Mistakes occur in every sport in virtually every game played. They are a common part of sports, and managing those mistakes is something that every athlete must deal with at times. A momentary lapse in concentration can have disastrous effects on a team and cause entire careers to be viewed in a different light. When the spotlight shines brightest, it can lead to the biggest mistakes, which can put years of preparation to waste.
In an instant, the public’s perception can change from endearment to outrage. In some cases, it has become the sole moment for which the athlete is remembered. An entire lifetime of preparation, practice, and performance washed away in a single error. It is one of the devastating outcomes of being a high profile athlete, and in most cases, completely unfair toward the individual committing the error. Many of these blunders have had life changing repercussions.
While the circumstances facing these athletes were extraordinary, their performances were not, although they were certainly memorable. Many of them occurred on the grandest stages of their respective sports, while national audiences or even the entire world were watching. These mistakes have cost teams championships or the athletes themselves gold medals. This is why they are the biggest mistakes in sports history.
20 Jose Canseco’s Home Run Header
19 DeSean Jackson’s Early Celebration
18 Gary Anderson’s Miss
17 John Carney’s Missed Extra Point
16 The Play
15 Roberto Baggio’s Missed Penalty
14 Leon Lett’s Blocked Field Goal Blunder
13 Wrong-Way Marshall
12 Asante Samuel Drops Super Bowl Winning Interception
11 Romo’s Dropped Snap
10 Leon Lett’s Premature Celebration
9 Tom Osborne Goes for Two
8 Jean van de Velde’s Triple Bogey
7 Lindsey Jacobellis’ Shows Off
6 Chris Webber’s Timeout
5 Steve Bartman Catches a Foul Ball
4 Merkle’s Boner
3 Selling Babe Ruth for $100,000
2 Andres Escobar’s Own Goal
1 Bill Buckner’s Boot
Bill Buckner amassed over 2,700 hits, but will never be considered a Hall of Fame candidate because of one mistake that occurred during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Buckner went 0-5 in the game, but his biggest mistake came in the bottom of the 9th inning, when Mookie Wilson hit a slow ground ball toward first base. Buckner attempted to rush this play causing the ball to roll between his legs and into right field. Ray Knight scored from second base giving the New York Mets the win to even the series at 3-3. The Red Sox would lose Game 7 despite leading 3-0 and Buckner’s place in baseball lore was sealed.
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