Sports 'Sins' You'll Never Live Down
Some errors in sports are more unforgivable than others. For instance, if you screw up the national anthem or score an own goal, good luck living that down for a while.
The caveat here is, of course everything is forgivable. We're talking about sports—not exactly the most serious of world issues. That said, these are just a few of the blunders that are a little harder to get over than others.
Walking Across Putt Line
Arnold Palmer wrote for Golf Digest:
The etiquette rule of never walking in someone's line of play on the putting green is an absolute. The area around the hole in particular is sacred ground. The first thing to note when you walk onto a green is the location of every ball in your group, then steer clear of their lines to the hole.
It's not only a matter of etiquette, but steering clear of the line of putt is a rule, in most cases. In 2013, English golfer Simon Dyson was disqualified from the BMW Masters for touching the line of putt with his golf ball and failing to report the required penalty on his score card.
Acknowledging a No-Hitter in Progress
This goes for fans, broadcasters, players—anybody in the vicinity of a no-hitter (or perfect game) in progress. It's like Fight Club. The first rule of no-hitters is, don't talk about no-hitters.
Whether you believe in jinxes or not, this is a good rule to follow—unless of course, you're Vin Scully. During the broadcast of Clayton Kershaw's 2014 ho-hitter against the Colorado Rockies, Scully said "no-hitter" a whole mess of times, and it didn't jinx a thing.
Then again, he's Vin Scully, and it worked out. If you acknowledge a no-hitter that goes on to get broken up, prepare to be chastised.
Crossing the Mound
Sports have a lot of unwritten rules. For instance, never walk across the pitcher's mound, unless of course you're the pitcher.
Alex Rodriguez famously ticked off Dallas Braden (then with the Oakland Athletics) in 2010 for committing this particular offense. Rodriguez made it from first to third on a foul ball then trotted right over to the mound on his way back to first.
According to George A. King III of the New York Post, Braden later said:
You know it's a shame because that guy is a tremendous talent, a superstar in every sense of the word, plays for a classy organization who always do the right things, first class all the way every time. For him not to understand the baseball etiquette of running across that pitchers mound is right next to terrible.
Messing with a Live Play
Obviously, not all unforgivable sins happen on purpose. Still, interfering with a live ball is a big no-no, one that is made more atrocious if it has a significant impact on the play or game. Just look at what happened to Steve Bartman.
Bartman's was an extreme case, but even the Cleveland Indians ball boy who recently fielded a fair ball committed an offense.
Even if it's not seen as a crime in the moment—for instance, if a fan reaches over the wall to turn a fly ball into a home run for the home team—interfering with live balls still blemishes the integrity of the game.
Standing on Locker Room Logo
In the NHL, it's unforgivable to stand on the team logo on the locker room floor. This is something hockey fans should know.
Justin Bieber appears to be a pretty big sports fan, regularly attending games, featuring many sports and many teams. Despite his apparent sports knowledge, Bieber made a grave mistake at in Chicago in 2013.
Before a concert at the United Center, Bieber visited the locker room of the recently crowned Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Fans were enraged when photos emerged of Bieber standing directly on the team's logo. Tsk, Tsk.
Choking When It Matters Most
When a reliable player fails to come through in the clutch, it's a hard pill for fans to swallow. Anger, disbelief and devastation are all emotions likely to result from such a situation.
Then again, it's hard not to feel sympathy for a guy who chokes in the biggest of moments. Mariano Rivera blew a save in Game 7 of the World Series. Scott Norwood missed what would've been a game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXV, wide right.
Missing a Big Call
Referees, officials, umpires—they're only human. But when an officiating blunder has catastrophic circumstances for one team or player, it's hard to ever live that down.
When Jim Joyce's blown call denied Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010, Joyce knew he had let the pitcher down. Joyce later apologized, in tears, and Galarraga proved even the most unforgivable sins can be overcome.
According to Steve Kornacki of MLive, Galarraga said, "He really feels bad -- probably more bad than me. But nobody's perfect. I give a lot of credit to that guy because he needed to talk to me and say, 'I'm sorry.'"
Traditions are important, even if they're weird. Winners of the Indianapolis 500 have been drinking milk in celebration (pretty much) since Louis Meyer first did it in 1933.
Then in 1993, Emerson Fittipaldi broke that tradition. The Brazilian driver chose to celebrate his Indy 500 win with orange juice, much to the irritation of devoted fans.
Two days later, Fittipaldi apologized. According to the Associated Press, via the Seattle Times, he said in a statement, "At the Indianapolis 500 this year, I drank the milk after I had a little orange juice. I deeply regret the misunderstanding and inconvenience I caused for the American Dairy Association and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
As the race winner, Fittipaldi also received a bonus from the dairy association, which he donated to charity.
Screwing Up the National Anthem
Before every major American sporting event, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played. This is a time to honor America. It is a time to bow your head, remove your cap and pay some respect. It's always important, but generally the bigger the sports stage, the more red carpet is rolled out for this tradition.
It's hard to get a stage bigger than the Super Bowl. Christina Aguilera was chosen to honor America before Super Bowl XLV in 2011, and somehow, she messed it up. There were two big errors—once the pop star sang "watched" instead of "hailed," and she omitted "O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming," altogether.
Sure, everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but come on. You had one job.
Scoring an Own Goal
An own goal is one of the more embarrassing thing that can happen to an athlete. They've happened in a variety of sports over the years, but soccer own goals are particularly troubling because so few goals are generally scored in a game.
In February, Joshua Rose of the Central Coast Mariners committed this blunder when he tried to pass the ball back to his own goalie. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't a very good pass. The Mariners were losing 2-0 at the time, but it's still a devastating thing to happen.
Signing with the Enemy
One of the best things about sports is the passion fans have—both for loving their teams and loathing their rivals. When a beloved player chooses to leave one team and sign with a rival, it can be viewed as an act of betrayal, disloyalty.
In 2005, Boston Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon signed with the despised New York Yankees in free agency. To say Boston fans were displeased would be an understatement of massive proportions. For some fans, it's one thing to leave, but it's quite another to leave for a rival as hated as the Yankees are to the Red Sox.
Fighting a Kid for a Foul Ball
Catch a foul ball, give it to a kid. That should be a rule, right? Unfortunately, some fans don't think that way.
In 2012, Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland tossed a ball into the stands. One (adult) fan caught the ball, simultaneously denying a young boy the chance to catch it. The boy cried, and the adult fan instantly became the biggest sports villain since Shooter McGavin. He might never live it down.