Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some Other Un-Clutch Moments in Championship History

Courtney Lee is the talk of the NBA Finals, which is a shame. I hope no one pins the Magic's fortunes on that missed layup but it will be shown over and over and over again for a long time.

But he's not the only one who has nutted under the pressure. In no particular order, here are some other memorable mishaps:

CHRIS WEBBER'S TIMEOUT: I'm sorry, but how do you not know you are out of time outs?

JOSH HOWARD'S TIMEOUT: Forget about this one? In the all important Game 5 of the 2006 NBA Finals, Dallas' Howard called their final timeout after Dwyane Wade's first free throw attempt (for whatever reason). Because it was their last timeout, the Mavericks couldn't advance the ball to half court to attempt a game winning play. Instead, a desperation heave.

FRED BROWN TO JAMES WORTHY: Another Carolina classic! I don't know what is more memorable: Jordan's gutsy shot to take a 63-62 lead with seconds remaining in the 1982 NCAA title game or Brown's pass to Worthy right after it.

BILL BUCKNER: We all know it.

JOHN KASAY KICKS OFF OUT OF BOUNDS: Super Bowl XXXVIII was amazing. The Panthers made a valiant comeback against the Patriots -- tying the game with about a minute left. We were moments away from another great Tom Brady drive or the first overtime in Super Bowl history. Instead, Kasay kicks off and the ball lands out of bounds. That gave New England the ball at their own 40 and a much easier task to get into field goal range. And they did.

ATHENS RELAY: The heavily favored women's 4x100 relay team dropped the ball in the Athens Games in 2004. Well, dropped the baton, actually. Marion Jones and Lauren Williams fumbled the baton exchange in the relay, disqualifying them from the race.

LINDSEY JACOBELLIS: The American snowboarder had a huge lead in the Snowboard Cross event in the 1996 Torino Games. So she decided to do this cool celebratory move before she finished, busted her butt and lost to Swiss boarder Tanja Frieden.

BERNARD LANGER'S MISSED PUTT: Langer needed to sink a 3-foot put to send the 1991 Ryder Cup into extra holes. It was the last hole of the last match and Langer missed it. Missed it.

DON DENKINGER'S BAD CALL: This isn't an athlete screw-up. No, the first base ump Denkinger altered the 1985 World Series by calling the Royals' Jorge Orta safe at first when he was clearly out. The Royals would win that game and the series.

SCOTT NORWOOD: Again, a 47-yard field goal attempt is never a gimmie. But with the Super Bowl on the line, Norwood kicked it wide right and the Bills began their legenday four-game Super Bowl losing streak.

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