If they could do it over again, they’d probably think twice: A look at funny sports stories that made major headlines.
Super Bowl XLVII Blackout
It will surely live on in the pantheon of Super Bowl fails, along with Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction and Buffalo Bills kicker Scott Norwood’s missed field goal in ’91. But it’s not on sportswriter Steve Madden’s list of the worst blunders in sports history. Here are his top five.—David Noonan, National Affairs Editor
1919: Red Sox Sell Homer Hero
Sox owner Harry Frazee sells baseball’s biggest star to the Yankees for $125,000. Babe Ruth proceeds to hit 665 homers and lead the Yanks to four World Series in the next 15 seasons. The cursed Sox wait 86 years to win their next series.
1968: Girl Hijacks Game
NBC’s broadcast of a key NFL game between the Jets and Raiders runs long due to injury and penalty time-outs. With one minute to go and the Jets leading 32–29, the network switches to the movie , the story of a Swiss orphan girl. Oakland scores twice in the last minute to win 43–32.
1993: Ill-Timed Time Out
University of Michigan basketball star Chris Webber calls a time-out with 11 seconds left as his Wolverines trail North Carolina 73–71 in the national championship game. Only problem: Michigan has no time-outs left. He’s called for a technical foul, and Michigan loses, 77–71.
1993: Questionable Career Change
At the height of his career, and after winning three consecutive NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan announces he has lost his desire for basketball and is retiring to pursue a career in baseball. He goes on to bat .202 for the AA Birmingham Barons.