The 100 Worst Decisions in Sports History
A closet of Titanic proportions house these thoughts and memories of what could have been. Players, transactions and moves haunt owners, teams and fans in a type of residual haunting.
This slideshow plays host to the haunted mansion: 100 of the worst decisions ever perpetrated in sports.
Here, the ghouls and goblins are free to flourish, and continue to live in lore for our generation, and years to come. Readers beware, these choices will make you cringe!
Also check out: The BCS and 50 Things We Hate About Sports
100. Notre Dame Hiring Charlie Weis
This guy ate your four-leaf clover with a side of sauerkraut.
99. Selling the Dodgers to the McCourts
We all miss the O'Malleys in Tinseltown. No divorce, no payroll shortage, no Mannywood. 'Twas a simpler time, 'twas a happier time.
98. Denver Broncos Trading for Brady Quinn
Congratulations Broncos, you have successfully given up way too much to solidify Tim Tebow's back-up. Seriously, what were you thinking?
97. Selling the Sonics to Oklahoma City
When the owner of Starbucks decided he didn't want a franchise anymore, he suddenly saw a way to make up some of his debt.
Just like that, the Sonics were sold to an Oklahoma City businessman, and the Sonics were off to Oklahoma City to become another naturally occurring noise (Sonics to Thunder, okay?). Well, not just like that—there was the whole lawsuit thing over Key Arena—but you know what I mean.
96. Giving NFL Players Reality TV Series
Not that these two weren't prima donnas anyway, but now they have justification for it.
The horrible decision here is to let these guys have their own shows. We get enough of them with their helmets off as it is!
95. The End Zone Cell Phone
Not only would this decision from Joe Horn cost him money, it just seems like way too much trouble for five seconds of recognition.
Just find some poor fan, steal their popcorn and pour it all over your face.
94. Not Letting Blacks into MLB Sooner
Could you imagine the level of play back then had the Negro Leagues joined forces with Major League Baseball?
We could be talking about new home run champions, Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers, not to mention Cy Young winners!
93. Joe Morgan as a Broadcasting Partner for Jon Miller
Much respect to Jon Miller, a legend in the booth with a silky smooth voice and electric emotion. Then you have Joe...
He's like a ghost: He doesn't know he's retired, and he doesn't realize not everyone around him can see him all the time or cares where he is.
Also check out: The 10 Most Annoying Announcing Teams in Sports History
92. All-Star Game Determines World Series Home Field Advantage
Since when does the All-Star Game need a competitive edge? Whatever happened to the good ol' days of Randy Johnson throwing at Larry Walker?
This is a silly rule, and a horrible decision. Ten better ideas come to mind in the blink of an eye...
91. Naming Two Cities for the Same Team
The idea here is to incorporate the team into a larger media market, this time being the city of Los Angeles and surrounding areas. The problem?
There is already a storied baseball franchise in Los Angeles, and Angel Stadium isn't even in Los Angeles County.
90. Dennis Rodman...That's It
Not much explanation needed here. When this guy (and sometimes girl) is around, steer clear...bad decisions are sure to follow.
89. Jeremy Giambi Didn't Slide
Game 3 of the 2001 Division Series between the Oakland A's and the New York Yankees ended with sheer disappointment for Athletics fans.
Let's not forget the A's were up two games to none in the series. Meanwhile, they were only down one run in the seventh inning when Terrence Long hit one down the right field line and Jeremy Giambi rounded third.
It looked like he would score easily as the relay throw from the outfield hit no-man's land near the first-base line. However, Derek Jeter had sprinted across the field, and in the same motion, back-hand flipped the ball to catcher Jorge Posada, who applied the tag to the left leg of Giambi.
Had Giambi noticed what was happening, he may have chosen to slide, most likely tying the game.
The Yankees would come back to win the series, and shouts of "Slide, Jeremy, slide!" still ring through the Coliseum to this day.
88. Johnnie Morton Tries Hand at MMA
Johnnie Morton had a very successful NFL career as a wide receiver, the majority of which he played with the Detroit Lions. So when the San Francisco 49ers cut him after the 2005 season, one might expect Morton to drift into the twilight.
Instead, Morton decided to try MMA, and in his first official fight, he was knocked out after just 38 seconds by Bernard Ackah. He had revealed just minutes before the fight that he had just a few months of MMA training under his belt.
Morton was denied his $100,000 purse after refusing to take the post-fight drug test. It was later discovered that Morton was on anabolic steroids. Talk about the epitome of crash-and-burn.
87. Brett Favre's Private Peep Show of...His Privates
While in the midst of a comeback from retirement with the New York Jets, Brett Favre allegedly sent lewd pictures of himself to then-Jets employee Jenn Sterger.
The investigation is ongoing, but this is the worst decision Favre could make, aside from coming back from retirement.
86. Robin Ventura Charges Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan built a career on intimidation and outright fire-ball pitching.
When Robin Ventura charged the mound after Ryan threw at him, the Hall of Fame pitcher turned into a Hall of Fame boxer, pounding the head of Ventura with several blows.
Ventura learned his lesson, the punishment for an ill-advised, rash decision.
85. Michael Phelps Decides to Smoke Weed
Win a record number of Gold Medals, become the sports hero of an entire country, then smoke weed. Sounds like a solid summer.
84. Maradona's "Hand of God"
"In what Argentinians refer to as the "Hand of God" goal, Diego Maradona rises up between two defenders and punches the ball into the goal to help Argentina beat England in a 1986 World Cup quarterfinal.
The referee doesn't notice the hand ball, and the goal stands. Maradona gives the play its name later when he says the goal was scored 'partly by the hand of God and partly by the head of Maradona.'"
83. Bug Selig Declares a Tie
The 2002 MLB All-Star Game was running out of pitchers when Commissioner Bud Selig declared the game a tie after 11 innings, much to the displeasure of the crowd.
"I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the fans," commissioner Bud Selig said. "This is a very regrettable situation."
Yes, yes it is Bud—you as commissioner is quite a regrettable situation.
82. Letting Ozzy Osbourne and Roseanne Barr Sing at a Baseball Game
It's bad enough for Cubs fans to watch their beloved bears lose every year, but don't rub salt in it by letting Ozzy and Roseanne anywhere near the microphone.
If you do, the PA announcer might as well take a siesta, because every fan's ears will be bleeding.
81. Eastern Washington Decides To Get Red Turf
If you color your turf anything but green, you are a Boise State wannabe, no matter what you say.
Having red turf instead of blue turf isn't original, it isn't creative, but it is certainly a publicity stunt. Well done Eastern Washington football, you are a celebrity for all the wrong reasons.
Maybe you and Heidi Montag can have a useless party together!
80. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Uniform Change
After posting an article about lame jerseys (click here: The 20 Lamest Jerseys Anyone Can Own ) it was discovered that many Tampa Bay Bucs fans actually preferred the old school logo and orange jerseys over the new style. Go figure!
Therefore, changing to the new uniforms must have been a horrible decision, right?
79. Hull's 1999 Stanley Cup Finals Goal
During Game 6 of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, the Dallas Stars' Brett Hull entered the goalie crease against Buffalo Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek.
Hull initially was denied by Hasek, but tapped in the rebound for what would be the game and Stanley Cup-winning goal.
Upon replay review, it appeared Hull's left skate had entered the crease before he gained control of the puck, but the goal would stand.
78. Larry Bird Calls on Travis Best
In Game 4 of the 2000 NBA Finals, the Pacers were battling the Lakers in a tie game.
Bird called for Travis Best to enter the game to take on Shaquille O'Neal in the final moments of regulation.
Best didn't win, and neither did the Pacers, losing in OT and suffering a debilitating loss to go down three games to one.
77. Charles Barkley Gets Pulled Over While With Hooker
"Who? Her? That's my sister. In all honesty, officer, I didn't see the stop sign while I was trying to hold her hair."
Last year, Charles Barkley ran a stop sign, failed a breathalyzer test, and was charged with a DUI. All in a days work for the Round Mound of Rebound!
76. Cheering for McGwire, Sosa and Bonds
Who couldn't see this one coming? Two guys, looking awkwardly buff, belting out home runs with seemingly minimal effort.
In all honesty, it's hard to blame them. Cubs fans just wanted a championship, and Cardinals fans needed some excitement.
Still, denial can be cruel, and cheering for Barry Bonds and his abnormally large dome is hard to dismiss.
75. Evander Holyfield Agrees to Fight Ear-Munching Mike Tyson
In 1997, Evander Holyfield was on top of the boxing world, having already knocked Mike Tyson out cold in their original meeting.
What he didn't realize: Tyson was on his way down and out with revenge on the brain for Holyfield. Evander agreed to fight Tyson again, and perhaps pride got in the way of better logic.
Tyson, disgruntled with slowly losing to Holyfield again, resorted to biting Holyfield's ears while removing a piece of one ear.
The fight was immediately ended by Mills Lane after the second bite, signaling the start of a meltdown for Tyson, and he's never recovered.
74. Fan Throws Drink at Ron Artest
Before Artest decided to conquer his aggression issues, he was an Indiana Pacer, playing the Detroit Pistons.
After leaving the court following a skirmish with Pistons players, Artest was laying on a table beside the bench when a Pistons fan threw a beverage on him.
Artest jumped into the stands and starting running down Pistons fans in a rage. The incident exploded into a brawl in the stands, and one fan charged Artest and paid the price with a right hook to the face.
In hindsight, "You are an awful man, Mr. Artest" probably would have sufficed.
73. Celtics Select Len Bias with the Second Pick of the 1986 NBA Draft
In the Celtics' defense, Len Bias was an All-American in college and had skills to rival anyone else in the league at the time.
However, a quick recon into his personal life would have revealed his drug addiction, which ultimately cost Bias his life before ever stepping on an NBA court.
Bias would die from a cocaine overdose while celebrating the draft just two days after becoming a professional.
72. Lions Head Coach Marty Mornhinweg Wins OT Coin Toss, Chooses to Kick
The Lions haven't been relevant since Barry Sanders, and decisions like the one made by Marty Mornhinweg in 2001 may be the poster child of the era in Detroit.
The head coach entered overtime in a tie with the Chicago Bears, won the coin toss, and elected to kick. His logic seems sound, but in reality was quite twisted.
Having a kicker currently holding the NCAA record for longest kick (62 yards), you wouldn't think a coach would be worried about wind conditions. However, Mornhinweg elected to kick, thinking having the wind at their backs would give the Lions an advantage.
The Bears would go on to kick the game-winning field goal before the Lions ever touched the ball on offense. The coin toss decision haunts the nightmares of Lions fans dreaming of a Barry Sanders return.
71. Steve Spurrier: Epic Fail as Redskins Coach
Spurrier lasted all of two seasons with the Redskins in 2002 and 2003, in which he compiled a 12-20 record while losing 10 of his last 12 games.
As head coach of the Redskins, Spurrier experienced the shortest coaching stint of his career.
70. Plaxico Burress Takes Handgun to Nightclub
Former NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress is currently serving a jail sentence for carrying an unregistered handgun into a nightclub after accidentally shooting himself in the leg.
As the story goes, Burress felt the handgun slipping down his leg, and while trying to catch it before it hit the ground, pulled the trigger through his sweatpants (in the interview, he says they were jeans).
The decision to carry a handgun has possibly ended his career.
69. Marv Albert Bites a Hooker
"Quick! What's the fastest way I could ruin my career? I know! I'll keep some hooker skin as a souvenir!"
Marv Albert, you scoundrel you! Stay away from the hookers! They are bad for your health...and your reputation.
68. "The Fifth Down"
"As a 1990 game between the Universities of Colorado and Missouri wound down, Colorado set up shop just outside the Missouri goal line.
On their first play, they spiked the ball to stop the clock. On second down, a running play failed to breach Missouri’s defence. The Buffaloes called a timeout, during which the officials failed to flip over the down marker.
With the marker still showing second down, the Buffaloes ran again, then spiked again and finally scored on a quarterback sneak. The game-winning score was achieved on “fifth” down.
The play tainted Colorado’s subsequent national championship."
67. Advertisements on Bases in MLB
I would rather see the bases go back to dirt sacks and twine than see silly advertisements plastered on them.
Stop trying to blend NASCAR with baseball! Baseball can't get any more boring or no one will watch it and NASCAR will have claimed more victims!
66. Jeffrey Maier Assists Jeter Home Run
"The Yankees beat the Orioles 5-4 in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS when 12-year-old fan Jeffrey Maier reaches over the fence and catches Derek Jeter's flyball to right before Baltimore right fielder Tony Tarasco can make a play.
Umpire Rich Garcia, who has run out to the right-field wall, fails to call fan interference on the play and rules the ball a game-tying homer. The Yanks go on to win the game on Bernie Williams' homer in the 11th."
65. Extra Seconds, 1972 Olympic Basketball
As the story goes, the US basketball team defeated the Soviets and both teams began to walk off the court. However, the referees called the teams back, putting three seconds back on the clock.
Three seconds was just enough time for the Soviets to throw the ball to the basket, and score the game-winning layup.
The call was so horrible, many believe the game was fixed in the Soviet's favor, and they just barely squeaked by because the US team was so talented.
64. Gary Busey as "Chet" in Rookie of The Year
Gary Busey somehow just isn't synonymous with "role model."
So when he was cast as the washed-up superstar to nurture the young kid, it just didn't make sense.
Clearly one of the worst decisions in sports history (even make-believe sports).
63. Barry Sanders Retires
The third overall pick of the 1989 NFL Draft had a stellar career at Oklahoma State, and picked up right where he left off in the NFL.
Considered one of the best running backs in professional history, Sanders would retire at the age of 31, citing the losing style of play in Detroit as too much to bear.
In an ugly lawsuit by the Lions, the judge ruled Sanders didn't uphold his end of the contract he was under when he retired, and Barry was forced to pay back millions to the Lions.
He was gone too soon, and Lions fans have never been the same.
62. The XFL
The brainchild of WWF chairman Vince McMahon, the XFL lasted all of two seasons. The XFL's one claim to fame: "He Hate Me."
This league was doomed from the start, as several rule changes and wacky tactics just didn't catch on with fans, and the fad was dead before it got off the ground.
61. Designated Hitter in Baseball
With the exception of Edgar Martinez, a third baseman converted to Designated Hitter, the position is dishonorable to the game.
The strategy of America's pastime is compromised for more offense with the DH, and even worse, it is only in one league!
60. Cut to Heidi
"The Heidi Game (or Heidi Bowl) refers to an infamous American Football League (AFL) game between the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders, played on November 17, 1968 in Oakland, California.
NBC television network terminated the broadcast in the Eastern and Central time zones with 65 seconds left to play in the game, shocking die-hard football fans as they watched a pre-scheduled two-hour airing of Heidi, a new made-for-TV version of the classic children's story.
With the Jets leading 32-29 with only 65 seconds left in the game, NBC executives attempted to reach their broadcast operations unit to extend coverage of the game but were unable to reach them in time to delay the cut-over or reinstate coverage before the game ended.
In the meantime, the Raiders came back and scored 14 points, winning 43-32. As a result, no fans following the game on TV (except for those on the West Coast) were able to see Oakland's comeback live.
The complaints to the network indicated a new height of popularity for the game in the United States, and ultimately led to changes to how football games would be broadcast in the future. In a 2010 issue of TV Guide, the cut to Heidi was ranked #5 on a list of TV's ten biggest blunders."
59. Kevin Riley Scrambles Inbounds With No Timeouts
In 2007, Cal was mounting a furious comeback against the Oregon State Beavers, a team looking to upset the Bears out of the Top 10. With no timeouts left, Cal QB Kevin Riley took the snap and couldn't find anyone open. He then scrambled to the middle of the field but came up well short of the end zone.
As the offense furiously attempted to get into formation, the game clock expired, and Cal lost the game. The Golden Bears would later fall off the national ranking picture, and Riley was hounded for weeks by disappointed Cal fans and students.
58. Kevin Steele Calls a Run, Loses a Meaningless Game
Up 24-21 with 20 seconds left on UNLV in 1999, Baylor coach Kevin Steele had his team on the one-yard line of the Rebels, and called a running play.
Baylor's RB fumbled the ball, and UNLV returned it 99 yards for the touchdown. Both programs were struggling in this era, so that game didn't mean much to anyone else.
57. Barry Switzer Elects to Go For It on Fourth Down from Own 29-Yard-Line
The Cowboys and Eagles are tied at 17 with about two minutes left in the game. Faced with a fourth-and-1 on his own 29-yard-line, Switzer decides to go for it and fails miserably.
But wait! Some shoddy officiating allows Switzer to try it again. And he does...with the exact same play...and the exact same result.
The Eagles would take over on downs and kick the game-winning field goal moments later. Brilliant!
56. Tonya Harding and the Nancy Kerrigan Beating Incident
During the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Nancy Kerrigan was mysteriously attacked by a masked man with a police baton during practice.
The man struck her just above the knee, then disappeared. The deep bruise she suffered forced Kerrigan to miss the competition.
It was later revealed that Tonya Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckardt, hired Shane Stant to break Kerrigan's right leg so that she would be unable to skate.
The decision ruined Harding's career as overly-sensitive figure skating fans (go figure) ostracized her.
55. Mitch Green Calls Out Mike Tyson on the Street
As the story goes, Mitch "Blood" Green spotted Mike Tyson on the streets of Harlem on Aug. 23, 1988. Green called out Tyson, demanding a rematch.
He would get his wish as Tyson broke his hand on Green's face, requiring five stitches on the nose and a steak on an eye swollen shut. Smart move, "Blood."
Extra note: The nickname isn't cool if it's named after what came out of you when you got decked by Mike Tyson.
54. NHL Lockout of 2004-05
The NHL lockout of the 2004-05 season set out to demolish a proposed salary cap. The players' union decided they wouldn't play unless the idea was tossed out.
The result? A TV contract with ESPN was lost and a sport with few US viewers was left with none. The league has spent the last half-decade rebuilding, with marginal success.
53. Dennis Green Didn't Know Who They Think He Is
Dennis Green's Vikings lost the NFC Championship Game in 1999 when their coach decided to play it safe with plenty of time left in a tie with the Atlanta Falcons.
Randall Cunningham was the QB and Randy Moss was an available receiver.
The Vikings won the toss, but the Falcons won the game. Green knew he missed his chance in regulation.
52. Sean Avery's Sloppy Seconds
NHL loudmouth Sean Avery received a six-game suspension when he referred to another player getting his "sloppy seconds" for dating his ex-girlfriend.
The remark soon ended his career as a Dallas Star, and Avery no longer has job security for the rest of his NHL experience.
51. Betty Shine Tweaks David Icke
In 1990, David Icke was a successful sports reporter when he ran into Betty Shine while searching for a remedy for arthritis.
Shine informed Icke that he was the Son of God, and Icke would enlist followers to wear matching track suits and follow him to the promised land...
50. Jerry Sloan Tabs Bryon Russell to Guard Michael Jordan
Utah Head Coach Jerry Sloan chose Byron Russell to guard Michael Jordan in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals.
You know how that turned out...
49. Fan Streaks in Philadelphia Despite Taser-Carrying Security Guards
By now, you've seen this infamous photo. The teenager allegedly phoned his father and asked for permission before running on to the field. His father said it was probably "not a good idea" but as we all know, he did it anyway.
Since he's young, we will forgive him for not noticing the tasers on each security officer's belt. The Philadelphia security guard tasered the streaker from 15 feet away, and he dropped like a stone.
This baseball season was certainly exciting, and this is probably one of the best highlights you will ever see.
Catch the video here on YouTube:
48. Babe Ruth Ends 1926 World Series by Getting Caught Stealing Second Base
Babe Ruth was quoted as saying he thought the Cardinals would be caught off guard with him trying to steal second in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1926 World Series.
With two outs, Ruth bolted for second but was thrown out by a mile, ending the series and handing the Cardinals the title.
The 1926 World Series is the only one to end on a player caught stealing to this day.
47. White Sox Wear Shorts in Game
Yes, this actually happened. Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck had his players wear shorts for Game 1 of a doubleheader with the Kansas City Royals in 1976. What was he thinking?
Apparently, he wanted to show everyone how fun he could be as an owner. Maybe next time just hand out bobbleheads, Bill.
46. Billy Donovan Is Orlando Magic Coach for a Total of Five Days
After becoming a success at the University of Florida, Billy Donovan thought he wanted a new challenge in coaching in 2007, and agreed to a contract with the Orlando Magic of the NBA.
However, just five days later, Donovan said "sorry" to the city of Orlando and admitted making a mistake. Donovan then returned to the Florida Gators to the tune of $3.5 million per year.
His decision to leave Florida in favor of the NBA still makes Gators fans wonder where his loyalty lies.
45. US Congress Gets Involved in Steroid Use in Baseball
Don't you think that is a little drastic? For the United States government to get involved with steroids in the game of baseball?
The decision by the US Congress to investigate steroids in baseball was an unprecedented choice. It is rare any issue in sports escalates to a hearing at this level.
What was the motive? Was this really necessary? Not likely.
44. Twenty Teams Pass on Randy Moss
In 1998, the focus of the NFL draft was the duel between quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf for the No. 1 overall pick. So much buzz was generated by the QBs that everyone passed on a wide receiver with legal baggage.
However, Randy Moss would prove the doubters so wrong, and to this day, the 20 teams that passed on him missed out on one of the highest-ranked TD-catching receivers in NFL history.
43. Tim Donaghy Takes a Cue from Pete Rose
NBA referee Tim Donaghy, from 2005 to 2007, engaged in shady business ventures involving gambling on games.
Apparently, Donaghy was attempting to make extra dollars by shaving NBA games with blatantly incorrect calls.
So where is he now? Served a prison sentence, lost his job, lost his wife, and probably drinking his own tears because he can't afford to buy water.
42. Park Si-Hun over Roy Jones Jr. at 1988 Olympics
At the 156-pound Gold Medal match in Seoul, South Korea, Park Si-Hun was batted around like a helium balloon by Jones Jr. all night. Jones Jr. recorded more than double the amount of punches landed, but lost a 3-2 vote to the South Korean.
The three judges voting for Si-Hun were banned from judging for two years following the incident.
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated
41. Scott Walker "Walks" After Sucker Punch on Bruins' Aaron Ward
In the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the highly-touted Bruins would eventually lose Game 7 to the Hurricanes on a winning goal from Scott Walker, the same man who sucker-punched Boston defenseman Aaron Ward in Game 5 and received only a misconduct penalty.
The lack of suspension for the haymaker allowed Walker to put the Bruins away, by scoring a goal that wouldn't have been if a worthy suspension had been handed down.
40. Isiah Thomas and the Knicks
From 2003 to 2008, Isiah Thomas traded for high-priced mediocre players, used high draft picks to select no major talents still in the NBA, and ordered his players to commit dirty fouls in the paint, which led to a brawl with the Denver Nuggets.
Thomas was let go in shame and replaced, but left his mark on a dark era for the New York Knicks.
39. Leon Lett Dives on Blocked Field Goal
All the Cowboys had to do after blocking the potential game-tying field goal from the Miami Dolphins was just let the ball lie. But somehow, here comes Leon Lett, sliding across the snow to touch the ball and give the Dolphins a touchdown.
Lett had no idea what was going on and made a bone-headed play, created a technical fumble and a Dolphins victory.
38. Miracle on Ice: Russian Coach Benches Star Goalie After First Period
A rag-tag bunch of amateur hockey players were scraped together to represent the United States in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. The decision by Russian coach Viktor Tikhonov to pull star goalie Vladislov Tretiak may have been the key to the US defeating heavily favored Russia.
The hockey game would be remembered by the US for decades to come, including a Hollywood depiction of the game.
37. Tiger Woods "Should I Do This" Commercial
Attempting to make a statement, Tiger Woods put out a "questionable" commercial with Nike addressing his critics.
The commercial was downright annoying, and Tiger's game still hasn't improved following the fallout of the "sex addiction" scandal that caused a split with his wife and left thousands of hookers still waiting for their settlement money.
36. Don Denkinger Blows Call in 1985 World Series
It was Game 6 of the 1985 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals.
KC's Jorge Orta tapped a grounder to first, and Cardinals first baseman Jack Clark received the ball and flipped it to pitcher Todd Worrell covering first. Umpire Don Denkinger called Orta safe, although television replays showed he was clearly out.
The call is blamed for swaying the momentum of the series, which the Royals eventually won.
35. Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Etc. Denying Steroid Use
Things are so much harder when you try to cover up what everyone else already knows.
The decision to lie about steroids in front of the US Senate destroyed reputations, exposed "role models" as money- and power-hungry machines, and changed the face of baseball bitterly for an entire era.
34. Bill Belichick Quits on the Jets After One Day
In 1999, Bill Parcells resigned as the head coach of the New York Jets, paving the way for another member of the coaching staff to take over. A press conference was set up to officially introduce Bill Belichick as Parcells' successor.
However, just minutes before Belichick's scheduled acceptance speech, the coach scribbled a resignation note on a small piece of paper and handed it to team President Steve Gutman.
When it was time for Belichick to take the podium, instead of an acceptance speech, he delivered a half-hour speech on why he would not accept the position, citing differences and uncertainties with ownership.
Most see the real reason for his departure being the available head coaching position with the New England Patriots, a team that had just fired Pete Carroll.
In fact, the Jets filed for compensation with the league, saying the Patriots did not have permission to speak to him, and the league ruled the Patriots would have to give the Jets a first-round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Who knows how different the NFL would have been had Belichick stayed with the Jets? He finished his first season with the Patriots at 5-11, but everyone knows where it went from there.
This decision started the countdown on a down period for the Jets, who were left with no coaches and shattered thoughts of what could have been.
33. No Salary Cap in Baseball
Most professional leagues have a limit to the amount of money any one team is allowed to have and spend on players.
But in Major League Baseball, there is no cap on team spending, just luxury taxes for pennies on the dollar.
Anyone else tired of seeing this image? The decision to not place a cap on team spending hits this list with ease.
32. Tiki Barber Leaves Football for TV Career
In 2006, the New York Giants' all-time leading rusher announced he was hanging up his spikes in favor of a microphone.
Tiki Barber called it quits in the NFL at the age of 31, vowing to make a name for himself off the field. He became a correspondent for NBC's The Today Show.
The Giants missed out on years of further success, the NFL missed out on a potential Hall of Fame candidate, and Barber drifted into the unknown, never to be the same.
31. Randy Moss Returns to the Vikings
From day one, Randy Moss just didn't settle well with the Minnesota Vikings. Chemistry is such an important aspect to team sports, and Moss was destined to cause a violent reaction when he returned.
This season, following being waived less than a month after returning, Moss surfaced in reports alongside head coach Brad Childress, exposing issues in the locker room and a nasty tirade aimed at the team caterer.
Childress nearly lost his job after it was revealed he waived Moss without consulting the team owner.
While the Vikings are struggling mightily in 2010, the last thing they needed was a distraction like Randy Moss.
30. Ricky Williams Wears Wedding Dress on Cover of ESPN Magazine
When Ditka drafted Williams, the parody was instantaneous: Ditka gave up all the Saints' draft picks in 1999 to get him, so a marriage was in order.
However, Ricky Williams in a wedding dress...just doesn't look right.
29. Red Sox Manager McNamara Leaves Buckner in During 1986 World Series Game 6
"It gets through Buckner!"
Those words haunted Boston Red Sox fans for years as they were one out away from wining the 1986 World Series over the New York Mets.
Bill Buckner would receive numerous death threats following Game 7 as the Mets would come back to win it all.
Sox Manager John McNamara had an available sure-handed first baseman by the name of Dave Stapleton on the bench, but left Buckner in the game with his two bad knees as a gift to the first baseman for his hard work.
Those knees have become the scapegoat for the botched play, and until 2004, were a genuine part of the fabled Curse of the Bambino.
28. Pitching to Barry Bonds
With runners on base, EVER, it is a bad decision. No specific example, just don't do it!
27. San Diego Chargers Draft Ryan Leaf with Second Pick of 1998 NFL Draft
The San Diego Chargers traded away two first-round picks and Pro Bowler Eric Metcalf to move up one spot in the first round from third to second, thinking Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf would be the first two picks of the 1998 NFL Draft.
Manning went first to the Indianapolis Colts and the Chargers selected Leaf with the second overall pick.
Manning went on to have what appears to be a Hall of Fame-caliber career, while Leaf struggled through aggression problems and terrible play on the field. The Chargers released him after just three seasons, and Leaf retired after the 2001 season, just four years into his pro career.
In four seasons, Leaf would tally 36 interceptions and just 14 TDs, while carrying a 50.0 QB rating.
Not only did the Chargers ignore his behavioral problems, but traded their draft stake away to get him. Leaf, along with JaMarcus Russell, now lives in infamy as one of the two worst picks in NFL draft history.
26. Pistons Select Darko Miličić Over Carmelo Anthony in 2003 NBA Draft
With the first pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers took LeBron James, a budding local high school star with serious overall ability—solid pick.
Next up was the Detroit Pistons. Believing they needed a post player more than a guard, they selected Darko Miličić, and we haven't heard from him since...
The next pick went to the Denver Nuggets, and Anthony put the Pistons to shame.
25. Jim Joyce and the Imperfect Perfect Game
Most people will only see a small handful of perfect games thrown in their lifetime, so when an umpire spoils a pitcher's chance at history and blows a call, the situation is immediately cemented in history as one of the worst decisions in sports.
Such is life for MLB Umpire Jim Joyce, whom after seeing the replay of the call, remarked, "I cost that kid a perfect game."
Pitcher Armando Galarraga graciously forgave Joyce, who couldn't hide his emotion the next day, crying as Galarraga handed him the score card.
Joyce's "safe" call is one of the worst decisions in sports history, but the reconciliation with Galarraga is one of the best feel-good stories of all time.
24. Packers Select Tony Mandarich Over Barry Sanders in the 1989 NFL Draft
Sandwiched between Troy Aikman and Barry Sanders in the 1989 NFL Draft was Tony Mandarich, an offensive lineman. He is the only pick in the first five of the 1989 draft that is not currently in the NFL Hall of Fame. The Packers thought Mandarich would be valuable in protecting star QB Don Majkowski.
However, after a holdout, Mandarich never lived up to the hype, and it was discovered Mandarich was on steroids. While everyone around him is in the Hall of Fame, he is in the Hall of Shame.
23. LeBron James Chooses Miami, Leaves Cleveland Betrayed and Broken-Hearted
LeBron James' decision to join forces with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade in Miami isn't the reason the phenom is on this list. Rather, it is the way by which he announced his decision that lands James on the Top 100 countdown.
Showing how important he knows he is, James held an interview and/or press conference on ESPN to announce he was leaving the franchise that gave him everything to start a new chapter with the Miami Heat.
The move was nearly unprecedented; to call your own press conference to announce your decision, thereby sticking it in the face of an entire city.
LeBron has openly admitted his mistake, being quoted as saying he would have handled it differently if given the opportunity again.
The decision to announce his decision on national television goes down as one of the worst choices in sports history.
22. Zinedine Zidane Ends Career with Red Card on Head Butt
Zidane was playing in his final game, and the score was close between France and Italy in the World Cup Final.
Zidane had heard enough trash talk from Italy's Marco Materazzi, turned to face him, and headbutted him to the ground (aided by a genuine world-class flop by Materazzi).
France would lose in penalty kicks to Italy, and Zidane would stand out as a selfish player that ended his career by checking out early on his team.
21. The Shot Heard Round the World
Brooklyn Dodgers manager Chuck Dressen left Ralph Branca in to face New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson, a batter who had already homered off Branca twice in their many bouts.
Nightmare became reality for the Dodgers, as Thomson hit the game-winning home run to knock the Dodgers out of the playoffs and hand the Giants the National League pennant.
The decision to leave Branca in the game is still considered one of the worst non-moves in Major League Baseball history.
20. Grady Little Sticks With Pedro
On Oct. 16, 2003, the Boston Red Sox faced their nemesis, the New York Yankees, and decades of a curse for the right to go to the World Series.
With the Red Sox leading 5-3 in the eighth inning of Game 7, Boston manager Grady Little went out to the mound and asked pitcher Pedro Martinez if he could continue.
Martinez convinced Little he could go on, and he would go on...to give up two runs and allow the Yankees to tie the game. In the 11th inning, the Yankees won it on a walk-off home run from Aaron Boone.
The Yankees would go to the World Series and the Red Sox would go home with a curse still firmly fastened to their legacy.
Fortunately, the Sox would only have to wait one more year to exact revenge.
19. Michael Vick Starts Dog Fighting Ring
Michael Vick was on the top of his game, one of the best QBs in the National Football League, until reports starting surfacing of his dirty little secret.
In August 2007, ESPN reported Vick's indictment on dog fighting charges, and Vick eventually pleaded guilty. After serving his sentence, he had to rebuild from the bottom up. A legacy destroyed...
18. Chris Webber Calls Timeout He Doesn't Have in Final Four
On April 5, 1993, the North Carolina Tar Heels met the Michigan Wolverines and the "Fab 5" (Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson) in the NCAA Tournament Final.
Webber rebounded a missed free throw, got away with traveling, then drove down in front of his own bench. He was trapped in the corner, and called for a timeout.
The only problem was, the Wolverines didn't have any timeouts left, resulting in a technical foul.
The Tar Heels would sink both free throws and two more on their way to a 77-71 win. The bone-headed play cemented Chris Webber's place on this list.
17. Moises Alou and the Cubs Hate Steve Bartman
Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have a 3-0 lead in the game over the Florida Marlins and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
A foul ball off the bat of Luis Castillo veers just into the stands and right at a man by the name of Steve Bartman.
Bartman made a split decision to attempt a catch of the pop-up, but didn't realize Moises Alou was directly under him, trying to catch the second out of the eighth inning.
Alou was furious, and the fans in the stadium were ready to grab their pitch forks.
Bartman was escorted from the stadium and put on police protection for some time while receiving death threats from the Cubs faithful.
The Cubs would go on to lose the lead and the game, followed by a loss in Game 7, eliminating them from the playoffs.
16. Brett Favre Unretires
Brett Favre was poised to go down in the NFL history books as one of the most successful quarterbacks ever as he exited the game in an emotional news conference.
However, his legacy was forever tarnished when he revealed his decision to return to the game. He was unsuccessful with the New York Jets and hasn't been much better since joining the Minnesota Vikings.
Recently, Favre has broken his ankle and busted his chin, while skeptics are having a field day with his continued health issues.
How much does Favre have left in the tank? He looks like a man who just can't walk away, nor cope with his life after football.
His decision to come out of retirement is possibly the worst decision of his generation, as he will now be remembered as great quarterback who just didn't know when to quit.
15. Raiders Draft JaMarcus Russell With First Pick of 2007 NFL Draft
With the first overall pick of the 2007 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders selected JaMarcus Russell from Louisiana State University.
Russell was viewed as the turning point of the franchise, with the Raiders having endured several losing seasons and disappointments at every turn.
However, in three seasons with Oakland, Russell would compile a 65.2 QB rating while completing just 52 percent of his passes.
He threw 23 interceptions while tossing just 18 TD passes. The Raiders cut ties with the No. 1 pick just three years into his career, cementing his legacy as one of the worst selections in NFL history.
14. Miracle at the Meadowlands
In 1978, the New York Giants led the Philadelphia Eagles 17-12 with just seconds to play. All they had to do was take a knee and seal the deal.
However, the Giants called a handoff to full back Larry Csonka, and Csonka admitted later to telling QB Joe Pisarcik not to hand him the ball.
Conska and Pisarcik would get crossed up on the next play and fumble the hand-off exchange, and the Eagles' Herman Edwards would scoop it up, taking it 36 yards to the house for the game-winning touchdown.
The next day, the coach was fired, and at the end of the season, the Eagles made the playoffs, largely due to the extra win gained against the Giants.
13. Mike Ditka Trades ALL Saints' Draft Picks in 1999 to Get Ricky Williams
In 1999, Mike Ditka had a vision for the New Orleans Saints. He would trade away every single pick the Saints had that year, plus two more the following year, to get the fifth pick of the draft in order to select Texas RB Ricky Williams.
Williams spent just three seasons with the Saints (1999-2001), who won their first ever playoff game but were then eliminated.
In 2002, Williams was traded to the Miami Dolphins. That year, he led the NFL in rushing yards (1,853) on his way to the Pro Bowl.
In 2004, Williams would test positive for marijuana, and would retire from the NFL to go on a hiatus from football devoted to pot smoking.
The Saints never realized their dreams of riding Williams to the Super Bowl, and Williams wasn't the legendary-back-in-the-making the Saints were hoping for so earnestly.
12. Blazers Skip Kevin Durant, Draft Greg Oden
In a near-repeat of another pick higher on this countdown, the Blazers repeated past history by drafting another injury-plagued bust.
In 2007, Portland drafted Greg Oden, a freshman from the Ohio State University with the first overall pick.
The second pick of the draft? Another freshman by the name of Kevin Durant from the University of Texas. Durant was on his way to a brief stop in Seattle before the team moved to Oklahoma City and became the the Thunder.
Meanwhile, Oden underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and missed the entire 2007-08 season. To date, picking Oden over Durant is viewed as yet another horrible decision in Portland Trail Blazers franchise history.
Durant was an instant sensation, has drawn comparisons to Michael Jordan, and has been called the "Kobe Bryant of his generation."
11. Matt Millen Draft Picks (Joey Harrington, Charles Rogers and Mike Williams)
Matt Millen could account for 20 percent of this countdown, but instead we'll sum him up at No. 11, narrowly avoiding the Top 10.
In Millen's tenure with the Detroit Lions, he drafted Joey Harrington, Charles Rogers and Mike Williams in the first round. None of these players have made a slight impact in a positive way thus far in the NFL.
Add coaching picks like Steve Mariucci, Marty Mornhinweg and Mike Martz, and you have some of the worst combined decisions from any organization in the history of sports.
10. Pete Rose Bets on Baseball, Denies It for Way Too Long
The all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256) is not in the Hall of Fame, and his name may never grace Cooperstown.
Pete Rose received a lifetime ban from the game he thrived in after he bet on baseball and refused to apologize.
Then, finally, Rose admitted to doing the deed after 15 years of denial in the best-selling book, My Prison Without Bars, released in 2004.
His decision to bet on baseball and subsequently lie about it destroyed Rose's reputation forever.
9. Tiger Woods and the Land of 1,000 Porn Stars
When you have an attractive wife, doing what Tiger Woods did makes it so much worse. Woods was the squeaky-clean role model for prospective golfers around the world.
He held numerous endorsements with just about every big name in sports, and it all went away because of a "sex addiction."
Now that's thinkin' with your other head, Tiger.
8. Michael Jordan Hangs Up His Sneakers....For Baseball? Really?
Basketball legend Michael Jordan shocked the basketball world when he announced his retirement from the NBA prior to the 1993-94 season in order to pursue a career in professional baseball.
The move was a tremendous publicity stunt, but beyond the flashbulbs lay a .202 batting average for the Birmingham Barons, a Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Jordan appeared in 127 games, giving it everything he had, but it just didn't pan out.
His return to the Bulls in 1995 gets the award for best decision following the worst decision of your life.
7. OJ Simpson: "If The Glove Don't Fit..."
In January 1995, the case began against Orenthal James Simpson (I would go by OJ too) with the charge of murder stemming from the discovery of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and friend Ronald Goldman stabbed to death.
The prosecution seemed to be slowly winning the case, until they went for the the gold. The prosecution asked Mr. Smpson to try on the gloves found at the crime scene, and to their chagrin, the gloves didn't fit.
Simpson was acquitted of all charges and the trial is still considered one of the biggest busts in celebrity scandal history.
6. Atlanta Falcons Trade Brett Favre
The Atlanta Falcons drafted Brett Favre with the 33rd overall pick of the 1991 NFL Draft. Favre only attempted five passes all season amid health concerns similar to that of Bo Jackson's hip troubles.
Then-Jets GM Ron Wolf had wanted to select Favre with his draft pick, but the Falcons selected him just ahead of the Jets.
When the Falcons made Favre available after the '91 season, Wolf was in the Green Bay Packers organization, and didn't hesitate to get Favre.
Favre would go on to have a Hall of Fame-caliber career, and the Falcons would later get a QB by the name of Michael Vick. The rest, as they say....well, you finish the sentence.
5. Hornets Trade Kobe Bryant to the Los Angeles Lakers
This slide could easily go to the 12 teams in front of Charlotte that passed on Kobe Bryant in the 1996 NBA Draft, but the names in front of him are decent, so instead we ask Charlotte, "How in the world could you trade this kid?"
4. Minnesota Vikings Receive Herschel Walker in "The Trade"
"The Trade" that sent Hall of Fame RB Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings from the Dallas Cowboys is the largest trade in NFL history, involving 18 players and a handful of draft picks.
Essentially, Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson devised a scheme to cut losses and rebuild his team by unloading Walker, the Cowboys' most prized possession, to the Vikings in exchange for several young players.
Walker would never rush for more than 1,000 yards for the Vikings, while the Cowboys went on to numerous Super Bowls.
"The Trade" is widely considered the best move in Cowboys' history, and the worst in Vikings' history.
3. Edmonton Oilers Trade Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings
Within hours of winning the Stanley Cup in 1988, Gretzky learned the Edmonton Oilers planned to trade him to the Los Angeles Kings.
Oilers owner Peter Pocklington later revealed he was running out of money, as other business ventures were failing.
On August 9, 1988, the Oilers traded Gretzky, Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski to the Los Angeles Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $15 million in cash, and the Kings' first-round draft picks.
To this day, the incident is known as "The Trade" of the NHL and has its place in the history of sports as one of the worst decisions perpetrated by an NHL team owner.
2. Portland Trail Blazers Pass on Jordan, Select Sam Bowie
In 1984, the Portland Trail Blazers were poised to replace Bill Walton, who was constantly cut down by foot injuries that eventually forced him to retire.
Luckily, they were the owners of the second pick of the upcoming draft. On draft day, the Houston Rockets selected local college phenom Hakeem Olajuwon (then known as Akeem Olajuwon).
Ready to move to the next stage of the franchise, the Blazers then selected Sam Bowie from the University of Kentucky.
Bowie was a stellar college athlete, and was viewed as a solid replacement for the depleted Walton. Up next in the draft was the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls would select a small forward from the University of North Carolina by the name of Michael Jordan...the rest is firmly cemented in history.
While Jordan would go on to become the best player of his generation and possibly NBA history, Bowie suffered through his own bouts with history, and lasted 10 seasons in the NBA—not all with the Blazers.
The draft decision still stands as one of the worst moves in the history of sports, a legacy the Blazers have forgotten in the decades since.
1. Boston Red Sox Sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees
In 1919, a curse was born. The Boston Red Sox sold the contract of pitcher George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. to the New York Yankees.
The Yankees converted him to a full-time right fielder, and Ruth would go on to be one of the most legendary players in the history of baseball.
After giving up a player widely regarded as one of the best sluggers to ever live, the Red Sox wouldn't win another World Series until 2004.
This decision occurred 91 years ago, but is still the worst decision in the history of sports.