10 Times Sports Fans Were Shocked in 2015

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2015

10 Times Sports Fans Were Shocked in 2015

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    Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

    It's not uncommon for sports fans to get their minds blown nearly anytime they sit in front of the TV or at their seat in a stadium or arena, but, so far in 2015, there have been a few moments that have caused all of us to wonder what in the hell is going on out there?

    This year has been filled with upsets, wacky plays and great teams that have defined it, reminding us all why sports are so unpredictable and fun to begin with.

    So without further ado, here are the 10 times we were all blown away and shocked with what we saw—with some of us still trying to pick our jaws up off from the floor.

Honorable Mention: Golden State Warriors' Historic Start to NBA Season

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    After winning their first NBA title in 40 years last season, the Golden State Warriors have proven that they aren't about to have some hangover following the success, steamrolling their opponents so far in the 2015-16 season and breaking a record for the best start in NBA history by any team.

    There's plenty of talk about what this team can ultimately do, with some thinking they'll challenge the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team that won an NBA-record 72 games and, more importantly, the NBA title.

    What the Dubs are doing is nothing short of spectacular, with insane stats and victory margins being unfathomable as last year's league MVP, Stephen Curry, continues to show why he's the most lethal shooter ever.

J.J. Watt's Upper Deck Passing with Fans

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    It might not have been a play in an actual game or an ending that had every fan yelling at their TV set, but watching the Houston Texans' J.J. Watt casually play catch with a fan who was sitting in the upper deck drew plenty of attention from people.

    That's because, well, frankly it shouldn't be possible.

    Seeing how freakish of an athlete as Watt is, this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, yet the guy continues to amaze us all by making the most improbable thing just part of his everyday life. Man, it must be nice.

Georgia State Panthers Stun Baylor Bears to Bust Everyone's Bracket

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    I don't boast often, but I'm going to go ahead and say that I was pretty happy I called one of the biggest upsets in last year's NCAA tourney when the Georgia State Panthers knocked off the No. 3-seeded Baylor Bears.

    It wasn't so much that the Panthers won, but it was how they were able to pull it off and how the drama completely engulfed us all who were at home—or ditching work—watching.

    Senior R.J. Hunter, last season's Sun Belt Conference scoring leadershot lights out down the stretch, scoring 12 of his team's final 13 points to send the Panthers on a 13-0 run. It was capped by a ridiculous 35-foot trey with three seconds left to give his team a one-point lead that ended up being the final margin.

    If there wasn't madness before this game, Hunter and his Georgia State teammates certainly walked into the room and tossed it onto everyone.

Miami Hurricanes Beat the Duke Blue Devils on Botched 8-Lateral Final Play

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    It may not have had much bearing on the final College Football Playoff standings or national title picture, but the ending of the Duke Blue Devils and Miami Hurricanes football game this season is still one of the most talked about in sports.

    That's because the refs blew it, missing a blatant call that cost the Dukies a victory and rewarded the Canes by mistake.

    More than the bad call, though: How about the fact that Miami was able to pull off an 8-lateral return with no time on the clock to score the winning touchdown? Sure, it didn't actually count—which the ACC later admitted—but in the moment, it was one of the most insane things I've ever seen.

    For their mishandling of the situation, the refs were suspended, but even that doesn't seem like it does the Blue Devils justice seeing as how this win was theirs, except it won't show up in the standings.

Game 5 of the ALDS Between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays

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    Anytime there's an elimination game in the playoffs between two teams fighting to keep their seasons alive, there's going to be tension and bad blood.

    When you add in a series of ridiculous plays that not even the baseball gods could explain, though, that's when things get taken next level—and, rest assured, that's exactly what happened in the seventh inning of Game 5 of this year's ALDS between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays.

    First it was a deflected ball off a bat while the catcher was attempting to throw it back to the pitcher, leading to a run being scored and instant controversy.

    Then there were the Jays' fans tossing beers after finding out the play had been upheld, causing a near riot in Toronto that would not have ended pretty.

    Lastly, there was jubilation and a near bench-clearing brawl following an epic bat flip by Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, who buried the hatchet on all the madness by hitting a complete bomb in the bottom of the seventh that gave his team the lead for good.

    Game 5 between these two teams is why postseason baseball is the best, and it involved things that we will, quite possibly, never, ever witness again in our lives.

Kentucky Men's Hoops Loses to Wisconsin Badgers in Final Four

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    The proverbial favorites to win the national championship last season, when the Kentucky Wildcats stepped onto the court against the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four, there were only a few who believed the Cats wouldn't walk away victorious—and they were wearing Badger red.

    Boasting the top talent in the country and undefeated at the time, UK looked like it was on a crash course to the title game, where it would, presumably, end its tourney run atop a podium with a championship trophy in hand.

    Of course, nothing in sports ever goes as planned, so the Badgers had a different idea, copping revenge on UK from the previous season in which Big Blue beat Wisconsin in the Final Four.

    The win was shocking in so many ways, with UW's victory all but busting about 95 percent of people's brackets.

Dustin Johnson's Missed Putts Lose Him the US Open

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    It's not quite Jean Van de Velde's collapse on the 18th hole during the 1999 British Open, but the devastating three-putt by Dustin Johnson at this past summer's U.S. Open was just as unbelievable, disheartening and shocking.

    Sure, players complained about the greens at Chamber's Bay all week long, but no one would have imagined that the cut up and uneven grass would have this big of an affect on the final outcome.

    Johnson, who entered the 18th hole needing an eagle to win the tourney or a birdie to force an 18-hole playoff against Jordan Spieth, had three cracks at winning his first major within 15 feet and blew them all, sending the golf world into a frenzy and giving Spieth his second-straight major of the PGA season.

    Developing a history of blowing opportunities on the biggest of stages, fans have to feel for DJ.

Serena Williams Gets Upset by Roberta Vinci at US Open

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    Ranked No. 1 in the world and tearing up the women's tennis tour like no one had in nearly three decades, Serena Williams' chase for the calendar Grand Slam—meaning a victory in each of the four Grand Slams in the season—looked like it was bound to happen.

    Entering her match against unranked opponent Roberta Vinci, Williams had won 33 consecutive matches in major tournaments, dating to the 2014 U.S. Open, while her opponent hadn't even won a singles tourney since 2013.

    While Williams looked a little tight and drained, Vinci deserves credit for playing one of the most complete and perfect matches ever, knocking Williams out of the Open with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

    To say the sports world was shocked really is an understatement, as 99 out of 100 people would have told you Williams was the forgone champion of this tournament prior to the match.

Seattle Seahawks Throw the Ball in Super Bowl

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    Three feet, guys. That's all the Seattle Seahawks had to go in order to wrap up their second straight Super Bowl title by defeating the New England Patriots earlier this year.

    Instead of sticking with their bread and butter, though, the Hawks tried to get cute—and they ended up getting burned.

    With a bruising running back with the nickname "Beast Mode," all Seattle really needed to do was turn and hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch and, presumably, allow him to fight his way into the end zone for the game-winning score.

    Instead, with 20-plus seconds left, Seattle dropped back and passed with the Pats' Malcolm Butler cutting in front of the receiver to pick off the ball and turn the tables for New England's fourth championship in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era

    Again, three feet, guys! It's no wonder this is talked about as being one of the dumbest plays in sports history, ending in a way that no one in the world could have seen coming.

Holly Holm Knocks out Ronda Rousey

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    As shocking as a previously unblemished mark in Grand Slams in 2015 was for Williams, when sports fans saw the polarizing and undefeated Ronda Rousey laying knocked out on her back in a match against Holly Holm a couple of weeks ago, it was even more indescribable.

    With Rousey quickly rising to the top of the UFC food chain by becoming its most recognizable star, Rowdy Ronda had defended her female bantamweight championship in each of the previous six matches, leaving a boxer like Holm a huge underdog against the champ.

    Rather than let Rousey get close to her and maneuver her deadly armbar, Holm stood tall and was able to extend the match beyond the usual 30- to 60-second mark that had become Rousey's M.O.

    With a roundhouse kick to Rousey's face in the second round, Holm shocked everyone who thought there wasn't a female on the planet who could take out the mighty Rousey.

Michigan State Spartans Beat Michigan Wolverines on Botched Punt

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    I know that, in sports lexicon, the words "unbelievable" and "stunning" get tossed around nearly every game, but after seeing the final play of the Michigan State Spartans-Michigan Wolverines football game this year, we may need to stop overusing those.

    That's because this game was on a different hemisphere when it comes to trying to describe it, as the Spartans had all the luck on their side as everything went wrong for the Wolverines.

    First, they mismanaged the clock, forcing them to attempt a punt back to the Spartans in the closing nine seconds of the game, which led to disaster when the punter bobbled the snap, and when attempting to corral the ball, knocked it inadvertently into the arms of a Sparty player who ran it back for a game-winning score.

    Things like this aren't supposed to happen by the law of averages, but, in sports, unforgiving scenarios like this one is only part of what makes games so awesome—unless you're a fan on the losing end.

    The game itself was great, but that one play made it legendary.


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