Biggest Goats in Sports History

Austin SchindelAnalyst IIFebruary 7, 2012

Biggest Goats in Sports History

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    What establishes someone as a sports goat?

    Well, first they need to do something monumentally bad which changes the course of the game, series, or even a career.

    Second, the play is usually, but not exclusively, a boneheaded one that every fan thinks they could make.

    Finally, this person takes all the blame for a team's loss or lack of success even when it is not entirely their fault.

    Without further delay, the 25 biggest goats in sports history. 

25. Dan Duquette

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    Regardless of anyone's opinion whether Roger Clemens took PEDs or not, general manager Dan Duquette let Clemens walk away from the team as a free agent. He said, "we had hoped to keep him in Boston during the twilight of his career."

    So much for a twilight. He went on to win four more Cy Young awards.

24. Trey Junkin

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    Let's ignore the fact that there was a blatant pass interference penalty that was not called in the midst of the broken play.

    The old adage is, you never want anybody to know your name if your a long snapper, because it is probably associated with a negative play. 

    Well, we know Trey Junkin all too well.

23. Fred Brown

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    After Michael Jordan's famous shot from the wing to put UNC up over Georgetown in the National Championship game, Hoyas point guard Fred Brown came down the court and proceeded to pass the ball to James Worthy.

    James Worthy was not his teammate.

22. Patrick Stefan

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    D'oh!

    Anything worse than missing an empty net? How about it leading to a breakaway and a game tying goal with seconds remaining.

    This would have been more notable if it would have been a playoff game, but it's still worth reminding everyone of this goat.  

21. Mike Torres

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    Before we get into the moment, let us backtrack.

    The Red Sox had a 14-game lead on the Yankees that evaporated over the course of a month. A one game playoff was needed to settle the tie between the two teams that took place in Boston.

    Back to the action.

    Small hitting shortstop Bucky Dent fouls the ball of his foot. Pitcher Mike Torres chooses not to take any warmup pitches while he waits for Dent to recover and get a new bat.

    Next pitch: Homerun.

20. Tony Romo

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    Tony Romo has been called a goat throughout his career for being historically bad in the fourth quarter and crunch time.

    The play that stands out in most people's minds is the NFC wild card game against the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys had the ball at the Seattle two yard line, attempting a 19-yard field goal with 1:19 remaining.

    Romo, the holder, fumbled the snap and then tried running into the endzone with the ball before a shoestring tackle. They lost the game and Romo cemented himself as a real goat.

19. Kyle Brotzman

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    Never trust college kickers! Ever!

    Kyle Brotzman is one of many college kickers to shank a field goal attempt, but this one meant a bit more. The Boise State Broncos needed to go undefeated for any chance to play for the National Championship and at 26 yards, right down the middle, you'd think it was a gimme.

    We need a playoff...

18. Kyle Williams

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    Kyle Williams' two fumbles in the NFC Championship game were very costly. Both were on punt returns with the second being in overtime. 

    The 49ers' best asset all year was their consistently turnover free play. Williams' turnover came at the worst times, deep in 49ers territory.

    Who knew Ted Ginn Jr. would end up being the most important player not playing in the game?

17. Terry Francona

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    Francona was the casualty of a giant Red Sox collapse that included rumors of players allegedly drinking in the clubhouse and having a general laziness to their play.

    It was not Francona's fault that the players seemed to give up on him, but you can't fire the players, and someone has to go.

16. Leon Durham

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    This play comes from the Bill Buckner school of fielding. 

    Leon Durham with a runner on second base and one out, let the Tim Flannery ground ball go through his legs, allowing the runner to score. The Cubs would go on to lose the series.

    People associate this play with the long line of "curses" that the team faces. 

15. Joe Pisarcik

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    With the Giants up 17-12 with under 30 seconds remaining, all the Giants had to do was sit on the ball and run out the clock.

    But on a "miscommunication," quarterback Joe Pisarcik botched the handoff, resulting in a fumble and a touchdown return by the Eagles' Herm Edwards.

    If there was ever someone to blame for a bad loss....

14. Nick Anderson

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    Go to 4:35

    After reading Shaq's book, I have full confirmation that Nick Anderson is a goat. The way Shaq puts it, he thinks that they could have won the series had Anderson made his free throws at the end of the game.

    Instead, they were swept. Shaq left Orlando, and the rest is history.

13. John Carney

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    "Oh my God, how could he do that!!" 

    That is one of my favorite reactions ever, because the announcer said exactly what all of us were all thinking when we first saw it.

    I suppose you can make the argument that there were other plays that could have made a difference in the game up until that point.

    With all that, he still should have made it.

12. Robert Green

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    Goalie Robert Green let the Clint Dempsey's strike slide past his hands, leading to a 1-1 final against the United States. The British media destroyed Green for this effort despite not giving up another goal all game.

    The English national team has many opportunities throughout the match that they didn't convert on, but this was the play that everyone remembers.

11. Marty Mornhinweg

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    You don't go 5-27 over two years of coaching by making great decisions.

    Marty Mornhinweg's ultimate move was winning the overtime coin toss, AND TAKING THE WIND! I'm sorry, but I am still outraged by this.

    The Lions never got the ball and went on to another defeat. Great job Marty.

10. Grady Little

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    To take Pedro out or not to take Pedro out?

    Well, would you take your best pitcher out of the game after he's thrown a gem? Doesn't seem to matter now, but at the time, Little visited ace Pedro Martinez on the mound and decided to keep him in. 

    It is up to the manager to make the tough decisions, including whether to keep a pitcher in or not. In this instance, the gamble blew up in Grady Little's face. They went on to lose the series, and Little lost his job.

9. Brett Favre

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    Favre is on the 38 yard line, drifting to the sideline with room to either gain 5 yards running or just throw the ball away. What does he do? He throws across his body and into the arms of a salivating Tracy Porter.

    This is one of many costly interceptions to plague Brett Favre's career, but by age 39, you'd think he would have know better.

    Well, nobody was rooting for him anyway.

8. Jackie Smith

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    Though Smith's blunder occurred in the third quarter, well before the game was decided, his wide open touchdown drop ended up being monumentally important.

    It might not have been as big of a deal if the ball didn't hit Smith right in the numbers. Actually... Right.In.The.Numbers.

7. Steve Smith

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    Rookies make mistakes, that's inevitable. 

    But, in a game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, scoring a goal for the other team might just be the worst mistake there is.

    It was clearly a freak accident that he never meant to do, but after losing the game by one goal and consequently the series, it really doesn't what his intentions were.

6. Earnest Byner

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    Cleveland Browns fans are some of the most tortured fans in all of sports.

    Running back Earnest Byner was given the ball inside the 10 yard line, made a great move, was bursting towards the endzone, and then he remembered that he played for the Browns.

    The famous fumble ensued, and Browns fans went back into their holes.

5. Chris Webber

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    In this, the final game that the fab five played together, Chris Webber called the infamous timeout that he did not have. 

    Most will argue that without Webber the team wouldn't have even gotten to the National Championship. Regardless, this boneheaded move proved fatal for the Wolverines, who lost the game. 

4. Scott Norwood

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    Wide right!

    Scott Norwood, trying to live a normal life after football probably can't escape those two little words.

    I feel for the kicker, who missed a 47-yard attempt, no easy task, on grass. He has never attempt a kick on grass from that distance, making the miss more likely than people would like to think.

3. Steve Bartman

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    There will never be a fan as famous as Steve Bartman. Period.

    If you are of the belief that Bartman maliciously tried to mess up the play or that he was at total fault for the demise of the Cubs, then I think you need to reevaluate your position on the matter.

    To this day, he is still considered a villain and will most probably will never step foot in Wrigley Field again.

2. Bill Buckner

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    And it gets by Buckner... It always gets by Buckner.

    Let's put it in perspective. This was Game 6, with the Red Sox up 3-2 in the series. This play was huge, but there was a Game 7 to lose.

    Bill Buckner is forever vilified for losing the Red Sox the 1986 World Series. True fans know it was not all on him.

1. Andres Escobar

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    This is the worst and most tragic goat in sports history.

    Andres Escobar was a great defender and one of the leaders on the 1994 Colombian World Cup team that had lofty expectations. 

    When he accidentally scored an own goal, it set off a reaction back in Colombia that ultimately lead to his death. It was believed that many people lost a lot betting on the match and wanted payback.

    This is a very sad event that shows why sports goats are some of the most unlucky people in the world.