The 8 Biggest Sports Screw-Ups of The Last 30 Years

The last three decades have seen some really messed up moves.

The last three decades have seen some really messed up moves.

You never know what’s going to totally fuck up a sporting event. Maybe it’s someone celebrating too early. Maybe it’s a ref messing up royally. Or hell, maybe it’s someone screwing up the national anthem before a game even begins! If there’s one thing we know about sports, it’s that they can’t be scripted (unless Pete Rose has a wager on it), so we really hope these super sports screw-ups stay away from our games from now on.

8. Tony Wilson’s Mom

No one likes to see another person get their head pummeled, but when that other person just happens to be your own son, shit gets real! At least it did for Milna Wilson – the mom of boxer Tony Wilson – during a 1989 fight against Steve McCarthy. The crazy lady saw her poor boy trapped against the ropes and joined in on the action by hitting McCarthy with her high heels, right as the ref was about to award him a TKO, stopping the fight as security took Milna out of the ring. Once the fight resumed, McCarthy was so shocked and disoriented that he refused to proceed, giving the victory to Tony Wilson. Confused? Yeah, we are too. Guess Mom knows best after all!

Photo: Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

7. Packers vs. Seahawks Scab Refs

It might be a more recent gaffe, but it definitely deserves to make our list. Everyone knew the replacement refs blew a hard one in September of this year, but when you’ve got two fools signaling two entirely different things during Monday Night Football, there’s little question as to why the NFL abruptly let down their guard to get the real refs back a couple days later. There’s so many things wrong with this play, we seriously wonder if the refs were high, drunk, resident Seattleites, or – most likely – all the above?

Photo: John MacDougal / AFP / Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

6. Zinedine Zidane

Zidane was the captain of the French national team during its 2006 World Cup campaign, one of the world’s best players, and a god in his native country. But when you mistake an opponent’s chest for a soccer ball – during the World Cup Final no less – you done fucked up. With their leader (and best player) sent off for head-butting Italy’s only-too-happy-to-dive Materazzi in the chest (after the latter allegedly made a disparaging remark about Zidane’s mother), “Les Bleus” lost the match in a penalty shoot-out, giving Italy its fourth World Cup title, and leaving everyone wonder just how many Yo Momma jokes it takes to piss off a world-class soccer player.

Photo: Diamond Images / Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

5. Jose Canseco

This guy’s pretty much a walking sports blunder. He all but admitted to juicing his entire career, called out former teammates about doing the same, and sold out by becoming the Dennis Rodman of baseball, taking part in weird ass celebrity reality shows. But Canseco’s biggest blunder was during a game in Cleveland last April, when he decided soccer sounded more fun than baseball, literally head butting a baseball over the right field wall. It’s no wonder his roided-out ass had a few screws loose after taking a hit like that.

Photo: Jamie Squire / Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

4. Bill Gramatica

When you’re a football player, there are just so many ways to get hurt. But when you’re a fucking kicker, all you’re asked to do is go out there and kick a damn ball. Gramatica handled the first part of the equation – he made a 43-yarder in the first quarter of a game. It was then that he celebrated like a freakin’ European soccer player, tearing his ACL, and costing him the rest of his 2001 rookie season. Fucking kickers!

Photo: Videograb via ESPN Films

3. Steve Bartman

Poor Bartman. We’re not sure where he came from, or where he’s gone since, but we know that even now, there are still legions of Cubs fans that want to kick him in the teeth. Going after – and fumbling – a ball that Moises Alou could probably have caught in 2003, he caused such an upset that the Cubs turned into a damn little league team after the mishap, racking up errors of their own and letting eight Marlins cross home plate before the end of the inning. The debacle led to Bartman being escorted out of Wrigley and, later, receiving death threats. On a positive note, he scored witness protection, and was the trendiest Halloween costume of that year.

Photo: Robert Stinnett / Oakland Tribune / AP | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

2. Stanford Band

The old adage, “It ain’t over till it’s over,” couldn’t apply more than to the infamous 1982 game between rivals Stanford and Cal, aptly coined, “The Game.” We’ve all seen the highlight of the poor band member getting completely crushed in the end zone, as it still ranks as one of the greatest plays – and premature celebrations – ever seen in sports.

Photo: Peter Brouillet / Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

1. Leon Lett – Cowboys

It’s one thing to be a sluggish (albeit solid) NFL offensive linesman, but it’s another to be completely boneheaded out there while doing it. So why does Lett own our top spot? Because he didn’t just fuck up once on national TV, he did it twice! The infamous stripped football in his way-too-early TD celebration in the 1993 Super Bowl was pretty embarrassing. After all, he got caught from behind while working on his best Deion Sanders impersonation. Biggest game of your life, and that shit happens? In the words of Vince Lombardi, “What the hell’s going on out there?” His second blunder was his hot potato-like fumble recovery during a 1993 Thanksgiving game against the Dolphins. We understand Dallas doesn’t get much snow, but it wasn’t the perfect time to decide snow angels would be fun. The Dolphins recovered, kicked a field goal, and the ‘Boys ended up on the losing side. In the end, Lett has the last laugh – his fuck-ups are the memorable plays of back-to-back Super Bowl seasons. So at least he’s got that going for him!

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