With the 20th anniversary of Leon Lett’s slide through the snow on Thanksgiving Day at Texas Stadium coming tomorrow, ScoreBoard decided to put together a list of our best (or worst depending how you view it) sports blunders. We start the countdown at number 10 with Mr. Lett……
10. Leon Lett – 1993 Thanksgiving Day…..Lett tries to recover a last minute blocked field goal in the ice and snow giving the Dolphin’s Pete Stoyanovich another kick and ultimately the win. Lett also gets an honorable mention for Super Bowl XXVII…..showboating with the football on a fumble recovery as he heads for the goal line. Lett is run down by Don Beebe who subsequently knocks the ball from his hand and through the end zone for a Buffalo touchback.
8. Brett Favre– January, 2010 NFC Championship game, New Orleans……Favre forces a pass into coverage instead of playing for the field goal and the Saints move on to play in and win Super Bowl XLIV.
7. Olympic Men’s Basketball – Munich, 1972……In the most controversial game in International Basketball history, referees rob the U.S. of Gold and hand it to the Soviets when the give them two do-overs on an inbounds pass at the end of the game.
6. Nelson Cruz – With two outs and two strikes on David Freese in the bottom of the 9th of game 6 of the 2011 World Series against St. Louis, and the Rangers one strike away from their first ever Championship, Cruz is inexplicably positioned too shallow in right field and ultimately misplays a Freese shot which bounces off the right field wall and ties the game. The Cards go on to win game 6 in extra innings and ultimately the Series.
5. Don Denkinger – 1985 World Series game six, 9th inning, St. Louis vs Kansas City, St Louis leading the Series three games to two……First base umpire Denkinger calls the Royals’ Jorge Orta safe at first in the worst and most controversial call in World Series history. Leads to a Royals comeback victory in the game and then a game seven Series clinching win.
4. JR Hildebrand – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 29, 2011…..799 turns navigated with no problem, number 800 not so much. The 23-year-old rookie Indy car driver crashed his car in the final turn of the Indianapolis 500, losing the lead and the race to Dan Wheldon,
3. Chris Webber – 1993 Men’s NCAA Championship Final vs North Carolina……Webber travels, gets away with no call, dribbles into the front court and calls time-out, which the Wolverines are out of. The turnover gives the Tar Heels the ball and the game.
2. Jean Van de Velde – British Open 1999……Needing only a double bogey heading to 18 on the final day to claim the Claret Jug, a comedy of errors by Van de Velde results in a blown 3-stroke lead and subsequent three-way playoff with Justin Leonard and eventual champ Paul Lawrie.
1. Bill Buckner – World Series 1986, Game Six, Red Sox vs Mets…….Mookie Wilson hits a grounder to Buckner at first, the ball goes through his legs, Ray Knight scores and the Mets survive the game and win the Series in game seven. The Curse of the Bambino lived on for another 18 years until the Red Sox finally broke it winning the 2004 Series.