you bless the drivers and use them tonight; may they put on a performance worthy of this great track.
In Jesus' name, boogity boogity boogity, Amen.
In September 2011, Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett gave what might have been the weirdest press conference of all time. Here's the transcript via Deadspin:
Tryin' to get our two boys ready to carry 'em to the golf tournament 'fore practice, right? Twelve cats live 'cross the road. Our door's open. Screen's broke—we need to get a new screen door—but the screen's broke, so you can come in through the screen but you can't get back out of it. I turn'n look; there's a little kitty cat in our—in our kitchen.
So I said, "What're you doin' in here, little kitty cat?" By that time, [indecipherable cat noise], the cat turns, tries to get back out, but the screen won't go that way. Cat starts goin' "MEEOOOOW!" All crazy! And I told our players: we need to have more dogs. Beau's barkin' in the back, I have to go shut Beau up, Mel's like, "What's goin' on?" I say, "There's a cat in the house." "Cat in the house?!?" I said, "Yeah, there's a cat in the house!"
So I told our players, I tried to let it out the front door—"MEEEOOOW!"—the cat's still goin' crazy in there. And I told our players: you need to be more like a dog! We don't need a bunch of cats in here—"meeeooow!"—lookin' in the mirror. "I look gooooood, I got my extra bands on, I got my other shoes"—Be a dog! We don't need no meows, we don't need no cats. We need more dogs.
In other news, David Bennet was fired in December.