Head Butting Celebrations and More Embarrassing Moments in Sports

Have you ever had days that you’d rather forget about? Perhaps days where you’ve embarrassed the hell out of yourself? Ever felt like maybe you should have just stayed in bed?

Though some of your moments may include public embarrassment, just be thankful that it didn’t happen to you on national television.

Here are some memorable moments in sports that I’m sure our blunderers would be happy to forget.

8. Phil Mickelson – 2006 U.S. Open

The day is June 18, 2006 and Phil Mickelson all but has the U.S. Open in sight. All he needs is to score par on the last hole and victory is his. On his first shot, he sent the ball sailing way off to the left as it bounced off a hospitality tent. Instead of playing it safe and going for a short chip shot, Mickelson decides that he’ll attempt to make it back on the green on the very first shot. Wouldn’t you know that the way his luck was going that day that he hit a tree? He ended up losing the 2006 U. S. Open by one stroke to Geoff Ogilvy.

The next two blunders are ties in that one is just as dumb a stunt as the other.

7. Bill Gramatica

On December 15, 2001, Arizona Cardinals’ Bill Gramatica kicked a fairly insignificant field goal in the first quarter. He was so ecstatic about his inconsequential accomplishment that he jumped up in the air for joy and somehow landed wrong, injuring his knee. The injury resulted in him being out for the rest of the season.

7. Gus Frerotte

Back when good ol’ Gus still played for the Washington Redskins, on November 23, 1997 to be exact, he made an incredible play that resulted in a touchdown. Quarterback Gus Frerotte ran the ball for 7 yards for a touchdown. While it was impressive, I think Gus thought it was the most impressive as he proceeded toward a concrete wall with padding and gave it a good head butt in celebration. What he didn’t know was that it wasn’t padded well enough and he ended up injuring his neck, which put him out of the game and out for the rest of the season. I hope the blow knocked a little sense into him, but I still have to wonder if it ever occurred to him why he’s never seen any of the other players celebrate that way.

6. Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB)

You may ask yourself why a band is in a “sports most embarrassing moments” list. Well, if you aren’t familiar with this one yet, you will find it difficult to believe. If you can imagine that California University Berkley is down 20-19 with four seconds left on the clock. The play was pretty incredible as the ball changed hands several times, but the ball managed to stay alive. All of a sudden, as the players head down field, they notice that they’re not alone. Stanford University’s marching band is not only on the field, but they’re in the end zone! Amazingly, California still scored to win the game. Does this qualify as an interference penalty call? How many yards would you penalize the team for the stupidity of their band? Anyway, since California made the touchdown, “stupidity of band penalty” declined!

5. Joe Gibbs

This embarrassing moment is pretty new, but it will sting for a long time for Washington Redskins fans. In their emotional game against the Buffalo Bills on December 2, 2007, Joe Gibbs made a blunder that may never be forgotten. On this day, there were probably more people rooting for the Washington Redskins than ever before as this was the first game that the team played after the brutal murder of their teammate Sean Taylor. The hearts of everyone went out to the team and it looked as if they may even be victorious in their game against the Buffalo Bills.

With mere seconds left, the Bills attempt a 51-yard field goal that could win the game. Joe Gibbs had not pulled this nasty stunt all season, but he picked now to call a time out right before the ball is snapped. The field goal would have been good and the Bills would’ve won the game. However, now they had to try the kick all over again. If you ask me, Gibbs should have known the rules. After all he’s been labeled “The Winningest Coach in the NFL”. Nonetheless, Joe Gibbs calls another time out in the same fashion. You can’t do that, Joe! The refs issued the Redskins a penalty and rendered this as “unsportsman-like conduct” with a 15-yard penalty. The Bills kicked again, but with a 36-yard field goal and won the game. Oh, Joe!

Again, we have a tie for similar acts of futility.

4. Larry Walker

Picture this. It’s April 24, 1994 and a fly ball comes right near Expos’ Outfielder Larry Walker and he catches it for the third out in the inning. In kindness, he gives the ball to a young fan. Uh oh! Wait! It’s not the third out. It’s only the second out! As a result, Dodgers’ José Offerman was able to get to third base.

4. Trot Nixon

Would you believe that Boston Red Sox player Trot Nixon was unfortunate enough to share a similar fate as he caught an Angels’ fly ball? You guessed it. On May 17, 2003, he thought it was the third out and threw the ball into the stands. In reality, it was only the second out and it resulted in an Angels score. I guess you could call him an “Angel in the Outfield”.

3. Jim Marshall

Defensive player for the Minnesota Vikings, Jim Marshall made an incredible interception against the San Francisco 49ers on October 25, 1964. Even better, he ran the ball 65 yards into the end zone, but wait! He ran it into the wrong end zone! Not yet knowing exactly what he had done, Marshall threw the ball out of bounds to celebrate his incredible play. The result of him throwing the ball resulted in a safety (2 points) for the 49ers. Those pesky end zones! They all look alike!

2. Steve Bartman

This poor guy isn’t even a professional athlete, but he’s on the list. It was October 14, 2003 and the Chicago Cubs are hosting the Florida Marlins in the NLCS (National League Championship Series). It’s Game 6 and the Cubs were winning 3-0. It was the eighth inning and the Marlins only had one out left.

The Marlins’ fly ball was going in the direction of Moisés Alou. Just as he was about to make the catch – Cubs fan Steve Bartman got overzealous and in the heat of the moment went for the live ball and deflected it out of Alou’s reach. Poor Bartman was just as disheartened as the rest of the Cubs fans. However, his fellow fans weren’t very forgiving. They yelled at him, threatened him, and threw things at him as he was escorted out of the ballpark. The Marlins went on to score eight more points, winning the game. Remember this the next time you’re excited about going to a baseball game.

1. Randy Johnson

Now, here’s one you don’t hear about every day. On March 24, 2001, New York Yankees pitcher, Randy Johnson threw a fastball toward home plate and instead of it reaching home plate, he hit and killed a dove that just happened to be flying by at that precise moment. There are so many jokes in there it’s hard to choose. First, let’s start by saying that from that moment on, his fastball was called the “birdball”. Second, I would just like to say that I don’t really deem hunting as a true sport, but if you’re going to do it like that, then I’d have to think again!

So, there you have it – a great list of unfortunate souls. Some of them with the fate of stupidity working against them and others with just bad luck. No matter what you want to call it, you can begin any of these stories with, “You know it’s a bad day when…”

Leave a Comment

  1. Daniel says:

    Chris Webber timeout anyone?

  2. If you ever want to read a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for 4/5. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn msn to find the missed pieces. Thanks, anyway!

  3. G Davidson says:

    Johnson was playing for the Diamondbacks at the time. Also, the Marlins scored runs, not "points".