25 Bonehead Plays Athletes Will Never Live Down
Athletes have the power to awe with their heroics on the field. The physical ability these guys possess is, quite frankly, something the vast majority of us have absolutely no ability to comprehend.
That being said, athletes are not without fault. It seems that for every history-making play or accomplishment, there's an equally historic blunder. These guys know how to win big, but they also know how to lose big.
Of course not all boneheaded blunders are historic—some are just hilariously stupid. Here are 25 bonehead plays athletes will never live down.
25. Rice Player Likes a VERY Wide Halo on a Fair Catch
This one isn't quite as boneheaded as most of the others on this list, as it didn't have any seriously negative consequences for the player or the team. It is pretty ridiculous, though.
In September 2013, Rice opened up their season against Texas A&M, and nerves must have been a factor early. At the beginning of the second quarter, A&M kicked off after a touchdown which tied the game.
Rice's kick returner fields the ball without a problem, but for some inexplicable reason he decided to call for a fair catch despite the closest Aggie being no less than 15 yards away. You can tell he immediately regretted the flub.
24. Russell Westbrook's Unnecessary Half-Court Heave
In a game against the Kings in March 2013, Thunder superstar point guard Russell Westbrook attempted (and succeeded) to draw a penalty on a shot he never should have taken to begin with.
Westbrook got lucky because Gary Neal was all up in his grill on the shot, but generally speaking, you're not going to get a foul called on a half-court shot heaved up with 18 seconds left on the shot clock.
Things just have a way of working out for this kid.
23. Gerard Piqué's Own Goal Is All-Around Devastating for Barca
During a 7-0 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in May 2013, at some point Barcelona star Gerard Pique attempted to clear the ball from in front of his own net.
Unfortunately, the attempt (1:08 of the video) was anything but successful. Instead of clearing the ball, Pique accidentally put it in his own net.
After the match, Pique said it may have been "the worst moment of [his] career." Talk about a bad day.
22. Danny Trevathan Didn't Learn from History...Doomed to Repeat It
You'd think NFL players would have learned a little something from the high profile end zone antics of one DeSean Jackson, which have dogged him his entire career. Of course, if you actually thought that, you'd be wrong.
In the opening game of the 2013 regular season, Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan had the opportunity to ice the Ravens with a late-game interception that would've put the game completely out of reach at 48-17.
Well, apparently he likes drama. After intercepting Joe Flacco, Trevathan made a beeline for the end zone. Unfortunately, he started the celebration two yards too soon. Not only did he not score on the play, Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard was injured trying to recover the ball.
Trevathan's bumble briefly allowed the Ravens to get back in a game that they had checked out of at halftime. But in the end, the Broncos and Peyton Manning's bazillion touchdowns ultimately prevailed.
21. C.J. Watson's Dunk Disaster
In a game against the Bull in April 2013, point guard C.J. Watson, then with the Nets, ran to the net late in the fourth quarter without a defender in sight.
Watson then unleashed what should have been an easy dunk—which he must have taken for granted because he really tanked on the play.
20. Ryan Braun Falls on His Face (Something He's Getting Used To)
Considering his rapid descent into the gutter this year, it's hard to remember the Brewers' Ryan Braun as the lovable lug who hilariously wiped out while rounding third during an inside-the-park home run in a game against the Cardinals in September 2011.
Surely it must have been embarrassing for Braun at the time, but it was merely a minor hiccup in a stellar season in which he was ultimately named the NL MVP. You almost wanted to give him a hug when he finally managed to scrape himself off the dirt.
Well, what a difference a year...or two...makes. In September 2011, fans would be tripping over themselves to help Braun up. In September 2013, fans would be tripping over themselves to push his face in the dirt.
19. Kings' Goaltender Gifts Goal to Blues in OT
In April 2013, reigning Stanley Cup MVP Jonathan Quick, goaltender for the Kings, mishandled the puck in the worst way and at the worst time.
In an overtime playoff game against the Blues, Quick left the crease and went for the puck behind the net. Right as he got his stick on it, the Blues' Alex Keen surprised an obviously shocked Quick with an easy steal—which seriously never happens.
Quick...quickly...recovered and attempted to make a play, but it was too late. Steen blocked his attempt and put the puck in the net, winning it for the Blues. You know that's one he still wants back.
18. When Astros Collide
In May 2013, the website MLBGifs published this clip with the headline: "Astros Lose in the Most Astros Way Ever." I really couldn't have said it better myself.
In a game between the Astros and Pirates, two teams whose seasons would go in entirely different directions, Houston's Jimmy Paredes and Jake Elmore collided with two outs in the 10th. It caused Elmore to drop a pop-up off Pittsburgh's Brandon Inge.
Which, of course, gave the Buccos the win.
17. Not One, but TWO NBA Airballs
Missing a free-throw in the NBA is definitely frowned upon, but hitting them regularly isn't absolutely essential—just ask Shaq. However, at the very least, players are certainly expected to put the ball on the rim.
Missing a free throw is usually an excusable error that every player makes at one point or another. Throwing an airball from the foul line is excusable if you're a grade school girl. Throwing two airballs? That's just unforgivable.
But that's exactly what Pistons big man Andre Drummond did during a loss to the Bulls in April 2013. At the time, he was shooting 36.1 percent from the line on the season, which is actually more impressive than it sounds after viewing this video.
16. Jason Bay Displays His Defensive Skills (or Lack Thereof)
Please excuse the unforgivably poor quality of this video, but it just didn't seem right to make a list like this and not include former Met Jason Bay.
I know for a fact there are plenty of instances of him failing in new and inventive ways, but it seems like MLB has recently tried to scrub his existence from the game. Can't blame 'em.
In a game against the Phillies back in July 2011, Bay, now a free agent, put his defensive shortcomings on display once again while fielding a Ryan Howard hit.
Of course in this instance, "fielding" means "letting it bounce off his dome before clumsily picking it up and chucking it to the first guy in sight."
For a basketball player, things can't really go any worse on the court than they did for Belgian basketball player Pierre Yves Winkin back in November 2012. He must be one of those people for whom Murphy's Law—which states that if anything can go wrong, it will—is particularly applicable.
First he missed a layup. Then another layup. Then he misses another. And then another! Not only does he miss them, he does so with absolutely no defenders in the area. Pretty weird, huh?
Initially you may assume they all decided to take a quick water break because it was obvious Winkin was never going to make that shot. But then one of his teammates swoops in and grabs the ball, which is when you realize this dude was shooting at his own damn basket the whole time.
Hey Pierre Yves Winkin—it's time to find a new hobby.
14. DeSean Jackson Premature Touchdown Drop
Eagles' wide receiver DeSean Jackson has made a habit of costly showboating.
He has been perfecting his signature move—dropping a sure touchdown before reaching the end zone—since high school.
13. Oops, DeSean Does Does It Again!
And, of course, Jackson has since perfected his signature move in the NFL.
Although, it's been awhile since we last saw one of these from him? Either he's finally grown up, or he's just about due.
I say he's just about due.
12. Jean Segura Steals...First?
In a game against the Cubs in April 2013, Brewers shortstop Jean Segura livened things up in the eighth inning. It was definitely one of the most bizarre plays in recent memory.
It began when Segura hit an infield single and then stole second right before teammate Ryan Braun was walked. Then he was caught off base by the pitcher and took off for third base, with Braun advancing to second.
But then Segura was run down, prompting him to return to second…where Braun was waiting to welcome him. The ump called Braun out, as the rule dictates, but Segura booked it back to first, thinking he was the one called out.
I guess? Honestly...I have no idea what was going through his head at that moment. But I do know he started the play on second...almost made it to third...and ended up back at first when all was said and done.
11. Kent State Linebacker Heads for the (Wrong) Promised Land
Now this is something a football player, particularly at this level, never lives down. In Kent State's season opener against Towson in August 2012, a player's momentary confusion became a lifetime of regret.
Late in the first half, Towson's Derrick Joseph bobbled a punt, allowing Kent Sate linebacker Andre Parker to recover the ball and haul ass down field. After all, it's not often a linebacker finds himself in a position to potentially score.
Parker scooped up the ball and busted out a 58-yard run...in the wrong direction! Ahhhhhhh!
Even though the play was ultimately called back because a muffed punt can't be returned…or retreated?...you know his teammates never let him hear the end of that one.
10. Nick Swisher: Running? No Thanks...
So...uh...Nick Swisher has sure been making a name for himself in Cleveland. You may recall the Indians were the "lucky" team to ridiculously overpay the Yankees deadest of dead weight, signing him to a four-year contract worth $56 million last December.
In July Swisher treated fans to an epic preview of just what they're in for during their four-year sentence. In a game against the Tigers, he decided to just skip running to first base after making contact with the ball—even though it was vaguely in foul territory.
Apparently all that stuff they teach you in little league about running just in case is just for suckers. And Tigers pitcher Brayan Peña totally agrees.
9. Nick Swisher Didn't Run Because He's Terrible at It
Well, on the bright side, I think I know why Nick Swisher politely declined running in the last video. As it turns out, he totally sucks at it.
Which is probably why he recently treated Indians fans to a bonus fireworks show. "Sorry I'm a mediocre talent at best—let's blow stuff up."
8. Wofford Player's Whopper of a Mistake
Usually football players are expected to have mastered the basic rules of the game by the time they get to college. Such was not the case for Wofford's Stephon Shelton during a game against Northern Iowa in December 2011.
First he was flagged for roughing the kicker on a previous play, which gave Northern Iowa a few extra downs to try turning a field goal into a touchdown. And that's exactly what they did.
Perhaps hoping to redeem himself, Stephon was on deck to return the ensuing kickoff. After fielding the ball comfortably within the end zone, he elected to stay put and not attempt a return on the play. All he had to do was take a knee and Wofford would've had the ball on the 20-yard line.
But Stephon did not take a knee, opting rather to wander around obliviously. Within seconds the ball ends up on the ground and a Northern Iowa player immediately collapses on it—yep...he served up two TDs on a silver platter, and Wofford ultimately lost the game.
In October 2012, GoUpstate.com published an article entitled "Wofford's Shelton not defined by infamous mistake." Proving that Shelton is obviously defined by that infamous mistake.
7. Devin Setoguchi Penalty Shot Fail
For offensive players in hockey, there's nothing better than a one-on-one matchup with a goaltender. During an NHL shootout, your average shooter has a decided advantage over the average guy in goal.
Of course, that's only if the shooter actually manages to get a shot off—which really shouldn't be too difficult under the circumstances. Although it did prove extremely difficult for the Wild's Devin Setoguchi during a game against the Canadiens in May 2012.
Having already scored a goal and an assist in regulation, he likely felt pretty good about his chances. But for whatever reason, Setoguchi just completely fell apart. He never even got a shot off. Setoguchi overshot the puck initially and in his attempt to recover, he just...fell down.
6. Wild Pitch on a Walkoff Has Disastrous Results
In August 2013, Double-A pitcher Alan Farina of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats decided to load the bases and intentionally walk a New Britain Rock Cat batter in a tie game.
Walking the batter in this situation allows the player at third to be forced out at home as he runs into the waiting arms of the catcher. As long as you don't screw it up, which no one ever does. No one except Alan Farina of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, that is.
After throwing three pitches without incident, Farina launches a wild pitch on the fourth, which sails right over the head of the catcher. The mistake allowed the winning run to score and the Rock Cats to win the game.
5. Tim Lincecum Actually Falls off the Mound
It was a case of life imitating career trajectory when Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum literally fell off the mound and into the dirt during a game against the Rockies in May 2013.
It came a season after the Cy Young winner was relegated to relief appearances because of a sharp decline in his production as a starter. I'd like to say Lincecum rebounded in a big way this season...but I'd be lying.
He's been so bad the last two years that the mound is trying to evict him.
4. Chris Bosh: 1, 2, 3 Dunks You're out
Sometimes it just feels like Heat big man Chris Bosh can't just catch a break. Sure he's got a couple of NBA championships, but if LeBron James is Batman and Dwyane Wade is Robin (or vice versa)—what does that make Bosh?
He's not cool enough to be a hero or a villain. So I guess that makes him Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's trusty butler.
Seriously though, would Batman or Robin ever miss three straight dunks against the Hornets in about 15 seconds? 'Cause that's exactly what Bosh did in December 2012. Guess he's always going to be riding side car on LeBron and D-Wade's Harley.
3. Ilya Bryzgalov, Hockey Goalie, Afraid of Hockey Pucks
In June 2013, the Flyers decided to part ways with Ilya Bryzgalov, their socially awkward goaltender who had done nothing but rub people the wrong way since being acquired prior to the 2011-12 season.
Of course, he wasn't sent packing for being an unlikable weirdo. Considering they were on the hook for his nine-year, $51 million contract, something tells me the Flyers would've put up with a weirdo if he was good at his job.
Buuuuuuuut...Bryzgalov was not good at his job. The primary duty of a hockey goalie is putting yourself in between the puck and the net, which Bryz was not so fond of. And by "not fond of," I mean really scared of.
In this video, he can clearly be seen actively avoiding the puck on an incoming shot. And it wasn't an isolated incident—it's more like Bryzgalov's signature move.
2. Chris Webber's Timeout Trauma
In the 1993 NCAA Championship basketball game, Michigan star Chris Webber inexplicably called a timeout with 20 seconds remaining on the clock. He was hoping to set up a game-winner against North Carolina, which makes sense.
Well...it would've made sense if the Wolverines actually had any timeouts left. Webber was completely confused and earned a technical foul. Instead of setting up a game-winner, Michigan watched powerless as North Carolina sunk two free throws to win the game.
1. Mark Sanchez Becomes...the Butt Fumble
Having officially lost his starting job to rookie Geno Smith, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is in serious jeopardy of having his entire NFL career defined by two words: Butt and Fumble.
The infamous play in which he stumbled face-first into the rear quarters of offensive lineman Brandon Moore happened in a game against the division rival Patriots on November 22, 2012. A day that will live in mockery.
It seems Sanchez's snafu is still giving us the giggles almost a year later. After 40 straight weeks atop SportsCenter's "Not Top 10" list, ESPN recently announced the official retirement of the Butt Fumble.
R.I.P. Butt Fumble—you will live in our hearts and minds forever.