Dumbest Play in Sports History

There have been many great gaffes in sports history, but which was the stupidest? It could have cost a championship, or simply made the perpetrator look like a complete klutz. My personal favorite was Steve Smith scoring in his own net to eliminate the Edmonton Oilers from the Stanley Cup playoffs in 1986. He tops my list because not only did he interrupt a dynasty, but he did it on his birthday, no less. Can any play top this one?

There was a defensive back for the Minnesota Vikings who intercepted a pass and then ran 66 yards (I think) the wrong way.

I think every Doper in New England is reading this and having a mental image of the ball bouncing through Bill Buckner’s legs in the 1986 World Series.

Every football fan in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will never forget this name: Joe Pisarchik.

You beat me to it! I, too, immediately thought of the “Miracle of the Meadowlands.”

That was Jim Marshall, a defensive lineman. He picked up a fumble and ran the wrong way.


My suggestion for funniest bonehead play was when Jose Canseco lost the ball in the sun and it ricocheted off his head into the stands…for a homerun.

Marc Bergevin of the st.louis Blues throwing(literally) the puck into his own net, while Roman Turek stared in astonishment. Sharks went on to win that series in 7 games, on a number of super fluky goals.

Lately things haven’t been that rosey for me. But through the power of positive thinking, I’ve started to cheer up. Just as I’m approaching the crest of the happy hill, scratch1300 has to go and say the words “Bill Buckner.”
Oh, it’s all coming back. Standing in a dorm room with illegal cable, 40 people and 2 kegs - jumping up and down, toasting the obliteration of the Curse of the Bambino. Then Billy Buck duck walks himself right into ignobility. The world just hasn’t been the same since.
Is that too over the top?

I recall after the game Buckner was so upset that he attempted suicide. Put a gun to his head pulled the trigger.

Shot went between his legs.

What about Snodgrass? What about the Merkle Boner?
Sheesh, you youngsters sure do have a short mem’ry.

I have a few gaffes, from the best who ever played:

How about Babe Ruth getting caught trying to steal second base with Lou Gehrig at the plate to end a World Series?

Or how about Isiah Thomas passing the ball so softly to a teammate from the endline at last few seconds of a playoff game, that Larry Bird managed to lumber all the way from halfcourt to steal the ball, and passed it to Dennis Johnson to win the game for the Celtics.

how about Steve Balboni tossing the ball to the umpire after the Twins pulled off a double play. Problem was that there were only two outs at the time. Two runners scored.

Benny Agbayani, one of the heroes of the Mets this year, once tossed a ball to a fan after catching the second out of inning. It was still a live ball and two runners who were on base tagged up and scored while Agbayani had to snatch the ball back from the young fan.

How about referee gaffes? Take for example the fifth down Colorado got vs. Missouri a few years back after the QB spiked the ball on the real fourth down. Of course they scored a touchdown and wound up winning part of the national championship.

And on a lighter note the dumbest play in sports histtory is… Every single stickin’ play the Cincinnati Bengals call. It it weren’t for Dillon they wouldn’t have a team. Damn it’s hard being a fan of theirs.

To be fair about this, Pisarcik didn’t call the play. (The offensive coordinator did. It was said that he wanted to get back at a certain defensive player who took a cheap shot at Pisarcik on the previous play).

It’s true that Pisarcik could have audibled out of the play and taken a knee, but, as the story goes, he was criticized by the coaching staff for audibling too much earlier that season.

The offensive coordinator in question was fired THAT WEEK. He, and not Pisarcik, deserved the blame for that play.

Admittedly, the play looked like shit–Pisarcik’s execution sucked.

Snodgrass’s play was pretty bad (or so I’ve heard–I haven’t seen it. But Merkle? He’d only done what other players did on a regular basis in that situation. Unfortunately, for him, this time the opposition took advantage of the rule.

I’m sure I’ll think of others later, but Jose Canseco’s letting a fly ball bounce off his head for a home run (Deion did the same thing, but I’m not sure if the ball was a homer) is one possible winner. As is Garo Yepremian’s “pass”.

Larry Walker of the Rockies did this last season, letting another home run pass the fence in Coors Field via his noggin.

Anyway, my interpretation of “dumbest play” is not misfortune (Canseco, Walker, etc.), or poor play (Buckner, Jim Marshall), but being a really really bad idea. And, the Pisarchik play certainly was a really really bad idea.

Garo Yepremian’s quarterbacking career was pretty ignomious though it didn’t end up costing his team a championship.

I’ll have to agree with this statement. Not tagging the base after the winning score ran in was a common practice. If the umps are gonna change the enforcement of the rules, they should at least inform the players.

Sorry, but a real New England Sox fan knows that Buckner was forgiven long ago. When Buckner returned to the Sox, he received a standing ovation to show that he was forgiven. He was a great player without whom the Sox would have never even been in the playoffs. They certainly shouldn’t have beaten California in the ALCS (this is why Angels pitcher Donnie Moore killed himself years later).

Walker headbutted a ball over the wall this year? I knew he handed it off to a fan about 5 or 6 years ago, and I think Kruk did, too. I was at the Agbayani game, saw him catch it and disappear from my view, the runners sprinting and just said, “I hope he didn’t do a Larry Walker…”

Buckner was just an error, not so dumb.

My dumb play? Man at second a few years ago, batter grounds wide of first, David Cone goes to cover, batter called safe, Cone stands there and argues with ump while the Brave from second merrily trots home. Conehead play, Dave!

Dumbest of all?..Don’t know yet. The dumbest I had the pleasure of witnessing in person was Mike Sadek of the San Francisco Giants stealing third when the Chicago Cubs had a conference on the mound…and forgot to ask for time.

Prtty loopy/but typical Cub behavior.

how about that world series in the 80s when the first baseman let that easy grounder go right through his legs? i don’t know the year or the teams, but that was beautiful.