Worst Calls in Sports History

Worst Calls in Sports History

Doc Emrick and John Wiedeman were stuck in a unfortunate situation.

The shot that won the 2010 Stanley Cup was thrown at the oddest of angles.  Only a sliver of sight could offer a view of the tiny puck sliding past Philadelphia goaltender Michael Leighton.  The puck stuck underneath the mesh, and led to one of the oddest celebrations in professional sports history.

The unfortunate situation was compounded by Philadelphia's goal judge, who obviously spent the final seconds guessing the length of Scott Hartnell's mullet.

No light, no ruling by the refs, no exciting calls from two solid play by play men.

The awkwardness of the moment leads me to a top 6 (yes, 6, the imperfect number.) 'Worst Calls in Sports History'.


6. Brooklyn Dodgers announcer Red Barber cuts off the broadcast of Jackie Robinson's first game in the majors after Robinson grounds out in his first at-bat. "That's it!  That's it!  It's over!  Proven once again, blacks cannot play baseball with white fellas!  So long everybody!"


Barber didn't necessarily have a crystal ball at the time.

5. National Socialist Party leader Adolf Hitler gave the radio duties of the 1936 to a fellow Nazi Schlurz Heinnenbergh.  When Jesse Owens blew past Germans in the home stretch, Heinnenbergh took liberties in describing the situation.  "The mighty superior Germans are chasing Owens...here come the might Germans...and Owens...Owens is...My god.  (long pause)  Time to invade Poland!"

4. Buffalo Bills announcer Van Miller gleefully described O.J. Simpson's record breaking 2,000 yard season in 1973.  The odd foreshadowing occurred in the waning moments of the Bills' final game against the New York Jets at Shea Stadium.  This was when Simpson just passed the mark:  "Here comes Simpson, knifing through the Jets defense...there it is!  There it is!  2,000 yards!  Simpson moved through the Jets defense like a madman through a domestic dispute!  The only thing that may have stopped him were the Jets linebackers, or a cavalcade of California policeman on a long stretch of highway!  Oh, ho wow!  Today, O.J. is guilty of only one thing:  Football greatness."

3. The Washington Redskins won Super Bowl XVII on a memorable 4th and 1 run by John Riggins.  This 43 yard gallop was summarized on Redskins Radio...what ensued was one of the most racially insensitive calls in sports history:  "Handoff to Riggins, there he goes!  He's gone!  He's gone!  He's gone!  Touchdown, Washington Redskins!  (announcer puts hand over mouth, starts mimicking indian noises)  Woowoowoowoowoowoowoowoowoowoo.  Hoyahoyahoyahoyahoyahoyahoyahoya!  What a play by Riggins!  Me Tonto.  You Dolphin.  Let me take liquor so you have land.  Woowoowoowoowoowoo."

2. Red Barber made the list again when the Brooklyn Dodgers lost to the New York Giants in the 1951 National League Pennant Playoff.  The bitter Barber's words still ring across the borough.  "Here's the pitch...There's a drive...deep left field...she is...(long pause)...Brooklyn Dodgers baseball was brought to you by Chesterfield."

1. When the Chicago Bears won Super Bowl XX, announcer Wayne Larivee had a great idea for the Bears...only it wasn't.  "The Chicago Bears are champions of the world!  I tell you what, these guys are so popular, I bet you President Reagan wouldn't mind having these guys on the Challenger in a couple days.  That would be the only way this Bears team could get any higher.  What a day!"

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