Top 15 "Oh No!" Sports Moments of 2017
For a great year in sports, there was a lot to shake your head at.
These are the moments that made our jaws drop, bury our faces in our hands, made us die laughing, and generally made us audibly gasp and say with disbelief "oh.. no!"
This is your list of sports fails from 2017, ladies and gentlemen.
August 22nd- Josh Harrison says no-no to Rich Hill's no-no
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
To work so hard and come so close to a perfect game, only to have it dashed by the fact that a) your team can’t play defense and b) your team can’t score runs. Rich Hill was on pace to have the 24th perfect game in MLB history, only to have it broken up by an error at third base by Logan Forsythe. Again, it also doesn’t help that your team can’t score runs. After nine, the Dodgers and Pirates were tied at 0-0 heading into extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th, Hill gave up this home run to Josh Harrison, losing the game and his no-hitter in the process.
November 24th- FIU recovers for touchdown after fake punt goes horribly wrong
Florida International Panthers vs. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
This might be the worst fake punt I’ve ever seen (okay, maybe not the worst). I’m not really sure what WKU punter Jake Collins was thinking here, but you can tell he’s doomed as soon as he takes a few steps forward and doesn’t punt the ball. He tries to get away from a defender, and begins to lose his balance. Devante Price for FIU scoops it up an scores. You can even hear the disbelief in the announcer’s voice as he drops the ball and FIU takes it in for a touchdown the other way.
September 2nd- Tim Zaleski whiffs on fake punt
Wyoming Cowboys vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Poor kid. Tim Zaleski is a true freshman, playing in his first ever college football game against Iowa, a team with a pretty stout defensive unit. Not to mention this game is being played in Iowa City, so it’s probably a hostile environment. In his attempt to transfer the ball out onto his dropping hand, Zaleski just plain ol’ misses it, and his attempt to take a whack at the ball in desperation is comical. Iowa would win the game 24-3, so it’s safe to assume that Zaleski had many more chances to punt that ball during the game. I don’t think any would be as traumatic as this one, though.
December 2nd- Stop dropping the ball before the line, guys.
Florida Atlantic Eagles vs. North Texas Mean Green
If I were Lane Kiffin, I would be upset, too. I’ve seen too many of these already (most of them from last year) to put another one of these in the top 15. Please take a watch and see what NOT to do as John Franklin III looks poised to score on a long touchdown pass, but drops the ball in celebration before the goal line.
May 26th- Trayce Thompson lets ball bounce off glove and over for a walk-off HR
Minor League Baseball: Oklahoma City Dodgers vs. Albuquerque Isotopes
Trayce Thompson is one of those guys who bounces around between the majors and minors. He’s played in some games for the Dodgers, and he’s even hit a few home runs before. The dude has professional experience. And maybe you can’t blame him for this one- maybe it’s that stupid hill in centerfield- but I certainly can. Open your glove, sir. Just because you’re in the minors doesn’t mean you can slack off! This one bounces in and out of his glove and over the fence for a walk off home run to win the game for the Isotopes.
October 23rd- Venice Marathoners led the wrong way by motorcycle
This is just cold. And despite all the other entries on this list, this really is one that makes you say “oh, no!” To be running a marathon and then to be led in the wrong direction? As if 26.2 miles in a straight line weren't easy enough. This is just adding insult to injury. I’m sure the guy didn’t mean to do it on purpose, but, like, have some signage out, folks.
The Top 15:
15. April 26th- You're not being the ball, Tampa.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles
Cue the circus music. The Rays for some reason have this tendency to throw the ball around way too much. This is apparent as both Alex Cobb and Kevin Kiermaier make throwing errors, allowing Ryan Flaherty and Seth Smith to score on this little league home run.
14. September 24th- Bears fumble after blocked kick return, get untimed down anyway
Chicago Bears vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Every player should be forced to watch Super Bowl highlights of Leon Lett fumbling against the Buffalo Bills. If Marcus Cooper hadn’t slowed down before crossing the goal line, Pittsburgh would have been down by 14 heading into halftime, and this game probably wouldn’t have ended the way it did. But Cooper did slow down, allowing Vance McDonald to knock the ball out of the endzone. In theory, this should be a touchback or a safety. Instead, some kind of inexplicable illegal bat call against the Steelers (who, at the time of the runback, then became the defense, making the bat out of the endzone an illegal touch) gave the Bears an untimed down at the spot of Cooper’s fumble. Thankfully the Bears won this game in overtime, but it shouldn’t have come down to that. Don’t slow down before you cross the line. It’s that simple. (Also, the Bears kicked a field goal on that one untimed down, in case you were wondering).
13. May 28th- Alex Jones hits home run that caroms off two outfielders
Minor League Baseball: Greensboro Grasshoppers vs. Knnapolis Intimidators
The announcer doesn’t do it justice, but the fact that this bounces off two outfielders (Joel Booker and Jamison Fisher) and over a fence that’s probably 9 feel high is ridiculous. I’m not even mad, I’m just impressed as to how Alex Jones managed to draw it up that way.
12. January 1st- "What are the Bills doing?"
New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
Kickoffs are not punts. Kickoffs. Are not. Punts. And it’s especially true that kickoffs are not punts when they roll into the endzone. You have to down the ball on a kickoff. How these professional athletes don’t know this is beyond me. This is from Week 17 of last season, but it still deserves revisiting. Watch as Mike Gillislee acts as if he wants to go after the ball but pulls away once it reaches the end zone. Unfortunately, the ball is still live, and Doug Middleton falls on it for a Jets touchdown.
11. May 8th & 11th- Kevin Kiermaier causes inside the park homer for Royals... twice.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals
To have this happen once is unfortunate. To have this happen twice to the same player against the same team in a span of four days is absurd. Kevin Kiermaier is a two-time Gold Glove winner, but he had a rough go of it against the Royals earlier this May. On the 8th, Lorenzo Cain hit a ground ball into center, which skipped underneath the centerfielder’s glove; Cain would circle the bases as the ball rolled all the way to the wall. The Royals would win that game 7-3.
Three days later, Kiermaier would bite the bullet again, as Whit Merrifield hit what looked like a single into center, only for that ball to get by him as Merrifield also circled the bases. The Royals would win that game, 6-0. Tough break for Kiermaier, who is typically found robbing guys of home runs in centerfield.
10. April 1st- Oregon can't rebound, loses to North Carolina
NCAA Final Four, Oregon Ducks vs. North Carolina
Jordan Bell was Oregon’s best rebounder, and he is the one staring at the flight of the ball in the closing seconds of this Final Four game between Oregon and North Carolina. If only he had focused and boxed out, Oregon may have had a chance to win. With 5.5 seconds to go and the Tarheels up 77-76, UNC’s Kennedy Meeks stepped to the free throw line and missed both his free throws, his second one careening off the rim into the air. Instead of boxing out Theo Pinson, he didn’t really do anything, allowing Pinson to tip the ball out to a waiting Joel Berry, who was fouled with 4 seconds to go. Berry missed both of his free throws as well. This time it was Meeks who was able to nudge Bell into the lane and come up with a second rebound, dishing it out to Pinson, who ran out the clock for the Tarheels, advancing them to their second straight National Championship. UNC missed four straight free throws in the last five seconds, and Oregon couldn’t rebound. It’s a little pathetic.
9. May 17th- Alexander Egger puts one in his own net
IIHF World Championships
Italy was never going anywhere in this tournament, but own goals are the worst things ever. Late in the 3rd period of this pool play game between Denmark and Italy, both teams are pretty much playing for pride. Italy is pretty much on the road to relegation, but maybe a draw against Denmark will lift spirits for the troops. Down 1-0 with less than two minutes to play and the goaltender pulled, Italy’s Luca Frigo passes in his own zone to Alexander Egger, a 38-year old veteran. Egger lost his footing, shoveling the puck into his own empty net. Hopefully this isn’t the final stroke on Egger’s long career.
8. Luka Pibernik celebrates too early with one lap to go
I feel like many of the entries on this list have a theme: don’t be a showboat, and don’t celebrate too early. If you’re wrong, it makes you look like a jackass. This is just the case for Luka Pibernik, who was in the lead of the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia. After riding for upwards of three hours, you’d probably be spent too. As such, the Slovenian spread his arms in victory after crossing the start finish line, with no other riders within a few bike lengths of him. The problem- there was one lap left. He had another 3.7 miles to ride and didn’t realize it, thinking that his previous lap was his last, and probably left all of his energy on the track during that last lap. The guy went from first place and a stage win and fell to 148th place. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that happen before, someone falling that far back after a showboat.
7. December 17th- "The receiver did not survive the ground," and the catch rule
New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
So, here. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it was a catch or it wasn’t a catch. I’m only going to use this as another example of how the NFL needs to get its shit together. Sure, maybe Jesse James should have maintained possession of the ball more solidly. But this is far too many times now where some stupid rule has prevented players that make catches from making catches. I am of this mindset on the Jesse James matter: Even if the play was not ruled a catch, the Steelers still had more time to punch the ball in against the Patriots, maybe even kick a field goal and send it to overtime. But they didn’t. Still, though. Change the rule, NFL. Do something.
6. February 23rd- Ashley Deary gets tied up in tying her shoe
Northwestern Huskies vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
I don’t really know what Ashley Deary was thinking here. This isn’t an NBA game where you can seemingly order takeout while trying to inbound the ball. If you want to take some time for yourself and tie your shoe, do it before the play starts or on the sidelines! If you’re going to do it on the floor, don’t try and dribble the ball while you tie your shoe, because an opposing player will steal it from you and score. I’m also not sure if that was an attempt to get her feet set to try and draw a charge, but I’m laughing.
5. October 24- Goalie celebrates early after ball hits crossbar, but spins back into net
Bangkok Sports Club vs. Satri Armstrong
Say it with me: “Don’t celebrate too early.” This is exactly what happened during this club soccer match in Thailand. With both clubs tied 19-19 and headed into a penalty shootout, one of the players for BSC took his shot and connected with the crossbar, the ball skying into the air. The goalkeeper for Satri Armstrong begins to run toward his bench to celebrate, arms extended in the air. But when the ball comes down, it still has an incredible amount of spin, and bounces backwards across the line and into the netting, counting as a good goal. This play has enough ridiculous things in it to be considered for both the best and worst of the year. Satri would miss its next penalty kick, sealing the victory for Bangkok Sports Club. To make matters worse, this was a semi-final game for the two clubs. I couldn’t find any names attached to this homemade clip, but I think it really exemplifies the thrill of victory combined with the agony and embarrassment of defeat.
4. April 21st-May 4th: The Red Sox-Orioles feud gets ugly
Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles
We’re about to get serious now, bear with me.
It all started with a slide, and it only got uglier from there. Manny Machado slid into second base, spikes up, catching Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia. While Boston manager John Farrell said the slide was late, Pedroia downplayed the incident. Machado even said the action was unintentional, and apologized to Pedroia after the game. After a close game the next day, Pedroia went in for an MRI, leaving his Red Sox teammates to exact some revenge, of sorts, the next day. With a comfortable six-run lead, Red Sox P Matt Barnes threw at Machado’s head. The ball hit the bat instead, and Barnes was immediately ejected from the game. While Pedroia tried to make amends with Machado that same day, his good intentions didn’t have much effect in the long run.
A few weeks later, the Red Sox and Orioles met again in the first week of May, this time at Fenway Park. Leading up to the series, former Red Sox pitcher and MLB analyst Pedro Martinez noted that he would have beaned Machado had he been on the mound. Pedroia also tried to cool the tensions between the two clubs. It didn’t matter. Things only got worse.
May 1st- The Orioles and Red Sox are in a dog fight, with Baltimore up 2-0. Machado has already hit a home run and played a good game defensively. But this feud is about more than just the two original players involved. Orioles started Dylan Bundy hit Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts with a pitch, triggering the boos in Boston. And then there was Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, who was subjected to racial slurs and having a bag of peanuts thrown at him from the Boston fans. There was, naturally, a negative reaction throughout the baseball world.
May 2nd- Manny Machado says the tension has “been over.” Adam Jones receives a standing ovation from the Fenway crowd before his first at bat. Chris Sale is on the mound for the Red Sox, their no-nonsense new ace pitcher. He strikes Jones out on three pitches. Up comes Machado, and Sale throws behind him, prompting a warning from the umpire to both benches. Machado gets his revenge on Sale later in the game with a home run- but was less than pleased with the Red Sox after the game.
And then came the ejections.
Before the game on May 3rd, commissioner Rob Manfred issued a stern warning to both managers, saying “enough is enough.” Didn’t help when you had players being ejected left and right. Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman plunked Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts with a pitch. He was ejected immediately, sparking outrage from the Orioles bench. Adam Jones was also ejected for arguing balls and strikes later in the game.
Finally, on May 4th, all seemed to be back to normal. The Red Sox were pretty much silenced throughout the game, as Machado was back to his old offensive powerhouse self, hitting a homerun in an 8-3 Baltimore victory. I can’t help but think that there was a lot of stuff in this feud that really shouldn’t have happened. I’m not sure if players are trying to make mountains out of mole hills, or trying to fight battles they shouldn’t fight, or trying to stir up a rivalry that just isn’t there. But let’s hope that the parties involved have learned their lessons- on all fronts.
3. September 9th- 3rd & 93: Louisiana Tech loses 87 yards on 2nd and goal
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs vs. MIssissippi State Bulldogs
I tried this in Madden once. To try to do something like 1st and goal from my own 1 yard line and see how far I could get. Of course, that was what you could do with “situation mode” in a video game. I never thought I’d see it actually happen for real. To watch a play slowly devolve into one team fumbling the ball back, and back, and back, until it stops at its own 7 is one thing. To have been at the opponent’s 6 the play before is quite another. Watch as Louisiana Tech does just that, and the you can feel the announcers hands covering their eyes. This thing has like seven fumbles in it. And it results in a 3rd and 93. THIRD AND NINETY-THREE. Cue the wacky music.
Speaking of which, here it is again, paired with some wacky music. Just because.
2. October 10th- United States MNT fails to qualify for World Cup
United States vs. Trinidad and Tobago
For the first time since 1986, the United States will not be participating in the FIFA World Cup. Think about how far the sports of soccer has come in just the last 25 years. Major League Soccer has evolved into a truly national game with huge television packages and an even larger following of fans, with teams even spreading to Canada and Mexico. People have come to actually recognize American players like Jozy Altidore, Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Taylor Twellman, and even newcomers like Christian Pulisic. And with a humiliating defeat against 99th-ranked Trinidad, the United States will really need to rethink its approach to soccer if the sport is ever going to deserve the investments it’s received in the last quarter century.
The loss to Trinidad is even more shocking due to the fact that the small island had no chance of making the trip to Russia in 2018. The US had an all-time record of 18-2-4 against Trinidad before the contest in October. Even with a loss, there was still some hope for the U.S.- draws/losses by Panama and Honduras to Costa Rica and Mexico, respectively.
It was not so. Honduras came from behind to beat Mexico 3-2, and Panama beat Costa Rica on a goal in the 88th minute by Ramon Torres.
Even after the departure of Jurgen Klinsmann and the re-arrival of Bruce Arena, there are many questions left to be answered for the Americans. How far back does this loss set soccer in the U.S.? Taylor Twellman had a really great rant on ESPN that I think sums it up best.
1. February 5th- 28-3
Super Bowl LI: New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons
Golden State Warriors, you’re officially off the hook. The Atlanta Falcons have officially topped you. While it isn’t the biggest comeback in NFL history or in playoff history, it is certainly the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history- in the span of two halves of football, the fortunes of both the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots shifted like night and day.
A solid first few drives to get into the endzone on a run by Devonta Freeman. Another finishing with a 19-yard strike to Austin Hooper to go up 14-0. An interception of Tom Brady (the greatest quarterback to ever live) returned for a touchdown by Robert Alford to go up 21-0. It’s 21-3 at halftime. It’s 28-3 after your first possession of the third quarter. Twenty-eight. To three.
And then, inexplicably, it all changed.
The Patriots tagged you for 31 unanswered points. First came the sacks to push you out of field goal range. Then came the scores. Three touchdowns. Two two-point conversions. You even had Julio Jones bail you out with one of the most insane catches in Super Bowl history, seemingly to add to the history of crazy grabs to put the Patriots away.
Tyree. Manningham. Kearse. And now Jones.
Then you took a sack followed by a holding penalty. And they scored on you, and Julian Edelman made sure you felt the blow of a crazy catch to put you away.
And then the overtime. Not even a chance to touch the ball.
It was all over so soon.
Coming from a New England fan, once you brought your owner on the field in the 4th quarter, we knew it was over for you.
We could have talked about 28-3 about some mythical stat- the score that slayed the mighty Patriots. No more goat, no more prospering cheaters, no more winning. 28-3.
Now we’ll only see 28-3 and see that the 3 is missing a 4 next to it.
This was the greatest Super Bowl of all time. At least you can always live with the fact that being a part of it is part of your long legacy of failure.
Patriots 34, Falcons 28 (OT).
What other sports moments this year made you say "oh no!" Leave a comment down below.
Also, check out According to Andrew's Best of 2017 spread HERE.
I enjoy making lists, countdowns, and making sense of the world that I see around me.