We're several days into the World Cup now, and I have just about settled on my rooting strategy for countries I have no personal connection to: I'm going to root for countries where we've sold the rights for How to Teach Physics to Your Dog over countries where the rights haven't been sold yet.
This is a good strategy for producing a mix of teams-- I get to root for both Brazil and Portugal, for example, and also underdogs like Japan and South Korea-- but it has one major flaw: we've sold Italian rights. And I find it really hard to root for Italy, one of the flopping-est, whining-est, stalling-est teams out there. I was really glad that Paraguay scored first yesterday, because Italy with a one-goal lead is well nigh unwatchable.
Anyway, consider this an Open Thread for discussion of the World Cup. And just for fun, here's a quick poll asking you to rank sporting errors:
Amusingly, all three of those epic chokes broke in favor of a team I root for. I think I've blocked out the ones that went against my teams...
The entire Stanfurd team, plus the band, Big Game 1982.
How can anyone forget The Play?
How about scoring on yourself in the third period of a tie game in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Division finals. It's all here, from 1986.
The goal probably cost the Oilers the series and the opportunity to win the Cup five years in a row. They won it in 84 & 85 and 87 & 88. Still the only team to win five in a row is the Canadiens from 1956-60.
The Miracle at the Meadowlands.
Ha. Take that Giants fans.
As far as botched field goal attempts in Super Bowls go, you would have to give the prize to Garo Yepremian, kicker for the Miami Dolphins in the 1970s, including the year they went 17-0. In the Super Bowl that year, with the Dolphins leading 14-0, Yepremian came on to attempt a field goal. The ball ended up in his hands instead of the holders', and instead of falling on the ball he tried to pass it. Intercepted and returned for a touchdown.
I think an unwritten caveat here is that the gaffe has to cost you a win. Garo's failed pass, while classic, did not affect the outcome of the game. Comedy, rather than tragedy.
And speaking of last second field goals to lose the game -- in last year's Grey Cup, the Montreal kicker missed a 43 yarder with five seconds left.
But that's not the mistake!
The Saskatchewan Roughriders were penalized for too many men on the field on that play and the kicker got a re-do and kicked it perfectly.
The story is here. Crazy game.
Green's gaffe wasn't that bad as goalkeeping gaffes go. Try this one for laughs (Green used to play for Norwich, BTW). I'm sure one goalie once managed to throw the ball into his own net.
The South African cricketers once lost a World Cup semi-final because they didn't realise that they had to score more runs that the opposition.
And not technically a gaffe, this will either make you laugh or wince.
Uli HoeneÃ, European Soccer Championship 1976; in the final shoot-out they could have stacked two goals on top of each other and he'd still missed the penalty kick.
@Bob O'H. Or both. I laughed while wincing. :)
Anti-Vuvuzela filter! Not sure how well it works: